Nothing Impossible

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Today's reading: Genesis 17:15-27

God's thoughts, His timing and His way of doing things are different than ours. I clearly know this, yet somehow I continue to be "surprised" when what I'm thinking doesn't quite match up with God's plan. LOL. Although the Bible doesn't expressly say it, I wonder if Abraham struggled with this as well?

When Abram is already an old man with no children, God tells him that he will have offspring as numerous as the stars (Genesis 15). Years pass before God appears to Abram again (he's now 99 years old), and this time God delivers the message that he will be the father of nations through a son by his 90-year--old wife, Sarai. What?!? This certainly isn't the succession plan we'd come up with in our human thinking. But as Abraham's and Sarah's story drives home--God's ways are not ours, and nothing is impossible with God.

Do you have a God-given dream or desire that seems impossible to you? What encouragement does God's interaction with Abraham provide? How does this account resemble the interaction between Mary and the angel in Luke 1 ("For nothing will be impossible with God.")? Tami

13 Years

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Today's reading: Genesis 17:1-27

Thirteen years pass from the end of Genesis 16 (and the birth of Ishmael) to the first verse of Genesis 17, and during this time Abram pushes faithfully onward. Chapter 17 begins with God appearing to Abram to institute a second covenant and put into action the covenant made with Abram in Genesis 15. This time when God speaks, however, He's more specific about the blessing being bestowed. He tells Abram that he will be the father of many nations through a son from Sarai, God changes Abram's name to Abraham and Sarai's name to Sarah, and God puts in place the covenant of circumcision. Abraham doesn't fully understand the "what's, why's, how's or when's" of what God is telling him (similar to Genesis 15). Yet, he listens to God, accepts everything that he is told and obediently acts on God's instructions.

What's the most meaningful lesson you learned or noticed from Abraham's example? When you don't fully understand how God is moving, what helps you keep your eyes on God and take Him at His word? Tami

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Messes

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Today's reading: Genesis 16:1-16

Sarai's taking matters into her own hands creates quite a messy situation--for her, for Abram and most certainly for Hagar who didn't really have a say or choice in the matter. But thankfully, God is much bigger than, and in no way limited by, the messes we find ourselves in.

Hagar was placed in a bad situation by Sarai, and not surprisingly, that situation took a turn for the worse after Hagar got pregnant. So to escape from an angry and bitter Sarai, Hagar runs away into the open countryside, a dangerous and barren place. She was low emotionally and thought she was on her own, but God was right there by her side, guiding, protecting and providing for her.

What messes have you found yourself in--either by a poor decision you made or a poor choice by someone else? How did God guide, protect and/or provide for you in and through one of those messy situations? What did you learn or notice about God from Genesis 16? Tami

Seasons

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Today's reading: Genesis 16:1-6; Proverbs 3:5-8

Although Abram and Sarai desired to have children, Sarai was barren. So after years of trying to conceive, Sarai, instead of continuing to prayerfully present her situation and her desire for a child to God, gives in to the temptation to take matters into her own hands. Now let me interject here. If you feel like pointing your finger or shaking your head at Sarai--hold off. Because honestly, haven't we all done this at some point or another? I certainly have. When circumstances aren't moving along like we think they should, our sinful nature rises up and urges us to push God aside and take control, seductively whispering "You know what's best for you." But when we give in to this temptation and run ahead of God, it's always to our detriment.

I am thankful for how our Powered by 4 schedule has landed us on this passage today (it's not a coincidence), because I've been hearing that seductive whisper and needed a reminder about not running ahead of God. You see, my husband and I have been in a period of transition for the past three years. And while we certainly know that God is in control and what we've experienced (and continue to experience) is part of His plan, I'm eager to close the chapter of the last three years and move fully into a new season. Yet, for whatever reason, God is taking His time in wrapping up that season and moving us forward. Thankfully, God has given me some amazing friends who are walking alongside me, keeping me grounded so that my eyes remain on God and His perfect timing.

How would you describe the season you're experiencing right now? What helps wait you patiently when you're ready to move but God hasn't yet fully cleared the way? What did you learn or see from this passage and Sarai's and Abram's example? Tami

Believe and Trust

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Today's reading: Genesis 15:1-21

Genesis 15 lets us see the personal dialogue between God and Abram when God tells Abram that He is protecting him and that He [God] will reward Abram for choosing to follow after God and live rightly. This entire chapter highlights and emphasizes the personal nature of God and His desire for us to be in relationship with Him.

Abram was committed to serving God. It was his regular practice to look and listen for God's instruction and guidance. So when God speaks to him through a vision, he responds by talking openly with God, asking Him what He is planning. Even though what God tells Abram seems inconceivable to Abram given his circumstances, verse 6 tells us that Abram "believed the LORD, and he [the LORD] counted it to him as righteousness." What an incredible example of taking God at His word and trusting Him fully!

Thank you, God, for Abram's example. Please help me respond like Abram to Your instruction and direction.

In what area or circumstance do you need to trust God today? Do you talk openly with God when you pray? What impact does speaking candidly with God have on your relationship with Him? What did this chapter show you about God? Tami

About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

About My Blog

I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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