Genesis 21, Matthew 20, Nehemiah 10, Acts 20

Genesis 21:33

What a great name for God, "the LORD, the Everlasting God".  This is the only time in scripture this exact phrase is used to describe God.  In Isaiah 40:28, the order is reversed but the meaning is obviously the same, "the LORD is God Everlasting".  The rest of the Bible makes it abundantly clear God must be "from everlasting to everlasting".  If it were not so, He could not make "everlasting covenants" with Noah (Genesis 9:16), Abraham (Genesis 17:7), and David (2 Samuel 23:5).  His steadfast love could not "endure forever" in Psalm 135, if He were not the Everlasting God.  Everything in the world in which we live has an end.  But God is described as the "Alpha and Omega...who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8). 

Thank You Everlasting God for being unchanging.  Everything I know is in constant change but You remain the same.  You do as You will as the Almighty One and what You do is good.  May my spirit be settled in You as I live in a sea of unsettledness. 

Matthew 19:30-20:16

Since Matthew 19:30 and Matthew 20:16 are the same statement in reverse order, it would seem obvious the parable is an illustration of the proverb.  What insight does the parable of the land owner and the laborers give to the proverb?   How does this relate to the discussion Jesus has with the rich man in Matthew 19:16-26, and His later answer to Peter's question in Matthew 19:27-30?

Nehemiah 10:28-39

This is a serious group of people!  In Nehemiah 8 and 9, those Jews who had returned from exile spent a great deal of time studying the Word of God, which lead to repentance, prayer and worship.  In Nehemiah 9:38, they commit in a signed written covenant to keep God's instruction.  Just look at what they have committed themselves to before God and each other. They bound themselves with a curse and an oath to keep the LORD's commands.  They committed to not intermarry with foreigners.  They promised to observe the Sabbath and the Year of Jubilee.  "We will not neglect the house of our God" sums up verses 32-39.

Almighty God, You alone are worthy of such commitment.  Thank you for the example of this group of people.  May Your Word stir in me the same repentance, prayer and worship that leads to a deeper commitment to You and Your kingdom. 

Acts 20:21

What a great description of life as a believer: "repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ".  There are many ways of preaching the gospel to myself, but this is one of my favorites.  Repentance is a key, if not the key, to the Kingdom of God.  Jesus made that so clear.  And how many times did He speak of believing Him, who He is, what He does and what He says.    

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