Genesis 18, Matthew 17, Nehemiah 7, Acts 17

Genesis 18:22-33

Abraham recognized the LORD as "Judge of all the earth".  Notice the request/prayer Abraham makes.  This is a pray of intercession.  Abraham asks the LORD to spare the wicked for the sake of the righteous.    Abraham knew these people, since he had delivered some of them from captivity in Genesis 14.  It also seems he knew the limited number of righteous in Sodom.  Yet he did not just ask for Lot's deliverance, but for the entire city.  What a gracious and good neighbor!  Isn't it interesting that Abraham loved his neighbor as himself? 

Judge of all the earth, forgive me for at times acting as if I am the judge.  May I be as gracious as Abraham in my care and love for my neighbors.

Matthew 17:17-20

"O faithless and twisted long am I to bear with you?".  Wow, Jesus was frustrated with His follower's unbelief.  He later responds to their question of why they couldn't drive out the demon with, "because you have so little faith".  Amazingly, then Jesus says, "For truly...if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed".  They could move mountains with such small faith.  Faith is always the issue in the kingdom of God.  In Hebrews 11:6, we are told "it is impossible to please Him without faith".  The disciples knew who Jesus was and in general believed Him.  But in this specific situation, Jesus tells them they did not even show faith as small as a mustard seed.  How often do I do the same thing?  I believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, but what about in those difficult situations, do I exhibit faith smaller than a mustard seed?

Nehemiah 7:5

"Then my God put it into my heart."  After Nehemiah had finished the wall and gates of the city, he realized there were very few people there.  So he took a census.  As I read "Then my God put into my heart", I realized that is what I want for all of my life.  I desire the things "my God" would want me to be and do.  It is so easy for the things in my heart to be placed there by me, or the people around me or even the culture in which I live. 

Father, this morning, I open my heart to what You would place in it.  I commit to protect my heart from anything else.  Holy Spirit, please protect my heart from any influence except Yours.  Jesus, thank You for my new heart.  I desire that it would be a heart after You.

Acts 17:30-31

Why would God command everyone everywhere to repent and turn to Him?  Because He has fixed a day on which the world will be judged.  He has proven Jesus to be the judge by raising Him from the dead.  The world is to recognize the LORD Jesus as judge just as Abraham did.

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