Category: Genesis-BibleTrekToday

Trek through Genesis

Jesus explains marriage and divorce

Scripture reading for July 23rd: Matthew 19

Key Scriptures: Matthew 19:3-9 “And Pharisees came up to Him and tested Him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that He Who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.””

Marriage issues have been around for a long time, even in and amongst God’s chosen people! The Law of Moses contained instructions about marriage and divorce. Jesus pointed the questioners to God’s written Word for help and then explained to them God’s plan for marriage. God made humans in two sexes–male and female. Marriage was to be between a man and a woman. They must leave their father and mother and cleave to each other, forming a new family entity of ‘one flesh’. God, Himself joins them together and man is commanded not to separate. God would use the union to bring godly offspring into the earth to fill and care for it. Jesus went on to explain that Moses was given instructions about divorce because of man’s harness of heart, not because it was God’s plan. Jesus emphasized that sexual immorality was the only ground for divorce. Getting married to another after a divorce for any other reason resulted in committing adultery. Broken marriages sow violence into our lives. God’s plan is simple for marriage. Man’s hard hearts make it complicated. Godly marriage is a reflection of Christ and His Bride the Church.

Ephesians 5:31-32 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for Your plan for godly marriages and the raising of godly children. Thank You for grace when marriage is broken by hardened hearts. Have mercy on our land and Your people as many have not believed Your plan for marriage–one man and one woman till death parts. Heal us from the violence sown from broken covenant marriages. Protect those living according to Your plan.

Malachi 2:15-16 “Did He not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife or your youth. For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of Hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit and do not be faithless.”

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Confronting the crucifiers

Scripture reading for April 14th: Acts 7

Key Scriptures: Acts 7:51-57 “”You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.” Now when they heard these things, they were enraged and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him.”

Stephen, one of the seven chosen to serve the widows, was arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. He was falsely accused of speaking against the holy place and God’s law. When asked by the high priest if this was so, Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit was given a wonderful ability to lovingly confront the religious leaders who had crucified Jesus. He shared Israel’s history of rejecting the prophets and confronted them of their complicity. Instead of listening and humbly repenting, they hardened their hearts and stopped their ears. As Stephen was about to be stoned, he saw a vision of Jesus Christ, standing at God’s right hand, ready to receive him! This was the trigger that moved the crowd to stone him. Before he ‘fell asleep’ he prayed, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them.” Saul, (Paul) was holding the coats of the stoners and was included in his prayer. God used Stephen to confront the ‘crucifiers’ of Jesus in another act of mercy seeking their repentance, and then took him home as Jesus stood to welcome him.

Acts 7:59-60 “And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord do not hold this sin against them.” And when he said this, he fell asleep.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, what a moving testimony of Your grace and loving appeal to those who crucified You and stoned Your disciple. Help me to show that love and mercy to those I encounter today and turn evil around to work for good. I look forward to seeing You in glory!

Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Joseph to his betraying brothers)

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Remember Lot’s wife

Scripture reading for March 25th: Luke 17

Key Scriptures: Luke 17:28-32 “Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot–they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all-so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife.”

The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was going to come. Jesus responded that the coming kingdom was not visible, but would be an inside job, within each person. He then proceeded to instruct His disciples on the time when the kingdom of God would be revealed. He likened it to the days of Noah, when all mankind, except for Noah and his family, would be going about their normal lives and then suddenly the flood came and swept them all away. He then used Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah as another example of His sudden return and the destruction of the wicked and the saving of Lot and his family. Lot’s wife, however, looked back at the burning city, ignoring God’s instructions. She was turned into a pillar of salt in judgment on her lack of steadfast faith with her heart still in Sodom.

Genesis 19:15-17, 26 “As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside of the city. And as they brought them out, one said, ‘Escape with your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills lest you be swept away.” . . . “But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, Your Word is truth and life to those who will hear. Help me to remember the lessons You taught about perseverance and faith. Thank You for Your mercy for me and the lost of this world.

Revelation 3:10 “Because you have kept My Word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth.”

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The Virgin and God’s Son

Scripture reading for March 3rd: Luke 1

Key Scriptures: Luke 1:34-38 “And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God. And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”

A key truth of the Christian faith is the truth that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin who had never known a man. This is important for our faith because a man born the ordinary way, through human intercourse, would not be able to save us because he would still have a sin-nature. God’s plan was to form His Son in a virgin’s womb and allow Him to be born of a woman and yet be the “Son of God.” The child would be holy and set apart from all other humans from His birth. Mary, herself, when approached by the angel had trouble understanding how this would happen. The angel explained that God can do anything He wants and had already formed the fore-runner, John the Baptist, in the womb of a barren woman. Mary humbly submitted and offered her body to serve God and mankind.

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign, Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord I believe that You were born of a virgin, and are the Son of God. Thank You for saving me and those who believe on You. Help me to say along with Mary, Your mother, “Let it be to me according to Your Word,” for all my life and service.

Genesis 18:13-14 “The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

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Kingdom righteousness!

Scripture reading for February 15th: Romans 5

Key Scriptures: Romans 5:18-21 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one Man’s obedience the many were made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Paul explained to the Roman believers that the first man, Adam, crossed God’s line (trespassed) in disobedience when he took fruit from his wife and ate of the forbidden fruit. Because of this, all men became sinners after the manner of Adam. But Jesus Christ the Son of God, the second Adam, came to earth and perfectly obeyed His Father. He then offered His own sinless body on the cross for payment for sins done by Adam and his offspring. The Law was given to Israel to reveal sin and the sin nature. All sins lead to death which is eternal separation from God. But grace is unlimited towards all who will go to God through Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. Righteousness through Christ’s sacrifice and His obedience is given to all the faithful as a gift of eternal life.

Genesis 2:16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man (Adam), saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your perfect obedience and perfect sacrifice on the cross to make those who would believe on You righteous and cleanse them of sin’s guilt and shame. Lead me to share Your amazing grace and lead sinners to righteousness and life

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

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Excuses on Judgement Day?

Scripture reading for February 10th: Romans 2

Key Scriptures: Romans 2:1-5 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”

How easy it is to become judgmental of others and condemn bad behavior and ungodly attitudes! Paul warned the Jewish believers against judging the Gentiles or others while still doing the same things themselves. This is hypocrisy and is spotted and ridiculed by others on a regular basis. But even worse, this behavior is sinful and unless repented of will bring God’s wrath on those practicing it. Just because God’s wrath is not evident today does not mean that God has overlooked it. Without our repentance, He stores it up for the day of wrath. He is kind and patient with all sinners, giving time to repent. It is His goodness that leads us to repentance–a change of mind and behavior. There will be no excuses when we stand before God.

Genesis 3:12 “The man said, “The woman whom You gave me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I ate.””

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing kindness and patience with me, a sinner. Thank you for sending Gospel messengers to lead me to repentance and faith. I ask the Lord Jesus to defend me on the day of wrath, not my worthless excuses.

Romans 2:15-16 “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”

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Godly character shines

Scripture reading for January 6th: 1st Timothy 3

Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 3:1-7 “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

Becoming an effective spiritual leader is an inside job. As Paul shares the qualification for overseers and deacons with Timothy, we note the many character traits, good and bad, that he lists. The positive traits come from time spent in God’s presence and humbly inviting the Holy Spirit to transform our weak and sinful nature to become like our Lord. It comes from applying God’s Truth to our lives in repentance and faith to crucify the negative traits. This brings stability in the home and family and is noticed in the behavior of the wife and children by those in the church and outside. Ability to manage the family and finances shows good leadership. Humility is most prized in that it keeps us close to Jesus and dependent on Him to avoid Satan’s snares.

Psalm 24:3-4 “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for calling me into spiritual leadership and shaping me inside by Your Word and Holy Spirit. Help me daily to maintain a clean conscience flow of Your love and to walk true to my calling pleasing You alone!

Genesis 6:8-9 “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. And these are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.”

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God will visit you!

Scripture reading for January 29th:  Genesis 49:50, Galatians 4

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 50:24-26  And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die,  but God will bring you up out of this land to the land that He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”  Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”  So Joseph died, being 110 years old.  They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”  

Galatians 4:4-7  “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!  Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”  

Joseph had experienced birth into the covenant family of God and rejection by his brothers as they sold him into slavery.  But God was with him and exalted him to be savior of his brothers and also the Gentile world of his day.  As he was about to die, he gave a prophetic word concerning his brothers:  “God will surely visit you.”  He gave instructions for his bones:  “You shall carry my bones from here.”  Paul stated that we have all becomes “sons of God” through faith in Jesus Christ.  God has visited us in Jesus Christ and He is coming again to take us out of here!

Faith confession and prayer:  My spirit cries out by the Holy Spirit; “Abba!  Father!  Jesus is Lord!”  Lord, help me to share the Gospel with all who will hear!  Carry our bones out of here!

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Inheritance through adoption!

Scripture reading for January 28th:  Genesis 47-48, Galatians 3, Psalm 25

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 47:15-16  “And he (Jacob) blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my Shepherd all my life long to this day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac;  and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

Galatians 3:26-28 “. . .for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

Jacob had come to Egypt to be with his children.  Upon seeing Joseph, whom he thought had been killed, he wept and was even more blessed to see the children that Joseph had produced.  As Jacob blessed the two boys of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, he adopted them as his own.  As such they would have Abraham and Isaac as their fathers and be in line for inheritance–a double portion!  The Apostle Paul stated to the Galatians that in Christ Jesus–offspring of Abraham and King David, we who believe become “Abraham’s offspring” and heirs according to promise!  Not by works but through faith this is so!  Amen!

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your heavenly blessing of my life through the gift of the Holy Spirit!  I am privileged to become “Abraham’s offspring” by faith and receive the promise of eternal inheritance!

Psalm 25:21 “May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.”  

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God sent me!

Scripture reading for January 27th:  Genesis 45-46, Galatians 2, Psalm 108

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 45:5-8  “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.  For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.  And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to keep alive for you many survivors.  So it was not you who sent me here, but God.  He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.”  

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

There are no ‘accidents’ or ‘luck’ or ‘fate’ in God’s view of life on earth.  God controls events, weather, individuals and nations to bring about His merciful purposes.  Even the evil intentions of Joseph’s brothers were turned to work out for their salvation years later.  This betrayed brother became third highest ruler in Egypt and in control of grain in a time of famine through the will of God.  Paul, like Joseph of old, also recognized God’s amazing plan for his own sinful life.  In Christ Jesus alone we experience salvation and eternal preservation!

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to prepare the way for my preservation and eternal grace!  May I be as Paul the Apostle, identified with Christ Jesus in crucifixion and resurrection!  Lord, send me!

 

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