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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
Daily Bible Study
Lesson # Genesis 17:1
Study Material - Genesis 17:1
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
1 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.
Thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael is our time frame. Abram is now 99 years old. Some time ago Abram was whining and feeling sorry for himself that he had no son, no heir. He had the promises of God. He had been through many tests of famine an war, and came out of them all with flying colors.
Somewhere along the line Abram got away from his Bible study. He got away from interacting with his friends. We saw in earlier studies that the names of his friends indicated a group of very mature and consistent students of Gods Word.
Abram got his eyes on himself and off of God. He felt sorry and thus the Hagar affair, producing Ishmael as well as disruption in the Abram camp.
When Abram got away from God, his true heir to be, was postponed. Abram was negative for these thirteen years, or the greater portion of them. Then somewhere along the line he began to get back to his studies in Gods Word. He made advances such that he recovered his strength in faith, which he had at one time.
We all have a tendency to get impatient and want to go our own way. But when we get away from our Bible study, then our troubles begin. Sometimes they are merely our own self induced misery. Other times trouble comes looking for us. Either way these troubles are intended to wake us up and to get us back on track with our Bible study, as well as back on track with our spiritual growth and advancement toward spiritual maturity.
When we fall away from our Bible study, we regress in our spiritual status. Just like muscles getting flabby when you stop exercising, so too, when you stop applying that spiritual exercise to your soul, then your soul gets flabby and your thinking becomes sloppy as it were.
It has taken Abram thirteen years to have his 'feel sorry for self' episode and then to recover. That is lot of time wasted in failure and recovery. Remember that negative attitudes are very deceitful traps and very powerful in their resistance to changing back to ones positive side.
Jehovah appeared. This is the second person of the trinity, Jesus Christ. Jehovah is a personal name for God. It also means the self existent one, or self sufficient one. But He introduces Himself as the 'El Shaddai'. El, being masculine for great power, or great supplier. Shaddai, being the almighty or all powerful one. So this comes to mean the mighty one of blessings. God is the only thing that we need to survive in this life. He is the source of all. He can do all. He is able to provide everything that one can possibly imagine and more.
Abram is now sexually dead as we will see later. But death has no restrictions on Gods power. God creates life and God takes it away at His leisure. So His announcement to Abram - I am (the always existing one), God (El), Almighty (unlimited power, unlimited capabilities, capable of making promises and performing them as well).
'Walk before Me, and be blameless.' There is always a condition before one can become a recipient of Gods advanced blessings. All of mankind is a recipient of Gods common grace. We have air to breath and brains with which to think and make decisions. But only those who are positive toward God, and advance in a consistent daily study program will qualify for those exceedingly great blessings of above and beyond the norm.
God has given us a promise, 'Call to me and I will show you great and mighty things.' This stands as a promise that God makes to every mature believer, and He will carry out that promise. His timing may not be as fast as we would like, but then generally our blessings are held off because we are not advancing to spiritual maturity as fast as God would like. We wait on God, God waits on us and so it goes. If you are consistent, then sooner or later your life will experience a dramatic change. Perhaps not all at once, but one day you will look back at the months or years preceding, and only then, perhaps, you'll recognize the magnitude of the changes and blessings that you have received. At other times these changes will come rapidly. Sarai probably crawled into bed one night and was somewhat startled thinking Abram had left something in his pocket. 'Abram! Did you bring that flashlight to bed again?....'
'Walk before me', means to get back to your daily Bible study. Get back to your thinking of Gods Word. Get back to applying Gods Word to your daily life.
'And be blameless', means to remain in fellowship. Offer those confessions directly to God on a regular basis in order that you can remain in fellowship. Fellowship is that sphere in which we all need to live our lives, inside that bubble of perfection as it were. In the presence of God and under His authority and control. Offering prayer on a regular basis. Prayer is the single most powerful weapon in all of creation. It focuses Gods power onto the content of your prayer. No sword, or missile, or nuclear weapon can come close to the power of prayer.
The recent events in New York, this past September 11, 2001, have seen peoples turning to demonstrations against violence, demonstrations of patriotism with flag waving, military activities and so forth. But the single most powerful weapon is prayer, and that can be used by you from your position of fellowship. You may not carry a gun into combat. You may not be listening for intelligence on the airwaves. But from your own home, from your own soul, you can launch an awesome volume of firepower against those terrorists. God commands us to pray and to continue to pray. This volume of fire power is what is needed to defeat those terrorists. How? God will make their hideouts known. God will guide our missiles to their targets. In heaven one day in the future, you'll ask some angel why did we win that terrorist war, or why didn't we win it? And the answer will not be that our military was either great or deficient, but that our prayer force was great or deficient.
Others on earth will take the credit or be blamed, but in heaven Jesus Christ controls history, and He responds to valid prayer and especially to those who walk before Him and are blameless.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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