Genesis 18:9-15; Genesis 21:1-7 (God’s Promise to Abraham)
Hebrews 6:13-15 ESV
(2 Peter 3:18, Deuteronomy 31:8, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 37:23-24, Matthew 11:28-29, Exodus 14:14, Isaiah 40:29-31, 2 Corinthians 12:9, and Isaiah 55:8-9)
From the Jar
God made a promise to Abraham in Genesis 18:9-15 and in 21:1-7. In Genesis 18:9-15 God promised Abraham and Sarah a son. In Genesis 21:1-7 Sarah had a son in her old age and named him Isaac.
In Hebrews 6:13-15 we are reminded of God’s promise to bless Abraham, “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.”
When the promise was made to Abraham and Sarah they were blessed.
God still makes promises to us today.
We can rely on God’s promises. I rely on God’s promises.
I’m not sure that’s because we desperately need God’s reassurance. Many people (even believers) are capable of going about their daily lives without looking to God or recognizing their reliance on God.
I am not one of those people.
I readily recognize my need for God.
I remember the first time the Spirit of God swept through my soul. It was a powerful, even violent moment.
I was a young teenager. I had gone to church all my life with my parents. I saw my dad’s reaction when he took holy communion. It meant something to him.
The night I got on the bus and headed to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri seemed like any other night. We were headed to hear Billy Graham speak.
I got off the bus with everyone else. We filed into the stadium with hundreds (thousands?) of other people.
I expected to find a seat, hear the message, and go home on the bus.
That’s not exactly what happened.
I did get off the bus.
I did walk into the stadium.
I will never forget (hopefully) what happened next.
Once I was inside the stadium a violent hurricane force wind swept through my soul. Suddenly and without warning I was overtaken with the power of the Spirit of God. I was so consumed by God’s power and love that I started crying uncontrollable.
Over 55 years later I still remember looking around and wondering why no one else was crying or reacting to the power of this WIND. I wasn’t really afraid, but I didn’t understand why no one else was shaking and crying.
I thought I would be able to hide my reaction to the hurricane going on inside my soul, but when the message was over and the music started, some force picked me up and took me down to the altar in the middle of the field. Once I was there, a middle aged man asked me how he could help me. I was crying and in between my sobbing I was able to tell him about the hurricane force wind. I remember him smiling and telling me I would be alright. He told me the Spirit of God came on me and I would forever be changed.
I was forever changed.
When I got home I told my dad what happened. He smiled and he held me. He told me it was okay. He told me it was a good thing.
After that night I started having dreams and visions. Sometimes during the day God would stop me and speak to me. Whenever that happened I could tell my dad and he would help me understand.
When I lost me dad to cancer 20 years later I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to process my dreams and visions or my words from God. That was not the case. God showed me a way step by step to go on. I grew in grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3:18).
I read scripture cover to cover and I learned in Deuteronomy 31:8 that God would be with me and would not leave me. I learned in Isaiah 41:10 that I do not need to be afraid because God will strengthen and help me. I discovered what Isaiah means in Isaiah 26:3 when he wrote about God’s perfect peace staying with me. In Psalm 37:23-24 I learned that my steps (our steps) have been established by the Lord. I read the promise in Matthew 11:28-29 that no matter what happens, no matter how hard, God will give me rest. I discovered from Exodus 14:14 that even when I am silent God will fight for me. I found from Isaiah 40:29-31 that God gives me strength beyond my strength that will renew me. I learned in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that God’s grace is sufficient for me because when I am weak, He is strong.
Scripture became my playbook.
It’s my book filled with promises.
My go-to guide from God.
I served the church for 30 years as a Pastor’s wife and when I least expected it, God called me to go to Seminary at the age of 54. At the time I thought that was a crazy idea. I finished my degree when I was 60 years old.
I’ve since been reminded that God’s timing is not our timing and God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
From the first time when the Spirit of God swept through me as a young girl, God’s promises are sure. They are real. They are from everlasting to everlasting.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Receive
Today tell God you receive whatever He has for you.
In God, Deborah