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Hagar-Though Rejected-was not Abandoned

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We know Hagar as Sarah’s Egyptian maidservant whom Sarah acquired when she, Abraham and Lot moved from Canaan to Egypt because of a famine in the land of Canaan. In ancient Near Eastern homes, the rank of personal maidservant to the master’s wife reflected honor, obedience, and trustworthiness. On the other hand, the position stripped Hagar of all personal rights, making her totally subject to Sarah’s every whim.

Because Sarah was barren, Hagar’s surrogate maternity was perfectly legal, though it was a clear violation of God’s law – Genesis 2:24 – “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” This act, on Sarah’s and Abraham’s part, was a lack of faith in God Jehovah. They took things into their own hands, like many of us do when we lack faith and patience to wait on His sure promises.

During Hagar’s pregnancy she became full of pride and started thinking too highly of herself. She probably mocked Sarah for not being able to give Abraham a child, and possibly even stated that he thought better of her than Sarah for it. Women who were sterile were considered a reproach in those times. Sarah responded to Hagar’s pride with a vindictive accusation against her husband, who then insisted that Sarah assume full responsibility for her maid – Genesis 16:6 “But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.” So Sarah mistreated Hagar to the point that she ran away.

God heard Hagar’s cries and He revealed Himself to her in Genesis 16:7-13 – “And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” God met Hagar’s immediate need in tender grace while He allowed her to experience His presence.

Twice “the Angel of the Lord” came to Hagar’s aid, in the instance stated above, and also in Genesis 21, after Isaac was born, and the Lord told them to send Hagar and Ishmael away, after Sarah saw Ishmael mocking. Verses 9-20 – “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.”

Hagar’s legacy speaks very tenderly to the growing number of disadvantaged and unfortunate women of the world. Under no circumstance can they escape God’s caring/watchful eyes. As He provided for Hagar, He can and will provide for every woman. What great love and compassion our LORD has for all mankind!

Throughout Hargar’s life, she experienced estrangement and prejudice as a foreigner, hardship and abuse as a servant, grief and abandonment as an unwed pregnant woman, and hopeless despair on two occasions as she faced imminent death. Yet, despite all these difficulties, Hagar responded to the God who addressed her. She did not get compensation from Sarah and Abraham; her life was never easy, but God did reward her. In the all-seeing God, Hagar found refuge and life.

Yes, Hagar was rejected because God had a purpose. But we may take much comfort in knowing that just as God was there for Hagar, so is He here for each of us.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2018 in God's Love

 

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Gratitude – a Thankful Appreciative Spirit

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A truly thankful spirit will show gratitude when it acknowledges who God is and what He has done for him/her. This gratitude is a heartfelt emotion and it is not dependent upon the response of another person nor the nature of the gift it received.

Ingratitude, on the other hand, begins with a heart that refuses to be satisfied and rejects the Giver as well as His gift – Romans 1:21 – “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Our very lives are a gracious gift from God. There can be no thankfulness except that which is built on this foundation. A spirit of gratitude must be learned, and then passed on to others, especially to those in our own households, by example. Here are some ways we can accomplish this:

  • Remember that a grateful person is humble and focused on God, while the ungrateful heart is full of pride and focused on self. Ruth was a beautiful example of such a spirit of gratitude and humility – Ruth 2:10 “Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?” Hers was a very gracious response even to a small kindness.
  • Never take even the small, ordinary daily blessings for granted – Matthew 6:11 – ” Give us this day our daily bread.”
  • Anticipate each day’s blessings from God, and take care that you do not miss out on the subtle, indirect gifts our all-wise and generous Father gives us each and every day – Colossians 4:2 – “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;” At the same time, it is important to remember that not every desire we have is beneficial to us. God, the all-wise, all-knowing Giver knows and sincerely wants only what is best for us. Earnestly think about His plan and priorities for your life, while taking care not to lose sight of the bigger picture because of a tragic but small interruption.
  • Remember to thank God even in the midst of adversity and trials – Habakkuk 3:17-19 – “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
  • Not only ought we to show our gratitude to God and others regularly, but publicly as well – Psalm 35:18 – “I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.” John 11:41, 42 – “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.” We should never take our family and friends for granted.
  • Make a record of your blessings and take note also of God’s great faithfulness to you each day.
  • And finally, we can pay it forward when we reach out and give to others in the Spirit of Christ – 2 Corinthians 9:12 – “For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;”

It is an essential part of a life lived Holy to God to cultivate a grateful spirit and a thankful heart in all things. Of course, it does not come easily, nor does it happen over night. It is an on-going work in each Christ-like person’s life until we go be with Jesus. The woman who is thankful and has a heart full of praise brings joy to her Heavenly Father and glory to His name. An attitude of gratitude will bring to our hearts a host of blessings, while at the same time, make us a means of blessing to others.

Psalm 100

1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2017 in Godly Women

 

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And we Wonder Why?

There have been times in my life that I, too, have wondered why God allows some things to happen. I have come to understand more as I have raised children and watched them grow to be their own persons, like myself, they all must learn by making their own choices. Many of us older saints know what it feels like to see our grown children and other family members stray toward the pleasures of this world and sometimes shun us because of our hard-earned, strongly held, Biblical beliefs and lifestyles. And just as we ignored our parents when they tried to share the whys for not becoming such close friends with this evil world, they ignore our warnings. Sadly, too many of us must find out for ourselves I guess.

I have come to the conclusion that all I need do is continue to work on me and pray for God’s work in the lives of my loved ones, as I do my best to be a better example than I may have been in the past and love them and pray for them no matter what. God’s timing is always perfect!

There is a gospel song that I have been hearing for some time now that brings me to tears every time I hear it. Tears as I remember some of those times in my life when I have asked God to leave, and tears as I watch others do the same. I thank God for leading the writer and I thank the writer for obeying God. My heart aches for God and how He must feel since our country, even some of His children, have ‘asked Him to leave.’ Over the history of this world we see where God’s children have time and time again chosen this world over Him and He always steps back and lets us face our own consequences for doing so. Usually they are very dire consequences, sadly.

You Asked Him to Leave

by Wilburn and Wilburn

 

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2017 in God's Love

 

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God’s Plans Always Win

Isn’t it something how we finite humans tend to think that we are all wise and are able to make our own plans in this life without God’s direction. Why must we insist upon going our own way without truly consulting our Father’s will for us? He only wants what is best for us and He knows our every thought and what will be the result of our actions. If we trust Him enough to save us from hell-fire, why do we not trust Him with every other aspect of our lives? He will not force His will on us, and He will allow us to flounder in our own, best-laid plans. Then when we stumble and fall enough to bring us back to ourselves as His servant and child and repent, He is always there with His unlimited grace to heal us from our self-inflicted wounds and lead us according to what was His will and His plan in the first place. We could truly save ourselves from much worldly harm if we would just let God be God in our lives. That means spending time in His Word each and every day (in His true incorrupt King James Word that does not leave out consequences of sin). It also means spending time in our quiet and confidential prayer closet with Him each day and listening to his still small voice inside us, and being fed in a true KJ Bible believing and teaching church where we can truly come to know Him and grow in Him.

There was a time in my life when I came to my senses after having gone my own way in this world. I realized that I had made a huge mess of my life and that I had hurt many others in the process. I repented and finally decided to trust God in every area. As I looked back over the wasted years I spent in futility trying to go my own way, there was much sorrow and remorse. But my Heavenly Father wrapped His loving and forgiving arms around me and has since gotten me back on track for His glorious will for my life. I am ever grateful and sometimes still amazed at how I messed up so much, and yet He turned it all around and is still accomplishing His perfect will in my life. Am I perfect at giving him my all? No, of course not. But at least I have learned to truly ask and listen for His will. Sometimes I do not like what His will is over mine, but I am ever learning to trust that He knows best and He will always win and accomplish His perfect will when I am doing my best to live righteously for Him.

The Lord led me to a few verses this morning in regards to us making our plans, but how it is God who is truly in control.

Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”

Proverbs 19:20, 21 “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”

Proverbs 16:2, 3 ” All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

Psalm 37:23, 24 “THE STEPS OF A GOOD MAN ARE ORDERED BY THE LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.”

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Posted by on May 9, 2017 in God's Love

 

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“I Will Shew Him My Salvation”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part VII of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”)

VII. “I Will Shew Him My Salvation” That is a sweet promise! God can say to the angels – “Hark to that man that was once down in the depths, down in the gutter, but now he is lifted up and set upon My throne with My Son.” Thank God for the riches of His grace in CHRIST Jesus!

I believe we do not learn the fringe of the subject of Salvation down here. When our Master was on earth, He said He had many more things to say, but He could not reveal them to His disciples because they were not ready to receive them. But when we go yonder, where these mortal bodies have put on immortality, when our spiritual faculties are loosed from the thraldom (the state of being under control of another person; bondage; slavery) of the flesh, I believe we shall be able to take more in. God will lead us from glory to glory, and show us the fullness of our Salvation. Don’t you think Moses knew more at the Mount of Transfiguration than he did at Pisgah? Did not Christ talk with him then about the death He was to accomplish at Jerusalem? Moses could not have received that truth before, any more than the disciples could, but when he had received his glorified body, Christ could show him everything. (End of The Ninety-First Psalm Sermon)

(It is beyond human comprehension to understand all that is involved in the Sanctification process to our Heavenly, Glorified state. No matter how hard I try, my mind cannot totally grasp everything that happens when we go from mortality to immortality. It makes my brain hurt to try, so I have come to the conclusion that it really does not matter to me. It is enough, for now, to just know that it will happen. On the other hand, I sometimes wish with all of my heart that I could understand things that God allows while we walk through this state of mortality like, Why do the righteous, who are doing all they can to live Godly lives, end up being the ones who are so persecuted and hurt by evil ones who are of this world, and it appears that it is the evil ones who prosper and seem to get away with their sin? It breaks my heart. I know that in the end those who remain evil will face the consequences of their evilness in the end, so I strive to trust that God is in control and He has a purpose for everything. Romans 8:28. God’s Word tells us “My thoughts are not your thoughts…” and “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 I know that once I see my Saviour face-to-face all will be understood; all questions will be answered. But, will I really care about these things then? Perhaps not. Anna)

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in God's Love

 

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“I Will Honor Him”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part IV of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”)

IV. “I Will Honor Him” “I will… honor him.” God’s honor is something worth seeking. Man’s honor does not amount to much. Suppose Moses had stopped down there in Egypt. He would have been loaded down with Egyptian titles. But they would never have reached us. Suppose he had been Chief Marshal of the whole Egyptian army, “General” Moses, “Commander” Moses; suppose he had reached the throne and become one of those Pharaohs, and his mummy had come down to our day.

What is that compared with the honor God put upon him? “I will… honor him.” Did not God put honor on Moses? How his name shines on the page of history!

The honor of this world does not last; it is transient; it is passing away, and I do not believe any man or woman is fit for God’s service that is looking for worldly preferment, worldly honors and worldly fame. Let us get it under our feet, let us rise above it, and seek the honor that comes down from above.

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2015 in God's Love

 

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The Work of the Holy Spirit – Part 2 – His Record

The Holy Spirits Record: What He Has Done

In the Old Testament:

He was active at creation – Genesis 1:2

” And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

* He was the bestower of supernatural giftedness – Genesis 41:38

“And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?”

* He was the giver of creativity – Exodus 31:2-5

“See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.”

* He was the source of power – Judges 3:9, 10

” And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.”

* He inspired prophecy – 1 Samuel 19:20, 23

“And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.”; “And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.”

* He was the mediator of God’s message – Micah 3:8

“But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.”

In the New Testament:

* He was part of the Incarnation – Luke 1:35

“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

*He declared the truth about Christ – John 16:13, 14

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

* He endowed believers with power for witnessing – Acts 1:8

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

* He poured out God’s love – Romans 5:5

“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

* He interceded – Romans 8:26

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

* He was the inspiration for the writing of Holy Scripture – 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”; “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

* He distributed giftedness for ministry – 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

* He empowered Believers with characteristics for Godly living – Galatians 5:22, 23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

* He strengthened Believers within – Ephesians 3:16

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2015 in God's Truth

 

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