A Montrose Church Lent Devotional by Pastor Rick
Lent Day 8
Today's reading: Genesis 13:1-7, 14-18
Lent reminds us that our God is not simply a God of promises, but the God of kept promises. Numbers 23:19 says, "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" In his dealings with God, Abraham came to know very early that God is truth, so it says in Genesis 15:6, "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness." The apostle Paul restates this truth in Romans 4:3. So it is that when God said to Abram, "Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you" (Genesis 13:14-16), Abram believed God.
Abram believed God, and God kept His Word. Living in days of harsh realities like we do, can we believe God? Some time ago, I read these words of Ravi Zacharias,
We are living in a time of such uncivil discourse. It is as if all the darker sides of human personality come to the fore when there is any disagreement. The rudeness and verbal abuse back and forth make for a hostile environment, and common ground is never found. I certainly don’t recall a time of such pervasive hostility in the public square.
- in an email titled, "God is Changing Hearts," , December 6, 2018
In this kind of day can we find God in the midst of all the mist and smoke and vitriol and contempt and hurtfulness and bitterness? Thankfully, the answer is yes. God is present and at work in the world. Lent reminds us that all is not well in the world, but that God has come to us anyway; come to us in amazing grace and Calvary love.
In Abram’s journey with God there was a remarkable practice of his that enabled him to trust God. It first appears in Genesis 12:7 where we read, "The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So, he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him." Then in Genesis 13:4, after some time had passed, we read, "and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord.”
Faith calls on the name of the Lord in all the ups and downs of life. Lent slows us down a bit so that we can place our lives into the embrace of Almighty God again. As we do so, we remember that we are on the way to a crucifixion, but that the story doesn’t end at the cross. God has invaded our journey through life with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
Where are you today? Join Abram and call on the name of the Lord.
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