A Montrose Church Lent Devotional by Pastor Rick
Lent Day 9
Today's reading: Genesis 14:17-24
Through the help and power of God, Abram had won a great military victory over several kings who were in opposition to truth and justice. At the end of the story there are two more kings Abram had to deal with – the king of Sodom and the king of Salem. The king of Sodom was a true earthly king who only watched out for himself. The king of Salem was a king whose heart and mind were set on the things of God. In fact, "He was a priest of God Most High" (Genesis 14:18). His name was Melchizedek, and he was a priest-king. Upon meeting Abram, he said to him, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High who delivered your enemies into your hand" (Genesis 14:19-20).
There are those in power in our world who would do things not ordained by God. Abram was a man of God. God was his Source, his Authority, and the One he worshiped. Upon hearing the words of Melchizedek, Abram, of his own initiative, "gave him a tenth of everything" (Genesis 14:20). He gave this "priest of God Most High" a tithe of his possessions. For Abram, it was an act of worship, of praise, and of submission to His God.
Today we are servants of the God Most High. The time for faithfulness has come to us. How shall we live, in praise of men or in praise of God? From where do we get our inspiration, our focus, our direction, our destiny?
Lent reminds us that God has come into our world, into our stories, and that He has poured His very life into us. Today we are “blessed… by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,” blessed by a mercy that is profound, a love that is incomprehensible, and a grace that is nothing less than amazing.
We don’t live for the praise and recognition of people. We live for God. Jesus taught us this. In Jesus, God has come to us and is creating in us a home for Himself. Do you believe this? What if God could come into the stuff of our lives and work in us, out of the creative capacities of His infinite and sovereign imagination, until we could become something beautiful for Him? What if our humanity could actually be a vessel of His glory? The Gospel says that God has done exactly and precisely this very thing.
Abram teaches us that ordinary people can become instruments of God in the world. Lent reminds us that life happens every day and without exception, and that life is graced now by the Savior of the world. Our Savior. Our Lord. Our Sovereign. Lent will take us to resurrection Sunday, the one day that changed human history, the day that can change our very lives.
May God help us all to live in the quiet but profound awareness that God is in our midst, that God is at work, and that Jesus Christ is Lord.
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