Long View


“Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.”  ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭25:31-33‬ ‭ESV‬‬


Jacob had been cooking stew and Esau came in from the field exhausted and hungry. Jacob sees an opportunity to get Esau’s birthright so in Esau’s weak moment he makes a bargain. “Sell me your birthright now”. Esau agrees and gives it up to Jacob. 


Esau sought a temporary solution to deal with his immediate hunger.  In an exhausted state he gives up what should be the most important, his birthright. In the same way we often give up what is most important for temporary satisfaction. Instead of a long term view of life we seek a temporary solution to satisfy our hunger and thirst. May we capture an eternal perspective and live our lives with a long term view. 


Lord may I see you in the everyday experiences. As I face challenges may I always have an eternal perspective and not seek short-term satisfaction. 


Faithful Preparations

Passage: Genesis 6:1-22.

1. The wickedness of man increased on earth and God grieved over the condition of His creation.
2. In the midst of all the wicked, there was one man who was found faithful and found favor in the eyes of God. His name was Noah.
3. God warned Noah of the coming destruction and he was told to prepare an ark for himself and his family. Noah did all God commanded.

Many think of Noah as a “little man” who built a cute ark and collected warm and fuzzy animals, as illustrated on many nursery walls. The opposite is true, Noah was a spiritual giant in the midst of great darkness and wickedness. When all were living contrary to God’s design, Noah found favor with God because he alone, stood out among the corruption and sinfulness of his time. Noah lived a righteous life in spite of the culture he found himself. He swam against the stream of corruptness and evil. He stood for what was right and holy.

Noah was chosen among all others because of his righteousness. God informed him of the coming judgment and how he and his family could prepare. The ark would not only be a place of refuge and a new beginning for Noah, but also the future of God’s creation. It would be a second chance for a new beginning. As we reflect on the flood we realize it was an act of grace and mercy. The world was full of corruption, murder, and anarchy was the rule of the day. God in his mercy brings judgement to stop the human disaster taking place. Noah had a choice in response to God’s warning. He chose to “do all God commanded” as he prepared for the coming flood.

In Luke 17:26 we read; “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man”. God has warned us of His coming judgement. This time it will be the coming of Christ to rule and reign forever over God’s creation. As in the day of Noah, we see corruption and ungodliness increasing. There is coming a time when God will say “enough is enough” and God’s wrath will be poured out again. We have been warned and our ark is the salvation we find in Jesus Christ. It is an ark, not just for us, but for all who will call upon the name of the Lord. Will we prepare for the coming of Christ? Let us proclaim to others the reality of Christ return and the salvation He offers through His grace. We are told to live everyday with anticipation that Christ return will be soon.

There are many examples in our Christian history of individuals who took seriously the call to live with an eternal perspective. This eternal perspective radically changes how we live and what is important to us. No longer do we strive for possessions or position, but we strive for eternal benefits and purposes as we prepare daily for His coming. One individual, who demonstrated an eternal perspective and living was CT Studd. He was a famous, English athlete, but instead of seeking fame and success in this world he surrender his all to living with an eternal perspective. He sold his possessions and gave much of it to George Mueller’s orphanage work. He spent his life time in mission work in China and India. While drawing near to retirement he chose to continue his work in Africa. His church tried to discourage him and encouraged him to leave it for the younger missionaries. In response C.T. Studd wrote these words.

“Too long we have been waiting on one another to begin. The time for waiting has passed. The hour of God has struck. War is declared. In God’s holy name let us arise and build. The God of heaven will fight for us. We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock of Christ, and the gates and minions of Hell shall not prevail against us. Should men such as us fear?

Before the whole world, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God. We will venture our all for Him. We will live and we will die for Him, and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in our God than live trusting in man, and when we come to our position we realize the battle is already won and the end of the glorious campaign is in sight because we will have the real holiness of God. Not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts, we will have a masculine holiness. One of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ.”

As missionary C. T. Studd put it,

“Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.”

Lord, may we faithfully prepare ourselves and others for eternity. For too long we have pursued what is temporary and fleating. We commit to live for eternity and pursue the vocation and preparation you have called us to complete.

A Francis Chan Video: Aging Biblically


Guidance in a Famine

Passage: Genesis 26:1

1. There was famine in the land so Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines.
2. God told Isaac not to go to the land of Egypt, but to remain in the land that He would show him.
3. God told him to sojourn in the land and he and his offspring would be blessed because of the faithfulness of Abraham. In his offspring all the nations of the world would be blessed.

Isaac and his family are facing a famine in the land. With no where to turn he goes to the king of the Philistines for help in this challenging time. In difficulties and disaster it is our tendency to look for a rescue and a way out of our dilemma. We look for the most immediate solution and often miss the solution and blessings God has for us.

God’s solution for Isaac’s dilemma was beyond what Isaac could have planned and received from the Philistines. Isaac would flourish during the famine. He would not decrease but increase when everyone else would be struggling to make it. This is how God works. He takes us through difficult times and we flourish when we follow His plans and solutions.

The famine would offer Isaac an opportunity to see God do a great work within his family. They would experience growth and fruitfulness in a dry and desolate period of time. The hand of God would guide them to areas where all their needs would be met. They would not only receive blessings but also be a blessing to others.

Lord, may we look to You for guidance during the famine times in life. We know you will lead us to areas where we will flourish.


Heel Catcher

Passage: Genesis 25: 21-34

1. Rebekah, Isaac’s wife was barren and Isaac prayed that they would have a child. God answered his prayer and Rebekah became pregnant with twins.

2. The babies in her womb were struggling among themselves and Rebekah asked the Lord why. He told her there were two nations within her and the older son would serve the younger son. Esau (red) was the first born and Jacob (heel catcher) was born holding the heel of Esau.

3. Jacob one day was cooking stew and Esau came in from the fields exhausted. He asked for some food. Jacob told Esau that he was willing to trade the stew for Esau’s birthright and Esau agreed.

Some people go through life trusting the Lord for His provision. They have an assurance that God will provide for them and guide them into an unknown future. This quiet confidence comes from the assurance that God will “never leave us or forsake us”. It takes faith to live with such confidence. In Hebrews 11:1 we read, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”. Living by faith is a deep trust in God to provide.

Jacob demonstrates the opposite of living by faith. Jacob is one who lives life grasping for something better and striving to make his way to the top. Jacob’s name not only means heel but also deceiver. Jacob came into the world holding onto the heel of Esau. This sets the tone for his life. He deceives and swindles his way to the top. Instead of faithfully trusting the Lord to provide, Jacob believes he must fight his way to the top to receive the better life, the “life he was meant to receive”. This characteristic is demonstrated throughout the life of Jacob. He believes the birthright is his so he bargains with Esau in order to receive it. A birthright for a bowl of stew. Jacob is a fast and deceptive talker. He lives his life by deceiving others in order to receive what he wants.

Lord may we learn to fully trust You for all things in life. We trust you for our positions, our purpose, and our daily provision in life. We choose to trust, rather than deceive. We choose to hold on to you and not seek to become a “heel catcher”.


Promise Sacrificed

Passage: Genesis 22:1-19

1. God told Abraham to take his only son and offer him as a burnt offering.
2. Abraham does as God instructs and takes Isaac, the wood, and the knife. When Isaac asked where the sacrifice was Abraham tells him, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”
3. After tying Isaac to the altar and raising the knife, an angel comes and tells Abraham not to harm Isaac and tells him, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son. I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

Abraham has waited twenty five years for the fulfillment of the promise to make him a great nation, but now God has asked him to sacrifice the “child of the promise”. To do so would destroy the hopes and dreams of a multitude of descendants and becoming a great nation. In spite of this, Abraham was willing to yield and sacrifice it all on account of God’s command. This was not a dream he had planned and initiated but God initiated the dream and Abraham knew that it was God who would fulfill the vision planted in him twenty five years earlier. The promise began with God and the promise would continue under the leadership of God. God would fulfill the dream and vision in His way and in His timing. Abraham was willing to give it all up into the hands of God because he was confident in what God could do with a yielded offering.

This passage of scripture is a great example of Abraham’s faith and God’s faithfulness. God will complete what He has initiated. God had chosen Abraham to be the father of a great nation and Isaac would be the means by which this multitude would be accomplished. What God has begun He will complete. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). This is true for Abraham and this Is also true for all who trust in the promises received through Christ. It is by God’s grace we have been called and it is by God’s grace that we will receive what God has begun in us. God will be faithful and He is also looking to see how much we trust Him to complete what He has begun. God is looking for us to yield our all to Him. He told Abraham, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son. I will surely bless you,” (v. 16,17). The promise is based in the authority of God Himself and we are called to yield it all to Him and to trust in His provision.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back”

(Hebrews 11:17-19).

Lord, like Abraham, may we be found faithful with the promises we have been given. We know You will accomplish in us what You have started. We yield our future to You and we look to the future with expectation for what You will bring to completion. We know “Jesus is the yes to all Your promises”.


Promise Fulfilled

Promise Fulfilled

Passage: Genesis 21:1-7

1. The Lord came to Sarah and she became pregnant as He promised.
2. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. He called his son Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day as God commanded.
3. Sarah says God has “made laughter for her and everyone who hears will laugh over her”.

Promises are some times hard to wait on. We want the promise fulfilled sooner than later. Abraham was seventy five when God promised to make him a great nation. Now twenty five years later God has fulfilled his promise. Abraham’s waiting has paid off and Isaac is the “promise child”.

In Galatians 4:28 & 31 we read: “Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise…So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman”. Christ was the promised Messiah. It is through Him, Jesus Christ, that we receive our full inheritance. The wait is over and the Messiah has come so that those who turn to Him will receive the spiritual inheritance of being called sons and daughters of God.

We are told that all “promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:20-21). As Isaac was the “yes” for Abraham and Sarah, Jesus is our yes. God has fulfilled His promise to those who seek Him and has sealed the promise through the Holy Spirit.

Lord we say: “Amen to You for Your glory”. Our heritage has been made complete through Your son, Jesus Christ and we praise and exalt You!


Confronting Evil

Passage: Genesis 19:1-26.

1. The men of the city sought the angels of God to have sex with them, but Lot begs them to leave them alone, they press forward and say: “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.”. The men reached out and struck everyone with blindness.
2. The Lord was judging the city because: “the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.”. They tell Lot to gather his family and depart the city so they can be spared.
3. The next morning Lot was slow to leave so the men of God seized Lot, his wife and daughters and took them outside the city. They were told not to look back but Lot’s wife looked back and turned to salt.

Among the city, there was only one found righteous. The angels came to the city and Lot welcomes them. He invites them to his home for the evening, in fear for their safety. The angels enter the home and the whole city is alerted of their arrival. When the presence of God enters a wicked city the presence of evil is dispelled and the sinfulness of man is revealed. The men seeking to have a sexual encounter with the men became angry because they see Lot as a foreigner and now acting as a judge. “‘Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.'”. Because of the angels arrival and the presence of God, the sin of the city is revealed and conviction follows. When evil is not challenged there is a sense of normalcy but when God’s representatives enter the city, sin is revealed and confronted.

The light of God dispels all darkness. Sin is confronted and what is seen as normal is brought to light by the perfect righteousness of God. When evil is found out and held accountable, then there will be acts of self protection and justification. The men of the city reveal the true evil nature of the city by their treatment of the angels who entered. God has heard the great “outcry against the people” of Sodom and Gomorrah and judgement is coming. In today’s global mission efforts this scenario is played out in cities around the world. In an effort to glorify God in the city, missionaries take the word of God into the unreached cities of the world. It is in these encounters that some are persecuted because of their message. The word of God goes against the norm of the city and evil is confronted. Whether it is the religion of a Muslim city or other oppressive religious traditions, the Word of God confronts their sinfulness and religious views. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed”. (John 3:19, 20)

Lord may we take the Light of Christ into the cities of the world. We desire to proclaim the truth of Your Word in the midst of darkness. Give us boldness to glorify You where sin abounds and evil goes unchecked.