Morning
January 13

Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV) 1The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. 2"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."


God called Abram (later to be changed to Abraham) out of his culture and family to follow God to an undisclosed place. It seems that, of all the people of the earth, Abram was selected for a very special calling. Later we see he did not follow exactly, as he disobeyed God by taking along his family instead of leaving them. He also lied twice about his relationship to his wife to save his own hide. Still, he did go out by faith, not knowing his destination.

The promise that all the world would be blessed through him makes us wonder if this lineage of the Seed of the woman that will crush the head of Satan, that has gone down through Noah, is not now through Abraham. Later we find this to be the case. He is an imperfect man that is a recipient of great promises. He obeyed, but not fully. Is that not true of us too? Imperfect though our lives are, through grace, God has called us out of our world to be citizens of a place that we are going to by faith. Like Abraham we believe there is a city with foundations whose builder and maker is God.

We are those who have been blessed through Abram, because we have received Jesus' work in our place. Perhaps that is why Matthew begins his genealogy of Jesus at Abraham. You may have stumbled along the way to your heavenly home and your reward, but like Abraham, God will see you through. In Hebrews there is no record of Abram's failures, only his great acts of faith.

Consider: In heaven there will be no record of your failures either, just your acts of faith.


Evening
January 13

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV) 17The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."


There is a need within the heart of man to be appreciated and valued. That is why the one requirement God places on a wife is to respect her husband and for the husband to love his wife. We desperately need that respect.

Though these words were spoken from God to the Jewish people, all of God's children can claim them. In Christ, we are His children, and God is delighted with us. Imagine that! Just like you are delighted with your children, or someone who is very dear to you, God delights in us. Your parents probably took great delight in you when you accomplished something. God takes great delight in you because Jesus accomplished something for you and you accepted it. When God sees you, He sees the accomplishments of Jesus. Think how delighted that makes His heart.

He is so delighted in you that He breaks out in song. Have you ever done that? Were you so delighted in someone you loved that you threw together a song that just came bubbling up from your heart? Think on God feeling that way about you! Whenever we feel unappreciated, a lack of respect and a lack of value placed on who we are, we need to remember these words. Of all those we could be valued by, wouldn't you most want God to value you? He does. That should still our hearts.

Consider: Do I value my great God like He values me? When was the last time I erupted into a song of joy for who He is?