Devotions for Feb 28, 2014

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Genesis 17:1-8

1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. 2I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”

3At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, 4“This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! 5What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. 6I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!

7“I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.”

Genesis 17:15-22

15Then God said to Abraham, “Regarding Sarai, your wife—her name will no longer be Sarai. From now on her name will be Sarah. 16And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will be among her descendants.”

17Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. “How could I become a father at the age of 100?” he thought. “And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?” 18So Abraham said to God, “May Ishmael live under your special blessing!”

19But God replied, “No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant. 20As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21But my covenant will be confirmed with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year.” 22When God had finished speaking, he left Abraham.

DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS

Q: God promised Abraham that his descendants would be “like the stars in sky.” Do you think that as Abraham aged those dreams began to die? Do you think he worried that God would go back on his promise? How would you have reacted if you had been Abraham? Would you have had faith that God would come through? Or would you have laughed at God too?

Q: What things in your life have you felt God promise? Have you lost hope? Have you given up? Have you laughed at the fact that you even thought it could happen? Are you expecting God to work on your time table or His?

Q: God wants the glory. When you have given up on a dream that you think is dead and then God moves, who do you glorify? When you have a situation that you deem hopeless and then God moves, who do you praise? When you look at something and think, “that’ll never happen,” and then it does, who do you credit? Yourself? Or God?

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