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July 2021

Written In Blood

By |2021-07-17T12:37:16-05:00July 30th, 2021|GodConnect|

Galatians 6:11-18 | See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand! Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

In the twisted wreckage of a Metro- link train crash, firefighters from Los Angeles Fire Station 27 found a message that brought tears to their eyes. A survivor of the crash, thinking he was dying, had used his own blood to write on the seat in front of him that he loved his wife and kids.

Normally, we use the words “written in blood” in a less literal way. It usually conveys a willingness to stand behind our words with our life.

As Paul ended his letter to the Galatians, he was, in a figurative sense, writing his story in blood. He wrote a message of love and grace that would arouse the anger of other religious leaders. He knew he would be hated for honoring the death of Christ above the ritual and moral law of Israel. He would be punished for teaching that Christ’s death and resurrection were more important than the law of circumcision that represented the whole Mosaic way of life. His suffering for Christ would literally include shedding his own blood (2 Cor. 11:23-25).

Paul wasn’t willing to play it safe. He knew the crucifixion of Jesus was the center page of history. Putting his own life on the line, Paul proclaimed the inexpressible heart of God, who gave His Son to express the ultimate words of love, written in blood at the cross.

The Father wrote His autograph
Upon a cross of shame,
With pen divine, all dipped in blood,
“Forgiven in Jesus’ name.”
—Bosch

To show His love, Jesus died for me; to show my love, I must live for Him!

Devotional from YouVersion Bible App – Our Daily Bread.
Contact Pastor Rod Lindemann at RodL@TimothyLutheran.com on how to use the Bible App for additional readings and topics.
We would like to thank Our Daily Bread for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://odb.org/
What if you could spend time meeting quietly with someone who loves you—and who accepts you just as you are? Millions of readers around the world have turned to Our Daily Bread for moments of quiet reflection with God. In just a few minutes each day, the inspiring, life-changing stories point you toward your heavenly Father and the wisdom and promises of His unchanging Word.

This Is a Warning

By |2021-07-17T12:31:34-05:00July 29th, 2021|GodConnect|

Deuteronomy 28:58-63 | If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the LORD your God—the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. The LORD will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God. Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.

My wife purchased a birthday card containing these words from a paraphrase: “The Lord has rejoiced over you and has done such wonderful things for you” (Deut. 28:63 tlb). It was such a beautiful thought that she turned to the passage to read more.

She found that the words printed on the card were only part of one sentence in a section where God warned His people what would happen if they turned away from Him and disobeyed His commands. The entire verse reads, “Just as the Lord has rejoiced over you and has done such wonderful things for you and has multiplied you, so the Lord at that time will rejoice in destroying you; and you shall disap- pear from the land” (Deut. 28:63 tlb).

Now that would be an unusual birthday greeting!

The experience reminded me how easy it is to select pleasant phrases from the Bible while ignoring their context and meaning. Today’s passage is a warning from God to His people. It is worth pondering for what it is—an expression of certainty as firm in the spiritual realm as the law of gravity in the physical realm.

The Bible contains words of encouragement as well as words of warning. It’s important to appreciate both for their instruction in our walk with Christ.

God’s Word provides the nourishment
That every Christian needs to grow;
Supplying strength from day to day
By teaching what we need to know.
—Sper

The more we meditate on the Scriptures, the closer we’ll walk with the Savior.

Devotional from YouVersion Bible App – Our Daily Bread.
Contact Pastor Rod Lindemann at RodL@TimothyLutheran.com on how to use the Bible App for additional readings and topics.
We would like to thank Our Daily Bread for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://odb.org/
What if you could spend time meeting quietly with someone who loves you—and who accepts you just as you are? Millions of readers around the world have turned to Our Daily Bread for moments of quiet reflection with God. In just a few minutes each day, the inspiring, life-changing stories point you toward your heavenly Father and the wisdom and promises of His unchanging Word.

Rubberneck

By |2021-07-17T12:27:08-05:00July 28th, 2021|GodConnect|

1 Peter 1:3-12 | Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

Have you ever watched people at a tourist spot? At places like the Coliseum in Rome, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, or the Grand Canyon in Arizona, visitors strain their necks to get a better view. Some call this “rubbernecking,” which means “to observe with curiosity.”

The Bible tells us that such fascination also goes on in the heavenly places. The apostle Peter pulls back the curtain of heaven to let us see angels gazing at God’s plan of redemption—“things which angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:12). The Greek word translated “look into” means “to stoop and look at carefully with curiosity.”

But why are angels so fascinated by man’s salvation? The most likely explanation is that they are amazed at the astonishing way God solved the problem of sin (Eph. 3:8-12). The cross was the means by which God provided His Son as the righteous substitute to pay the penalty for sin while upholding His holy standard (Rom. 3:19- 31). God now provides redemption to any human being who will repent, believe, and receive it.

Are you thankful for your salvation? The angels are! They rejoice every time a sinner repents and puts his faith in Christ (Luke 15:10).

I look at the cross upon Calvary,
And O what a wonder divine!
To think of the wealth it holds for me—
The riches of heaven are mine.
—Christiansen

The cross of Christ is the bridge between God and man.

Devotional from YouVersion Bible App – Our Daily Bread.
Contact Pastor Rod Lindemann at RodL@TimothyLutheran.com on how to use the Bible App for additional readings and topics.
We would like to thank Our Daily Bread for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://odb.org/
What if you could spend time meeting quietly with someone who loves you—and who accepts you just as you are? Millions of readers around the world have turned to Our Daily Bread for moments of quiet reflection with God. In just a few minutes each day, the inspiring, life-changing stories point you toward your heavenly Father and the wisdom and promises of His unchanging Word.

When We Don’t Know What To Say

By |2021-07-17T12:20:39-05:00July 27th, 2021|GodConnect|

Job 6:1-14 | Then Job replied: “If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas— no wonder my words have been impetuous. The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God’s terrors are marshaled against me. Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass, or an ox bellow when it has fodder? Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow? I refuse to touch it; such food makes me ill. “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life! Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One. “What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient? Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze? Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me? “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

Roy Clark and his father sat in the family car in the funeral home parking lot for several minutes. As a teenager, he wasn’t sure how to respond when his dad put his head in his hands and moaned, “I don’t know what to say!”

A friend from their church had been in a car accident. She had survived, but her three daughters had all died when a truck hit their vehicle. What could they say to their friend at a time like this?

In the Bible we are told that during Job’s time of grieving, his three friends came to mourn with him and to comfort him. For the first 7 days they sat and wept with him because he was in deep sorrow (Job 2:11-13). “No one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great” (v.13). Their presence alone was a comfort to him.

But then they began to lecture. They told Job he must have sinned and that God was punishing him (4:7-9).

When Job was finally able to respond, he told his friends what he needed from them. He asked for reasons to continue hoping (6:11), for kindness (v.14), and for words that did not presume guilt (vv.29-30).

Remembering the story of Job and his friends may help us when we don’t know what to say.

Lord, give me sensitivity
To people in their grief and pain,
To weep with them and show Your love
In ways mere words cannot attain.
—Sper

When someone’s grieving—listen, don’t lecture.

Devotional from YouVersion Bible App – Our Daily Bread.
Contact Pastor Rod Lindemann at RodL@TimothyLutheran.com on how to use the Bible App for additional readings and topics.
We would like to thank Our Daily Bread for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://odb.org/
What if you could spend time meeting quietly with someone who loves you—and who accepts you just as you are? Millions of readers around the world have turned to Our Daily Bread for moments of quiet reflection with God. In just a few minutes each day, the inspiring, life-changing stories point you toward your heavenly Father and the wisdom and promises of His unchanging Word.

Living Every Day

By |2021-07-17T12:15:47-05:00July 26th, 2021|GodConnect|

Proverbs 15:13-33 | A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred. A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway. A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother. Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead. The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place. The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight. The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live. The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.

 

When Tamer Lee Owens celebrated her 104th birthday, she credited “laughter, the Lord, and the little things” for keeping her going. She still finds enjoyment each day in talking with people, taking a walk, and reading the Bible as she has done since childhood. “I don’t know how long He’ll let me stay here,” she said. “I just thank the Lord for what He’s given me already.”

Most of us won’t live 104 years, but we can learn from Tamer Lee how to enjoy each day that we are given.

Laughter—“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” (Prov. 15:13). True happiness begins deep inside and emerges on our faces.

The Lord—“The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility” (v.33). When God is central in our hearts, He can teach us His way through every experience of life.

The Little Things—“Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred” (v.17). Maintaining loving relationships and enjoying the basic things of life are more important than wealth and success.

Not all of us will live a long time, but we can all live well each day—with laughter, the Lord, and the little things in life.

The world is filled with so much good—
Little things that bring us pleasure—
But Christ can fill our lives with joy
Beyond all earthly treasure.
—Sper

Devotional from YouVersion Bible App – Our Daily Bread.
Contact Pastor Rod Lindemann at RodL@TimothyLutheran.com on how to use the Bible App for additional readings and topics.
We would like to thank Our Daily Bread for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://odb.org/
What if you could spend time meeting quietly with someone who loves you—and who accepts you just as you are? Millions of readers around the world have turned to Our Daily Bread for moments of quiet reflection with God. In just a few minutes each day, the inspiring, life-changing stories point you toward your heavenly Father and the wisdom and promises of His unchanging Word.

Where Was God?

By |2021-07-17T12:06:41-05:00July 23rd, 2021|GodConnect|

Hebrews 13:5-8 | Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Was God sadistically absent? That’s what Robert McClory, professor emeritus of journalism at the Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, asked after Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area of the US.

We may want to try to exonerate the Almighty for permitting disasters that rip apart vulnerable communities. But is God absent in such situations? No, McClory insists. Talking about the Katrina tragedy, he said that God was invisibly present “with the suffering and the dying. He was in the individuals, communities, churches, and schools that organized aid for the victims and took evacuees into their cities and homes. He was with the hundreds of thousands who showed compassion by prayer and financial assistance.”

So it is in our own lives when a heartbreaking tragedy occurs, such as the death of someone we love. We have no completely satisfactory answer to life’s painful problems. We do know, however, that the Lord is present with us, for He said He would never leave us (Heb. 13:5). Jesus’ name “Immanuel” literally means “God with us” (Matt. 1:23).

Even though suffering baffles our minds, we can trust God to be near and to work out His purposes.

God’s unseen presence comforts me,
I know He’s always near;
And when life’s storms besiege our soul,
He says, “My child, I’m here.”
—D. De Haan

Devotional from YouVersion Bible App – Our Daily Bread.
Contact Pastor Rod Lindemann at RodL@TimothyLutheran.com on how to use the Bible App for additional readings and topics.
We would like to thank Our Daily Bread for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://odb.org/
What if you could spend time meeting quietly with someone who loves you—and who accepts you just as you are? Millions of readers around the world have turned to Our Daily Bread for moments of quiet reflection with God. In just a few minutes each day, the inspiring, life-changing stories point you toward your heavenly Father and the wisdom and promises of His unchanging Word.

Silent Witness

By |2021-07-17T12:05:09-05:00July 22nd, 2021|GodConnect|

Philippians 1:21-27 | I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me. Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel..

On a beautiful, warm January morning, a colleague and I were having breakfast in an outdoor coffee shop at MacRitchie Reservoir Park in Singapore. With a beautiful lake and immaculate gardens surrounding us and a light breeze blowing across the water, the setting was quiet, calm, and lovely.

At a nearby table, a young woman sat quietly reading her Bible. She was absorbed in the text, occasionally looking up to consider what she had read. She never said a word, but her heart and priorities were visible to everyone at that coffee shop. It was a gentle, positive, silent witness.

She was not ashamed of Christ or His Book. She neither preached a sermon nor sang a song. She was willing to be identified with the Savior, yet she did not need to announce that allegiance. In our attempts to share the message of Jesus, we must eventually use words, because ultimately words are needed to present the gospel. But we can also learn from the example of this woman.

here are times when the quietness of our everyday actions speak loudly, revealing our love for the Lord. In our desire to share Christ with a broken world, let’s not ignore the power of our silent witness.

Yielding your all to the Savior;
And letting His love flow through you;
Makes even your silent witness;
A witness of what God can do.
—Bosch

Devotional from YouVersion Bible App – Our Daily Bread.
Contact Pastor Rod Lindemann at RodL@TimothyLutheran.com on how to use the Bible App for additional readings and topics.
We would like to thank Our Daily Bread for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://odb.org/
What if you could spend time meeting quietly with someone who loves you—and who accepts you just as you are? Millions of readers around the world have turned to Our Daily Bread for moments of quiet reflection with God. In just a few minutes each day, the inspiring, life-changing stories point you toward your heavenly Father and the wisdom and promises of His unchanging Word.

An Old Man’s Prayer

By |2021-07-17T11:55:56-05:00July 21st, 2021|GodConnect|

Daniel 9:3-19 | So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, LORD, because we have sinned against you. The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. “Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. The LORD did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the LORD our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him. “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us. “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

Have you heard the story about the 85-year-old man who was arrested for praying?

You probably have. That’s the story of Daniel, an elderly Jewish resident in Babylon sentenced to death for faithfully talking to God (Dan. 6).

Although the prayer that sent Daniel to the lions’ den is his most famous talk with God (6:11), it wasn’t the only time we see him in prayer.

In Daniel 9, we read an example of how he prayed. Daniel had been reading in his scroll of Jeremiah that the captivity of his people would last 70 years, and the people were 67 years into the exile (Jer. 25:8-11). He was eager for it to end.

God had called His people to live righteously, but they weren’t doing that. Daniel decided to live righteously despite their lack of faith. He began to pray that God would not delay the end of the captivity.

As he prayed, Daniel focused on worship and confession. His pattern of prayer gives us an important insight into talking to God. We are to recognize that God is “great and awesome” (v.4) and that “we have sinned” (v.15). In prayer, we praise and confess.

Let’s follow Daniel’s lead. To him, prayer was as vital as life itself.

What privilege is mine to come
Before the Father’s throne,
To speak to Him in earnest prayer,
Make all my wishes known.
—Sherbert

Devotional from YouVersion Bible App – Our Daily Bread.
Contact Pastor Rod Lindemann at RodL@TimothyLutheran.com on how to use the Bible App for additional readings and topics.
We would like to thank Our Daily Bread for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://odb.org/
What if you could spend time meeting quietly with someone who loves you—and who accepts you just as you are? Millions of readers around the world have turned to Our Daily Bread for moments of quiet reflection with God. In just a few minutes each day, the inspiring, life-changing stories point you toward your heavenly Father and the wisdom and promises of His unchanging Word.

Hearing The Sermon Again

By |2021-07-17T11:50:23-05:00July 20th, 2021|GodConnect|

Matthew 4:1-17 | When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

A story is told about a man who preached an impressive sermon, seeking to be the pastor of a new church. Everybody loved it and voted for him to become their new pastor. They were a bit surprised, however, when he preached the same sermon his first Sunday there—and even more surprised when he preached it again the next week. After he preached the same sermon the third week in a row, the leaders met with him to find out what was going on. The pastor assured them, “I know what I’m doing. When you start living out this sermon, I’ll go on to my next one.”

Jesus’ sermons had a notably recurring theme. Not surprisingly, the King of kings wanted to be sure that the people understood what was required of them to be part of His kingdom. He came to announce a whole new world order that was totally out of step with life as it was usually lived. Themes such as forgiveness, servanthood, and unconditional mercy and grace were repeatedly on His lips.

Two thousand years later we find ourselves in need of the same message. As soon as we start repenting and living under the authority, reign, and rule of Jesus our King, we will experience benefit to our lives, glory to His name, and blessing to others.

The Bible gives us all we need
To live our lives for God each day,
But it won’t help if we don’t read
And practice what its pages say.
—Sper

A sermon isn’t complete until it’s put into practice.

Devotional from YouVersion Bible App – Our Daily Bread.
Contact Pastor Rod Lindemann at RodL@TimothyLutheran.com on how to use the Bible App for additional readings and topics.
We would like to thank Our Daily Bread for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://odb.org/
What if you could spend time meeting quietly with someone who loves you—and who accepts you just as you are? Millions of readers around the world have turned to Our Daily Bread for moments of quiet reflection with God. In just a few minutes each day, the inspiring, life-changing stories point you toward your heavenly Father and the wisdom and promises of His unchanging Word.

The Waiting

By |2021-07-17T11:45:29-05:00July 19th, 2021|GodConnect|

Genesis 15:1-6 | After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Any mother can tell you that waiting to give birth is an experience that builds patience. But pity the poor mother elephant. It takes about 22 months for an unborn elephant to mature to birth! The shark known as the spiny dogfish has a pregnancy duration of 22-24 months. And at elevations above 4,600 feet, the Alpine salamander endures a gestational period of up to 38 months!

Abraham could have identified with these examples from nature. In his old age, the Lord made a promise to him: “I will make you a great nation” (Gen. 12:2). But as the years passed, Abraham questioned how the fulfillment of the promise was possible without even the basic building block of a son (15:2). So God assured him, “One who will come from your own body shall be your heir” (v.4).

Despite his advanced age, Abraham believed God and was called righteous (v.6). Yet he waited 25 years from the time of the initial promise for Isaac to be born (17:1,17).

Waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled is part of trusting Him. No matter how long the delay, we must wait for Him. As the writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23).

Not so in haste, my heart!
Have faith in God, and wait;
Although He seems to linger long,
He never comes too late.
—Torrey

Devotional from YouVersion Bible App – Our Daily Bread.
Contact Pastor Rod Lindemann at RodL@TimothyLutheran.com on how to use the Bible App for additional readings and topics.
We would like to thank Our Daily Bread for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://odb.org/
What if you could spend time meeting quietly with someone who loves you—and who accepts you just as you are? Millions of readers around the world have turned to Our Daily Bread for moments of quiet reflection with God. In just a few minutes each day, the inspiring, life-changing stories point you toward your heavenly Father and the wisdom and promises of His unchanging Word.

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