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Thoughts for the Week -- July 5-11, 1999

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  • Mark Roth
    ====================================================== Abraham s Faith Rewarded (Genesis 15:1-6; 17:17-21; 21:1,2) What s in it for me? We may not often be
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5, 1999
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      Abraham's Faith Rewarded
      (Genesis 15:1-6; 17:17-21; 21:1,2)

      "What's in it for me?" We may not often be so crass as to voice such
      sentiments, but I wonder whether such sentiment does not find ready lodging
      in our hearts. We want to make certain our efforts and sacrifices will
      receive their just rewards. We want assurances that "in due season we shall
      reap." And I don't imagine that is necessarily wrong.

      I wonder, though, if we would be satisfied and thrilled if God's word to us
      were simply, "I am...thy exceeding great reward." In other words, for all
      the good we do and all the sacrifices we make and all the service we
      execute, we ask nothing additional but God. We don't ask, seek or hope for
      recognition, reciprocation and appreciation; we want only God as our
      reward. Is that too idealistic to be realistic?

      Sometimes I marvel that so much of what I do in "unselfish service," I seem
      to really do to be appreciated and rewarded by men. Does such a mentality
      connect with you? Oh to get beyond such ego-centrism to the marvelous
      heights of simply serving others and God!

      Today's lesson focuses on faith. The effectiveness and practicality of
      faith lies in its focus on God. You see, if God is my focus...and my
      exceeding great reward...faith is neither surprising nor difficult.
      Furthermore, a life of faith in God will not be excelled by any other type
      of life.

      That being the case (and it *is*!), how shall our God and our faith impact
      the everyday features of our lives? What issues and events test you?
      Obviously, I do not know; but I do know some "generic" issues.

      WHY DO I LOOK LIKE THIS? While faith not only believes that God makes no
      mistakes, it also believes that God has an express purpose in what He does.
      Shall our faith also believe enough to love God for endowing us with the
      physical characteristics He chose for us? And in the face of real
      "detrimental" looks, can we believe they are one more visual reminder of
      God's love for us? Oh, by the way, faith does not need to understand.
      Otherwise it wouldn't be faith, would it? Faith believes and lives
      according to that belief.

      WHY MUST I BE IN THIS FAMILY? The *other* family is the perfect one, or at
      least more so than your own, right? Yours is either too big or too small,
      too affluent or too poor, too strict or too lenient, too orderly or too
      disorganized, too plain or too fancy, too fun or too dull, too something or
      too other. Faith believes any other family is *not* the right one for you.
      Faith learns to rejoice in God's provisions for you...and your family...by
      so wisely selecting your family tree. Then faith blooms accordingly.

      WHY DID THAT HAPPEN? People fall asleep at the wheel, lose their jobs, say
      unwarranted things, behave in unseemly manners, and just generally do
      substandard things. Faith believes knowing why is less important than
      trusting God. And then responds to people accordingly.



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