When Christianity and Culture Collide {Genesis 19}

when Christianity and culture collide

 

In our culture, the only wrong – is saying something is wrong.  Tolerance is held as the world’s moral standard.

But so far in Genesis, we have seen that God was not tolerant with Adam and Eve’s sin.

God was not tolerant of Cain’s murder of Abel.

God was not tolerant of the wickedness during Noah’s day.

God was not tolerant of the pride of those building the tower of Babel.

And in this week’s reading, God was not tolerant of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah.

In God’s great mercy, He sent 2 angels to rescue Lot and his family before the destruction of the city – but look at how Lot hesitated:

Genesis 19:15-17

15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

Why did Lot hesitate?

Was it his material possessions he couldn’t leave behind? Or his friends, perhaps his son-in-laws who refused to leave or the fun?

They were told “Don’t look back and don’t stop!”  but Lot’s wife was too immersed into the culture of the city of Sodom to obey…and she faced judgement for looking back.

God did not tolerate the sin and wickedness of the men of Sodom or even Lot’s wife —-looking back!

God rained down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah in judgement.

Genesis 19:24-26 says:

24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

In America, Christianity and culture are colliding and some Christians are giving in to the pressures.  As they immerse themselves into the culture in the hopes of leading some to the Lord, they themselves are being led astray. God calls us to not love the world or anything in it – and yet we hesitate.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
~1 John 2:15

This November, I am a part of an on-line Church Leadershp Summit discussing how to respond to the change of culture in America.  The title of this on-line conference is Culture Crash.

I wasn’t planning to share this video today – it was recorded and sent in and will be played during their conference – but I have a really bad cold this week and hardly any voice left.

So while I drink this:

honey and tea

Grab yourself a glass of something hot or cold too – and listen to my video I recorded last week –  on how I believe Christians should handle the collision of culture and Christianity in America.  I think it is relevant to this week’s reading in Genesis.

{if you are subscribed to Women Living Well and are receiving this in an email – don’t miss out on the content of this video – please click through here to view it.}

**Chime In**

Do you feel there has been a shift in our culture in America?

How should believers deal with these changes?

What are you learning so far in your reading in Genesis?  

How would you answer this question:

Genesis 19 discussion questionWalk with the King,

Courtney

This week’s reading plan:

Genesis Reading Plan Week 3

 

BLOGGERS: Are you blogging through the Bible with us or have you written a devotional based on your own quiet times this week? Link back to GoodMorningGirls.org or put this graphic in your post and then link up below – we’d love to come visit you! Blogging through bible with GMG button



Nothing Is Too Hard for the Lord {Genesis 18}

Nothing is too hard for the Lord

Good Morning Girls!

Can you imagine if God came to your front door?  What would you do?

Today we are reading in Genesis 18 and that is exactly what happened to Abraham and Sarah.

Genesis 18

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.  3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”

First, we see that three men arrived and one of them is the Lord Jesus. Bah! Exciting!!!  Abraham runs into the tent to Sarah and demands that she quickly make some bread.

Look at Sarah – such a willing wife.  She does exactly as her husband requests, while he runs off to get some meat prepared as well.

7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.  “There, in the tent,” he said.  10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”  Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.

So after Sarah helps prepare and serve the meal, she listens in.  If God were in my dining room eating with my husband, I would listen in too!

So, the guys are eating and then she over hears her name and the words “next year, Sarah your wife will have a son” and…

she laughs.

11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.

Caught laughing!

Sarah was caught doubting God and when He asked why she laughed…she lied!

Scripture tells us that everywhere Sarah went she was instantly favored because of her good looks. Two Kings pursued her hand in marriage immediately after seeing her. She must have been stunningly attractive.

Sarah had beauty, the attention of others and Abraham’s wealth but what she really wanted was a child.

The first thing we learn in scripture about Sarah is that she was barren (Gen.11) and in her desperation she persuaded Abraham to have a baby with her maidservant Hagar.  Scripture literally says – Sarah “gave” Hagar to Abraham (Gen.16:3) – UGH!

But as soon as Hagar was pregnant, Sarah despised her and mistreated her and sent her away (Gen.16).

You see, Sarah carried this burden of a promise that a nation would come through Abraham but Sarah could not see with her own eyes, how God would provide these descendants – so she took matters into her own hands.

Her lack of faith – made a mess.

Which is why it’s so amazing to find these words said about Sarah in Hebrews 11:11 :

 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

We see in the book of Hebrews, Sarah is commended for her faith…but what about that laughter we read about in Genesis?

Did Sarah have a change of heart?  Indeed she did!

Praise the Lord, after being caught in her doubt, lie, and mess, the words of the Lord rang true in her life.

“Is anything to hard for the Lord?”

Oh how I love the grace of God that overlooks her mistakes.  He is a God of second chances. A God who is patient with our failings, ever strengthening us and making us more like Him.

Nothing is too hard for the Lord.  And Genesis 21:1,2 tells us that the Lord was gracious to Sarah and did for Sarah what He promised. She became pregnant and bore a son named Issac.

God stepped into Sarah’s situation.  He waited. He waited until Sarah was past the childbearing years – past the age when it would be humanly possible for her to have a child – and then he stepped in and got all the glory!

Is there something in your life that is hard?  You can’t imagine how God can change it?

Life is hard.  Finances, relationships, health issues and loss are hard.

But God…nothing is too hard for Him!

Let’s learn from Sarah’s faith and remember, God always keeps his promises. Let’s wait on God to work out his plans in our lives. Let’s not take matters into our own hands.  Though with our human eyes, some things may seem impossible, let us remember, NOTHING is too hard for the Lord.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

This week’s reading plan:

Genesis Reading Plan Week 3

**Chime In**

Genesis 18 discussion question

November & December Reading Plans & This Week’s Plan {10.13.14}

GMG300x300

Good Morning Girls!

I want to give you a sneak peek to what is ahead  {for all the planners out there. ;) }

First – here is this week’s reading plan:

Genesis Reading Plan Week 3

I am so enjoying this walk through Genesis with you!  Can you believe how relevant God’s word is to our lives, thousands of years after it was written?  That is because of the work of the Holy Spirit.  He is illuminating us to see and understand the nature and character of God as you read!

I Corinthians 2:10-13 says:

But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

Coming Next…

In the month of November, we will be moving to a reading plan that is 5 days a week.

I know change is hard and many of you like the  “7 days a week” reading plan. But some are already falling behind and some groups are feeling pressure during the weekends to check in.  We want GMG to be a blessing not a burden.

For those who can handle more, I encourage you to take the weekends and look into commentaries or listen to sermons regarding the readings from the week.  Use the extra two days to dig deeper.

For those who are concerned that it’s going to take FOREVER to get through the Bible at this pace. Take heart, I have plans to read through some books of the Bible more quickly than others.  For example, we may be able to read 2 chapters a day to get through books that are repetitive such as Job or are heavy such as Leviticus and Isaiah.

This is what November’s Reading Plan looks like:

 NovemberReadingPlanBookmark[1]

And December’s Reading Plan:

DecReadingPlanBookmark[1]

We will break on December 19th for Christmas and start back on January 5th, 2015.

OH my goodness!!! Did I just say Christmas in a post?  I think I did!  And in case you were wondering – there’s 73 days until Christmas but who’s counting? Lol!

So glad you are joining us on this journey.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Conflict and Separation {Genesis 13}

Conflict and Separation

Good Morning Girls!

Today we are up to Genesis 13 where Abraham and Lot’s herdsman have a conflict and they separate.

Have you ever been in a conflict and had to separate?  I have – that’s why I hope you’ll watch today’s video.

{if you are subscribed to Women Living Well and are receiving this in an email – don’t miss out on the content of this video – please click through here to view it.}

**Chime In**

What are you learning so far in your reading in Genesis?  

Have you ever had a conflict where you needed to separate to resolve the issue?  How did God work through this?

How would you answer this question:

Genesis 13 discussion question

Walk with the King,

Courtney

This week’s reading plan:

Genesis Reading Plan week 2

 

BLOGGERS: Are you blogging through the Bible with us or have you written a devotional based on your own quiet times this week? Link back to GoodMorningGirls.org or put this graphic in your post and then link up below – we’d love to come visit you! Blogging through bible with GMG button



Making A Name For Myself {Genesis 11}

Making a name for myself

Good Morning Girls!

In a world of selfies, overnight Youtube sensations, reality television and television competitions that lead to millions of dollars and singing contracts – making a name for ourselves seems almost normal. Everybody’s doing it – right?

I mean, let’s be honest, I’m a blogger.  I am not a wall flower.  My name and face are not hidden here. So what keeps me from not trying to use this platform to make a name for myself?

We are in Genesis 11 – let’s look at verses 1-9.

1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.  4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”  8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

First, we see the people had decided to build a city and a tower. Why?

To make a name for themselves.

How did God humble them?

He confused them by confusing their languages.

We see the pride in the people as they say – “Let us! Let us! Let us!”

And God, the Almighty – 3 in 1 – says, “Let Us go down…”

…and that was the end of their prideful endeavor.

Notice – their very tall tower was not so tall to God. God had to go way down, to deal with these people! Lol!

We live in a world of building, climbing, dreaming, reaching, pursuing, pushing, shoving, and clawing for the top.  We are a busy, tired, pressured, stressed, frazzled, scared people.

But we see a huge irony in this passage of scripture.  Notice in verse 4 the people say - “let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

Then God comes along and in verse 9 He…”dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Do we see how counterproductive it is to build a tower if the Lord’s will is not in it?

 “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” ~Psalm 127:1

Is it wrong to build a tower (or in our case a home, a business, a blog, a career)?

No.

Is it wrong to build a very tall tower (or in our case a home, business, blog or career)?

No.

Can we tell by looking at someone else’s tower why it was built?

No.  Only the Lord knows the intentions of a man’s heart.

Is it wrong to build a tall tower to make a name for ourselves?

Yes.

As children of God, all towers (homes, businesses, blogs or careers) must be done for God’s glory otherwise the ambition behind the pursuit is pride filled and displeasing to God.

When I began blogging it was with the purest intent. My hearts desire was to follow the great commission and make disciples.  I wanted to be an authentic mom and wife and encourage other women in their walk with the King.

But somewhere along the way – I began to face serious confusion.  New friendships and new opportunities confused me.  Who should I say yes to?  Who can I trust?  Is this opportunity from God or am I causing some of this to happen and outside of God’s will?  Am I doing too much? Am I doing too little? Am I depending on my own abilities or am I depending on God?

Just as God used confusion to humble the builders of the tall tower, God has used confusion time and again in my life to keep me humble.  If he showed me the 5 year plan, I would probably become prideful. I wouldn’t need to depend on him.  Instead, He has me on the “day to day” plan. Lol! He reveals just what I need for today and I have to trust that tomorrow, He will continue to guide me.

Women of our generation have more choices than any of the past generations.  Choices are a blessing. But choices bring confusion. We do not want to be so busy building our own kingdoms, that we miss seeking God’s kingdom first.

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are in jail singing praises to God when all the locked doors of the jail fly open…and Paul and Silas do not walk through the open doors.  It was God’s will for them to stay right where they were and lead the jailer and his whole family to salvation.

Sometimes doors will open for us – this does not mean we need to walk through them.  

I have had various doors open for me through out the blogging years that were clearly not God’s will for me. They were tempting because they would have made my name – greater.  I had to stay put and not walk through those doors.  It was hard!  But it was right. Other times, God clearly made  a path for me.  Like the parting of the Red Sea, it was so obvious, I walked confidently forward on dry land and He got all the glory!

It is hard to know when God is opening the doors or when we are forcing doors open but through humility and walking with God daily in His word and prayer – God is faithful to reveal is way to us.  He removes confusion and gives peace as He directs and guides us.

As we go forward in our week, let’s be women who are known – not for exalting ourselves but for exalting the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Let’s be builders of His kingdom.

God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**Chime In** 

Genesis 11 discussion question