The Ultimate Gift
Genesis 15 is a pretty crazy chapter. It’s not full of action, it doesn’t involve God saving someone from certain doom, and it doesn’t have a hero of faith taking a stand for what she believes in for the glory of God. But it does give us an intimate look at the relationship between God and Abraham and, in effect, between God and humanity. That includes YOU! Check out Genesis 15:1-6, this part of the story may be familiar to you. God makes an incredible promise to Abraham and his barren wife. They will have a child! And their descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky. An incredible promise. And yet, it just gets better! The next part of the story is one of my favorites in the entire Bible and it’s a bit less well known. Read Genesis 15:8-10 and 17-18. Okay, it’s a little strange and maybe hard to understand what’s going on. But this goes back to an ancient tradition. When two people made a big promise and commitment to each other they would cut a cow in half and each person would walk between the two halves declaring: If I break my promise then let me be like this cow. Basically, if I don’t follow through then you have the right to kill me. God performs this tradition with Abraham, with man. But instead of Abraham walking through God walks through, twice! God is saying if either I or you don’t follow through, then I, God, will be like this cow. Obviously man doesn’t follow through. We sin daily. So what does God do? Ever heard of Jesus and His crucifixion?
The Bible is incredible! And the stories of Jesus, simply breathtaking. I can read these stories of Jesus and who He was and the miraculous things He did and said, stories I’ve read a hundred times, and yet they still amaze me and sometimes make me laugh at how blind I can be. That’s how incredible the Bible is! That’s how incredible God is. That nothing more than ink on a page can rise up in me overwhelming emotions I’ve only ever felt when encountering the presence of God. Today I read Mark 4:35-41, the story of Jesus calming the storm, and I had one of these moments. Take a moment to relax. Try and empty your swirling brain and grab hold of a moment of peace. Spend a minute in silent prayer with God, speaking words of truth about who He is in your life and how He has transformed you. Then open your Bible to Mark 4 and read vs 35-41. Do it, now!
I don’t need to comment on this story. My comments don’t do it justice. But just focus on what Jesus declares to the wind and waves and what Jesus asks his disciples.
We’re in a strange time in American History. But it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. Find some time for quiet. Find some time to be still. Listen. Lift your worries before God.
Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?
Our teens had Spring Break this week and they were an inspiration to me! Spring Break is a great opportunity for relaxation, sleeping in, playing video games, and catching up on all those Netflix shows we’ve missed out on, but I like to offer other opportunities for our teens that stick around Lufkin. From Monday through Friday a group of us got together each day to enjoy time together, play games, participate in activities, enjoy worshipping together and learning about the life God calls us to live, and to serve our Lufkin community. We served the Christian Information Services Center, The Winnie Berry Humane Society, The Mosaic Center, Godtel, and we even took time to clean up our neighborhood and serve a few members here at Central. It was an incredible week with a lot of laughs, some hard work, and really cool opportunities to see God move and work through us. We talked a lot about his life we have to live. How short it really is and how discouraging it can be to see all the great needs this world has and how little of a difference it feels like we’re able to make. We discussed the truth of this. Our lives are simply too small and insignificant to make a difference in this world by ourselves. But with God? What can we do when God is working and moving through us? In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says that with faith we can move mountains! That’s because when God is working through us all barriers are broken down and our weaknesses are made strong. I saw God work through our teens this week in simple conversations and joyful acts of service. I look forward to seeing the impact God will make through these experiences!
CORE Week of Service Schedule
Central Church 9:30 – 10 AM
Christian Information Services Center 10 – Noon
Central Church Noon – 2 PM
Lufkin Zoo 2 – 4 PM
Central Church noon - 5 PM
Godtel 5 – 7 PM
Winnie Berry Humane Society 1 – 4 PM
Central Church 4 – 5 PM
Guys/Girls Night 5 – 8 PM
Central Church and Mosaic Center 1 – 6 PM
Kiwanis Park 6 – 8 PM
Central Church 9:30 – 10 AM
Around Lufkin 10 – 1 PM
Central Church 1 – 4 PM