As the stars of the heaven, as the sand upon the seashore

Genesis 22:17 records the blessing that God assured Abraham, for he had obeyed the voice of God and acted on God’s command to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, whom he loved. God says that he will have multiplied blessings and that his seed will be multiplied as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore.

Note first that the heaven mentioned here is singular. ‘The heaven’ is from where God reigns (Isaiah 66:1) and the stars in the bible not only refers to the angelic beings (Job 38:7) celestial sons of God (Job 1:6) but also those who are wise who turn many to righteousness (witnesses of God) (Daniel 12:3) – the heaven born sons of God i.e., believers. In this sense, the stars refer to spiritual children of Abraham, those born from above (John 3:3; 3:7), who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and who are adopted into God’s family, through The Seed of Abraham (referring to Jesus – Galatians 3:16). Additionally, this blessing speaks of the innumerability of Abraham’s children through Isaac and Jacob, through whom the nation of Israel (physical children of Abraham) comes into being. From dust (sand) was man made and the physical children of Abraham will be like the sand upon the sea shore (land).

Points to ponder:
Many of us who are not born a Jew, but instead a Gentile, would not be like the sand upon the sea shore, but instead we can be like the stars upon the heaven. In other words. we who are born from above, and who are witnesses for Jesus, proclaiming his life-changing gospel to turn many to righteousness, will be like the stars – the spiritual children of Abraham through Jesus Christ. Are you a star? Are you born again? Are you born from above?

Genesis 22:17 (KJV)
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Jesus’ fourth saying from the Cross was a question, a question addressed to God (his Father), wherein, he cried with a loud voice saying “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Notice, how Jesus, who addressed God as Father, when he asked him to forgive his murderers and who addressed God as Father, when he commended his Spirit into his Father’s hand, is now addressing God as God and not Father, implying that his sonship was severed due to the sin that he had become (2 Corinthians 5:21), for God the Holy Father could have nothing to do with sin, just as light can have no communion with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14).

The question posed was “Why?”
The answer is “Love” and the object of that Love is “You and me”.

Why did God the Father forsake Jesus?
God so loved the world (you and me) that he forsook his only begotten Son, so that we would not have to cry out “Why have you forsaken me?” Instead, Jesus, the Only begotten Son of God cried out, being God forsaken, so that we who are deserve to be God forsaken because of our sinfulness, can be called the sons and daughters of God.

Points to ponder: 
God’s “Love” for you and me is so great that he demonstrated his love for us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8), being forsaken by God. Behold, what manner of “Love” the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1) because his very own Son, Jesus Christ, had been forsaken and could not address him as Abba, Father.

Matthew 27:45-47 (KJV)
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

Lot offered a lot, offering his own

Lot’s offer of his two daughters to the evil men of Sodom to be possibly stripped naked, shamed and killed, in exchange for the protection of the angelic (not of this world) visitors, who had come under the protection of his house, could certainly be deemed odd, baffling, and ridiculous, especially to a parent. Contextually though, Lot’s offer was an expression of his hospitality, which was regarded in high esteem, in his day and age. This may be very difficult for many to fathom and/or even accept in this day and age which is characterized by people being a lot more individualistic over being hospitable.Lot offered a lot for an offer such as this today would be be perceived as “over-the-top” and brand the offeror as a bad and possibly evil Father. Yet we see from the Scripture that Lot was declared as righteous and saved (2 Peter 2:8) from the impending wrath of being burned when the Lord rained down brimstone and fire (Genesis 19:24), consuming the iniquity of the city (Genesis 19:15).

Now if you would allow me to show you that Lot’s offer of his own is akin to what God did for each one of us. We are like the wicked and evil people of this world (the current city of Sodom) doing what we deem is good in our own eyes. Naturally by our physical birth, we are conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5) which makes us foreigners (visitors) in the house (roof) of God (Ephesians 2:19). In order to protect us from the impending wrath of brimstone and fire in hell, God did not just offer but acted and gave his own – his Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16), who was stripped naked, shamed and crucified (killed).

Points to ponder:
God offered (Genesis 3:15) and gave his own Son, Jesus Christ, in exchange for our protection from brimstone and fire in hell (John 3:16). If you deeply think of this – it would certainly seem odd, baffling and ridiculous that the God of all creation would offer him only Son in exchange for us, mere dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). You know what that shows us. That demonstrates to us, the great extent of God’s love for us and in other words gives us proof that God offered a lot (all of himself), by offering his own (for us).

Have you believed in God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, whom he sent for whosoever (any person of this world, no matter how wicked they have been) believes in Jesus shall not perish but have everlasting life? God offered a lot, offering his own – Are you willing to offer a lot, offering your all? (Don’t let this question go unanswered!)

Genesis 19:8 (KJV)
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

John 3:16 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 1:12 (KJV)
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Ephesians 2:19 (KJV)
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

What kind of giant are you?

Genesis 6:4 speaks of some earthly giants in the days of Noah. The Bible describes these giants as men who became mighty and renowned. Yet these giants were the result of an unholy union between the sons of God (fallen angels) and the daughters of men and in their time each man did evil continually, except Noah.

Fast forward, many generations, and we come to the time of David, the shepherd boy turned king; the son of Jesse. David faced another giant, one named Goliath in the name of the Lord and was successful in defeating and destroying him (1 Samuel 17). He was not worried of his current circumstances nor the potential future outcome, because he did not focus on himself, but on God. In essence, while Goliath was a physical giant, David was a spiritual giant.

Points to ponder:
David knew that he was owned by God. He belonged to God for God addresses him as “my servant” (2 Samuel 7:5) and was with him (2 Samuel 7:9). He focused (renewed) his mind by keeping his eyes fixed on the Lord (1 Samuel 17:45; Isaiah 26:5; Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 12:2) that made him one of the mightiest kings of Israel, one of great renown (even more than the then king of Israel – king Saul).
A spiritual giant is one who is mighty because the Almighty God is in and with him or her.
A spiritual giant is one who is renowned for he/she is RENewed in his/her mind and OWNED by God.

Are you a spiritual giant? What kind of giant are you? What kind of giant will you become?

Genesis 6:4 (KJV)
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Qualified by God?

A very famous one-liner that preachers often quote when soliciting a response of commitment to serve in the ministry of Jesus Christ is “God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called.” Abraham was old, Jacob was a cheater, Moses was a stammerer,  Rahab was a prostitute, Ruth was a Gentile, Gideon was of the weakest clan, David was an adulterer, Paul was a murderer, Peter denied, Thomas doubted and Lazarus was dead and yet God used each one to be of service to him and to show others his glory.

But, have you ever wondered as to what it means to be qualified by God? According to the Scripture, to be qualified by God is to be made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1:12). In other word’s, to be qualified by God is to be co-heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17), that only comes from believing in Jesus Christ, for to all them that receive him and believe in his name, He (God) gave them the power to be called the sons of God (John 1:12).

Points to ponder:
Are you Qualified by God? In other words, are you a child of God, co-heirs with Christ and a heir with God, made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints? To become a child, one must be born again which comes by believing on the name of Jesus Christ. To be qualified by God is to become his child and then co-heirs with Christ and heirs of God’s inheritance in the kingdom of light. Are you Qualified by God?

Colossians 1:12 
12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. (NIV)
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (KJV)

John 1:12 (KJV)
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Timeline with God

Before I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior, what I was then (past) by nature is a child of wrath, fulfilling the desires and lust of my flesh (Ephesians 2:3).
After I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior, what I am now (present), is a child of God (Romans 8:14-16)
And if I am a child now, then later (future), I shall be an heir; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ Jesus (Romans 8:17)

Behold what manner of love the father (God) has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1)

Points to ponder:
Where are you in your timeline with God?
Are you still in the past as a child of wrath or in the present as a child of God looking forward to the future with him?

Ephesians 2:3 (KJV)
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Romans 8:14-16 (KJV)
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Romans 8:17 (KJV)
17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

What kind of a father is Jesus?

We all celebrated father’s day 2010 yesterday and I thank God for having granted me the privilege of being an earthly father to Reuben Abishai Paul (RAP). As I reminisced about father’s day, I was reminded of my own biological father, Dr. R.A.C. Paul,  who on the 30th day of September, 1986 passed away from this ephemeral world to enter into an eternal kingdom. And as my heart wandered to wonder about why I was deprived of a father-son relationship, I was promptly reminded from the scripture that God is the father of the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). Jesus Christ addressed Almighty God as Holy Father (John 17:11) while affirming that He and the Father are One  (John 10:30).

But what kind of a father is Jesus/God?

He is a
Friend of the sinner (Matthew 11:19),
Alpha/the First (Revelation 1:8),
Teacher from God (John 3:2),
Holy (Mark 1:24),
Emmanuel/With us (Matthew 1:23) and a
Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4) on whom we can depend.

And to all who believe and receive Jesus, He gave them the power to be called the sons of God (John 1:12) and because we have received the Spirit of adoption, we can call God, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). Our relationship with God is that of a father-son relationship only because of our Spiritual Father, Jesus Christ; it is by adoption, and not by ancestry.

And as children of God, what kind of father’s do we need to be?
We need to be
1. the friends of those who are lost (who have not believed and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Father);
2. the first (alpha) to pass the baton of faith to our earthly children;
3. the teacher of the fear of the Lord;
4. holy as God the father is Holy;
5. always with and for our children and loved ones; and
6. the rock on which our children and loved ones can depend on.

John 1:12-13 (KJV)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


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