Settling For Less

“Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭11:31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Terah set out to go to Canaan, but settled in Harran.

What made him leave his homeland?

Did the call to go to Canaan originally begin with Abraham’s father, Terah? We know that after Terah dies, God tells Abraham to continue the journey into Canaan…
When He calls us, He allows us to make the choice to follow His plan or not. But God’s plans will be achieved, with or without you. Don’t you want to be a part of His success? If you do, then you have to surrender and let Him work through you.
The journey may be a long one, and it may be difficult at times, but we know that His plans for us are good. We have to move when He calls us into action and we have to keep going, even when it would be easier to stop. We don’t get to decide when we’ve done enough – not if we want to see what He is leading us into.
How many things have I missed because I settled for something less?

How many things have I started and not finished?
Dear God, Thank You for making me a part of Your plan. I don’t want to settle for anything less than where You want to take me. I don’t want to give up, so please give me the strength to follow where You are leading me. 

Amen

Starting With a Grateful Heart 

Noah had taken on a huge assignment with his construction of the ark. He then cared for all of the animals on the boat, as he watched the world around him overtaken by a flood that raged with death and destruction. His whole life was forever changed. Everyone he had known was dead. He and his family had to start over from square one with building homes, planting crops, and breeding livestock. But before all of those things, Noah had something more important to do. The first thing he did after he and his family came out of the ark, was build an altar to The Lord and sacrifice offerings on it. Noah was not only faithful enough to follow all that God commanded him to do, but he was showing God that he was completely devoted to him.
Even after the hard times he had just endured, Noah focused on the fact that God was the one who had brought him through the storm. God had blessed him by sparing his life and the lives of his family, and by giving them all the chance at a new beginning. Noah couldn’t do another thing before stopping to honor God and show him how thankful he was.

And God was pleased.

In today’s world, we don’t commonly offer sacrifices, but we can respect and honor God, and show him our thankfulness and devotion by praying, praising, and worship.

A lot of times, it is easy to ask God for help before going into an important situation, or to reach out to Him while going through hard times, and even to thank him when things go successfully. But how often do I stop what I am doing, put everything else aside, and have a conversation between him and me, regardless of the outcome, just to say, “Hey, I know you were with me through that and I couldn’t have made it without out. Thank you so much!” How often do I have a grateful heart when I’m not satisfied with how things ended?

I have to admit that I honestly have not had that reaction EVER after going through a time of suffering. In the past, I have been too focused on the things that I’ve lost and the pain that I was experiencing because of it. When in reality, I only survived those events because God was with me every step of the way, giving me the strength and abilities that I needed, and surrounding me with people who loved and supported me. I am not proud of the way that I have dealt with certain situations in my life. And I am sure that God was not pleased with my response. Looking deeper into the story of Noah, and specifically this passage, has truly opened my eyes to this failure on my part, and I’m pretty sure that HE knew this day would come. And maybe THAT pleases Him.
When I feel my life changing beyond my control and I don’t like the end results, I will pray:

Lord, Thank You for staying by my side and guiding me through this situation. I know that I could not have endured it alone. I don’t love these circumstances, but I love You, and I will praise You in the aftermath of this storm. I know that you have a plan for me, even if I can’t understand it right now. I will continue to serve You and try to find the good that can come out of this situation. 

Amen

Giving Your Best

God provides everything we need. He blesses us. He answers our prayers. This isn’t conditional on tithes, but to show our love and gratitude, we should do our part in this relationship by giving generously. This IS important to God, as we see in Genesis 4:3-5.

Cain brought an offering to the Lord, which is definitely better than nothing at all! But God knew he could do better. Abel also brought an offering. His first and his best. He didn’t feed himself and his family and then offer the tough meat or leftovers. He wasn’t selfish, and he didn’t hold back. This pleased God and made Cain jealous and angry. Instead of learning from this – that he was being selfish, Cain looked at it as being treated wrong or unfairly.

The most important message in this part of the story is that we not only need to give, but we need to give generously.  And first. When I get paid, I need to first set aside my tithes and offerings, before I spend a penny on myself. That car payment, that cable bill… Those should never come before God!

The mortgage company does not have the power to bless your finances.

Pastor Robert Morris

The same goes for my time. If I’ve spent the whole day without giving God a single minute of my time until I crawl into bed tired, with a quick prayer – then I know that my priorities are completely off.

When I need to get my priorities straight, I will pray:
Dear God, Thank You so much for providing me with a life full of blessings. When I feel like there’s not enough time for everything, please help me to pause and assess my priorities, because I always want you at the top of my list.

Amen


Today’s Scripture:

Genesis 4:1-7
1 Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”