Daily Devotionals – Week 4 OT (chronological) – Job 1-3

Daily Devotional
Week 4 Day 1
OT (chronological)
Sunday (Job 1:1-5)

Job’s Good Life

Horatio Gates Spafford was a prominent lawyer, a senior partner in a large and thriving law firm. Spafford invested in real estate north of an expanding Chicago in the spring of 1871. When the Great Fire of Chicago reduced the city to ashes in October of that same year, it also destroyed most of Spafford’s sizable investment.

Two years later, in 1873, Spafford decided his family should take a holiday somewhere in Europe, and chose England knowing that his friend D. L. Moody would be preaching there in the fall. He was delayed because of business, so he sent his family ahead: his wife and their four children, daughters eleven-year-old Tanetta, nine-year-old Elizabeth “Bessie”, five-year-old Margaret Lee, and two-year-old Anna “Annie”.

On November 22, 1873, while crossing the Atlantic on the steamship Ville du Havre, their ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel and 226 people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford’s daughters. Anna Spafford survived the tragedy. Upon arriving in England, she sent a telegram to Spafford beginning “Saved alone.” Spafford then sailed to England, going over the location of his daughters’ deaths. According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well with My Soul” on this journey.

Following the sinking of the Ville du Havre, Anna gave birth to three more children. On February 11, 1880, their son, Horatio Goertner Spafford, died at the age of four, of scarlet fever. Their daughters were Bertha Hedges Spafford (born March 24, 1878) and Grace Spafford (born January 18, 1881).

Their Presbyterian church regarded their tragedy as divine punishment. In response, the Spaffords formed their own Messianic sect, dubbed “the Overcomers” by American press.

In August 1881, the Spaffords set out for Jerusalem as a party of thirteen adults and three children and set up the American Colony. Colony members, later joined by Swedish Christians, engaged in philanthropic work amongst the people of Jerusalem regardless of their religious affiliation and without proselytizing motives—thereby gaining the trust of the local Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities.

During and immediately after World War I, the American Colony played a critical role in supporting these communities through the great suffering and deprivations of the eastern front by running soup kitchens, hospitals, orphanages and other charitable ventures.

Dear Lord, Life has a way of “just happening” in this fallen world. May I remember that it’s not what happens that defines people, it is how they respond. May I respond by turning to You for the the best way forward – the way that brings glory to you. Amen.
dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 4 Day 2
OT (chronological)
Monday (Job 1:6-12)

Satan’s Accusation of Job

The director of the national agriculture department was meeting with top advisers and staff when a tax department official entered the room and sat to one side. The stated purpose of the unexpected visit was that his agency had received reports that a major rice farmer was falsifying data.
The official specifically named one very successful rice farmer. This caused some consternation as that particular farm had been promoted as a role model for others and if the charges were true it would be very embarrassing for the director.
The rice farmer was not only producing the usual types of rice but had discovered ways to produce some unusual types that were much less common and far more valuable. The farmer was also very generous to employees and supported causes which served the needy.
The tax official accused the agricultural director of favoritism due to a personal friendship and use of the rice farmer as a role model – but the director knew the owner of the farm well and was certain of the owner’s personal integrity.
The director also knew that the tax official had a history of believing untrue accusations from competitors, that in a large farming operation it was always possible that an employee might have altered numbers – unknown to the owner, but that such an investigation would prove costly to the owner.
The director reluctantly told the tax official that the department would not attempt to block the investigation of the business but if there was any effort to directly attack the owner the agriculture department would request the president’s intervention.
There are times in most people’s lives when misunderstandings or false accusations result in inconveniences and worse. The biases and/or motivations of the accusers, and sometimes those of the investigators, may not suggest a fair hearing. In such cases it is best to have an advocate with the power to defend you.
Dear Lord, When we are falsely accused it is Jesus Who stands up for us. Thank You that we are always certain that Your justice is perfect and Your knowledge is complete. When we confess our sins we are never telling You anything that You do not already know. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 4 Day 3
OT (chronological)
Tuesday (Job 1:13-22)

Job’s Integrity in Adversity

Just as the investigation of the rice farmer was to begin a terrible tsunami blew across the peninsula destroying the rice growing and processing facilities, and killing most of the workers in the fields and buildings. The farmer and spouse were away from the property, meeting with their attorney, but all of the children were home and were killed.
The farmer was in shock, hurried home in hopes that things were not as bad as the early reports and that maybe some of the people -presumed dead – had actually survived. But the reality on the ground was even worse than the news reports. Heartsick and overwhelmed by the magnitude of the losses the farmer collapsed on the floor, pleading to God for strength, and wondering how to go on.
There are times in our lives when all of the small dark clouds of trouble look like one looming storm; arguments with friends, misunderstandings with family, criticism from bosses or teachers, a health problem, a car problem, and too much month left after all of the money has been spent.
Rarely are things as bad as that faced by Job, or the farmer in our story, but always the answer is to trust God for comfort, patience, peace, strength, and wisdom. Loss and suffering are natural events in this fallen world, that God holds-back some of it is an undeserved blessing. Freedom from trouble is only found in the promised new heaven and earth, not in this broken and dying earth.
Dear Lord, No matter what comes to Your children it can never be too much to bear because You live in us, You carry us through, and You will bring us home. May we never doubt You. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 4 Day 4
OT (chronological)
Wednesday (Job 2:1-10)

Satan’s Additional Charge, Job’s Integrity in Suffering

When the farmer finally arose and sat to eat lunch the mail was delivered. The letter from his physician contained another blow – the tests from the skin patches on his ears, nose, head, and neck were Melanoma (skin cancer) and it appeared to have metasticized (spread to other parts of his body).
The farmer’s head bowed and his spouse read the letter then cried-out “Why is God doing this to us?” Like Job the farmer replied “We must accept whatever comes and never blame God.” then quoted from the movie I Am Legend “God didn’t do this, we did”, adding, this is because of the Fall and the continued rebellion of humankind.”
The farmer’s children and workers were gone, the entire business destroyed, the threat of investigation loomed, and now a life-threatening disease – yet not a wrong word was spoken of God.
That big dark cloud in life can sometimes include a wild thunderstorm or even a tornado – yet the Lord promises us that He is with us in the storms of life – we must cling to Him and press-away the lies of the enemy.
Dear Lord, right now I may feel as if I am dying-inside due to some event in my life – one over which I have no control – please carry me for a while. I need Your strength, I need Your comfort, and I need Your peace. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 4 Day 5
OT (chronological)
Thursday (Job 2:11-13)

The Arrival of Job’s Friends

When the farmer’s friends heard of the terrible tragedies they came to visit – they were shocked by the physical devastation of the storm – and more shocked by the hollow stare, then gaunt face, and the red splotches about the face, neck, and head. They were speechless.
Unlike Job’s friends they only refrained from speaking for seven hours on the first day – the nurse had warned that it would not be helpful to speak until the farmer was ready; however, in their fast-paced lives those seven hours of silence felt like an ancient week.
Different people react differently to tragedy, but all need a time of stillness to recover their sense of balance and perspective – when we try to rush that process we’re not being helpful.
As a hospice chaplain there have often been times, especially just before a patient dies – and sometimes immediately afterward – when loved ones simply need a safe presence for a while, rather than words. In this busy and noisy modern culture that can be challenging – but it’s about them and not us – we owe them the respect of honoring their needs rather than our own.
Dear Lord, life in this fallen world is filled with loss and tragedy, it’s unavoidable and it’s hard. We were not made for this fallen world. Teach us to trust You to be our strength, waiting on You for the right time to move on. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 4 Day 6
OT (chronological)
Friday (Job 3:1-12)

Job’s Wishes That He Was Never Born

When the farmer finally spoke the grief and loss poured out a a jumble of words testifying to a short-sighted vision of a life’s-work obliterated with nothing to show – wishing, as had Job so long before – never to have been born.
The buildings could be rebuilt, the fields repaired and replanted, and more workers hired and trained. Of course the children could not be restored, nor could the dead workers – their stories had ended.
The knowledge that made it all work was not lost, those who had learned from and been encouraged remained, and so the value of learning and opportunities to continue – awaited some healing.
When we hear the frightening words “You have cancer”, or “Your close relative is dying, or has died”, your spouse gives up on your marriage, a respected person chooses poorly and suffers a great fall, your children rebel, your home burns, or a dream of some sort has been crushed it can be hard to see through to the light of hope beyond.
Dear Lord, When this world steps on my heart, fogs my mind, and seems to suck the air out of my lungs – please catch me as I fall into Your safe and loving arms. Keep my heart from bitterness, keep me from making poor choices until the fog clears, and be my strength to endure. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 4 Day 7
OT (chronological)
Saturday (Job 3:13-26)

Job Longs for Death – Wonders Why God Was Keeping Him Alive

The farmer, still grieving, continued to wonder why God would have allowed birth – knowing that such a horrific end awaited – the pain was causing the center of thinking (like Job) to drift from God to the farmer.

The farmer then wondered why God allowed life to continue – the grief was too overwhelming – the disease and treatment so unpleasant – but never paused a moment to ask for His healing.

When troubles come, and persist, it is natural to become confused. Job, and our farmer, should have stopped at the question of why they were still alive – since our sole purpose on earth is to serve God. The right question is always “How may I serve You Lord and how will You equip me to do so?”
Of course we need time to grieve our losses, of course we get confused and forget to ask the Great Healer to heal us to serve, and of course we can lose sight of the future in the enormity of our challenges. We are mere humans.
Jesus is our role model because He never took his heart, mind, soul, or physical activities off the focus of God the Father’s purpose.

Dear Lord, When things are their darkest I need You even more. May my hope be found in any purpose that I can search-out that You have for me. May I set aside my needs and seek to do Your deeds. Amen. dmc2015

All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated – http://bible.org
Devotional copyright © 2015 by David M. Colburn. This is associated with the BibleSeven Study –“Genesis 16_9-11. Prepared by David M. Colburn and originally edited for bible.org. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.

Daily Devotionals – Week 3 OT (chronological) – Genesis 6:9-11

Daily Devotional
Week 3 Day 1
OT (chronological)
Sunday (Genesis 6:9 – 7:24)

The Judgment of the Flood

They had 100,000 chickens on their farm. A few hens and roosters had been separated from the rest by the owner who wanted them to eat the crickets and other bugs which plagued his garden at home. While they were away a terrible disease attacked the farm.
There was no cure – the chickens would have to be destroyed and the farm cleansed. All of the chickens were chased into the barns and the doors closed. Then a truck rolled up and a person in an odd-looking safety suit stepped out. The bosses all shouted “Everyone off the property!” Once they were outside of the gates they were told to go home and not return for two days.
The man in the suit then walked to the center of each building, opened a canister, then moved to the next, then returned to the truck and waited. After an hour the huge fans in the barns turned on, the canisters were retrieved and placed back in the truck, and the man left. All of the chickens were dead.
The workers returned in two days, shoveled the chickens into huge dumpsters (they were taken away to be burned), then set about cleaning everything on the property with bleach.
Only the chickens at the owners home remained to repopulate the farm.

Sometimes there are things in our lives that are like the disease that attacked the chickens. We can be stubborn and hope things magically get better or allow the Holy Spirit to purge them from our lives. A measure of our faith and maturity is that we let go of the things that God says to let go of.

Dear Lord, help me to listen and to obey and not get in the way when You need to clean me up. Amen.
dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 3 Day 2
OT (chronological)
Monday (Genesis 8:1–14)

God remembers Noah

The young man’s dad, a former military man, was very stern. He was always fair, but he didn’t like change or surprises – and did I mention that he was always stern? If there was something Dan wanted to do that was out of the ordinary his answer was always “No”. Depending on the tone of the “No” Dan knew not to ask again that day, and maybe not for several days.
The teen boys archery club was starting again in September and Dan had just turned 13 – he was finally old enough to join – if his dad said “Yes” and approved him spending the money he had saved for a bow, some arrows, and the membership fee. Dad’s first answer was “No”, and it was a particularly “Don’t ask me again any time soon” kind of “No”.
As Dan waited for an opportunity to ask again he tried leaving a newspaper ad on the kitchen table announcing an upcoming sale on bows and arrows. But his dad said nothing. He then left his jar of saved money on the counter with the paper bearing the amount he’d saved clearly visible. Still dad said nothing. Finally, he summoned up his courage, knocked on his dad’s door and when called in said “Permission to speak?” in his most official sounding voice. His dad replied, suppressing a smile, “Permission granted.” Dan continued “I have worked and saved for the day that I turned 13 and hereby request permission to invest in a bow and arrow and membership in the archery club.” To which his dad responded “Permission granted. Please close the door quietly on the way out.” But the smile escaped his control and Dan saw his opening, rushed to hug him, then stepped back to straighten his clothes and hastily exited the office. He dared not look back, but had he done so, he would have seen his dad smiling proudly as he watched his son depart.
As we discern what our Lord God wants of us we may sometimes think of Him as a stern taskmaster. We may even think that He likes to say “No” when He actually wants to say “Yes” – when our request is made at the right time, in the right way, and for the right reasons.
John 14:12-14 reminds us that God’s response to our prayer requests is based on the test of glory to Him and no lesser person or thing – for that would make them an idol.
Dear Lord, when I approach You as Father, may I know You love to bless me for obedience. Amen. Dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 3 Day 3
OT (chronological)
Tuesday (Genesis 8:15-22)

A new beginning after the Flood

When World War II in the Pacific, generally the United States versus Imperial Japan, was ended – via the surrender of the Japanese – some Japanese fighters sent to the Philippines didn’t get the message.
In an isolated mountainous jungle area 20 fighters continued to believe that their emperor desired them to hold-out – no matter what and for no matter how long. For twenty-nine years they lived off the land, dying one by one from various causes (one had walked away and was never seen again), until only one remained.
It turned out that the soldiers had learned what to eat or not eat by watching the animals. They would also occasionally kill a cow, belonging to local villagers, now and then. Efforts were made to contact and draw them out but they treated all such efforts as enemy propaganda.
Once captured it required the presence of his former commander to finally convince him that not only was the war over – but that his captors meant him no harm.
In our lives there are times when it may feel as if we are trapped in a lonely place, conflict rages all around us, and there is little to do but to try to survive – and wait it out.
The Bible teaches us to trust God for the strength to stand but also to be wise enough to know when He is telling us to move on. He calls us into fellowship so that He may teach, affirm, and care for us – using our fellow Believers.
Dear Lord, help me to faithfully trust You through the storms, to faithfully trust You in order to know when to leave my temporary shelter, and to faithfully trust when You send me back out. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 3 Day 4
OT (chronological)
Wednesday (Genesis 9:1-17)

The Lord blessed Noah and his family.

They had two separate areas for animals on their farm, one close to the house, and the other further away. They had a very good reason for this.
The animals kept near the house were long-term resources for eggs, milk, and labor – and because they were near and stayed around a long time, they also became casual pets. The animals kept further away were intended for food.
Their grandparents and great-grandparents still tell stories of the day when things were different and the few animals they had were kept together. If the hunt went badly or the weather made it impossible to hunt – on any day a casual pet (chicken, cow, duck, goat, etc.) could suddenly become dinner – not always pleasant, but when resources are scarce and people are hungry one did what one had to do. One way to avoid emotions ruining their appetites was to trade their animal for a different animal with a family in another town – but often that was not practical either.
Every day we make choices. Where do we buy a product, with whom we spend some time, what things we choose to do – there is a corollary or opposite, for each; which store we didn’t favor, which friend we didn’t choose, to which things we said no. Each choice reflects a value judgment; this store has a sale, this friend is moving away – so it’s the last chance to be together, that activity is more dangerous than I like – or perhaps it may be a different sort of value judgment about right versus wrong and good versus evil.
Dear Lord, when I have to make choices, help me to remember that You know every detail – and no matter how small, wisdom dictates that I bring to You them all. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 3 Day 5
OT (chronological)
Thursday (Genesis 9:18 -10:32)

Blessings and curses upon Noah’s sons

The big corporation decided to build three self-driving cars. The first two proved to be reliable, first on the test tracks, then out in the general public – but the third gave them lots of trouble.
All three were built in the same factory, all three used almost the same parts, but the third had been entrusted to a new young employee for final tests and adjustments. The senior engineers had tired of the project so they delegated the tedious part.
After months of effort, first by the young engineer, then the senior engineers – the nagging variable that was causing problems simply could not be found. It was finally decided to relegate number three car to the test track for visitors to see and for the running of errands with a human driver always present.
In life we humans have unique personalities and unique physiologies; we not only can make different choices based upon the same information, our bodies may react to the environment differently. One child may be good at art, another math, a third sports, the same three may each respond differently to cold weather, hot weather, and rainy weather.
When we approach moments of choice in our lives it is important that we understand ourselves better. When we evaluate the choices of others, it is equally important that we take the time to understand them better, because we all are affected by the Fall.
Dear Lord, I do not want to choose foolishly, like Ham, and stumble into a life of limitations and trouble. Please help me to slow down and to consider carefully the reasons for the choice I am about to make. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 3 Day 6
OT (chronological)
Friday (Genesis 11:1-9)

The Dispersion of the Nations at Babel

They built a great ship about which it is rumored that one man associated with the project declared “Even God could not sink this ship.” The two things that did sink the ship, in addition to the literal cause – an iceberg, were arrogance and avarice.
The arrogance was in plowing ahead through waters about which there had been multiple warnings of deadly floating icebergs. The avarice was that in their rush to make the announced deadline, and the desire to cut costs, they used some inferior metal and inferior rivets – both of which may not have failed were it not for their vulnerability to the severe cold of their ill-chosen route.
The name of this ship is infamous for it’s legacy of pride and of failure – the Titanic.
In our lives there are times and places where we may be guilty of “titanic” arrogance, especially when we imagine that we can handle challenges without God, that we can go places and do things that He warns against and not be harmed by them, and that we can fail to be in accountability and discipleship relationships – as He has instructed – and still grow stronger and wiser.
Dear Lord, please help me to ignore the foolishness of “Lone Ranger Christianity” and rather to link-up with fellow Believers so that I am not such easy prey for the enemy. May my faith not fail due to faulty construction and poor judgment. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 3 Day 7
OT (chronological)
Saturday (Genesis 11:10-32)

The Genealogy of Shem through Abram

They were both raised in a church and community where a high value was placed upon married people with many children – and they were in agreement with that philosophy.
They married right out of high school; he had a good job, they had been given a small cottage as a wedding gift, and he had a scholarship to the local community college – as a part time student. Because of their good circumstances she could stay home – and they could immediately have children.
The first year passed and no child. In the second year they visited the doctor, she ran lots of tests, then announced that she could not explain why they could not get pregnant. By the end of the third year they were both embarrassed by the questions and frustrated by their infertility – so when he was offered a two year contract, all expenses paid, in another state – they jumped at it.
While they were away they were talked into a surrogate mother arrangement, but when the time arrived for the birth of the baby the surrogate changed her mind and insisted on keeping the baby – and the law was on her side. The surrogate, who worked for the clinic, had used her own egg rather than that of the intended mother. She had altered the records to say that was their agreement all along. The trusting couple had not checked the forms carefully before signing them and now were trapped. They were heartsick. Meanwhile, they also learned that the surrogate was secretly a member of a very dangerous religious cult, adding to the mess.
The father could assert legal rights to occasional visits with the child but she demanded that he release those rights. She said that she didn’t care about the money, and that the cult’s lawyers would file charges (false but hard to disprove) that he had threatened to kill her and the child. If he claimed his legal rights not only would he be responsible for many expenses over the lifetime of the child, but she and the cult could destroy their lives – not to mention the influence of a cult-raised child on their other children – a very real concern as during this process his wife had discovered that they were finally pregnant.
It was a very hard decision but he released his rights to the child and they moved back home.
There are lots of pressures in life, many of which may not be as ethically-unclear as surrogate birthing, but all of them must be done in God’s way and in God’s timing. When we feel rushed due to human-pressures and/or timing, rather than trusting God for His priorities and His timing, we must resist and wait on Him.
Dear Lord, It may be the desire to be married, to have children, to have a certain job or promotion, to be famous, rich, or something else – none of which are Your first priority for us – because that is always a better relationship with You. Help me to keep my eyes on You and not on the priorities of the world. Amen. dmc2015

All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated – http://bible.org
Devotional copyright © 2015 by David M. Colburn. This is associated with the BibleSeven Study –“Genesis 16_9-11. Prepared by David M. Colburn and originally edited for bible.org. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.

Daily Devotionals – Week 2 OT (chronological) – Genesis 4-6:8

Daily Devotional
Week 2 Day 1
OT (chronological)
Sunday (Genesis 4:1-2)

The Story of Cain and Abel

4:1 Now the man had marital relations with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.
Then she said, “I have created a man just as the Lord did!”
4:2 Then she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Abel took care of the flocks,
while Cain cultivated the ground.

The mother hen laid two eggs and she sat on them for 21 days.
When they hatched one was a hen and the other a rooster.
The mother hen watched over them carefully, keeping them clean and safe, showing them the way to the food and water.
As the new little hen grew she was very calm as she went about her daily routines of eating and drinking water and eventually laying her own eggs.
The rooster was the opposite – attacking everything and everyone – and rushing to always get to the food and water first.

Everyone is unique and it’s not always easy to figure out why children in the same home can be so very different in so many ways.
As Believers it is important that we reflect, before God, at the end of each day – to learn how we might improve.
We are also to be teachable by those whom the Lord sends to help is to grow – be they parents, teachers, counselors or preachers.

Dear Lord, I don’t always know why I react to things the way that I do sometimes, please help me to be honest with You – and to learn from those whom You send to help me. Amen.
dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 2 Day 2
OT (chronological)
Monday (Genesis 4:3-7)

4:3 At the designated time Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground for an offering to the Lord.
4:4 But Abel brought some of the firstborn of his flock – even the fattest of them.
And the Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering,
4:5 but with Cain and his offering he was not pleased.
So Cain became very angry, and his expression was downcast.
4:6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast?
4:7 Is it not true that if you do what is right, you will be fine?
But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door.
It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it.”

Continuing our story from yesterday …
As the little young hen grew her need for food and water increased.
Her time to forage for nutrition was limited due to egg-sitting time, but she still had to eat.
Because the rooster was so aggressive around the food the hen was away from her eggs for long periods of time in search of bugs and greens.
One day she returned to her eggs to find them broken – the people took them away and cleaned-up her nest – then she laid more eggs.
The hen was now afraid to leave her eggs for long and was starting to get hungry and thirsty and weak.

Don’t we all have times when the many priorities of our lives seem to conflict?
We need to work to pay our bills, or maybe we’re pouring our time into education – either situation can mean less time for family and friends, and sometimes we even allow it to affect our time with God.
Time spent traveling to work, plus long work hours, may result in grabbing quick-food that isn’t healthy and we may choose to sacrifice necessary exercise – then our bodies suffer.
We face many choices, and because we’re often frustrated and tired, it’s hard to think clearly.

Dear Lord, You know the needs and the responsibilities I have, please help me to strike the right balance. Amen.
dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 2 Day 3
OT (chronological)
Tuesday (Genesis 1:26-2:4)

4:8 Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”
While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
4:9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
And he replied, “I don’t know! Am I my brother’s guardian?”
4:10 But the Lord said, “What have you done?
The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!
4:11 So now, you are banished from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
4:12 When you try to cultivate the ground it will no longer yield its best for you. You will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.”
4:13 Then Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to endure!
4:14 Look! You are driving me off the land today,
and I must hide from your presence.
I will be a homeless wanderer on the earth;
whoever finds me will kill me.”
4:15 But the Lord said to him, “All right then, if anyone kills Cain, Cain will be avenged seven times as much.”
Then the Lord put a special mark on Cain so that no one who found him would strike him down.
4:16 So Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

As the saga of our chickens continues …
One very hot and dry summer day the water was low and the rooster got there first and drank his fill.
When the hen arrived he chased her off whenever she tried to drink – aggressively pecking at her head and neck – he did this all day and night for several days until the hen died.
When the owners saw the dead hen and the peck marks they knew that the rooster had killed her.
They didn’t want to kill the rooster, because they had hatched him from an egg and watched him grow, so they put him in the truck and drove a good distance – leaving him in a field to fend for himself.
When we act selfishly we cause harm to those around us, which means we cannot be listening to the Holy Spirit within, and as a result it will feel as though we are a long ways from Him – a sad place to be.
Dear Lord, I know that my weakness causes me to act selfishly sometimes, please help me to recognize and change that in my life – I want to be near to You. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 2 Day 4
OT (chronological)
Wednesday (Genesis 4:17-24)

The Beginning of Civilization

4:17 Cain had marital relations with his wife,
and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch.
Cain was building a city,
and he named the city after his son Enoch.
4:18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael. Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.
4:19 Lamech took two wives for himself;
the name of the first was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah.
4:20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the first of those who live in tents and keep livestock.
4:21 The name of his brother was Jubal; he was the first of all who play the harp and the flute.
4:22 Now Zillah also gave birth to Tubal-Cain, who heated metal and shaped all kinds of tools made of bronze and iron.
The sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.
4:23 Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah! Listen to me! You wives of Lamech, hear my words! I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for hurting me.
4:24 If Cain is to be avenged seven times as much, then Lamech seventy-seven times!”

When he got out of jail the young man moved to another state, found a good job building houses and eventually started his own company.
Along the way he met a young woman, and they were married.
They had several children and he named a new development of homes after his first-born son, and then named the streets within it after his wife and other children.
Their children had different gifts; one was an artist, another a carpenter, and another a mechanic.
The father had an argument with one of his workers and rather than work things out he fired him – then he shouted to everyone that if they ever disagreed with him he’d fire them as well.

Just because someone has authority, title, or wealth does not mean that they have mature wisdom.
When you are able to choose under whose authority you live, be it in business, fellowship, marriage, or politics consider their maturity and demonstrated wisdom – and where possible the quality of their relationship with the Lord.

Dear Lord, help me to consult Your Word to be wise in all matters throughout my life. Amen.

dmc2015
Daily Devotional
Week 2 Day 5
OT (chronological)
Thursday (Genesis 4:25-26)

4:25 And Adam had marital relations with his wife again,
and she gave birth to a son.
She named him Seth, saying,
“God has given me another child in place of Abel because Cain killed him.”
4:26 And a son was also born to Seth, whom he named Enosh.
At that time people began to worship the Lord.

In 1906 the Holy Spirit of God brought a great awakening and revival to Wales, Great Britain.
In 1908 a young British chemist, only 22 years old, obeyed the call of God to bring His Word to the Hmar people of north-east India.
He was opposed by the British colonial officials and the Anglican church there but persisted.
Despite warnings that they were pagan cannibals, not fond of “white” men, he went and found himself welcomed to live among them where he shared – without evidence of significant progress – until thrown out of the country by the British officials.
Some 40 years later a young Hmar man visited him – he was the son of the most-attentive Hmar, had learned English, translated the Bible into their language, and many came to Christ – building schools and clinics and over 100 fellowships. [Book and Movie: “Beyond The Next Mountain”]

If God, through the still soft voice of His Holy Spirit, called to you to serve Him – would you hear Him?
Would you obey even if the call seemed impossible, unfeasible, and even dangerous?
It may be as simple as changing your daily schedule somehow, changing the people with whom you spend the most time, spending more time in His Word, or helping a fellow Believer in need. Or, it might be something far more life-transforming.

Dear Lord, I am only here to serve You, everything else fades in importance. Please help me to hear and to respond in faithful obedience to Your call. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 2 Day 6
OT (chronological)
Friday (Genesis 5)

From Adam to Noah

5:1 This is the record of the family line of Adam.
When God created humankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 5:2 He created them male and female; when they were created, he blessed them and named them “humankind.”
5:3 When Adam had lived 130 years he fathered a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and he named him Seth. 5:4 The length of time Adam lived after he became the father of Seth was 800 years; during this time he had other sons and daughters. 5:5 The entire lifetime of Adam was 930 years, and then he died.
5:6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. 5:7 Seth lived 807 years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:8 The entire lifetime of Seth was 912 years, and then he died.
5:9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 5:10 Enosh lived 815 years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:11 The entire lifetime of Enosh was 905 years, and then he died.
5:12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. 5:13 Kenan lived 840 years after he became the father of Mahalalel, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:14 The entire lifetime of Kenan was 910 years, and then he died.
5:15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. 5:16 Mahalalel lived 830 years after he became the father of Jared, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:17 The entire lifetime of Mahalalel was 895 years, and then he died.
5:18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 5:19 Jared lived 800 years after he became the father of Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:20 The entire lifetime of Jared was 962 years, and then he died.
5:21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 5:22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God for 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:23 The entire lifetime of Enoch was 365 years. 5:24 Enoch walked with God, and then he disappeared because God took him away.
5:25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 5:26 Methuselah lived 782 years after he became the father of Lamech, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:27 The entire lifetime of Methuselah was 969 years, and then he died.
5:28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 5:29 He named him Noah, saying, “This one will bring us comfort from our labor and from the painful toil of our hands because of the ground that the Lord has cursed.” 5:30 Lamech lived 595 years after he became the father of Noah, and he had other sons and daughters. 5:31 The entire lifetime of Lamech was 777 years, and then he died.
5:32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
A piece of space debris struck their parts-supply ship on the way to a mechanized outpost on the planet Mars, so they made an emergency landing on the moon.
Before the astronauts used their escape pod to return safely to the space station, and then home to Earth, they built two sophisticated robots.
The robots were designed to build greenhouses and farms on the surface. These robots were also programmed to build more robots.
The astronauts used the best parts for their first robots but after that the robots had to make due with the parts they could find in the damaged ship – so each new robot was unique, some ran better, some lasted longer, they looked a little different, and their tasks varied.
Due to a sudden terrible surge of plagues, storms, volcanoes, and war no one from Earth paid any attention to what was happening on the moon.
One day decades later a young person with a telescope looked up and saw a ring of greenhouses around the moon and wondered how they got there, what was in them, and who might live there – and thus was born a new generation of explorers.
The Genesis 5 text is silent as to the pre-Seth era. It remains unclear how many children they had prior to Seth, but what is clear that every one was unique, and God knew them all by name. When we look back across the generations of our family history what patterns do we see? If not toward greater faithfulness – can we be the one God uses to cause a change in direction for future generations?
Dear Lord, You care about every choice – indeed every thought that we form in our minds – and You long for us to invite You to be Lord of all. Help me to see – and to follow. Amen. dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 2 Day 7
OT (chronological)
Saturday (Genesis 6:1-8)

God’s Grief over Humankind’s Wickedness

6:1 When humankind began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humankind were beautiful. Thus they took wives for themselves from any they chose.
6:3 So the Lord said, “My spirit will not remain in humankind indefinitely, since they are mortal. They will remain for 120 more years.”
6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days (and also after this) when the sons of God were having sexual relations with the daughters of humankind, who gave birth to their children. They were the mighty heroes of old, the famous men.
6:5 But the Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind had become great on the earth. Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time. 6:6 The Lord regretted that he had made humankind on the earth, and he was highly offended.
6:7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe humankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – everything from humankind to animals, including creatures that move on the ground and birds of the air, for I regret that I have made them.”
6:8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.
They were little people in a village of traditionally small stature – no one ever stood more than 5’2”. Their daughter went to work in a clinic in a nearby city where she met a man from a village of very sturdy and tall people. As things would happen they became friends, then their families became friends, and after a while they were married. Over the generations there were tall and small children born within the same families of their descendants and the stories told to explain that became somewhat fanciful. But there was also a dark side – his family worshiped a false god who encouraged sin and over time few among her people remembered the God of the Bible.
Have you ever heard a story about your family or town or something else that seemed quite unusual, only to later meet someone who shared the more simple and true history?
As we make friends and learn about other cultures we must be watchful that we do not merge things into our beliefs and values that are incompatible with the sovereign truth of the Word. The enemy knows that our flesh is weak and that we will naturally drift toward that which gives excuse to sin.
Dear Lord, help me to be wise so that I am not deceived, and bold that I will exhort others to do the same. Amen. dmc2015

All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated – http://bible.org
Devotional copyright © 2015 by David M. Colburn. This is associated with the BibleSeven Study –“Genesis 1-3. Prepared by David M. Colburn and originally edited for bible.org. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.

Daily Devotionals – Week 1 OT (chronological) – Genesis 1-3

Daily Devotional
Week 1 Day 1
OT (chronological)
Sunday (Genesis 1:1-5)

The Creation of the World
1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
1:2 Now the earth was without shape and empty,
and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep,
but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.
1:3 God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light!
1:4 God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness.
1:5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”
There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day.

For two months before a puppy is born it lives and grows inside the mother dog.
Prior to that two months the puppy simply did not exist, anywhere.
That is what things were like before “God said”.

When you consider this day who or what is important
and you decide who or what will guide your decisions,
try to remember that before anything – was God.
Should He not be our everything?

Dear Lord, I want You to be first, last, and everything. Amen.
dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 1 Day 2
OT (chronological)
Monday (Genesis 1:6-25)

1:6 God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters
and let it separate water from water.
1:7 So God made the expanse
and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it.
It was so.
1:8 God called the expanse “sky.”
There was evening, and there was morning, a second day.
1:9 God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place and let dry ground appear.” It was so.
1:10 God called the dry ground “land” and the gathered waters he called “seas.”
God saw that it was good.
1:11 God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.”
It was so.
1:12 The land produced vegetation – plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.
God saw that it was good.
1:13 There was evening, and there was morning, a third day.
1:14 God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night,
and let them be signs to indicate seasons and days and years,
1:15 and let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.”
It was so.
1:16 God made two great lights – the greater light to rule over the day and the lesser light to rule over the night.
He made the stars also.
1:17 God placed the lights in the expanse of the sky to shine on the earth,
1:18 to preside over the day and the night,
and to separate the light from the darkness.
God saw that it was good.
1:19 There was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.
1:20 God said, “Let the water swarm with swarms of living creatures
and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.”
1:21 God created the great sea creatures and every living and moving thing with which the water swarmed, according to their kinds,
and every winged bird according to its kind.
God saw that it was good.
1:22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”
1:23 There was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.
1:24 God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds:
cattle, creeping things, and wild animals, each according to its kind.”
It was so.
1:25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds,
the cattle according to their kinds,
and all the creatures that creep along the ground according to their kinds.
God saw that it was good.

A person built a house inside a bubble.
Between the house and the space inside the bubble every need was met for human and non-human life.
There was fresh air, water, food, and shelter and lots of room to move about.
Everything was in perfect balance – but was it a home?
Not without people living in it it was not.

Up until this moment in Creation God had not added man to the world, but it was a perfect place for humans to live.
The Holy Spirit Who lives in us, Believers, is perfect – just like God’s Creation.
When it’s time to decide between the world and the wisdom of God,
isn’t it best to go to the perfect place for wisdom – God in us?

Dear Lord, please help us to make you our perfect home. Amen.
dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 1 Day 3
OT (chronological)
Tuesday (Genesis 1:26-2:4)

1:26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness,
so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.”
1:27 God created humankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them,
male and female he created them.
1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it!
Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.”
1:29 Then God said, “I now give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
1:30 And to all the animals of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.”
It was so.
1:31 God saw all that he had made – and it was very good!
There was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.
2:1 The heavens and the earth were completed with everything that was in them. 2:2 By the seventh day God finished the work that he had been doing, and he ceased on the seventh day all the work that he had been doing. 2:3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he ceased all the work that he had been doing in creation.
2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created – when the Lord God made the earth and heavens.

The farmer and his wife were getting older and decided they needed some help.
They hired a person to manage their property for them; the cattle, the planting and sowing of the fields, and the maintenance of the barns, equipment, and fences.
They gave to their manager money and power to act in their name.
The manager was not them but the manager now had purpose and responsibilities like them.

The first man and woman were expressly created for the purpose of caring for God’s new Creation.
Although we are far from that perfect place and their perfect innocence we share their purpose.
When we rise in the morning we are blessed with a purpose from God.

Dear Lord, please keep me mindful that I live and breathe to serve You. Amen.
dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 1 Day 4
OT (chronological)
Wednesday (Genesis 2:5-17)

2:5 Now no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 2:6 Springs would well up from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 2:7 The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
2:8 The Lord God planted an orchard in the east, in Eden; and there he placed the man he had formed.
2:9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow from the soil, every tree that was pleasing to look at and good for food. (Now the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were in the middle of the orchard.)
2:10 Now a river flows from Eden to water the orchard, and from there it divides into four headstreams. 2:11 The name of the first is Pishon; it runs through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 2:12 (The gold of that land is pure; pearls and lapis lazuli are also there). 2:13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it runs through the entire land of Cush. 2:14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it runs along the east side of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
2:15 The Lord God took the man and placed him in the orchard in Eden to care for it and to maintain it.
2:16 Then the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard, 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die.”

They arrived in a distant land in hopes of finding the rumored spring of eternal youth.
The local wise man explained that there was indeed a very special spring and a beautiful tree bearing sweet hanging fruit stood next to it.
It was a unique combination of the spring, the fruit, and the person that resulted in forever young or aging quickly. Neither the spring nor the fruit was of any benefit without the other.
The local belief was that the integrity of the person affected their body chemistry in some way and that was what determined the reaction.
So far no-one who had dared to test the spring and the fruit had the integrity to earn eternal youth.

Adam and Eve had been informed, by their Lord and Creator God, of the potential for death. Due to their intimate connection with (and responsibility for) the rest of Creation they had observed that the berries, fruits, and greens they picked and ate – giving them life – were thus separated from their own source of life from the bush or plant or tree – which represented a primitive form of death.
In our day to day lives our inconsistent integrity reveals something of our standing, with or without God.
Fortunately, it’s not our integrity, but rather that of Jesus the Christ – that earns us eternal life.

Dear Lord, I need Your integrity to be mine, all of the day and all of the night. Amen.

dmc2015
Daily Devotional
Week 1 Day 5
OT (chronological)
Thursday (Genesis 2:18-25)

2:19 The Lord God formed out of the ground every living animal of the field and every bird of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
2:20 So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field.

2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him.”

20b … but for Adam no companion who corresponded to him was found. 2:21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was asleep, he took part of the man’s side and closed up the place with flesh.
2:22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 2:23 Then the man said,
“This one at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
2:24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family.
2:25 The man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed.

The young scientists had grown frustrated because no matter how they manipulated the microbes and other resources they found in the dirt they simply could not coax it into growing human tissue.
An older scientist, watching them struggle, one day invited them to his lab – where he showed them a successful effort.
Shocked, they asked him how he had done what they could not, he explained “Human tissue is unique and unless you begin with a uniquely-human source – in this case adult stem cells – you can never succeed.”

In our lives we often struggle to find ways of doing things our own way, despite God’s clear instruction that His way is the only healthy and wise way, then we become frustrated.
Humankind was invented by God, then distorted by sin, but God still understands us best.
When we choose our paths why not ask our inventor, Who loves us dearly, which way shall we go?

Dear Lord, I know that my flesh resists Your direction and discipline, please help me to choose You over everyone and everything else. Amen.
dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 1 Day 6
OT (chronological)
Friday (Genesis 3:1-13)

The Temptation and the Fall

3:1 Now the serpent was more shrewd than any of the wild animals that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Is it really true that God said, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the orchard’?”
3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the orchard;
3:3 but concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it, and you must not touch it, or else you will die.’” 3:4 The serpent said to the woman, “Surely you will not die,
3:5 for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and
you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.”

3:6 When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye,
and was desirable for making one wise,
she took some of its fruit and ate it.
She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.
3:7 Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the orchard at the breezy time of the day,
and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the orchard.
3:9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
3:10 The man replied, “I heard you moving about in the orchard, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
3:11 And the Lord God said, “Who told you that you were naked?
Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
3:12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave me,
she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.”
3:13 So the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
And the woman replied, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”

The mom and dad told their children that while the painting the bedrooms was completed they needed to wait in the kitchen.
They told their 7 year old son to ask his 12 year old sister if he needed any help with anything and for them both to not eat anything until dinner time.
The sister sat and read her favorite part of her science book, the page that described how to make desserts, while her younger brother laid on the floor and read a magazine about dogs.
The pictures of the desserts made the sister hungry and when she glanced in the kitchen she saw chocolate chip cookies in the glass cookie jar, so she got up, walked into kitchen, and took and ate one.
Feeling guilty she called her brother in and had him eat one as well.
Just about then their parents walked into the room and caught them with the cookie jar.
The girl said “I couldn’t help myself, it was that school book”, and her brother said “You told me to I was supposed to listen to her”.

When we make our choices is it based on the boundaries that God has set or do we make excuses to satisfy the immediate desires of our flesh?

Dear Lord, please gather about me – and those whom I love – people who obey You, so that we are not so easily led astray. Amen.
dmc2015

Daily Devotional
Week 1 Day 7
OT (chronological)
Saturday (Genesis 3:14-24)

The Judgment Oracles of God at the Fall

3:14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all the wild beasts
and all the living creatures of the field!
On your belly you will crawl
and dust you will eat all the days of your life.
3:15 And I will put hostility between you and the woman
and between your offspring and her offspring;
her offspring will attack your head,
and you will attack her offspring’s heel.”

3:16 To the woman he said,
“I will greatly increase your labor pains;
with pain you will give birth to children.
You will want to control your husband,
but he will dominate you.”
3:17 But to Adam he said,
“Because you obeyed your wife
and ate from the tree about which I commanded you,
‘You must not eat from it,’
cursed is the ground thanks to you;
in painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
3:18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
but you will eat the grain of the field.
3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat food
until you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust, and to dust you will return.”
3:20 The man named his wife Eve,
because she was the mother of all the living.
3:21 The Lord God made garments from skin for Adam and his wife,
and clothed them.
3:22 And the Lord God said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil,
he must not be allowed to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
3:23 So the Lord God expelled him from the orchard in Eden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken.
3:24 When he drove the man out,
he placed on the eastern side of the orchard in Eden
angelic sentries who used the flame of a whirling sword to guard the way to the tree of life.

For years, every day at dark, the children were allowed to light one small rocket – it would fly up straight over the yard, then make colorful bright sparkles – after which they’d have a small treat.
There were many different size and color rockets from which to choose and all were pretty.
On a shelf above them were two that looked just a little more special, one they were told to never light – even though the display would be magnificent – because if they did they’d have to move away, and the other would be be beautiful as well and it would mean they’d always have everything they needed.
It seemed to them that they would always have all they needed, so the second didn’t seem so special, but when a note was found one evening on her door – saying “You’ll get extra treats and nothing would change.” and it was signed, “A Friend” – she decided to light it with her brother.
They did so and suddenly after the bright display a terrible cloud appeared in the sky and lightning started striking everywhere, burning the trees and setting the house on fire – so they ran from the house and the property – never to return.

There are people, places, things, and value-systems in this world which the Bible tells us to avoid.
They may seem exciting at first, and we may tell ourselves that we won’t be harmed, but He is right.
Every sin leaves a scar on our hearts and minds and sometimes even on our physical body.
If we confess and repent He will forgive and restore us to His fellowship but we will bear the marks of our sin until we receive our new bodies in Heaven.

Dear Lord, it’s so easy for us to imagine that “We got this” when the truth is “It’s got us”. The enemy leaves a mark to celebrate where we once chose him over You, and to which he points when he’s trying to trick us again. Humble us, discipline us, guide us away from that which separates us from You. Amen.
dmc2et

All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated – http://bible.org
Devotional copyright © 2015 by David M. Colburn. This is associated with the BibleSeven Study –“Genesis 1-3. Prepared by David M. Colburn and originally edited for bible.org. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.