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January 14, (Day # 14) – The Stairway to Heaven

Today in Genesis 27, we read about Jacob’s deception of Esau. At the heart of all deception is sin, and as we are all sinners, therefore we are all the subject or the object of some form of deception. Deception has a sinister partner – lying. Back in the Garden of Eden, sin entered into the world by deception and lies when Satan first deceived (i.e., “tricked”) Eve. Having bought into the lie, Adam and Eve both became a part of it and passed it down to each of us - making us all a part of it. Earlier in Genesis 25, we saw that Jacob duped Esau to “sell him his birthright” (cf., 25:31), and here in chapter 27, Jacob – in partnership with his mother, Rebekah, who actually instigated this duplicity - deceives both Isaac and Esau. Jacob knows and admits that he would be “tricking” Isaac (cf., Genesis 27:12). The problem with deception (and all sin) is that we are so hopelessly bound up in it that we are powerless even to recognize it or to escape from it. Here, we might slightly excuse Isaac because of his age, but Esau clearly “despised his birthright” (25:34) and apparently, was also careless and negligent about receiving Isaac’s blessing. The earlier loss of his birthright should have alerted him to be more careful. Such carelessness indicates something to us about those who are deceived. Often, deceived people are open to deception because they drop their guard in some area. God is opposed to all deception, so we need to ask God and trust Him to keep us from becoming easy prey. Now, in Genesis 28, we see Jacob on the run from Esau. This chapter tells us about Jacob’s dream – the stairway to heaven (verse 12). This dream reveals two important truths: (1) There is a way to heaven, and … (2) Jesus is the stairway between heaven and earth (cf., John 1:51 and 14:6). Jacob finds himself in post-modern man’s predicament – “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it” (verse 16). Post-modern man is not aware of God’s existence and does not care about His presence.

Psalm 9 beautifully extols the LORD. In verses 1-6, David voices his praise, thanksgiving, and joy before God. He tells of God’s wondrous defenses against his enemies. This is a Psalm we should focus on often.

In Matthew 10:32 – 11:15, Jesus continues His teachings about acknowledging Him before men, the divisions that our faith causes, and the cost of loving and serving Him. In verse 42, Jesus indicates that "anyone who gives even a cup of cold water to His little ones ... will certainly not lose his reward." Whereas, the Pharisees watched people for their great deeds, God looks upon our hearts - where true service to Him is measured. Matthew 11 addresses the Lord’s praise for John the Baptist – “among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater,” and yet, “he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater” (verse 11). This seems to be a paradox, but today, we have the great privilege of serving our Lord Jesus Christ in ways that, back in John’s day, were completely unknown. Although at times, it may not appear so, the gospel is going out like never before, and the kingdom of heaven continues to advance. People are laying hold of it. Sharing the gospel is our purpose and our mission. Interestingly, Jesus used the expression, "He who has ears, let him hear" (verse 15). Everyone has ears, and practically everyone can hear. We need to share the Word of God with them and help them find the stairway to heaven.

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Excellent. I certainly agree with the assertion that sharing Jesus is our primary mission! We must not only "hear" but "do" because the time is short.

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