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January 7, (Day #7) - "Do It Now!"

In Genesis 11:10, we come to the “account of Shem” and his descendants. This passage serves to show us how God is moving toward His eternal plan through one man – Abraham, and the nation that will emerge from him – to bring redemption to the human race. In Genesis 12, we read about the call of Abram: “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household …” (verse 1). God is separating Abram from the familiar and the worldly - all that holds him captive to his Babylonian past (cf., Genesis 11:31). Once again, we see the biblical principle of simple obedience: “So Abram left, as the LORD had told him” (verse 4). No need for discussion or debate. As a result, God promised to give him and his offspring “this land” (verse 7). However, we see that, because of a “severe famine in the land” (verse 10), Abram went down to Egypt, where he and Sarai got themselves into trouble by lying to Pharaoh – not a good idea. In chapter 13, Abram and Lot part ways over the size of their flocks. Indeed, God had prospered them. Should God prosper us, we need to be careful not to allow our prosperity to influence and lead us in the wrong direction, as Lot did. First, Lot moved toward Sodom (I.e., the world), and then we find him living in Sodom. This is negative progress in the wrong direction. Eventually, Lot will need twice to be rescued from that evil place.

In Psalm 6, David’s cry to the LORD for mercy becomes our own prayer for mercy when we experience similar circumstances. David says that his “soul is in anguish” because of those “who do evil” (cf., verses 3 and 8). David wonders “How long?” Clearly, we all have experienced such deeply emotional feelings of suffering, and we can identify with David in his desire for God to speed up His timetable. But God’s timing is always perfect. The Psalmist recognizes and reminds God that “no one remembers” Him “when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?” he asks (verse 5). From this, we understand that the time to praise and remember God is now – while we are living and breathing. In the busyness of our lives, too many people think they can focus later on the things of God, but if the dead could talk, they would shout, “do it now!” Because of God’s promises, David knows that the “LORD has heard and accepts his prayer” (verse 9). He wants us to trust Him and to seek His direction for each day … to wait expectantly for Him to lead us into the right path that He has for us. It is a daily, moment-by-moment and step-by-step experience that He offers us. As He did for David, He will also do for us.

In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus continues His Sermon on the Mount. In this section, He addresses the issue of loving our enemies and praying for them – not necessarily an easy thing for us to do. But He points out that God loves everyone – demonstrating His love by causing the sun and rain to bless both “the evil and the good – the righteous and the unrighteous” alike (verse 45). It is very convicting when He compares believers to “tax collectors and pagans” (verses 46-47), who frequently do what we ought to be doing. May the Lord help us to carry out His imperatives.

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From my early walk with Jesus I adopted the phrase "Just Do It". I know this is an advertising slogan for a well-recognized sport shoe maker, but often Christians know what is right and delay their action. I believe I benefit from the reminder. Since I chose this phrase, I am reminded every time I see the shoe-makers "swash" that I need to get in there and just do the right thing. Thanks for the reminder today! Skip

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