We continue this week with our devotional series based on the book Climbing with Abraham by David Ramos. Last week we learned that Abraham kept making mistakes and kept wandering away from where God wanted him to be. Despite Abraham's shortcomings, God didn't write him off. God was patient with Abraham and kept His promises. From Abraham's story we learned that God will also be patient with us when (not if) we make mistakes. This gives us hope and confidence - because God's love overcomes our failures.
Week 4: Read Genesis 13:1-13
We now are introduced to tension between Abraham and his nephew, Lot, and a premonition of difficult times that are ahead. Up until this time, Abraham and Lot have been traveling together and sharing resources. But now it seems the land isn't big enough for the both of them. So, Abraham comes up with a peaceful solution: allow Lot to choose the land where he wants to settle and Abraham will move elsewhere.
"What most readers miss in this passage is the loss Abraham must have felt sending Lot away. After Lot's father Haran died, it's likely that Abraham became his guardian or adopted father. Abraham saw his nephew as a very likely candidate to receive all the future promises from God: land, a nation, and countless descendants.
But this was not the plan. Lot's people struck up a conflict with Abraham's group and likely brought upon themselves the darkest line of God's promise to Abraham: "those who curse you I will curse." Lot moved to greener lands near Sodom, and as we shall see, suffered for it.
The people we are responsible for often play a role in influencing our lives. Many times the consequences of their actions fall upon us. Whether it be our children, our employees, or even the people we associate with. Take care of how you lead those in your life, even if you were never given the title of "leader." As people of God, we are graced with immense power, and simultaneously burdened by immeasurable responsibility."
Takeaway from today's lesson: As a child of God, I am responsible for more than just myself.
When we choose to follow Jesus, we receive amazing grace as a result. God's love is made real to us in a very tangible way. But that amazing grace that we receive can also, in a way, become a burden to us. How are we burdened by grace? It means we are required to show the same amazing grace to others - all others - in all circumstances. There are some people we can think of to whom we would rather not extend grace; the problem is, we really don't have a choice. Remember the line of the prayer: "Forgiveness us our trespasses as we forgive others..."
Prayer: God, help me to understand and respect the spiritual responsibility that comes to me as one who follows you. Help me to act with wisdom, patience, and forgiveness, even when I don't feel like it. In Jesus' name, Amen.