January 6th – A little laughter

Wow! The reading was chockfull of nuggets and as much as I would love to have this post all tied up in a nice little bow to present it to all who reads, I just can’t. God is asking me to step out of my box and just share what was revealed as I read. A lesson in and of itself. Life isn’t all wrapped up in a pretty little bow and He is trying to show me to trust Him, to be disciplined in my devotion to Him and that pretty little bow will be beyond my imagination when we meet our Lord and Savior! Can I hear an amen?!? 

The first verse that jumped out at me was Genesis 18:12. So she (Sarah) laughed silently to herself…The Lord heard her laugh and asked “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

How many times have we laughed at whispers from God? How many times when asked if we laughed or otherwise known as disbelief do we deny it? The Lord asked Sarah why she laughed and out of fear she denied it! What is the Lord whispering to us that we may be laughing at or worse yet disbelieving Him? May we step out in faith and believe that there is NOTHING too hard for the Lord!  

Genesis 18:19 – I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised. God chose Abraham because of his obedience. He didn’t ask anything special of Abraham nor did Abraham do anything special but direct His family by examples of doing what is just and right. Are the examples we are leaving for our children just and right? If we obey, the blessings follow the obedience. Like you shared, G&P, blessings can also be a curse.  I wonder how many “blessings” are curses because God grants our desires out of sheer determination on our part or manipulating the situation and we have the nerve to stamp God’s approval on it….blessings, true blessings, come from the sweet surrender to His will! 

I noticed the angels went to Sodom and the Lord stayed with Abraham. He questioned God and in doing so protected his relative Lot. Abraham’s faithfulness protected his family and I am sure Lot was influenced by Abraham’s examples of doing what was just and right. 

The angels told Lot in Genesis 19:17b to run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains or you will be swept away! This verse spoke to a tender spot in my heart as I know God asked me to run and not look back over the last year of my life. He doesn’t want me to stop in the valley of self pity or fear or doubt but to head to the mountains. My memory verse for January is Phil 3:13-14 – Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do; forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (no, that wasn’t from memory) haha! 

I did notice that Lot was afraid and wanted to settle in a “little place” other than where the angel of the Lord instructed him. May we be disciplined in our journey with the Lord and follow Him to the sweet spot in the mountains! Lot did end up on the mountain but in a cave…God is a merciful God! 

I also noticed that Abraham lied again! He just spent some time with the Lord and yet he was still afraid of the godless place he was entering. How true that is…we live in a godless place but may we remember God’s countless reminders – DO NOT BE AFRAID! Even when we have every earthly reason to be fearful, may we bow our knees and surrender out hearts to the God of this universe. May we believe that He is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do. Just typing that chases my fears always! 

Last but not least we end with what we started with, Sarah’s laughter…Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter!” Genesis 21:4-6

What are we laughing silently about that we may just get to see God bring forth in our earthly journey?  Remember, nothing is too hard for the Lord! 

Have a blessed day and love and hugs to all, 
Bethany 

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15 thoughts on “January 6th – A little laughter

  1. Bethany, I could just hug you write now my sweet friend! You have blessed us today with your heart-felt lesson. I’m so glad you were obedient and stepped out of the box this morning, for what a revelation you received, one that God meant to be shared. Thank you!I am noticing more than the previous 3 years how these Biblical characters are more like me, than different. They worried. They were afraid. Their family meant everything to them. They questioned their belief. I love how you brought out that Abraham’s faithfulness protected his family. It reminded me of a verse I memorized last February: “And shweing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Ex. 20:6 KJV). I’ve “praised” this verse over my teenagers all year long. Thank you dear Father, for you know of my love for You. Thank you for the mercy you show my son’s!Then, another thing you said also touched me: “God asked me to run and not look back over the last year of my life.”Oh, how I can relate. The event surrounding Connor that you guys prayed me through, – so many times in my thoughts I placed Connor in the “victim role.” Wanting to dig myself lower in the pit, listening to the schemes of the enemy as he danced his thoughts into my mind. But. I was on the lap of my Father, the sweet spot, and He pulled and continues to keep pulling us along His path. Today I smiled as I read Psalm 1 in the Message translation when I came to the last verse (6). “God charts the road you take. The road they take is Skid Row. Aren’t ya just simply thankful that the God of the entire universe hold’s each one of our chart’s? I am!The devil wants us to look back, but God tells us to forget the past and strain ahead. Press on. Oh, girls, yes, we want the prize. Heavenward, not eastward! Smile Tight hugs my sweet peas! LoriPS TEENY, so glad to “see” you yesterday! Welcome to HIS GLORY ALONE!

  2. Thank you Bethany. I related to everything you wrote and I so agree with Lori…I am relating more to the bible characters this time around. The cool thing to see is how God uses them even with all of their flaws. I can relax in Him and be myself. I am redeemed and forgiven. I may laugh in disbelief now and one day find myself remembering that laughter when what God promised comes to fruition. Oh that I would be one Who TRUSTS Him right away! Like Job……(great segue, right?)…..in my reading today Zophar opens his big mouth. He waited until last, but boy he was arrogant and more cruel than the first 2 “friends”. He had all the answers, but did he apply his theories to himself? Have I ever been guilty of the same thing? (Head held in shame)….you betcha. There’s that “relating to the bible characters” Lori! But Job….in 13:15 he says “God might kill me, but I have no other hope”….in the KJV it says, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him”….aahhhh, there’s that TRUST. Through everything, Job trusted God….and in that moment he shut down satan’s plan. Our faith my flounder…but in the moment we say we will TRUST God….we suddenly ignite it. Happy Friday to all!Morgen

  3. Wonderful points today! I especially will meditate on Philippans 3:13-14 today. Just what I need to hear.Thanks so much

  4. Going to come back later and read Bethany’s post and comments. Posting my thoughts from the FB group before running errands. <3>Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. I will go down to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to Me. If not, I will find out.” Genesis 18:20-21Can you imagine being Lot surrounded by all the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah? 2 Peter 2:7-8 says that Lot was “distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral” and that he “tormented himself day by day with the lawless deeds he saw and heard.” This atmosphere and culture he was living in distressed and tormented him. Imagine being Lot, but honestly I don’t think it’s that hard for any of us to imagine living in this world we live in now. Day by day it seems things are getting worse and people are turning more and more away from God. God came down to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because their sin was “extremely serious,” the outcry of the victims was “immense” (Genesis 18:20). God heard their cries and He came down to do something about it. I wonder how much longer God is going to be patient with us before He comes down and destroys again? Aren’t we living in the same type atmosphere? Ezekiel says of these cities, “Now this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, plenty of food, and comfortable security, but didn’t support the poor and the needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before Me, so I removed them when I saw this” (Ezekiel 16:49-50). They were prideful, yes we are a prideful people. They were so prideful God calls them “haughty” or snobbish and arrogent. They had plenty of food. This is a whole lesson in and of itself. We are surrounded by a bounty of food in our country and so much of it is unhealthy and killing us. Weight and health issues are rampant. Sickness and disease are everywhere and so much of it can be traced back to the root issue of what we are eating.They had security. We have security, but as we have seen in the past ten years, God can remove that security and His hand from us if we keep going more and more away from Him. They did detestable things before the Lord. This is another whole lesson. Mercy what is on our TVS and in our music, and what is available on the internet. I read a story just this morning about a lady known as the “Human Barbie” who have her 6 year old daughter a voucher for a boob job and plastic surgery when she gets 16. She said she felt like it was “investing in her future” so she would have more of a chance to marry a famous soccer player or someone rich. Oh Lord help us! We desperately need your intervention. All these things surround us just like they did Lot. Abraham knew that Lot was there in the midst of these cities and he pleaded on his behalf for the Lord not to destroy the cities. He is a wonderful example for us of petitionary prayer, not giving up and keep asking the Lord to save. He knew his family was in the middle of that sinful place. We can follow his example and keep petitioning the Lord on behalf of our nation and on behalf of those that might be caught up in these ways in which so many of our world lives. We also can pray for each other. Just like God saved Lot, God can save us. One way He does this is by getting us rooted in truth and in His Word.Colossians 2:6-8 says, “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude. Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.” The more we are rooted in Him the less likely we will fall into the false teachings this world tries to offer. Just like Lot we are living in the midst of wickedness, but God can rescue us and those we love if we follow Abraham’s model and keep pouring out our petitions to the Lord. We must pray because we don’t know how much longer God is going to be patient.

  5. Oh goodness!!! I just love to come & read everyones posts. I always did last year on Wendy’s- this year I am going to try & ‘chime’ in more. I may not have the smooth writing skills- taking my thoughts from my head to paper- but how will I get them if I don’t try? =DI just want to make a comment on Abraham deceiving once again. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m always in repentance. Well, I feel now that I’m more ‘in tune’ with the Holy spirit, I catch my sins quicker (ty, Jesus) & I can be made righteous again. The sins of doubt, fear, sharp tongue, judgment calls, the list could go on forever- if I really wanted to take inventory here 🙂 BUT my grattitude is absolutely overwhelming when I remeber that I have been made righteous by faith!! Faith is believing & I believe what Christ has done & the book the Lord has left me. We have been made rightoeus by faith because Jesus Christ took upon Himself all of my sins- (well, the condemnation of all mens) past, present, & future. (Rom 5:17-19) 19- “for just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” So none of us are free from sin- this started way back then- (I guess this is how we feel a little closer to these people) but even though I am a sinner- I’ve been made ‘in right standing’ because of Christ going to the cross- so for His obedience, my debts have been paid. What ‘hit’ me today is that Abraham, like me, was born into sin- but He didn’t have Christs blood shed for him–but what he did have was what I read in yesterdays reading & that is, “Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him righteous because of his faith.” (Gen 15:6) He believed in the Lord & what He said to him, therefore God used him in a big & mighty way- a great nation, a blessing, & blessing us still.So my take away– it’s never ‘ok’ to sin & live in straight out disobedience–but if we ‘believe’ & stay in right standing God- in constant prayer (as Abraham was always building the altars for worship) our Lod will ‘make us a blessing’ & truly that is what I would like God to do with me & my life here, ‘to be a blessing & to bless other people thru me.’ok, thanks for letting me share & thank you SOOO much for sharing with me-God is so good,Heather

  6. Bethany, I had a few minutes before getting Will and I love your thoughts, especially what you said about laughing at the whispers from the Lord. How many times have I doubted God and questioned why He would ask me to do anything, much less be a teacher of His Word? Why would He let me have that priveledge? Internally I have laughed at the idea and given myself a million reasons why I can’t…not smart enough, others know more than me, I never was good in English or writing, I am terrified to be in front of people, and the list goes on. But what has God done and is doing? I am teaching! Living my dream girls, because deep down I always wanted Him to be right and not my fears. Everyday I am reading with an ear towards heaven to what He wants to tell me and what someone, maybe just that one other someone needs to hear that day. Each day I know someone needed what He told me. It is an honor and a blessing. Yes, I have laughed but now I laugh like Sarah because I have joy 🙂 love you girls, Brandee

  7. Welcome Teeny! We are looking forward to hearing from you and sharing this journey through the Word with you! BethanySent from my iPhone

  8. Just read your insight for today T, AMEN! May we not misrepresent our Lord by our actions, oh this is biggie! Hi Teeny! Good to see you on here :)Brandee

  9. The posts have been so good girls’ thank you for sharing today. Teeny, your words, “God hears and answers in His perfect timing” brought me back to Abraham interceding for Sodom. He was such a humble man “Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes” but his burden was for people to be saved from destruction. He kept at it, interceding on the people’s behalf. He did not stop and the LORD listened to him! Just like Abraham, we can certainly ask away, cuz the LORD hears us. Thank you Lord for seeing us and giving us what is best. Help us to believe that you allow things to happen for our own good. Thank you for putting your desires into our heart. Thank you that Jesus intercedes on our behalf, when we do not have the words. Thank you that we can stop and pray to you wherever we are at. Thank you that you refresh us also, when we lift up our burdens and requests to you. Amen.Yes, Heather we want you chiming away sister! SmileAnd, Teeny, you’ve got the posting down-pat! Praise the LORD!What a week girls’ digging deeper still! So, glad to have a group that loves the Bible as much as I do. : )Hugs, Lori

  10. (Repost from January 6, 2012)My reading today is on Job 10-13.The verse that stood out to me was Job 13:7 Will you speak falsely for God and speak deceitfully for him? (ESV)The comment from the ESV Study Bible says, “Before he turns to God in lament, Job argues that his friends have both misdiagnosed him (he calls his friends “worthless physicians” in v. 4) and misrepresented God (see vv. 7–10).”I have to be mindful of this daily. That in my dealings with others I do not inadvertently present a picture of God that is not real, especially those who do not yet know Him. If I am judgmental of someone, that is speaking falsely for God. My job here is to love others, not judge them. Judging is His job and He does a better job of it than me (although I seem to get a lot of practice). Yes, He calls us to rebuke other believers like Paul did with Peter (Galatians 1:11-13), but to do so with love. Because if love is not the primary motivation:When we are not motivated by love, we become critical of others. We stop looking for good in them and see only their faults. Soon the unity of believers is broken. Have you talked behind someone’s back? Have you focused on others’ shortcomings instead of their strengths? Remind yourself of Jesus’ command to love others as you love yourself. When you begin to feel critical of someone, make a list of that person’s positive qualities. If there are problems that need to be addressed, it is better to confront in love than to gossip.Verse reference: Galatians 5:14-15English Standard Version (ESV)14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.-(From YouVersion Life Application Study Bible Devotions)Misrepresenting God is not about quoting the wrong bible verse or not knowing the specific verse address or even not having all the answers to their questions. These can be remedied by being in the Word daily and soaking up the teachings of others. As Christians, the danger of misrepresenting the Lord lies in our actions especially when non-believers see us “bite and devour one another.” Father, forgive me for the times I have judged someone harshly, whether with my mouth or with my mind. I’m sorry that I have sullied your name by my self-righteousness. I do not know the full story of what they are going through but You do. Help me to do what you asked, that I love my neighbor as myself. Thank you, Father that your mercies are new every morning.G&P—-Bethany,Thank you for your post! Like Lori said I’m also glad that you didn’t put yourself (and God) in a box. Yes, life as we know it now can’t be tied with a big red bow – no matter how hard those Lexus commercials try. It can only happen when Jesus, the rightful owner of this world, comes to redeem us.I love the points you took from Lot as well. Sometimes we let our fear get ahead of our faith and we settle for the “little places” instead of the high mountaintops that the Lord has for us.

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