Genesis 15:1-6,17-21 -- When God promises, have faith and be faithful!

Abram had to believe God in order to choose to leave the known for the unknown. In other words, Abram had to believe in order to obey faithfully. Faith and faithfulness are inseparable. Faith always produces faithfulness. And faithful obedience always leads to greater faith.

Such faith in God put Abram in right standing with God. “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). God saw Abram’s faith as righteousness.

Now think about this: Abram’s righteousness by faith happened long before the Law. Continue reading

Ezekiel 36:22-32 -- God equips His people to please Him!

For millennia, a given family name has been very important. Those who bear that name are generally expected to give a good account of themselves lest they bring reproach on the family name. I think of that as I consider part of Isaiah 43:1 — “I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name.” Having been chosen and redeemed by Him, ancient Israel bore His name. How often they brought reproach on themselves and on His name! That would surely qualify as one way of taking His name in vain. We too bear His name. Let’s not do so in vain. Let’s hold it fast so that He is not ashamed to be called our God.

How careful am I not to profane God’s Name? Continue reading