Facing Your Fears – Guest Post by Cindy Erickson

Today’s Passages – Genesis 31 – 32 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 23 – 24Proverbs 12Psalms 56 – 60)

Read the “0112 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage – “No More Jacob,” and “Following the Will of God.

“11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.” (Genesis 31:11-13)

“20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.” (Genesis 31:20-21)

“7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; 8 And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.” (Genesis 32:7-8)

In our passage today, we continue looking into the life of Jacob who has his named changed to Israel (Genesis 28). Jacob certainly had his share of troubles in the past. He had deceived his brother and father back in chapter twenty-seven, which caused his brother to threaten to kill him. Jacob then flees from his brother to his uncle’s home in Padanaram. There he is deceived by his uncle Laban, and is tricked into serving an extra seven years for the woman he loved. Eventually, God blesses Jacob and his family so much in Padanaram that they become wealthier than Uncle Laban, which causes a lot of resentment and bitterness from Laban and his sons. God tells Jacob that it is time for him to go back to Canaan, the place that he had fled from twenty years earlier.

Jacob was afraid. He is escaping from Uncle Laban and is afraid of what will happen if Laban catches him. He is also afraid of his brother, the one who threatened to kill him, which was awaiting him back in the land of Canaan. As we read through this passage we can almost smell Jacob’s fear. He is scared to death. But he still obeys the Lord and follows His plan by going back to Canaan. Jacob faced his fears. Someone once said that courage was not the absence of fear, but it is being willing to do what is necessary even when you may be terrified. I don’t like writing these devotions. I am always scared when my husband asks me to do it, but I plow through it, knowing that it is something that God wants me to do, and if God wants it done, He will enable me to do it.

Another thought that God showed me from this passage is that though Jacob would have preferred to avoid facing either Laban or Esau, God arranged that he had to face both, to get things right with each of them. We probably all have friends or family members who have wronged us in the past. Or, perhaps, we may have wronged them. God will make sure that one day we will have the opportunity to face them and make things right with them. It is always scary to face someone who we were once at odds with, but rarely are our fears ever realized. Usually, we end up feeling much better because the relationship rift has been repaired.

Fear will cause us to avoid doing the hard things, but if God is calling us to do them, we can move forward, even though we are scared, because we trust that God will get us through it.Maybe, God will change our name (reputation) as well.

Pastor and Cindy Erickson

Posted in Guest Posts by with 6 comments.

What!… No Lobster?!?… by Cindy Erickson

Today’s Passage –Leviticus 11 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 5 – 6Proverbs 6Psalms 31 – 35)

Read previous posts from this passage – “Creeping Things,” and “Provision for the Poor.”

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

Read the “0206 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. … For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Leviticus 11:1-2, 44)

Did you ever wonder why God gave the Nation of Israel all of these rules regarding what they could and could not eat? I am in complete agreement with God regarding most of the selections that He took off the menu in the Old Testament. For instance, I have no desire to eat a camel, or eat fried eagle. However, some of the items on the “unclean list,” are some of my favorite meals; lobster and shrimp come to mind. But what was the reasoning behind God’s list of what was OK and what was not. It could be that He knew that these animals would not be good for their health. Or it may just be that the eating of these animals would in some way take away from His glory. It may have been to keep Israel separated from the heathen nations. We really do not know the exact reason(s), and it really doesn’t matter. God said, “No,” and that settles it.

What we do know is that there is now no spiritual prohibition against eating any of these things. In the New Testament, Peter got rebuked for calling these “fourfooted beasts,” etc. unclean.

” On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:9-15)

Whew! Lobster is back on the menu. I bet my husband wishes it wasn’t. He is not a big fan of any kind of seafood.

Jesus said it was not what goes into us that defiles us, but rather what comes out of us (Matthew 15:11). The point is, while we should be somewhat concerned about our health and what we put into our bodies because it is God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19), we should be far more concerned about the things that go into and proceed from our hearts. Too many of us are feeding on things (not food) that are not spiritually healthy for our hearts, and as a result, it shows up in what comes out of our lives.

Cindy and her girls.

Posted in Devotions by with 6 comments.