Abram and God’s Response to His Fear

In Genesis 14 Abram won a spectacular victory over pagan kings and rescued his nephew Lot and Lot’s family.  Abram pursued the enemies as far as Damascus, then went back to his own home in Canaan, secure in his belief that he had taken care of the problem, for now.  Notice, however, God’s words in Genesis 15:1.  He begins talking to Abram with the words “fear not”.  This is the first “fear not” in the Bible.  Why was Abram afraid? Continue reading →

Posted by Jeff Sanders

How Faith Responds When Confronted With Sodom and Salem

Abram was tempted to use his victory over the four kings (Genesis 14:17-24) for personal gain, but he refused the offer.  A procession of kings come out to meet him–one is the king of Sodom, and one was Melchizedek the king of Salem.  One was pure evil (Sodom), and other was a type of Christ (Salem).  Take a closer look at Melchizekek. Continue reading →

Posted by Jeff Sanders

Abram’s Victories

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy…”  What kind of men or women are we in the midst of challenge or controversy?  Are we dependent on the Lord or do we fold under pressure into worry and doubt?  Today, God will speak to us by the Holy Spirit through His holy Word in Genesis 13 and 14.  The life of Abram here will teach us courage and conviction in the world where He has placed us. Continue reading →

Posted by Jeff Sanders

From Faith to Fear to Faith Again–Genesis 12:6-13:4

In Genesis 12:7-13 we find that Abram, the man of faith, was also a man of failure.  In this passage, we will see that any man or woman, regardless of their level of spiritual commitment…is capable of faltering.  And in the same story we will also discover that God loves to restore failing people to Himself.  When our faith fails, God doesn’t.  Here are three principles I pick up from this story: Continue reading →

Posted by Jeff Sanders

The Incredible Journey–the Life of Abraham

The other day a friend of mine asked me if I could carve any of our 45 Presidents on Mount Rushmore, which four would I pick.  I told him it would be pretty hard to pick any that are not already there.  Washington of course would lead the pack.  Lincoln certainly had the toughest job of any president in the past 200 plus years (imagine leading a nation through a civil war resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths!).

Now imagine you could carve whoever you want onto your own “Biblical Mount Rushmore”!  What Old Testament characters would you put up there? Continue reading →

Posted by Jeff Sanders

The Star Leads to the Cross (Part 3)

The star led the Wise Men to the only King who ever voluntarily gave His life for His subjects.  Listen to the words of the ancient prophet Isaiah who predicted some 700 years ahead of time why Jesus would come to earth:  “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted; but He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-6).

Christmas…in order to have meaning…must lead us to the cross. Continue reading →

Posted by Jeff Sanders

The Star Leads to the Cross (Part 2)

So what was that star that the Wise Men were following?  There have been many explanations…a supernova, a comet, a meteorite, a super bright conjunction of three planets.  None of them really fit the description we see in Matthew 2:1-12.  This thing moved across the sky at such a pace that the Wise Men were able to follow it.  By the time they got to Herod’s pad it was no longer visible, but after they left the murderous king, it reappeared and led them to Jesus (verses 9 and 10).  I think there is a better explanation that some kind of natural occurrence in nature.  Go back in your Bibles to Exodus 13:21-22. Continue reading →

Posted by Jeff Sanders

The Star Leads to the Cross (Part 1)

Have you ever been lost?  I mean, really really really turned around?  I have been many times…AND I have asked for directions!  (I know, pretty shocking to hear that from a guy…)  I was lost because I failed to follow the directions.  The signs were pointing me in the right direction, but I ignored them.  However, when I saw the right sign, AND did what I was told– I got where I needed to go.

Two thousand years ago there were some other weary travelers who followed Continue reading →

Posted by Jeff Sanders

The Backstory to Bethlehem

We’ve seen all the cute little Christmas pageants with our kids portraying Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men (they actually showed up about a year later in the biblical account) and all the animals.  We’ve seen the movies how they usually get the story wrong.  But behind all the bad acting, behind all the blown lines, there is the true story of Bethlehem and a baby who changed the world.  That baby did not “begin” His story in Bethlehem.  Nor did he “begin” when Mary was pregnant in Nazareth nine months before.   Continue reading →

Posted by Jeff Sanders

The Reclaiming of a Loser (Part 3)

Peter. The man who was so boastful. He was so sure he would never let the Lord down. Now, here in John chapter 21 he is humbled to the dust. Jesus asks him “do you love me?” beside the fire. Was the fire a reminder of the fire where Peter warmed himself during Jesus’ trial? I’m sure the embers of the fire and Continue reading →

Posted by Jeff Sanders