Character Study

Lot's Choice

There had been some strife between Abraham's herdsmen and Lot's herdsmen. Their flocks and herds were growing and there was competition for pasture. Abraham generously told Lot to choose the area where he wished to live; there was plenty of room for both of them and their livestock. "And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go towar...

The Call of Levi (Mark 2)

“The Call of Levi”

Mark 2:13-17

 

Recorded in three of the Gospels, the call of Levi (Matthew) was like all other conversions – a unique miracle of the new birth demonstrating the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. In contrast to the healing of the paralytic (2:1-12) in which others worked hard to bring a desperate man to the Savior, this account reminds us of the ability of the Lord to call men and women apart from human instrumentality.

 

1. A Surprising Call – v. 13

With no previous interest, Matthew was called by the Lord away from his sinful and consuming life-style as a tax-collector. Matthew was the least likely since he had not responded previously to the Lord even though He had regularly ministered in Capernaum and had recently taught the multitude, (v. 14) Matthew being absent.

 

2. A Sudden Call – v. 14

“As He passed by” – amazing that Matthew responded so quickly! One moment engaged in business, sitting at the receipt of custom the next minute following the Lord. Sitting (and going nowhere), now a follower of Christ and going somewhere. How quickly a person’s life can change.

 

3. A Simple Call – v. 14

“Follow Me” - No rituals required, no debate, no long discourse, no soul struggle on the part of Levi – just a simple call to salvation. Some people simply need to hear the Gospel to respond and “yes” is all that is needed.

Isaac at Gerar (Genesis 26)

 
 

Trials in the life of the Christian often reveal the true condition of the heart toward God. Just as a river takes the path of least resistance, so too many a believer in the midst of trial will look for the easy way around difficulties. The Scriptures remind us however that trials can be for our good. They can be used to uncover deficiencies and wrong priorities in our lives so that we redirect our spiritual course, establish a vital testimony for the LORD and thereby sense more fully His abiding presence. How trials serve to accomplish these purposes is vividly portrayed for us in the record of Isaac's sojourn into Gerar recorded in Gen. 26.

 

 

 

After being established in the land, a famine arose affecting Isaac and his family. The Bible records that this famine was different from the one experienced by Isaac's father who had lapsed in his faith under similar circumstances. (Gen. 12) Despite the matter of family record, Isaac sought the aid of Abimilech, king of the Philistines instead of seeking the LORD. Why he did not consult the LORD during this trying time is peculiar since he had done so previously when pleading on behalf of his barren wife, Rebecca. (Gen. 25:21)  It serves as a clear reminder that one victorious episode does not ensure the next since the walk of faith is a day-to-day experience.

 

 

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