Genesis 12:6-9 (KJV) “And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.”
Abram later had his named changed to Abraham and became the father of all three of the of the world monotheistic religions. But before Abram became Abraham he began a walk with God. It was not always perfect and he definitely made some mistakes.
When Abram was called into the land of Canaan every placed he pitched his tent and God spoke to him he erected an altar so he could worship the one true God. Abram did not worry about what the Canaanite thought, did not worry about being accepted into the local culture. Abram followed his God and worshipped God the best he knew how.
Today modern day Abrams do not follow this ancient example. They are to wrapped up in political correctness, worrying that they may offend the world refusing to build altars for the entire world to see not proclaiming their relationship with the one true God publicly.
True Christians today need to build altars not only in their homes but in their neighborhoods and in their communities allowing the world to see us praise and worship the one and only true God. Pray that each of us can make that commitment to begin building altars.
Yesterday was thanksgiving one of the most joyful holidays of the year. People gather and thank God for what they have and pray for the poorer people who are doing without. The worst thing is most people do not know the one true God and their prayers are never heard. Never the less they still attempt to be pious and try to reach an unknown god.
That was yesterday and today those same people will trample each other maiming or killing each other in a frantic stampede to get the biggest toy. Not caring that yesterday they attempted to speak to a savior they did not know. The saddest part is most claim to be Christians. These Christians in name only are going to run and fight for the most and biggest toys. They are like the rich young ruler who met Jesus. He walked away from Jesus crying because he could not part with his earthly treasures. How often do we place earthly things in the way of our eternal life? Missing all of eternity for a chance to buy a big screen television so we can watch the athletes sweat, forgetting about eternity for a fleeting few moments of pleasure.
We as true Christians need to place Jesus first and try to reach these individuals so they can find true joy and not just a fleeting happiness. For the only true joy is found in the one true God.
John 14:7-11 (KJV) “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.”
Thomas is called doubting Thomas yet in the next verses Phillip shows the same lack of faith not really seeing Jesus as God. Both Thomas and Phillip had sat at Jesus’ feet for three years yet they still did not realize he truly was the messiah all of them had been waiting for. Jesus was God himself.
How often today do some people still miss who Jesus truly is. God himself came to earth as the man Christ Jesus. The disciples themselves missed the fact that Jesus was the messiah until they saw the resurrected savior. Once they saw Jesus they believed and understood that he was the messiah. How many people sit in church today make the same mistake. Not knowing that Jesus is the savior the world has been looking for. Looking to themselves instead of looking to the lord.
As true Christians we need to have a strong enough witness that even others who profess to be Christians but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus can see Jesus in us. Are each of us willing to show the world that Jesus truly is God.
John 14:5-6 (KJV) “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Thomas is one of my favorite apostles. He asks the questions we all want to ask but are afraid to ask. With this simple question Thomas gives Jesus the opportunity to make one the greatest proclamations in the Bible. Jesus has an opportunity to remove all doubt on how to reach the father and obtain entrance into eternal life with Jesus and the father.
The entire gospel hinges on what Jesus said. He proclaimed he was God himself by saying I am the way. This is the same I am Moses encountered at the burning bush. The same I am that is spoken about in all of scripture.
Today Jesus is still the great I am. He is still the kings of kings and the lord of lords. He still leads the way, speaks the truth, and is the giver of life, the only way to reach the father and have an eternity in heaven.
This devotion probably should have been the first. I would like to give a better biography of James’ life.
James was the half brother of Jesus and lived with him until Jesus turned thirty and began a public ministry. James may have been told by his father and mother that Jesus was the son of God. But James never believed this fact. He grew up with Jesus, saw and heard about the miracles. Yet he never believed the claim that Jesus was the messiah. At one point James and his mother tried to stop Jesus from preaching thinking there was something wrong with him mentally. James knew who Jesus better than most of the world yet until he saw his resurrected brother personally he did not believe he was the son of God. Once he saw the resurrected Messiah then he believed and became a servant of God.
Today how many Christians know of Jesus. They have heard the stories. They believed he lived and performed miracles. Yet like James they refuse to believe he is the messiah the only way to the father. Until they hear the gospel and realize that Jesus was resurrected having died for their sins. Once they know the truth. They too will become servants of the one true god, the same as James. Willing to follow Jesus where ever Jesus leads them.