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Pastor’s Note

God is just. His judgment will come when societies refuse his truth. Sodom and Gomorrah become a reminder throughout the Scripture that God’s judgment is not sleeping (2Pt.2:3-10). May we respect him enough to heed his word and reverentially understand something of the consequences for ignoring his standards.

— Pastor Mike

Genesis 18-19

18:1 And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks [1] of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, [2] if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs [3] of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard [4] for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, [5] saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen [6] him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether [7] according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

Abraham Intercedes for Sodom

22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

God Rescues Lot

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. [8]

God Destroys Sodom

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.

29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

Lot and His Daughters

30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. [9] He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. [10] He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

Matthew 6

Giving to the Needy

6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

The Lord’s Prayer

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name. [11]

10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done, [12]
 on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread, [13]
12 and forgive us our debts,
 as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,
 but deliver us from evil. [14]

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Fasting

16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust [15] destroy and where thieves break in and steal,20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. [16]

Do Not Be Anxious

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [17] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Footnotes

[1] 18:1 Or terebinths
[2] 18:3 Or My lord
[3] 18:6 A seah was about 7 quarts or 7.3 liters
[4] 18:14 Or wonderful
[5] 18:15 Or acted falsely
[6] 18:19 Hebrew known
[7] 18:21 Or they deserve destruction; Hebrew they have made a complete end
[8] 19:22 Zoar means little
[9] 19:37 Moab sounds like the Hebrew for from father
[10] 19:38 Ben-ammi means son of my people
[11] 6:9 Or Let your name be kept holy, or Let your name be treated with reverence
[12] 6:10 Or Let your kingdom come, let your will be done
[13] 6:11 Or our bread for tomorrow
[14] 6:13 Or the evil one; some manuscripts add For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen
[15] 6:19 Or worm; also verse 20
[16] 6:24 Greek mammon, a Semitic word for money or possessions
[17] 6:27 Or a single cubit to his stature; a cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters

 

  • Karen Chien

    OT 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

    Then: God is going to destroy Sodom at this time because of their unrighteousness and wickedness. And Lot’s family has been warned to flee and when they did Lots wife looked back and was yearning for the comfort of her unrighteous life so she was given judgement by God and turned into a pillar of salt.
    Always: God is a jealous God. If we have another love or lord over our lives, He is angry and out of His just character, He will show wrath .
    Now: There is no need to look back at my old life. Lot’s wife is a great example of what happens when you look back at the “old life.” God has done great things for me and I know I have not been faithful to Him my entire life. But by His grace He saved me, undeserving of His great love, He chose me to forgive me and to clothe me in His righteousness. With that I am forever grateful and desire to not look back at my past sin because the past life didn’t provide eternal value and was not wellspring of eternal life.

    NT 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    Today’s reading had so many great nuggets of powerful truths. This sentence in v33 summarizes it up. From the Lord’s prayer to seeking His kingdom when we pray, when we are doing things for others-may our motivation be in all things to seek His kingdom and righteousness for His glory and honor.
    “And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

    • CheriClark

      A good reminder not to look back at our old life. You were up nice and early this morning!

  • Alyssa Cuccia

    …And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
    Matthew 6:4

    Three times this phrase is repeated in Matthew 6–regarding giving to the needy, prayer, and fasting. Three practical ways that we are being directly told we can earn rewards. Even if we took just one of these things today and put it into action, we could have the assurance of knowing God wants to reward us for our obedience. Let’s take prayer, for example…one of the highest honors and privileges we have as Christians is to come before the throne of God daily, to bring before him our praises, pleads, and petitions. There is a natural reward that comes from prayer because it increases our love and knowledge of the God of the universe! Who are we that we should be able to speak to Him? Yet he has made a way! That is reward in and of itself. When we practice this often difficult spiritual discipline, the Lord says He will reward us! Take hold of this promise and let it be yours today as you go to prayer in secret with the Lord.

    • Anne Ventura

      Yes!

    • CheriClark

      Nicely stated.

  • Sam Funk

    Gen 18:15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

    Whether we think it or say it, God knows what was said.

    Gen 19:17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.”

    Even with all the merciful treatment that Lot and his family received, they were warned not to stop or look back. Some just aren’t willing to obey.

    Matt 6:31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    Many of the commercials we see in the media, especially TV are designed to make us want something, even if we don’t need it. May I continue to learn that God knows what I need and he will provide. I need to trust in him and not in myself, others or the government.

    • Anne Ventura

      Yes and that’s the bad thing about Costco. One goes in for an item or two and comes out with things you gave into temptation for. 😮

    • CheriClark

      Yes- may I keep my eyes focused on the Lord.

  • Anne Ventura

    Gen. 19:8

    8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”

    May I never linger in sin, but trust in you Lord when sin is knocking at my door.

    Mt. 6:13, 23,33-34

    And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from evil.

    Lord, encouraging to know that you will not let us be tempted beyond our ability and provide a way of escape. I pray to recognize my temptations and your hand in my escape.

    but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

    May I always have good eyes Lord to look at you as my master, filling me with the light of your will. Not to darkness and earthly treasures.

    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

    34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

    May I always place my trust in you Lord, Seeking your Kingdom beyond all earthly pleasures. Impart your wisdom and peace to me daily Lord, as I know you will take care of those you call your own.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we keep our eyes locked on our Lord and His treasures.

  • CheriClark

    OT
    Gen 18:14 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

    Then: The LORD is telling Abraham that he will have a son. Sarah laughs. So the LORD asks is anything too hard for Him? Of course, nothing is.

    Always: Nothing is too hard for God.

    Now: I am struck by this in a couple of ways. Sarah laughs and God knows. How many times do we act as if God doesn’t know what we are doing? Or what we are thinking? Our thoughts are known to God…. all of them. May we live with that reality and not try to excuse them or think they don’t matter. The second part that struck me is that nothing is too hard for God. He created the universe. He was resurrected and gives me eternal life. Everything else is a piece of cake compared to that. The Creator of the universe gives me eternal life by conquering death and sin. What can be harder than that? Nothing is too hard for God. Why do we think God can’t handle some things? Why do we question when God says He will do something? Why do we say, ‘really, Lord, you are going to do that?’ Instead of doubt our lives should be lived full on in belief – that God will do exactly what He says He will do. May that be evident in how we live our lives – confidently trusting in Him for all things.

    NT
    Matt 6:31-33 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    Then: Jesus continues His teaching and comes to the point “Do not be anxious.”

    Always: We are not to be anxious.

    Now: Now, I admit that I have struggled with this. After Brad went home, I was anxious. There were so many changes, so many unknowns, so many situations that I had to deal with… that I fought against being anxious. I know that it is a sin. I know that I shouldn’t do it. But it would creep into my thoughts… the questions and the concerns. And gratefully, His Word tells me what to do about it. Seek His Kingdom. My focus needed to be on Jesus. My goals needed to be His goals. I knew He loved me so I needed to act like I knew He would care for me and provide for me. So I did… not perfectly… but by putting one foot at a time down. By reading His Word and being in fellowship. By going to Him in prayer. By serving His children. When I am doing those things I should I do not get anxious. Oh, life is not what I (or Brad) had planned. But it is what God had planned. And as I obediently focus on Him and His Kingdom I am able to set my eyes on that future eternity with Him. And that is where I long to be!

    • Anne Ventura

      Cheri! May I be as dependent and trusting in God as you.

      • CheriClark

        Oh Anne – you are!

  • NonieS

    Genesis 18

    12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard [4] for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

    Sarah laughed at hearing that she would have a child. She is reminded that nothing is too hard for the Lord. We need to remember this in our own life. No matter what is happening in our life, nothing is to hard for our Lird. He will take care of it in His time.
    “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? – Matthew 6:25

    Again we see that nothing is to hard for the Lord. We do not need to be anxious about anything. God will provide. It may not be what we expect; but He will take care of us. Thank you Lord for your provisions! Maranatha!

    • CheriClark

      So grateful for His care of us.

  • Beth Metcalf

    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt. 6:21 (LORD thank you for helping me treasure you and your Word! Help me Holy Spirit treasure God and his Word more, and more. Then, “there my heart will be also”, loving God1st! (-ie:Matt. 6:33)

    • CheriClark

      Knowing God 1st – YES!!!

  • Stephanie Schwartz

    Matthew 6:10
    Your kingdom come,
    your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.

    I want to come to the place where I desire nothing but God’s will. Lord, increase my faith again today.
    May I trust you and your goodness without fear of the future.

    • CheriClark

      “I want to come to the place where I desire nothing but God’s will. ” – What a good place to desire.

  • CrisFrancisco

    Daily Bible Reading for January 7, 2017

    OT

    13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭18‬:‭13-14‬ ESV)
    This rhetorical question States a great truth about our great God: is anything too hard from the Lord? Of course not.

    May we always keep in mind that God has a purpose with everything and can change things in a moment if it is his will. Let’s trust in his righteous and perfect plan and timing.

    NT

    1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭1‬ ESV)
    There should be only one motivation for us to be righteous: to give glory to God. If there is any ounce of glory for ourselves, we need to be sure to point the praise to God.

    • CheriClark

      Yes- may we cling to God’s righteousness and trust in His plan.

  • Tracy Libby

    “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.?

  • Sadie-Megin Daniels

    Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” – Genesis 18:32, NKJV

    So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. – Genesis 19:14, NKJV

    It amazes me how God allowed Abraham to intercede for Sodom and how longsuffering God was, that He was willing to spare the entire city for the sake of ten righteous persons within it. God did not even find ten, and so He destroyed the city in judgement. It makes me wonder what sort of privilege we have as God’s people to intercede for people and nations and ask that God would restrain His wrath a little longer and give people time to repent.

    Lot’s sons-in-law responded to the call to flee the coming judgment the way that many respond today: They thought that Lot was joking. Coming judgment is not a joke, and it is a tragedy when people do not take it seriously.

    • CheriClark

      Sadie – so good to see you commenting on the DBR!

      • Sadie-Megin Daniels

        Thank you, Mrs. Clark!

  • Amy Smith

    OT Gen. 18:14 Is anything too hard for the LORD?

    Praise God that nothing is impossible for Him! I praise Him for saving me and for allowing me to live long enough to see how He has significantly changed me from the inside out thus far. Lord, please increase my faith and trust in You and your plans, whatever they may be, especially regarding salvation to the lost! Help me to be more diligent in earnestly praying for the lost and that I would honor you in the role you allow me to play in bringing to them the Good News!

    • CheriClark

      ” Lord, please increase my faith and trust in You and your plans” – Yes, Lord, me also.

  • RyanDamato

    Genesis 19-
    20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!”

    26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

    God’s instruction was clear. He gave very specific rules regarding fleeing from this evil town. He allowed Lot to change the place he was to go but that’s all he changed. Now the urgency in this matter was modeled by the fact that even Lot lingered. He was taking this as serious at it was even to the point of wanting to flee to a town that was not so far away. This appears to be a test to Lot and his family as now they had the temptation of being close enough to “hold on to” a little piece of the sinful area. They were close enough to fall easily to the temptation of looking back.
    The idea of becoming a saved Christian (follower of Christ) is truly understanding verses like 2 Corinthians 5:17 -17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

    We can’t hold onto our past or even look back at it with any sort of “what if?” curiosity. Trust starts in knowing that what lies ahead is in God’s will and we need to seek first his kingdom and forget about the kingdom we left behind.
    As I continue to read through his word each year, I realize more and more how great his promises are. It’s so awesome to be able to look forward at what he has in store for me and it causes me to not even consider what is being burned up in my rear view mirror. I pray that God continues to teach me, lead me and guide me into all righteousness and that my thoughts would be in step with his will.

    Matthew 6-
    33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    As Jesus deals with the temptation of being “puffed up” in holiness, he solidifies the fact that the heart is the key issue. If the heart has any desire of man’s approval when it comes to the commands that are clearly in place for God’s glory, then that heart is contaminated. A true heart for the Lord is going to be seeking his Kingdom and praying constantly for the promises and actions that lead to those promises as it relates to his Kingdom.
    We shouldn’t be anxious about anything. God will certainly take care of the things he has created, he just wants us to seek his Kingdom and to love his provision without feeling like we need all kinds of recognition from those around us. IF we are recognized for living as lights in this world, then all glory needs to be for the Lord and those “accolades” regarding our works need to be used to speak of his kingdom by sharing his gospel.
    I pray that my heart will be focused on his Kingdom. I pray that any goodness that comes out of my life is not used to pat my back but is actually used to connect to the gospel of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It’s by the Spirit of the Lord that resides in me that this can be accomplished and I need make sure that I am focusing my attention there and not anywhere else!

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