January 15, 2021
Genesis 17:17-19
Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”  And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”  Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.  I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
New International Version (NIV)
               I had forgotten how much children change a household.  Forgive me because it has been a while since we had the pitter patter of little feet on our floors.  We have a walker now and to quote a favorite movie line, she is “mobile, agile and hostile.”  Another is right behind her.  So our Christmas season was different this year than in recent years.  My favorite pastime is watching Melanie watch the babies.  They make us laugh!

              Abram and Sarai had reached the age of grandparents without having any children of their own.  Sarai gave her slave girl, Hagar, to Abram (what were Hagar’s thoughts about this?).  When Hagar conceived, Sarai mistreated her and she ran away, pregnant and alone.  Nobody knew where she was.  But God saw her and spoke to her and blessed her son.  Thirteen years later, right on God’s standard time, the Lord changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s to Sarah, promising them a son. 

              Abraham fell facedown for the second time in this encounter (17:3, 17), but this time he was laughing.  It was ludicrous really.  My 81 year old father has 10 great grandchildren.  Now Abraham was to be a father at the age of 100 and Sarah a mother at the age of 90.  It sounds like a joke.  God does have a sense of humor.  So God named the boy to be born, Isaac, meaning laughter.  And God had the last laugh.  But he did not laugh alone.  His good plan for Abraham and Sarah also brought them laughter.

              We must be careful about telling God what he cannot do.  I heard a song called Rattling in which the singer asks God, “Since when has impossible ever stopped you?”  God’s people trapped against the Red Sea by a mighty army.  Pharaoh must have laughed.  There was no way out, but God made a way.  A young shepherd faced the mighty warrior Goliath who taunted the armies of God.  The giant laughed before he was hit by a rock and hit the ground.  Three Hebrew children in a fiery furnace and Daniel in a den of lions.  As my pastor friend in Galveston says, “But God . . .”  On Friday, Jesus, the Son of God suspended between earth and heaven on a crimson cross.  Did the demons laugh?  On Sunday morning before the sunrise, the Son rose. 

              What if we decided to give God joy today by taking him at his word?  The angels rejoice when one person repents and turns to God.  Surely God rejoices also.  He will have the last laugh.  As his children, we can rejoice with him when he keeps every one of his promises to us in Christ!
Pray with me:         
Father, may we bring you joy by our trust and obedience today.  Put us to whatever you will.  We will trust you.  We will obey, do what you say.  Call us today and we will obey.  We live for the day when we will hear your voice say, “Well done, good and faithful servant . . . come and share my joy.”  In the name of Jesus who gives us greater joy, amen.    
Scripture memorization for this week:    
Hebrews 11:6
 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:8-10
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
New International Version (NIV)
Our 2021 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations Bible reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy here:
https://www.tallowood.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Read-Through-Bible-Download.pdf
We would love for you to join us as we read through the Bible in one year, while still having the flexibility of reading 5 days per week.  In addition, I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  We will also memorize 2 scriptures each week.  As we journal together this year,  Robby Gallaty’s H.E.A.R. plan is a good resource: Highlight a verse that stands out to you, Explain what it means, Apply that truth to your life and Respond to what you’ve read with an action or prayer.
Joyfully, 
Duane 

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