If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Genesis 26, Matthew 25, Esther 2, Acts 25. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Genesis 26.
When I was a freshman in high school, my pastor hired a new principal for our Christian school. Our new principal—let’s call him John—came from a rough background. He was exposed to sinful things and lived a sinful lifestyle when he was in high school. Then he came to know Christ and his life was transformed. He grew to become a strong Christian and servant of the Lord.
When John would preach to us in chapel, he would sometimes tell stories about his sinful life before he met Christ. His purpose was to warn us about the deceitfulness and consequences of sin, but it didn’t always come across that way. One of my friends, Joel, later wandered from his faith. Joel told me himself that those stories of John’s sinful lifestyle made him curious about what it would be like. I believe Joel later came back to following the Lord again, but only after he lived a sinful life himself.
My point in this story is that we need to tell our stories to young people, particularly our children. But, when we tell them the stories, we need to emphasize God’s grace in protecting us, not how cool it was to sin or how we narrowly escaped the consequences.
All of this occurred to me when I read Genesis 26. Isaac, Abraham’s son, told the same lie about his wife that Abraham had told twice about Sarah. The similarity makes me think that Isaac learned of that lie through his father Abraham. Maybe Abraham told the story to Isaac with a bit too much emphasis on how well things turned out and not nearly enough emphasis on how God was merciful to him despite his risky, foolish lies. It reminds me to be careful of how we talk about our history and the sinful things God has saved us from. Let’s be sure we’re careful not to romanticize our sin or downplay God’s mercy in protecting us from the damage that sin does apart from God’s mercy.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/calvarybiblechurch/. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.