Now it came about that Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying "God is with you in all you do......"
 
Here the Philistine king and his general come to Abraham to try and make an agreement for future peaceful dealings between the two parties. Recognizing God's blessing and His favorable dealings with Abraham, the king sought to stay in God's good graces via his relationship with the Lord's servant. Like His children in the world today, people may be attracted to God in us and the hope of His glory that we represent, or may become standoffish, even antagonistic because we represent the God they have rejected. In either case, we love, we pray for, we share the good news, we live our life for the one who so willing gave His life for us.
 
Pastor Russell

"and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men...."

Lot, by choice, had embedded himself and his family within the confines of the city of Sodom, a city well known for their wickedness. The Lord in His righteousness, graciously would almost forcibly lead this family out of the city before raining down judgement. Yet, the final chapter of Lot and his family, is hallmarked by disaster, disgrace, despair and death. Indeed, a horrible epitaph brought on by poor decisions. In this, we are surely reminded that we take even the "slam dunks, the no brainers" to the Lord in prayer. The "obvious" choice of the well watered, lush and prosperous city of Sodom would eventually lead to a loss of witness and power, compromise and bring a love for the world.

Pastor Russell

Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless."
 
Here, we hear the soft voice of the Lord as He invites the man Abram to walk with Him. But much more than just a physical walk, the Lord implies a much deeper fellowship and communion in an abiding ongoing relationship. So the Lord calls many today, that we would walk with Him in the same light of the love of Jesus Christ. His hearts desire that we would know His grace and mercy, that we would be washed and cleansed, being without spot or blemish, complete, whole in Him.
 
Pastor Russell
"And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me," says the Lord Almighty.
 
For some, we've had good fathers, others bad, even abusive, some absent or part-time, while others multiples, or uncles or grandfathers stepping in. But for now, we who are in Christ Jesus, know the greatest joy of having a perfect heavenly Father. One who never fails, He always keeps His promises, He is the Father of lights who has given us every good and perfect gift in His Son, Jesus Christ. Look to Him, give Him the praise, honor and glory, so rightfully His.
 
Pastor Russell
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great."
 
Leaving the comfort and familiarity of his family and home, Abram was led into uncharted lands filled with unknown peoples, some with unsavory motives. Facing even dissension within his own camp, uncertainty and doubt may have crept in bringing fear. But God, in His faithfulness, comes with a word of reassurance and hope. Like our Lord today, He is faithful to remind us that He is a shield about us. Why fear? In Him are the great blessings of an abundant life, filled with love, joy, peace and hope even in the darkest of times. The days we live in bring opportunities for us to pray for those around us, and share the good news of Jesus.
 
Pastor Russell