Thursday, August 17, 2017

day no. 14,178: a decade

10 years ago this evening Paige and I were married. She wore a white dress. I wore a black tux. I cried. We toasted, we cut cake. We set the dance floor on fire and then nearly set the banquet hall on fire (sparklers were involved). We took home months of green bean casserole and cheesy potatoes. I like who we were and I like who we are now and all that has gone in between. It hasn't always been rainbows and butterflies, but it has been good, really good. One decade down for Team Van Voorst and we're only becoming more formidable by the day. If you wanted to stop us, you missed your window. We're too strong now (and we're only getting stronger). A dynasty is born.

day no. 14,178 continued... extra credit

Genesis 15:6
And he believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness.
Abram's belief in God's promise was credited to his account as righteousness. Abram didn't do anything. He believed that God was going to do something. That belief in God's character was currency that spends in eternity.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

day no. 14,177: God graciously looked down

Genesis 15:5
And He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
A childless man looked up at an infinite sky as a gracious God looked down on the father of nations.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

day no. 14,176: the Maker of riches

Genesis 15:1
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
After receiving communion and blessing from Melchizedek, Abram receives assurance and security from the Lord. If God is your shield, what can harm you? If your reward is coming from the Maker of riches, how great is your reward?

Monday, August 14, 2017

day no. 14,175: a husband must have answers

1 Corinthians 14:33-35
God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
I have read these verses many times and interacted with them often with respect to the ongoing women in leadership, complementarian discussion. But I never before today noticed the tremendous weight and responsibility this puts upon the husband. A good, godly weight, but an intense one nevertheless. If a wife has questions, who is she instructed to ask? Her husband once they are home. So who needs to have answers? Her husband. And if she is eager, zealous to learn and grow, he must keep up with her and even more so to be out ahead of her in order to field her questions and pastor his little flock. He is under Biblical obligation to answer her, not simply buy her books or send her off to someone else's house to a woman's group to learn. He MUST answer her which means he MUST know. He must do the work of study, meditation, contemplation, etc… in order to be the best pastor of his home. The godlier the wife, the more of a man he will be required to be. The godlier the man, the further onward and upward he will be able to lead his own home. If it is shameful for a woman to speak in church, how much more shameful is it for a man to be silent in his own home?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

day no. 14,174: means of grace

Genesis 14:18-20
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19 And he blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Melchizedek was a king and a priest. He brought bread and wine and blessings to Abraham who in turn gave a tenth of everything he had to Melchizedek. Abraham received the communion and the blessings Melchizedek offered. Melchizedek received the offerings Abraham tithed.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

day no. 14,173: a handful of sharpened sticks and a forest of twigs

Genesis 14:14-16
When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.

Abraham trained and raised an army before he needed one. When that time came, he already had men who were trained. Abraham was not threatened by their gain. He was fortified by their advancement. When the time came, he lead his army, divided them and took out kings... plural. Did you catch that? It was previously 4 kings against 5 and Abraham rides into town with a handful of trained men and takes them all out. A handful of sharpened sticks are more useful arrows than a forest of twigs. Taking the time to sharpen men in times of peace produces pointier, more punctual results in times of war.

the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

Friday, August 11, 2017

day no. 14,172: initiating worship

Genesis 13:18
So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

If you've been paying attention, Abram had a habit of building altars to the Lord wherever he went. If Abram was going to call a particular place home for a moment, he built an altar and worshiped God. Do we initiate worship wherever we find ourselves or do we only enter into worship that has been scheduled and prepared for us by others?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

day no. 14,171: good land, bad plants

Genesis 13:12-13
Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.

Lot made his decision based on the land, but failed to consider the lay of the land. The place where he was going to pitch his tent may have been good land, but it possessed bad inhabitants. The dirt was good, but the atmosphere was wicked.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

day no. 14,170: a plan to end the bitterness

Genesis 13:8-9
8 Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.”
Abram recognized the strife and proposed a plan to end the bitterness. His benevolence toward man and his trust in the sovereignty of God are both observed in his willingness to place the matter fully within Lot's hand.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

day no. 14,169: mutually exclusive private islands

Genesis 13:7
and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock.
Mo' moolah, mo' problems. The more you have, the more you need to keep what you already have. As Abram and Lot both grew rich, they also grew apart. There wasn't room enough for them to both be rich in the same place at the same time in the same way. The land could not sustain them both and it produced hostility between those who were in charge of caring for the flocks.

Monday, August 7, 2017

day no. 14,168: a need for grace no less than ours

Genesis 12:17-19
17 But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.”
Abraham was an imperfect man who required grace if he was going to be saved. As great as he was, his need for grace was no less than ours.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

day no. 14,167 continued... birthdays and anniversaries

Happy 79th Birthday Dad! Almost 80. That is crazy.

And Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!

day no. 14,167: the offspring of father Abraham

Genesis 12:7
Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.”
The offspring of Abraham are those who by grace through faith lay claim to the inheritance earned and offered by Jesus.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

day no. 14,166: great enterprise often begins with a great sacrifice

Genesis 12:1-3
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Great enterprise often begins with a great sacrifice and great futures are often the products of surrendered goods.

Friday, August 4, 2017

day no. 14,165: what his father left unfinished

Genesis 11:31-32
31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.
It appears that Terah originally wanted to go to Canaan, but either found something he preferred in Haran or lost heart and stopped there. Either a change of heart or a fainting heart led to him making Haran his home. His son, Abram, would finish the last leg of the journey and complete what his father left unfinished.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

day no. 14,164: a singular plural

Genesis 11:7-9
Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” 8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
Again, God is an Us. The Lord is a singular plural. This is not something invented by Christians in the 300s. There is only one God. And He is an Us. God is spoken of as a He and a We.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

day no. 14,163: the achievements of ants

Genesis 11:5
And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.

The boasts of man fall so short of Heaven that God must come down to inspect them like a grown man on his hands and knees trying to see the achievements of the ants.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

day no. 14,162: building a bigger middle finger

Genesis 11:4
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”
The foundation of Babel was laid by hearts determined to do anything other than what God had clearly said. The tremendous effort and determination to build Babel began as a simple, yet seditious sin: I want to avoid what God wants for me. Their hearts flicked God off and their hands cussed His Name with every brick they laid. Discontent that God hadn't given them a long enough middle finger, Babel was erected to reach all the way up to Heaven.