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RUSSELL SANDERS
11-8-2020
ABRAHAM PART 26
LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
 
In Genesis 19:30 it tells of Lot, having left Sodom and now he leaves Zoar, finds a cave in the mountain wherein to dwell. Only his two unmarried daughters were with him.  All of his other children perished in Sodom’s destruction along with his wife. The three, Lot and his two  daughters, are alone and the entire Plain of Jordan with its five cities have been destroyed. The whole territory is devoid of life.
 
It was a disgrace in those times for a man to have no son to carry on his name. Consequently, his two daughters devised a plan (Genesis 19:31-38) to give him an heir. This was their human “wisdom.” They would get Lot stone drunk, then they would take turns sleeping with him so as to get pregnant. Lot did not seem to know of their intentions, and he became too drunk to know what he was doing.
 
Their plan of incest worked. The elder daughter bore a son, Moab, and the younger bore a son Ammon (Benammi).  How did this “plan” work out in the long term?
 
Both of these men produced nations that lasted for approximately 1,500 years. They were situated on the east side of the Salt Lake, not far from the former sites of Sodom and Gomorrah. They were fierce warring nations steeped in idolatry.
 
About six hundred years later, as Moses lead Israel in the wilderness, Moses was told by God to do them no harm as they were blood related to Abraham. However, after another 400 to 600 years later, the Moabites and Ammonites became Israel’s enemies and made war against them. They continued to be against Israel until neither one was a nation any longer (about 200-300 B.C.). 
 
The “plan” devised by Lot’s daughters brought much war, death, and conflict to God’s chosen people for hundreds of years. Be aware that you may not escape consequences for your bad choices from your own past. Yes, God forgives the sin, and you stand guiltless and righteous before Him. That does not remove the adverse consequences that might occur years later. God can help you bear it by His grace, and sometimes the consequences might be taken away from you. When they aren’t taken away, God’s grace is sufficient to see you through.
 
He loves you that much.

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HELEN SANDERS
11-8-2020
ABIDING IN THE VINE
 
I like to grow things. I have several philodendron plants that I started from one leaf. As they grow, they become beautiful “vines”, but some parts become dead and “stringy”, and require cutting back. Often, I take the cuttings and start another plant. In the cutting away of the dead stringy parts that always come, new growth comes. It is amazing how the simple act of “cutting back” rejuvenates these little plants. The cut leaves can be replanted, but if they aren’t put into water or soil quickly after the cutting, they eventually will die. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you can be sure they can’t last without either being attached to the original plant, or replanted. 
 
So it is, with us as the disciples of Christ. Jesus tells us in John 15 that He is the true vine, and the Father is the husbandman (farmer). In verse 2 it says, “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” The word purgeth means to cleanse or prune. Verse 3 says, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” The word clean also means the same as purge or prune. Verse 4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” The word abide means to dwell, endure, remain, tarry. 
 
The abiding is what gives us strength to grow. The purging is necessary for new growth. So often we dislike the “cutting back” or purging that must go on in our lives. The Word of God is the instrument or scissors used to “cut” us back. We look into the word and it shows us our heart. When we are receptive to the purging by repenting of our sin and cutting away that which is “dead” in our lives, then and only then will new growth come. Is this painful? Yes. Necessary? Yes. We must remain attached to the true vine to be everything that God has called us to be. 
 
The beautiful thing about God and his job as the “husbandman” (farmer) is that he takes care of his “plants” better than any human being could ever take care of them. He looks for those areas of our lives that aren’t producing, and if we allow him, he gently snips them away. If we don’t allow this process, then we become a long stringy branch that sucks the life out of the rest of the vine. We have all seen those kinds of people. They are always wanting more, but they are resistant to change. They deplete when they should be fruitful.
 
What kind of branch are you? Are you allowing God, through his word to correct you and do cutting back to make you more fruitful, or are you one that resists the cutting back? 

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11-1-2020
DAILY EQUIPPING OF THE SAINTS

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The things God hates
Friday, November 5, 2020
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A good name is rather to be chosen than gret riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold
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