What You Have is Enough | A Widow’s Mite and Mustard Seed Faith

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Today I’m straying from our study in Genesis. Something else has been on my heart.

The past couple of days have been a struggle for me. Sometimes there is a real need, a need that must be met. A need that I long to meet. Yet, I am unable. Whatever the reason, I truly don’t have enough ability or resources. I am not equipped to meet the need.

Usually when I hit this point, it’s actually easier for me to move forward, trusting that God will work a miracle, trusting that He will provide that need. Yet, sometimes He says, “No, not this time. That’s not what I’m calling you to.”

I’m struggling with “no.” My head gets it, it truly does. But my heart doesn’t understand. Why is God asking me to support from the sidelines, when I long to do more. Suddenly, I feel like what I have to give isn’t enough. I feel like what I have to offer won’t truly make a difference. I feel like what I have doesn’t matter.

But wait . . . that’s not what God says. Remember the widow who had two mites? Jesus saw her gift and was filled with joy by her offering. When God speaks about faith, He doesn’t ask us to have loads and heaps, only faith the size of a mustard seed. There are so many more stories like this in the Bible.

God does not want us to become discouraged by focusing on what we can’t do. He wants us to faithfully and with a joyful heart give what we can and trust that HE will do the work to grow our gifts to whatever they need to be. Wow. For some reason, that seems to take so much more faith than getting in there and doing it myself. Yet, I know, that by giving God the canvas AND the paint brush, the masterpiece will be so much more beautiful.

It’s easy to look at our meager offerings – be it two mites, a simple prayer, five minutes, a smile, a small gift of cheer – and feel like it’s only a tiny band-aid for a gaping wound, but we must not become discouraged. Especially during this season of giving, it’s so easy to feel like we have so little to give. (I’m reminded of the Drummer Boy song here.) We must not let that discouragement let us stop giving.

If you feel God tugging at your heartstrings, don’t listen to the voice that says what you have is not enough. Listen to God’s voice saying, “Give what you have cheerfully, my child, and I will bring forth the harvest. You plant only a small seed, but I produce a mighty tree.”

A Needle in a Haystack | Genesis 24:27

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A needle in a haystack. I’m sure that’s what Abraham’s servant felt like he was searching for when embarking on his quest to find a wife for Issac. There were some seemingly impossible criteria to be met. Yet the task was not impossible.

I don’t know why God was so gracious to make the work so easy for Abraham’s explorer, but the very first encounter was a great success.

Sometimes God asks for the impossible. It is so easy to get discouraged and become overwhelmed, but I’m seeing a strong pattern throughout the life of Abraham; God will never ask us to do something without giving us everything we need to follow His plan. The biggest struggle seems to be lack of faith, but Jesus told us that all we need is faith the size of a teeny tiny seed (Matthew 17:20). 

What is God asking you to do today? What impossibilities lay before you? Take heart and trust that God is enough. He will supply all you need.

A Heart Transformed | Genesis

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God is patient and His love can change hearts. That’s the ringing message I heard today as I was reading about Abraham.

Throughout his life we have seen a struggle in his heart. He has had moments of great strength and trust in God’s words, but he has also been filled with much doubt.

The time has come for his son to marry. Based on Abraham’s past choices, I would expect him to find some way to secure any relationship for his son. But that’s not what we see here. He understands the importance of Issac remaining true to God, the importance of not being overcome by cultures and practices that will pull Him away from that vital connection. And this time, He trusts. He trusts that God will do what He says. 

A transformative work has happened in the man who lied about his relationship to his wife twice, who failed to trust God would provide him an heir, therefore having a son with another woman. I believe something big happened in Abraham’s heart through the obedience of sacrifice. A sacrifice that God provides the ram for. Wow.

If God can change Abraham’s heart, if He can have patience with Him and not give up, surely He is long suffering, surely He is loving, surely He can work miracles. I choose to take hold of God’s promise. If He can work change in the heart of Abraham, I trust that He can transform me too.

The Butterfly’s Struggle | Genesis 22:16-17a

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I have read the story of Isaac and Abraham time and again. Just as in Sabbath School, when I was a little girl, my focus has always been on Abraham and his faithfulness to God. Yet looking at this story with a new lens, there are questions.

What does this story tell us about God? What can we learn about His character? How could a loving God even begin to ask someone to murder his own son? This story has always been touted as a test of faith, yet, I cannot help but believe God already knew the result or He Himself would not risk the demise of this promised heir. So why would He ask Abraham to do this.

Now these are all guesses, the Bible does not answer these questions, but I can’t help but wonder if God did this for Abraham’s own growth and reflection. Honestly, if we look at Abraham’s life, he has a track record of weak faith and taking matters into his own hands. It seems that in the years after Isaac’s birth, things were changing in Abraham’s heart. I can’t help but wonder if it was Abraham that needed confirmation of his faith. I can’t help but wonder if Abraham somehow needed to go through the process of evaluating what was truly important to him, if he needed to wrestle with His own priorities and insecurities and, literally in this case, lay it all on the alter.

Through this story I see Abraham as a butterfly. He had been merely a caterpillar, longing to be fed, but through this great struggle from chrysalis to butterfly, he received his wings. Oh how hard it must have been for God to watch, yet he knew the strength that would come from the struggle. It must have been hard not to end the struggle, yet He knew how important it really was.

Are you in a struggle today? Is it hard to understand where God is in your story? Know that He is right there, loving you, eager to see you emerge from your struggle and mount up on wings. All the while, He is only one heart cry away.

This Time . . . He’s With Us Every Time | Genesis 21:18

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My heart goes out to Hagar. She had been in this position before. This time Sarah had borne a son and the jealousy among the two regarding which son would be Abraham’s heir was great. This time Abraham sent away not only Hagar, but Ishmael, his first born son.

Hagar was alone in the wilderness again. This time the child she carried in this predicament before was with her in the flesh. He was hungry and scared and crying. From one mother’s heart to another, I can only imagine the thoughts that must have been running through her mind at this time. As someone who has been in a deep valley and by God’s grace, conquered only to fall in the same pit again, I can only imagine the questioning and confusion that must have been pulsing in her mind.

And Hagar did the one thing she knew to do, the one thing that brought her salvation before. She raised her eyes to God. She lifted her voice in pleas for mercy. God heard the cries of Ishmael. He heard the voice of Hagar. He was there with them and He never left their side. No matter how dark or lonely the road ahead, He was with them, and He would not forget them.

God never leave us. He never forgets us. No matter how invisible you feel, no matter how many times you have fallen in the same pit, no matter how neglected you feel, no matter how powerless, hopeless, discouraged or overcome with grief and confusion you are, God is there. He has never left your side. Lift your head to Him, and like Hagar, He will give you the strength to rise up and go on.

A Short Break

From time-to-time I will take a short break from regular posting here on At Jesus’ Feet. These devotionals are genuine and from my own time with the Lord. Sometimes, I struggle in life and simply fall at the feet of Jesus each day, seeking to press into Him. Other days I wrestle through Bible passages, spending days wrestling with God, longing to understand Him. And other times, I am learning deep lessons and resting in His word as He teaches me, but the content is not relevant to our studies here.

Keeping all these things in mind, I sometimes get behind. I’m behind right now. I plan to take two weeks off from posting new content so I can get caught up and get back to sharing Bible studies with you from Genesis.

In the meantime, if you  are new to At Jesus’ Feet, welcome, and feel free to check out some past studies (see below).

I look forward to being back soon, and would love to hear from you guys and what you are learning! What are you studying? What is God teaching you? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Morning Encouragement Series – Daily encouragement from God’s Word
Be Strong in the Lord – Learning to rest in the strength of the One who holds the world
Hebrews – Getting to know Jesus more
Ephesians – Walking with Jesus
1 Corinthians – All God’s children (this study only covers the last part of the book)
2 Corinthians – Comfort in Christ

He Remains Faithful | Genesis 21:6-7

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God promised vast descendants to Abraham. He promised a child through Sarah. Years had passed. Abraham and Sarah were getting older, but still no heir came through them. Taking matters into their own hands, believing the promise needed their help to come to fruition, Abraham had a son through Hagar. This created a terrible mess, yet God’s promise remained. Sarah would bare a child. It had been so long since the promise was made, the fulfillment seemed impossible, yet God never forgets His promises.

After years of waiting, despite the lack of faith and failures of these two humans, through them, God fulfilled His promise. He fulfilled it in such a way that no one could deny the working of His hand, and clearly, as we will see, it made something inside Abraham switch, and his faith grew.

I don’t know what promises you are clinging to in your heart right now, but don’t give up hope. God always fulfills His promises.

“For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”