Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sarah Day 5: Giving and Taking

One of the greatest gifts we can give is to help someone become a better person.

Have you ever noticed that if you continue in sin, God will force you to face it until you repent?

How wonderful to serve a God who forgives and chooses to forget.

Today's scripture reading: Genesis 20:14-18.

1. In what ways did Abimelech compensate Abraham for taking Sarah?
He sent with her sheep and cattle and servants, as well as 1,000 pieces of silver. He gave her his word that she was vindicated.

2. What was the silver intended to provide for Sarah?

Restoration, restitution for the pain that might have been caused her

3. How did she feel instead? How would you have felt in her shoes?

Sarah felt ashamed of her behavior. I would feel as though I was a child who had done wrong, even though I had been forgiven, the feelings of shame and guilt would still linger.

4. How did Abraham respond, and what was the result?

Abraham prayed and communicated with God. God healed Abimelech and his family and made them able to procreate again.

5. Why had God closed the women's wombs?

God had done so to encourage Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham.

6.a. We've seen how Sarah was restored to Abraham and even given more. Fill in the following chart to discover what God restores to His people.

Psalm 51:12
: God restores the joy of our salvation and grants us a willing, sustaining spirit.

Isaiah 57:15-18: He revives the spirit of the lowly and revives the heart of the contrite. He will heal, guide, and comfort them.

Joel 2:25-26:
He will repay you for the years you had suffered and will be given plenty of food to eat, and will not be shamed.
Matthew 17:11: Elijah will come and restore all things.

b. What divine restoration project does God have you involved in?

I'm not sure about this, other than I am available to help those who have struggled with addiction and falling away from God to bring the back to the Lord and his grace and forgiveness.

c. Which Scripture offers you the most comfort and why?

The affirmation given in Romans 8 that nothing can separate me from the love of God!

7.a. Sarah was rebuked by Abimelech's actions. Read Proverbs 9:8-9. What do you learn about being rebuked?

Do not rebuke those who mock you, but do rebuke those who are wise, and you will be loved.

b. How do you usually respond when you are rebuked?

I am usually ashamed and initially defensive, but then I try to make amends and admit my wrongs.

8. We saw Abraham pray for Abimelech and his family to be restored to health. One good acronym for structured prayer is CATS. Use this acronym to pray on behalf of someone who needs restoration.

Confession: Lord, I do not presume that I am worthy to come to you, as I am a sinner before you as well.

You have blessed me so much, and given me far more than I deserve! Your greatness knows no bounds!
Thanksgiving: I thank you for bringing me out of the depths of sin and depression, and restoring my self-worth in your love! I thank you for giving me the opportunity to share Your grace, forgiveness, and Word with others who need to know what You can do for them!

I bring before you those who are on my heart who need you to take away their addiction and the temptation that this brings. Take it from them, Lord, and make them want to stay in a relationship with you at all times!