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THE BIBLE IN A YEAR: Living Righteously in Difficult Circumstances

Scriptures:

1. Genesis 20-21: The story of Abraham and Abimelech, and the birth of Isaac.

2. Psalms 11: Trust in the Lord's Righteousness.

3. Matthew 5:38-48: Love Your Enemies.


Introduction:

In these passages, we encounter themes of righteousness, trust in God's protection, and the call to love our enemies. As we study these passages together, let's explore how we can apply these principles to our own lives, especially in difficult circumstances.


Guided Questions:


1. Genesis 20-21:

   - What do we learn about Abraham's character in these chapters?

   - How does Abraham's lack of trust in God's protection affect his actions?

   - What do we learn about God's faithfulness and sovereignty in these passages?

   - How does God fulfill His promises to Abraham and Sarah despite their doubts and mistakes?


2. Psalms 11:

   - What challenges or threats does the psalmist face?

   - How does the psalmist respond to these challenges?

   - What does the psalmist's trust in the Lord's righteousness teach us about facing adversity?

   - How can we apply the psalmist's example of trust in God to our own lives?


3. Matthew 5:38-48:

   - What does Jesus teach about responding to violence and injustice?

   - How does Jesus challenge conventional notions of retaliation and justice?

   - What does it mean to love our enemies, and why is it important?

   - How can we embody the principles of love and forgiveness taught by Jesus in our interactions with others?


Devotional:


In Genesis 20-21, we witness Abraham's struggles with fear and doubt as he faces challenging circumstances. Despite his lack of trust, God remains faithful to His promises and fulfills them in His perfect timing. Like Abraham, we may find ourselves facing situations that test our faith and trust in God's provision. Yet, we can take comfort in knowing that God is always faithful, even when we falter.


Psalms 11 reminds us of the importance of trusting in the Lord's righteousness, especially when faced with adversity and threats. In times of trouble, we can find refuge in God's steadfast love and protection. As we meditate on this psalm, may we be encouraged to place our trust wholly in the Lord, knowing that He is our strength and our shield.


In Matthew 5:38-48, Jesus challenges us to love our enemies and to respond to injustice with love and forgiveness. This radical teaching goes against our natural instincts for retaliation and revenge. Yet, as followers of Christ, we are called to embody His love and grace in all our interactions, even with those who may oppose or mistreat us. May we strive to live out this challenging commandment, knowing that in doing so, we reflect the character of our loving and merciful God.


Conclusion:

As we reflect on these passages, may we be inspired to trust in God's faithfulness, to find refuge in His righteousness, and to love others as He has loved us. Let us seek to live righteously in all circumstances, knowing that God is with us and empowers us to overcome every challenge we face.


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