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"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."

ARE YOU PERFECT?

Many of the men and women mentioned in the Bible had weaknesses. Abraham doubted God and had Ishmael by Sarah's maid. Yet, God counted him righteous and told him to "walk before me, and be thou perfect!" Some argue that God makes us perfect but we "learn" to sin, but this is not true. If God made us perfect we would have no need for Him. God makes us all with a free will and a human nature. What we must realize is that He loves and accepts us even with all our imperfections. Our flaws make us who we are and give us something to strive toward. When the Bible talks about being perfect it is talking about our heart. We must constantly strive to keep our heart and our motives pure and God centered. It is an every day, every hour, every minute task! We must never think we are "ok" or we will surely slip back two feet for every one we have managed to gain!!!
When we admit our weaknesses, we are giving Christ permission to do a great work in our lives. God knows we are not perfect and will not BE perfect until we reach heaven.

GOD RENEWS HIS COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM

VERSE 2: "And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly." 15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! 19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. 22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. 23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. 24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

Abraham fell on his face before God. Humbleness; a trait lacking in many Christians today. Once again, God promises Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan. As an outward sign of the covenant, Abraham was to have all the males 8 days and older circumcised. God changed Abram and Sarai's names to Abraham and Sarah. Abram meant "high father"; Abraham means "father of a multitude." Sarai meant "uncertain"; Sarah means "princess". God promises Abraham and Sarah a son of their own and tells them his name is to be Isaac: "one who laughs." Abraham, up until this point, had only one son yet his name meant father of a multitude." Can you imagine how everyone must have laughed when Abram told them his name had been changed to father of a multitude? He was, after all, 99 years old!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

1) Do you think Abraham was perfect?

2) Do you believe it is possible to live a perfect life today? Why?

3) Why do you think God did not bless Sarah and Abraham with children until they were so old?

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