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Let There Be No Strife Between Us

Daily Reading: Genesis 12-13

Scripture Focus: Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” (Genesis 13:8-9)

Devotional Thought: Genesis 12 begins the account of Abram who became known as Abraham, that great patriarch of Israel. In chapter 13, Abraham, with his nephew Lot, had become quite rich in livestock. So great were their herds, the land could not support both families. To avoid conflict, Abraham suggested that they separate. Instead of exercising his right as the elder male relative and taking the best of the land for himself, he gave Lot first choice. Lot chose what appeared to be the better option, the well-watered land of the Jordan Valley.

Abraham demonstrated a selfless love toward his nephew Lot. First, he recognized the potential for discord between the two families before it became a larger problem. Second, he gave Lot the first choice of land. And third, he was content with what appeared to be the inferior land, and built an altar to the Lord to worship Him. We too should strive to be like Abraham in our relationships – humble, selfless, loving, thoughtful, and thankful. Imagine what our culture would look like if more believers chose the ‘others-before-self’ way of living.

Jesus was no stranger to this self-sacrificing love. He both taught it and practiced it. On one occasion, the twelve apostles were arguing with each other about which of them was the greatest. Jesus, perceiving their hearts, sat down, called them over and said, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all,” (Mark 9:35). In other parables, His message was the same. If there was any doubt left about Jesus’ sincerity, He demonstrated this sacrificial love when He died in our place, to reconcile us to the Father. Talk about practicing what you preach!


Prayer: Lord, please help us to demonstrate selfless, sacrificial love to those around us. We know that this is how the world will know you, if we love one another the way Christ loved us. Give us the strength of spirit to be able to live selflessly in a selfish world.

Psalm of the Day: 6 I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. 7 Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. 8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, 9 from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me. 10 They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly. 11 They have now surrounded our steps; they set their eyes to cast us to the ground. 12 He is like a lion eager to tear, as a young lion lurking in ambush. (Psalms 17:6-12)

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