READ: Genesis 18-19
THINK: Choices. Options. Possibilities. Sure, these can imply uncertainty, difficulty, even confusion at times. Still, we all prefer to have choices. Whether we tend to make them cautiously, deliberately, hastily or thoughtfully is up to us. Either way, choices have consequences. If we make self-serving, inconsiderate choices there's a good chance that destructive consequences will follow, taking a toll in our own lives and in the lives of people who are close to us. Abraham's nephew, Lot, witnesses the disastrous fallout of bad choices-in others' lives and in his own. If it weren't for God's patience and mercy in his life-and in our own lives-hope would have been lost long ago. Yet God still gives us freedom to choose. Will you use that freedom to rely on the Lord and choose what honors Him?
RESPOND: Though Abraham had wealth and influence beyond what most of us will know in this life, he always responded with humility to God and His messengers (cf. 18:1-15). Why is humility vital in recognizing, receiving and responding to God's promises? In what circumstances might you need to remind yourself that nothing is too hard for God (18:14)? Judging from verses 18:18-19, why did God bless Abraham, reveal His plans to him and give him influence for generations? (See 18:19 note.) Why was the Lord determined to judge Sodom and Gomorrah, and what does this reveal about God's character? (See 18:20 note.) What did Abraham's plea for the cites reveal about his character and his relationship with God? How does God's response to Abraham's prayer serve as both a warning and an encouragement? (See 18:22 note.) How did Lot's time in Sodom affect him spiritually, and why was he willing to tolerate this influence? (See 19:1 note.) What can you learn from Lot's example? What apparent evils were prevalent in Sodom? (See 19:5 note.) Why do you think Lot's wife looked back at the destruction of Sodom, and what can we learn from her tragic example? (See 19:26 note.) What accounts for the immoral behavior of Lot's daughters, and what can this teach us about guarding ourselves and our families against corrupt influences? (See 19:33 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to keep you humble and help you make wise choices regarding things to which you expose yourself.
ACT: Make choices more thoughtfully today. That doesn't mean that you have to labor over each one, but take time to ensure that you're not just doing what you think is best for you, but do what will honor God the most.
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