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Summary: Abram knew that things went haywire in Egypt and that he got it wrong. At this altar there is real indication of REPENTANCE as he CALLS UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD. We don't have any recorded words of this prayer, but we see it his WORDS AND ACTIONS towards

Part 1 - Genesis 13:1-13 - FORGIVENESS DOESN'T MEAN EXEMPTION FROM PROBLEMS

WE HAVE JUST MOVED TO SYDNEY NSW from the Whitsundays in Queensland, Australia. I didn't come seeking a better position, certainly not better scenery or more money. We don't even have our own house to live in at present. When we moved, we moved because we knew that God was in it.

Sydney is a big city. It has a beautiful harbour, world renowned opera house and bridge, bright lights, wealth, but the downside is that IT IS EASY TO GET LOST. I constantly need a GPS to get anywhere. That's true spiritually too. Without Christ in my life, I would be lost, without any real purpose in life. My life would lack meaning, and significance and I would have no real love, joy, peace, goodness, faith, discipline, and self-control. I would get it wrong. What about you? Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ and the forgiveness and purpose that He offers to you?

At present I am without employment. I have just finished my long service leave and so I went to apply for unemployment benefits. I live in a country that pays me to look for work! That still amazes me. It seems so strange to be in this position. My assessment was conducted by a young pregnant woman. She smiled pleasantly and made me feel at home, which is not always true when you walk into a Government Service office. In the course of our conversation and my assessment, I discovered she attended Hillsong Church with her husband. They are both Christians making a difference in Sydney. God looks after me. It made so much of a difference to be assessed by a Christian who understood the call of God on my life.

Lord, let this move have spiritual significance as we work alongside our Pastors in our new Church and in this new community. In the decisions of my life I choose this day to allow You to have the say concerning where to live and work, worship, play.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Does God have the say in who you marry, what movies and TV programs you watch, where you work, worship, how you live? Don't move too fast past those questions.

In Genesis 13:1-3, I like what Abram does when they get out of Egypt, and the disastrous situation that occurred there concerning Sarai and Pharaoh. Abram got it wrong, but the first thing he does to rectify that situation is move back to the altar he built in the land God had promised him - Canaan.

I think Abram knew that things went haywire in Egypt and that he got it wrong. At this altar there is real indication of REPENTANCE as he CALLS UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD. We don't have any recorded words of this prayer, but we see it his WORDS AND ACTIONS towards Lot when they face a conflict situation. We see it in the GENEROSITY OF ABRAM TO LOT in resolving this rift that become to open up between them. Abram has come out of Egypt a changed man. He has a totally different outlook from the one he had in Egypt. HIS SELFISHNESS HAS GONE.

What interests me is that even in the promised land after Abram makes the right move and calls upon the name of the Lord, there is still conflict to deal with. I believe GOD USES THE CONFLICT TO TEST WHAT ABRAM HAS LEARNED about not being selfish. That's true of me too.

It seems when I call upon Your Name, Lord, I am not exempt from facing difficult situations, and You use those situations to teach me new things about myself, my attitudes and perspectives in life. Thankyou for Your grace, Lord.

What happens next is a great story in living out the principles of God's Word in a powerful way, but I will leave it for another time.

God bless you Church as we live a life where we always come back to God when we get it wrong. 1 John 1:8-10 (NLT) was written to Christians and says "If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts." Now that's really laying it on the line. Thankyou Lord for Your faithfulness and grace and forgiveness.

Pastor Ross

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