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March 24 – The flesh of the world and the flesh of our own hearts

“And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived.” – Genesis 16:4a

Scripture reading: Genesis 16:1-16

Last week Wednesday, I wrote that if we want to succeed in being a blessing for the world by being people and places where heaven and earth meet, we need to entrust ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, opening ourselves to His entrance into our souls with His Holy Spirit so that He becomes flesh and blood in our lives.

For Abram and Sarai to succeed in being a second Adam and Eve who would bless the world and deal with the problem caused by Adam’s sin by being people where heaven and earth meet, they too would have to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh. However, our Scripture reading shows us that both of them intentionally choose to live in the flesh when it concerns the fulfillment of God’s promise to make them into a great nation. Instead of waiting on God to fulfill His promise in His time, they take matters into their own hands and try to fulfill God’s promise their way, by having Abram go into Hagar and father a child with her according to the cultural custom of those days.

But this is not how we succeed in being a blessing for the world. If we want to bless the world by being people and places where heaven and earth meet, we need to live in the Spirit and not the flesh of the world or the flesh of our own hearts. All the misery that the birth of Ishmael brought about is clearly proof of this truth.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask your heavenly Father to show you where the flesh of the world or the flesh of your own heart is hindering you in succeeding to become a blessing for the world by being a person where heaven and earth meet.

Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren.


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