When the Joke’s on You

Genesis 18:1-15 NLT

1     The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day.

2     He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground.

3     “My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while.

4     Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet.

5     And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey.” “All right,” they said. “Do as you have said.”

6     So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get three large measures of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.”

7     Then Abraham ran out to the herd and chose a tender calf and gave it to his servant, who quickly prepared it.

8     When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.

9     “Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked. “She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.

10   Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!” Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent.

11   Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children.

12   So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”

13   Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’

14   Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

15   Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.” But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.”

Hebrew 13:2 NIV – Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

James 2:1-8 MSG1 My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. 2 If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, 3 and you say to the man in the suit, “Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!” and either ignore the street person or say, “Better sit here in the back row,” 4 haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted? 5 Listen, dear friends. Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. 6 And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? 7 Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—”Christian”—used in your baptisms? 8 You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.”

Genesis 17:17 NLT – Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”

Genesis 12:1-4 NLT1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.

God’s delays are not denials.

Psalm 108:6-7, 13 GNV6 Save us by your might; answer my prayer, so that the people you love may be rescued. 7 From his sanctuary God has said, “In triumph I will divide Shechem and distribute Sukkoth Valley to my people. 13 With God on our side we will win; he will defeat our enemies.

Romans 4:19-25 MSG19 Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. 20 He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, 21 sure that God would make good on what he had said. 22 That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” 23 But it’s not just Abraham; 24 it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. 25 The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.

Ephesians 3:20 NLT – Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Genesis 21:1-5 NLT1 The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. 2 She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. 3 And Abraham named their son Isaac. 4 Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. 5 Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.

Mark 3:32-35 NLT32 There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.” 33 Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 34 Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. 35 Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

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