Greetings again my Brethren.  Well, as they say April showers bring May flowers, but I am looking forward to getting back on the road in May.  Please keep this time of ministry in your thoughts and prayers.  Okay, this month we are going to begin a new area and look at various circumstances in which the LORD (and not Lord or Jesus or an Angel) has visited man in diverse situations. Usually when the LORD shows up man seems to be in dire straits. All throughout the Scriptures God in one form or another has visited man for many reasons, but most often to warn people of coming destruction or doom. This was the case in Genesis 18 when the LORD (God) and maybe Jesus or three Angels showed up and spoke to Abraham.  Here in Genesis we read, And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,”  (Genesis 18:1-2) and in verses 32 and 33 “And he said, Oh let not the Lord (Jesus) be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.33And the LORD (God) went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.”  (Genesis 18:32-33) This was the case here God was warning Abraham of the forthcoming doom  of the City of Sodom.  Now this visit is amazing if you really think about what you are reading.  On the casual read you would find God Almighty Jesus creator of the heavens  and earth, and two Angels come for a visit to speak to man called Abraham, but much much more is happening here.  Of course we know our Sunday School lessons well and know this is the Bible story when God tells Abraham He is going to destroy the City of Sodom because of their ungodly evil, their waywardness (see Genesis 19:4-8) especially their homosexuality.  What I would like to do this month is look at a few of the fine points in this story that will help us with our walk with the LORD and not get over into areas that will end us in the same place as the people of Sodom.  The first point from Genesis 18:2, was the correct response we should have when the LORD shows up for a visit.  Verse two says,  “and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.” WOW, Abraham did not wait for God Jesus, and the two Angels to come to him, oh no “he ran to meet them” and “bowed himself toward the ground” or assumed a position of worship. All throughout the Bible true worship is seen not by singing, dancing, painting, or any of that nominal foolishness of today, but bowing our head to ground. This is the Biblical definition of worship:  to bow our head to the ground.  Here “bowed” is Strong’s # 7812 used 172 times in the Bible and means to worship – 99, bow – 31, bow down – 18, obeisance 9, reverence 5.  I wonder why we use the term “praise and worship” and then start singing?  Well Abraham was not singing his mouth was shut in reverence and respect and worshiping.  Another  point, point two and I find this utterly amazing Abraham was able to dicker with God.  These words appear all throughout the Genesis 18:27-32, “Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.” Abraham got God down to 10 people, but sadly God could not find 10 righteous people in all of the great the City of Sodom. I really believe God knew how many people the Angels  would find.  So only Lot, this wife (who was told not to look back, but did and was turned into a pillar of salt), and his two daughters survived the fire and brimstone that fell on the City of Sodom totally destroying it. But just think Abraham got God to change His mind.  Yes, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but that does not mean He will not change His mind. Take heed my friend God’s word is Yea and Amen and things do not change IF we continue in His word and obey Him. God word says He wishes none to be lost no not one, but we also know daily Hell expands it borders. And the third point from this Bible story is in spite of God, Jesus, and two Angels showing up to warn Abraham of the impending doom the story ended sad. Just because God speaks does not mean things will end up great. You know we want to hear God speak, well God often speaks, but are we listening? The true proof or test of our listening is did we apply His words to our behavior. Here in this story everyone perishes, except for Lot and his two daughters who get Lot drunk and have sex (thinking they were the only three people let on earth) with their father. When God visits my friend we better pay attention and mind His words.                          

         Next month we will continue to look at some circumstances in which the LORD has visited man as seen in some diverse situations. Do you see Him draw near? Please know God is near to them who are near to Him. Do you feel His presence?  Do you see His hand in your life? He is waiting on us to make our first move.  Written by David Stahl