Bible Challenge: Day 5

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Bible Time Period: Patriarchs

In the time of the Patriarchs, you called Abraham and promised his children land, a royal kingdom, and worldwide blessing: Help me to trust in your promises today.


“The infamous account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and of Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt, is related in Genesis 19.  Don’t miss verses leading up to it in chapter 18, which show Abraham pleading with God to spare the city for the sake of those righteous inside it.  These verses are a beautiful example of the mercy of God and effective prayer, and they also give insight into the character of Abraham.” (The Bible Timeline: the Story of Salvation p. 15)

Today’s Reading

Genesis 17-20

Today’s Question

Notice in chapter 18 the reason God says He chose Abraham.  For what has God chosen you?

Join the discussion below!

About the Author

Sarah Christmyer

Sarah Christmyer is a Catholic Bible teacher, author, and speaker and the co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Study Program. She is editor of The Great Adventure Bible Study series , author or co-author of several Great Adventure studies, and author of The Bible Timeline Guided Journal. A Bible study teacher since 1999, Sarah helped launch Catholic Scripture Study (CSS) for Catholic Exchange and is co-author of two Bible studies on Genesis, published by Emmaus Road. She lives near Philadelphia with her husband, Mark, and their four children.

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  • Richie

    All I can say about today’s readings is thank God I was circumcised when I was a baby, lol.

  • Sharon Witty

    This is interesting. Usually when I have my quiet time and go to this discussion, several persons have posted. Of course, it is Saturday, a different kind of day. But I wonder if the reflection question has put persons off. It’s a difficult question, so I’ll try to gather up courage from the Spirit and answer it. I’m in the retirement phase of my life, and God seems to be taking me out of my Comfort Zone. I seem to be called to spend time with persons, with listening to them, with being understanding and compassionate. Why is this difficult? Because I’m an introvert; I like much time to myself plus I’m just plain selfish–I like to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Matter of fact, I was just praying this a.m. for wisdom in how to spend my time and with whom to spend it. Praise God for the way He works in our lives

  • Nanette

    God wanted Abraham to lead his nation to walk in righteousness and truth. On a smaller and much more humble way he wants me to do the same in my family as a parent.

  • Ann

    Amazing how the women in the Old Testament were treated with no respect . Helps me understand where the Arab nations get there beliefs. Still God has brought us a long way and we have learned to respect all human life and they have stood still. Yet my beliefs are that God create women to nurture and unite the family. Giving us plenty of time to nurture out side Social Work to make this world a better place. Materialistic ideas have drew us far from Gods goal in our life. “Things” have become more important. And that can lead to destruction. Hence the failure if so many marriages.

  • Carol P.

    God works in such strange ways! I was thinking this morning about my resolution to find a new way to help people. I am retired and have free time to volunteer and have been considering options. God is telling me to get busy and chose something worthwhile to help lead in righteousness and truth. Tell me Lord, what is it you want me to do?

  • Shannon J

    I think God has called each of us to do just what was called of Abraham, to “keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just” (Genesis 18:19). Of course, this will manifest differently for everyone, but our basic calling is the same.

  • Marirose M

    I think that it is important that we all remember that God put us here for a reason. Some of us may question like Abraham, and some may laugh like Sarah. But that is an important thing.

  • Barbara Brown Harris

    I don’t believe we get 1 call from God. I feel we are called for different tasks throughout our lives. If this is true, we must always be ready, always be willing, and always be listening.

  • Marla

    For what has God chosen me? I feel funny answering this. I do not pretend to know God’s ideas. I believe God can accomplish anything through me. Nothing is mine it is all God’s. I am only a willing vessel, or at least I try hard to be. Like all humans, I suppose, I fight God’s will at times out of fear, pride, stubbornness, or worldly desires. Lord, help me to be open to your will for my life. Help me surrender my will to yours.

  • Brian Peltier

    Proclaim the Lord to all and keep the Lords way by our actions.

  • Ginny Yates

    Keeping things simple, I like what the author Matthew Kelly teaches: “God wants us to become the best version of ourselves.” By using our God-given talents and gifts, however great or small, we can eventually achieve this.
    One thing that really stands out in the readings is the power of intercessory prayer. We can all increase this daily.

  • Baker

    I just read the comments and they are all so helpful to me to see what conclusions others draw from all reading the same thing. I made several notes – looked them over a few times – scratched out some and finally came up with – God chose me as one of his children to be baptised (removing original sin from me). To be raised in the Catholic faith where I learned to know, love and serve Him. To show that I am an apostle of His to spread His word by my actions, words and deeds in my daily routine. To pray for wisdon to know His will in my life and the strength and trust to follow through with it. I always ask His help through Mary our blessed and loving mother.

  • kevpaq

    Wow! It is only Day 5, and this story trumps anything the Kardashians can spew out! I am thoroughly enjoying unpacking all the details to this story. I am lucky to have a copy of “Walking with God” by Tim Gray & Jeff Cavins. This is the perfect companion to this program.
    I am still trying to determine what God’s will is for me. Until I discover what that is, I strive to live my life like Seth, Shem and now Abraham (in accordance with God’s laws).

  • Nanette

    I wonder if not mentioning female names also is sort of a protection. The men dealt with the outside world and the wife dealt without he home. Like how I have my husband call to deal with business people do it frees me to deal with what’s going on with the children. Before marriage I thought the same as you. After being married many years I thought it kind to leave all the women’s names out of speculation. A way to silently honor them.

  • Mike S

    I don’t know. Abraham does because at Mamre (Genesis12) he does a remarkable thing in entering God into his tent, and thus will be susquently blessed by God and become atune to God’s plan (Catechism 2571). I am not sure I have completely been as welcoming in completely allowing God to enter my house. I guess I do somewhat when I take the Eucharist and pray “Lord, I am not worthy for you to enter under my roof, but say only the word
    and my soul shall be healed.” Before today’s discussion, I thought I was pretty good with God. I guess I need to see God appearing to me at my Oak tree, and I need to rush to him as Abraham there. He probably has been standing there patiently waiting for me to welcome him into my home…!

  • Mike S

    I agree God may not call us in a human sense. I do believe that we need to stop, listen for God. He is a revealing God. Think about Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and our Saints. As much as they prayed or sought God’s intervention and help, God/Jesus/Holy Spirit often appeared rather unexpectantly and mysteriously (Abraham at the oak tree, Elijah on the desert road, Moses with the buring bush, etc..). Perhaps God has not called us yet, or has and we need to listen to God and discern that calling?

  • Ed Pogue

    I think God calls us differently at different times. I sometimes get knocked on the head, other times just a gentle push to get me in a place where I can be closer to Him.

  • Mike S

    Nice reply. This makes sense.

  • Marie

    Haha, I must confess that when I was reading that passage I was thinking about some poor guy telling his fellow servants “Watch out, Abram has a knife and you won’t believe what he’s doing with it! He says God told him to do it!”

  • Mike S

    The Bible is also a historical document, revealing to us certain socio-cultural, and political, norms accepted in these ancient communities (see footnote copied below). Women, slaves, and aliens (foreginers) were treated poorly and inhumanely. Yet, the Bible is also a Story of God revealing himself to us and is about the story of salvation. Look how a merciful God treats women – he intercedes to help Hagar when she is mistreated by Sarah; she gives Sarah a son; and is merciful to Eve in saving her and providing her (and us all) the hope of salvation. Fast forward to Jesus, and the examples are plentiful on how Jesus treats many women, slaves and aliens with respect and love. Having said this, God did create two genders who are different in many ways, and that is the beauty of our creation, marriage, holy orders, etc.

    See footnote for Genesis 16:2: “The custom of an infertile wife providing her husband with a concubine to produce children is widely attested in ancient Near Eastern law; e.g., an Old Assyrian marriage contract states that the wife must provide her husband with a concubine if she does not bear children within two years.

  • Mike S

    I like this reply!

  • Marie

    I don’t know. I hope that in some ways I set a good example for others, even if it is just an example of trust in the Lord. I think he may have also chosen me to clean my house, but I have not followed him well in that regard :-P

  • Peggy S

    I believe that God has chosen us for many things and that those things change throughout our life time…

  • Peggy S

    I agree! Kind of like in Jonah’s story… a nudge here and there to bring us closer to His ultimate plan.

  • Peggy S

    Marirose, this is so very true! So many times I don’t understand the reasoning, but I’m not ‘seeing’ the big picture as He see’s it.

  • Sofia

    I agree with woman being created to nurture and unite the family. It is my opinion that this is partly what is wrong in the world today. Mothers (including me) HAVE to work. They can no longer stay home and teach their children right from wrong, good from bad. There is no one to teach them morals and virtues, how to way their prayers and sing traditional, meaningful Christmas Carols, etc. They are put in daycare (as was mine) and what you try to teach them in the short time you spend with them is not re-enforced because you do not know that values of the workers. There are few Catholic schools left to teach religion and, again, what we teach them isn’t re-enforced because prayer and religious teachings are not permitted in schools. We have to get back to basics, back to traditions, back to teaching our children what is and is not important. Back to “US” instead of “ME!”

  • Linda Bieg

    The decree by God to circumcise on the 8th day, in the notes explains.” by shifting the time of circumcism to the 8th day after birth,biblical religion made it no longer a “rite of passage”, but the sign of the eternal covenant between God and the community..”. Can we Catholics see the similarities between our belief in infant baptism being a sign our our covenant with God and the Protestant belief of baptism being a sort of “rite of passage” with those old enough to decide for themselves. If St. Paul likens baptism to the circumcism of the Old Testament, then this makes sense to me. Am I correct?

  • Mo

    I am trying to catch up. Did anyone discuss (can’t find) Lot choosing best land and then being in the middle of a war. Having to be rescued at which time Melchisadek comes. The passages of what happened with Melchizadek fascinate me. Sarah can you offer insight? I’m sorry a day behind, bit this seems so important gong forward.

  • Sarah B

    You’re hilarious! I keep scrolling down and can’t help but laugh at your comments.

  • Bob S

    I learned some things about the story of Lot’s two daughters who slept with their father. The offspring became the Moabites and the Ammonites. This story may be a Hebrew way of slurring the Moabites and Ammonites. The Moabites and the Ammonites claimed descent from the Hebrew Prophets. The Hebrews were forbidden by law to have friendly dealings or intermarriage with the Moabites and the Ammonites (see Deut. 23). So, If they were claiming descent from the prophets then it was based on an incestuous relationship. Incest the Hebrews abominated above every other sin (see Deut. 27:20, 23). This story is the cruel retort that the Hebrews made to that claim.

  • Sarah B

    I’ve struggles with this question a lot lately. And I tend to get worked up and anxious as a result of my perfectionism. So many of the mass readings lately, as well as various other articles and sermons have hit me upside the head telling me to let go and let God. I love the quote from st. Augustine “love God, then do what you will.” It is certainly a struggle of identity. The one thing I know for certain is that I’m a child of God. We were put in this world to know love and serve him that we may be happy with Him in the next. We may never know what we are made for in this world. For me it’s becoming simply a matter of seeing the opportunities that God puts in my life on a daily basis. Put the past in the hands of God’s justice, the future in His care, and live in the present!

  • Rose Marie Doyle

    Not so clear in the NAB, but in other translations, Gen 18:19 basically says that God chose Abraham, because He KNEW that Abraham would charge and teach his descendants to follow the way of the Lord after him. This is an expectation of God for all His followers – to hand on the faith to the next generation. And we are experiencing the result in this country and around the world of failure to do this. We are going the way of Sodom and Gomorrah. I believe my call is to daily pray for my descendants to keep and hand on, or return to, the faith and also, as a teacher, to hand on the faith to the next generation in every way God makes possible.

  • Bob S

    God promised to continue to protect the heirs of Abraham. Circumcision became the sign of those who had been brought into the house of Israel and shared in its privileges. Ismael was one of his heirs but the promise does not flow to him because of his birth by the slave-girl according to the flesh. The promise extends to the son of the free woman according to the promise.

    The covenant of circumcision has passed away because the promise which it symbolized has been realized in Christ. We are heirs of Abraham not through the fleshy rite of circumcision, but with the spiritual faith which we share with Abraham.

  • Kate33

    I have listened to a talk from Jeff Cavins called “How to Simplify Your Life.” In it Jeff speaks about how you know what God has called you to do. If you are married God has called you to be a husband or wife. If you are a parent God has called you to be a holy mother or father. If you are an aunt or uncle, God has called you to holiness through being an aunt or uncle… I think you get the point. I spent years trying to find out what God was calling me to, I am 34 with two young children (5 and 2), I finally am starting to learn that instead of looking for the grand and large calling I should look at the more obvious things in my life. I need to spend more time being a mother and helping my family to be holy. I need to spend more time improving my relationship with my mom and being a holy daughter. I need to devote more time to my husband who often gets overlooked between the two young children and my job at the Church. God called Abraham to be the Father of all nations by first making him a husband and then the Father of a child.

  • chinookmt

    What is a Kardashian?? I wish I did not know. Even though I never watched it I can’t escape it.

  • Janet

    I believe God is always with us, He promised to never leave us, He wants us to obey Him, trust Him and lean not on our own understanding.

  • BJR

    It makes sense to me too. I’ve always been puzzled by the idea of waiting for them to be “old enough to decide for themselves” when as parents we make so many other (less critical) decisions for our young children!

  • Sarah Christmyer

    Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone to answer, Sharon. I’m sure other people feel the same way. A similar thought struck me about the mass readings lately: Andrew and Philip both went immediately to share Christ with others, when they found him. That is a challenge to us introverts. But when God calls us into a relationship with himself, it’s in the context of his family. May God give you the wisdom and grace you are seeking!

  • Sarah Christmyer

    I am enjoying reading everyone’s comments and am glad my questions are provoking thought and conversation. I have tried to get a good mix of types of questions, some more factual, some practical or personal, and so on. Over the course of these 90 days, I hope you will find plenty to focus your reading and help you along the way.

    I’ll be on retreat for a couple weeks and will check in when I can; I’ll be praying for everyone taking this 90-day challenge.

  • Kwikman

    Amen to that one. How on earth did we get so inundated with “Kardashian”!

  • george

    I feel that god chose me to be a good husband and father to my family. Hopefully im doing that to inspire other people to do the right thing.

  • Katercia

    Thanks for the “Walking with God” reference. I have the book as well and will start using it. I had no idea I would enjoy this type of study and discussion so much! Thank you Sarah

  • Louise Springer

    It’s a lot easier to see what God called me to do yesterday than what he’s calling me to do in the future. Looking backwards at both my success and failures, I can see the hand of God putting people and situations in my path, but I’m only rarely aware at the time that God is calling me to do something specific.

  • Peggy S

    Kate, I so agree! I hear of others where God directly tells them what their ‘life plan’ is and they are excited and charismatic about it…. and I feel that I’m being passed by… sometimes God speaks softly.
    I’ll have to google Cavins ‘How to Simplify Your Life’.

  • Lemoine

    I became involved in church ministry late in life and have enjoyed every minute of it. Sharing His Word and His love as often as I can.

  • Peggy S

    Thank you, Sarah, for all of your hard work! I’m also enjoying everyone’s comments and I’m learning so much more!

  • Katercia

    God bless you on your retreat, Sarah. I will pray for you. You leave us with a great gift. “See” you in a couple weeks.

  • Victor

    Ya, and I bet there was about a month lull in babies born in about 9 months after the the big C day

  • Katercia

    For what have I been chosen? Will we ever know, absolutely, before we stand in judgement if we followed the right path. I am a widow after nearly 40 years of marriage to my high school sweetheart. I thought that was it. We had 3 children – once severely handicapped whom we cared for and who was dearly loved until his death. I thought that was it. Now I look at my two surviving children, both married with wonderful spouses and children. My son and wife are non-believers and my daughter claims to believe but no practice. Now this will be my biggest role and the one I intend to give my every breath to. (Obviously I didn’t do very well the first time through!) Maybe I spent too much time teaching the Faith to other children. I believe we have many phases and that it is true that our call from the Lord changes as we listen and walk with Him.

  • Bob D

    I believe that God has called me to love those that He has put in my life. Just as Abraham welcomed his visitors with food and hospitality so should I be open and generous with my wealth.
    I can’t help but wonder if God would have left Hagar and Ishmael out in the desert how that would have changed what is going on in the Middle East today?

  • Lis

    “For what has God chosen me?” I believe I have been chosen to be a wife and I mother. I feel my job is to help my husband and boys get to heaven. I pray every day for our family to continue to grow in our faith and for my boys to stay close to God even as they get older. I also think we are all called to evangelize.

    I too am enjoying reading everyone’s comments. They help so much. God Bless you all.

  • Karen R

    You have given me a knew way to discern God’s calling in my life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Ernesto Ibale

    I believe that God put us here for his glory. My hope is that the little and insignificant things I do, with his grace, add to this cause.

  • jw

    I think the comments for today are all the best. And, yes, they apply to me too. Do you know how to make God laugh…tell Him your plans.

  • Desiree

    God has chosen me to be an example to all so that all people that I come in contact with will see God’ mercy,blessings and love. I should do whatis right and just in all that I do.

  • Leslie

    Pity the poor women who had to put up with all the men’s moaning and complaining!

  • john

    I believe God has chosen me to continue His work when He became human and lived with us not only in Spirit but now flesh and blood. God’s work was to proclaim the Good News and share GOD;S LOVE WITH EVERYONE WE MEET. It took my son 16 year old son (almost 8 years ago) being in a devastating accident which almost left him a vegetable or dying. Throughout the whole experience, the doctors only had sad news, no hope. Only what their jobs obligate them to do, facts without hope. I prayed to God every single minute of the day. Mri’s showed no hope for my son. But God intervened and gave me a miracle. Despite all the Mri’s and x-rays and doctors diagnosis, my son fully recovered from this devastating accident.( His skull plates were removed to allow the brain to swell from the impact). God not only gave us His Son, but He gave me my son. My son is living life to the fullest. He is a journeyman with the construction union. By saving my son’s life I share this testimony at Chuch retreats and @ an organization called Basic Christian Community in Hawaii. I am a Eucharistic Minister, Lector and play the guitar for church and BCC gatherings. When God calls me home and I stand face to face with Jesus, I hope he tells me “Job well done”. God is Good All tthe Time!!!!!!!

  • Lisa

    I agree. I believe that God’s will for me is to be Christ’s love and light to others, namely my husband and daughters. Also to teach about is forgiveness and mercy. Thank you all for your thoughts and sharing.

  • Lisa


  • HarryW

    I suppose I could give the stock answer from the Baltimore Catechism–We are to know, love and serve God in this world so we may be with Him in the next. However, I have found it is not that simple. Why did God choose me? If I have it right, God chose me to

    be the best husband and father and grandfather that I could be. In fulfilling those roles I feel I am living out God’s plan for me. In those roles I also became active in church ministry. Hopefully, by word and example, I have influenced others to come to know Christ. In the end, I believe anyone who is serving God in some capacity be it the single, or ordained clergy or married life is in some way chosen by God to lead the life they have.

  • Kris Koehler

    Back when everyone was doing Covey and had to have personal mission statements, I thought it was best summed up “To be the best Kris K ever.” which may come off initially as a bit selfish and prideful, but I believed to do that meant to reach out to others, to reach out to God, to do the things that would truly make me the best…only later did I read Matthew Kelly’s “best version of ourselves” and get it

  • Dublinwoods

    God chose Abraham to be the father of a nation…God’s chosen people. As we can see Abraham was very faithful, even though he often did not see “the forest for the trees”. Our lives are often like that, discernment and then taking one step after another, while learning to trust God more and more. In my own life, my wife has been such a special blessing that I feel God has chosen us for some work greater than either of us could do individually. It is a work that involves our sons and daughters, but it goes beyond that…to the “brothers and sisters” that we meet daily as we work and go about our duties. It is my hope that it is in that bond as husband and wife that others can see the face of God.

  • Marge

    Barbara, that’s what I was just thinking, as I was pondering the question, “What is He calling me to do or be?” I often, especially lately, find myself amused and pleasantly surprised at the ways He’s used me in the lives of others. I was called to be a wife; my husband passed when I was 47. I was called to be a mother; my daughter is now grown and a wife and mother herself. She’s rearing 4 (about to be 5!) grandchildren in the faith and I’m amazed at how strong they are in their Catholicism and love of God. So I guess now I’m called to be the best grandmother and example AND source of unconditional love for those grandbabies. With His grace, because this is His will, I only need to accept it and put one foot in front of the other.

  • Theresa

    We are called in so many different ways, I believe that we are all called to use the talents that God has given us in a way to make the world around us a better place. For me that is working to the best of my ability in my chosen profession. I wouldn’t be where i am today without the guidance of God in my life. As a physician I feel His presence everyday. I can see the miracle of life with every baby that I help to bring into the world, and I know that I am using my talents as a surgeon to help make the lives of my patients better.

  • Rose Marie Doyle

    First he was in the middle of a war and then he had to escape the city, losing everything before God destroyed it. Abraham’s generosity protected him from all this trouble. This speaks of the goodness of Father Abraham and is certainly an example for us

  • Doris

    Thank you Sarah for the good work you are doing. it is interesting and helpful to read the opinions of others, knowing that you are there to lead us.
    I am grateful to be a part of this ” Bible Challenge” experience.

  • Robinc

    I have wondered that too, at times.

  • Wilma

    Thanks Nanette, that about says it for me too – well said. the blessings of our family and state in life must stay our primary focus and obligation. So many beautiful entries, words of wisdom in this chain :)

  • Jim G.

    I am enjoying the 90 Day Bible Challenge so much that I am already dreading when it concludes. I find this a nice refresher course to Jeff Cavins Great Adventure study. The addition you have provided here of sharing comments and insight is a blessing (Where two or more gather in my name…) I only wish this website will continue after the Challenge is over. A great alternative “social network” for Bible study and Bible living conversation. Instead of Facebook…Faithbook.

  • Mo

    Totally feel like you Jim. We are a family, and I feel so much peace reading the comments. They bring the Scripture to life and unite us all. I don’t feel all alone out here on the Internet .

  • Mo

    Wow. Exactly. A meditation on the mustard seed in the Magnificat this month says exactly that! I used to look out and think I had to be like a great saint or something. A saint ‘yes’, but great in exactly the place I am right now. What a relief to understand this simple calling is exactly what I am supposed to be doing…

  • Sharon Witty

    Katercia, Word Among Us press has published an excellent book, which my ecumenical Bible Study group is studying right now. It’s called “Praying for our Adult Sons and Daughters” by Therese and John Boucher. Because you are concerned about your children’s spirituality (as am I), you might find this book inspirational and helpful in caring about/for your children.

  • Mary

    God has called me to be a wife and through that call, to keep listening to Him regarding our children. We have four now, as I always hoped for three, then really felt God ask through my son, to give him a brother. Having done that, I am surprised to feel that I am willing to accept another if that is His Will for our family. Going this far has been such a wonderful surprise that I never guessed for myself, and I am amazed to see how love grows this way.

  • Deb

    I think that God is calling me to be a good wife, mother, friend, teacher, and listener…not always in that order. Many times I’d like to withdraw and go to a quiet place and just be with God in retreat, but God calls me to other things. It’s in those moments that I smile and recognize that it’s God’s will and not my own and he is teaching me so many things through so many people. God is calling me to be holy and to respect my body, the temple of God, while allowing me opportunities to overcome struggles with addictive behaviors. Mostly, each day God may call me to rise above my own wants and needs and accept new challenges. I am blessed to be on this journey of faith with so many others who are aware of God’s calling them to be….

  • dew of the sea

    God said, “walk in my presence and be blameless.” God said, “keep my covenant.”

  • Janice P

    Katercia, I would be willing to bet you planted the seed in fertile ground with your children. At some point they should have started to listen to the Spirit and water and tend the faith themselves. I think you should not be so hard on yourself. But you are correct, we just pray and let God take care of it now. And we have certainly seen the amazing miracles God can do, so I believe He can turn the hearts of our children, that is my hope and prayer.

  • Janice P

    Praise God!!!!

  • Teresa23

    This is one of my favorite passages from the Bible. The art of haggling without being zapped.

  • Katrina pratt

    Indeed, I have singled him out that he may direct his children and his household in the future to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD may put into effect for Abraham the promises he made about him.

    The Lord wanted Abraham to do His will and increase the goodness of the human race – restoring some of what had been lost since the fall and Original Sin.

    For what has The Lord chosen me???
    What a great question… and the answer is really only KNOWN to God. However I do feel that as my faith in God has grown I have started to see more clearly the path He wants me to take and the roles He has had lined up for me.
    Really my main goal is to constantly trust in him and thus be able to do His will, not my own. Through my free will I want to do God’s will.

  • Debbie King

    I often say that our greatest gifts can also be our greatest challenges and it is in faith that we step out into using those gifts as God directs. I know I have been chosen for my role as a Catholic school principal in an urban setting and even though my gifts at times become my challenges, I find strength in knowing it is to what I have been called – not easily – not without some push back – but I know God is getting mr through it day by day.

  • Vicki S

    I’ve been a little ill, so just getting back to the Challenge and planning to catch up! I believed I was being called to serve others when I just wasn’t finding peace in areas I would try to volunteer. I struggled with not having enough time – working, five grown children and five grandchildren, two aging parents, etc. Then I realized through prayer that God was actually calling me to serve my own family by using my time to assist in the caregiving of my parents. They needed me to be available for them. Some day when they’re both gone (my father died two years ago) I can be confident that God will show me where he next wants me to serve.

  • Wilma

    Oh I loved that part too. What was quote?

  • Mandi

    I agree with you on what you just wrote! God chose Abraham because He saw something in Abraham that he wanted to show to other people!

    However, I do not know what God has chosen me for either… I still need to work on that answer and keep on pondering until I receive the answer from God then I will know why I am chosen to do something worthwhile here on the earth!

  • Peggy Bowes

    The Anchoress (great blogger on Patheos) has a beautiful reflection on circumcision:

  • Peggy Bowes

    Perhaps this story was God’s way of showing how evil perpetuates itself, not necessarily a slur on a specific group.

  • Peggy Bowes

    Abraham (Abram at the time) was not supposed to take Lot with him. (In Genesis 12:1 God tells Abram to leave his father and his kindred). As a result, Lot causes Abram a lot of trouble. Perhaps the famine in the Promised Land was a result of this lack of trust. Then Lot takes up too much room in the land (and takes the best land for himself), gets kidnapped and has to be rescued, offers up his own daughters to the Sodomites, who later get him drunk and get pregnant. Although Lot seems to be a good man, he probably would have been better off if Abram had just listened to God and left Lot in Haran.

  • Peggy Bowes

    Actually, I see Abraham as frequently unfaithful. He brought Lot with him when God told him to leave family behind. He gave up Sarah to the Egyptian pharaoh and again to Abimelech. He slept with Sarah’s servant, Hagar, not trusting that God would give him a son through Sarah. Yet God is always faithful to Abraham. It takes awhile, but eventually, Abraham gets it right, trusting God to the point where he is willing to sacrifice his own beloved son. I think God does the same in our lives. He keeps his promises to us even when we doubt or are unfaithful. We have to keep working until we completely trust Him.

  • Peggy Bowes

    It can be so difficult to discern God’s will in my life! I think the more that I pray and spend time with Him, the easier it gets. Thank heaven for this wonderful Bible study and Sarah’s thought-provoking questions!