January 5 | Daily Devotion

If you plan to read every verse of Scripture this year, use the  Lectio Continua (continuous reading) passages. The  Lectio Semi-continua (shorter reading) is an abbreviated selection of verses from the day’s passages. Lectio Divina (divine reading) is Pastor Lionel Young’s commentary on the daily readings. See the Resources page on the Lectio Divina website for additional study helps.

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina (meditation on the text)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
~ Matthew 5:9

As promised, God begins to bless Abram. And what happens next? Well, his extended family squabbles over the wealth. In order to promote a peaceful resolution, Abram invites his nephew Lot to look over the land and go wherever he wants to go. Abram will go the opposite direction so that their herds have sufficient grazing space. Lot chooses the best land, a spread near fecund fields and spacious plains and situated close to the beautiful (but wicked) city of Sodom.

God responds to Abram’s gracious act with reassurance that even greater blessing awaits him. Abram, for his part, acts as a conduit of God’s goodness. When his nephew falls into the hands of wicked people, Abram mounts a rescue mission. The battle to save Lot and his family nets Abram a wealth of war spoils. He immediately passes a tenth of the goods into the hands of Melchizedek, the priest of God. This is Abram’s act of worship and also the first recorded instance of tithing in Scripture.

Throughout these passages, Abram is a man who pursues peace, shows humility, keeps his heart pure, and extends mercy to the people who took advantage of him.   And God blessed him! As Jesus taught in Matthew 5, blessed are the meek (humble), the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who have been wronged!

Are you in a situation that requires someone to take the initiative and work to come up with a peaceful solution to a problem? Let that someone be you. If you are willing to act in faith, keeping your heart pure, God will bless your efforts even if the other person endeavors to take advantage of you.

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.