Monday, June 20, 2022

            Genesis 12 features the call of Abram to go to a new land.  God’s call came this way, “leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1).  Imagine receiving such a call—to leave behind all that is familiar and everything you know.  And even more, to go to an undefined place for possibly the rest of your life.  Now Abram did go with a promise—a promise from God that God would bless and honor him.  We read, “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” (Genesis 12:2).  How does this ancient story connect with us today?  What can we take away from this call and promise that God issued to Abram? 
              One lesson we learn is that we often have to trust God for a blessing.  God gives us a pathway to follow or a road to pursue and we have to take some initial steps of faith before we proceed.  We may see only the beginning of the road and not the middle or the end.  But God has seen the whole road.  And we trust God to get us from the starting line to the finish line.  We trust God to care for us, to protect us and to direct us to where He would have us to be.  Often God blesses us freely.  God can bless us even unexpectedly.  But at times, God’s blessings come after we have trusted Him and acted as His call has directed us to act.
            Another lesson stands out from Abram.  God always acts with purpose.  When God called Abram, the plan was to build the nation of Israel out of Abram’s line and descendants.  Of course, from Abram, Jesus would emerge years later as the Savior of both Israel and the world.  God has a reason for His actions and the calls that He extends to people like Abram or you and me.  It is not in God’s character to bounce people around aimlessly like a basketball.  God calls, leads, moves and guides because He is working out His purposes and uses us to do so.  We may never know when our obedience to the Lord sets the stage for a major event taking place years or even generations later.
            There is a third lesson.  We do not always see the outcome of our obedience.  Abram could not see the rise of a great nation, the rise of Moses, the Exodus or the coming of Jesus to save the world.  He was simply faithful and obedient to God in his times and ways.  God expects the same of us.  We can be faithful without necessarily seeing all that God will bring to pass. The future belongs to Him.  Obedience for obedience’s sake is perfectly good.  We obey God and listen to Him because He is God.  Often the joy comes from obedience itself and believing that God can use and bless our obedience to Him.
            Finally, God can work through our faithfulness and trust to bless others.  God promised to build a great nation in and through Abram—people Abram would never know or meet.  You could well be a channel God uses to bless others.  Perhaps God directs blessings through you to change and encourage others.  Blessings do not always remain in our possession alone.  Quite often we are conduits or pass-throughs whereby blessings reach their final destination.  Sure, God could have used someone other than Abram, or you or me for that matter.  But we miss the blessing that could be ours and the favor that God seeks to bestow upon us when we look the other way and let a blessing slide through our fingers.  Obedience is often step one if we wish to be a vessel or channel through whom God passes along His blessings.  Perhaps God will work through you today just as He did Abram long ago.  Be ready, be willing and be surrendered to Him.  Have a great Monday.  And remember you can share our worship any day or time at     

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