Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009 – Day 350.Dec 17 – Genuine Faith

Passage for Study: Genesis 22: 3 – 8 … Genesis 22 linked for study …
Secondary Passage: Hebrews 11: 8 – 19 … … Hebrews 11 linked for study …

My Journal for Today: When you read through these passages, Swindoll is right that we can easily get wrapped up in the emotions of the scenario, especially those of us who have children, as we empathize and simply can’t imagine how/why Abraham responded in faith the way he did to the test God was putting him through. I, for one, would be the first to have cried, “Why God!” in this scenario. So, we ask how Abraham could be so faithful to his God by going up to Mount Moriah to offer up his ONLY son as a living sacrifice.

Well, the answer really is in common logic, operating in concert with the maturity of Abraham’s faith. Abraham simply had a highly developed trust in His God by intimately knowing His God. He knew God could not lie; and God had promised that Isaac was to be God’s seed of promise for a nation of people; and the only way that could happen would be for Isaac to live. Abraham also knew that God was God, Who had the power over death. And so the logical conclusion was that God could, and would, make sure that no matter what transpired on that mountain, God would provide a way for Isaac to cheat death and live to carry out God’s covenant with Abraham. Hence, we read old Abe responding quietly and logically to Isaac’s question about where the lamb was for the sacrifice that day. Isaac’s father simply, and logically, responded in Genesis 22: 8, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”

And so, we read what real faith is all about in this story; and real faith is measured by choices which fulfill the command Jesus gave to His disciples, when He said, (in Luke 9: 23), “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” And the only way a follower after God can deny self and take up a cross like sacrificing his son would be to truly know His Lord and to trust that God would only lead him in such a way as to provide a way – God’s way - even when there does not appear to be a way.

I’m going to repeat something here I’ve come back to often in my devotionals. And it’s something which I learned from my dear mentor years ago, … something which has become my mantra of faith over the years. And my friend, if you can internalize the truth here, it can help you have the faith of an Abraham in the face of seemingly overwhelming situations. My mentor taught me that to know God is to love God. And to love God is to obey God. And to obey God is to serve God. And to serve God is to be blessed by God.

My dear one, Abraham knew His God, loved His God, and obeyed His God; therefore, Abraham knew to simply serve God in that obedience, no matter what God led him to do. And ultimately Abraham knew – in faith - that if he served God faithfully, God would bless him by providing a way, even though there seemed no way. That, my friend, is the promise of two verses from God’s truth which help me follow God’s way – as much as my growing faith can muster. And those two verses are Proverbs 3: 5 – 6 and 1st Cor. 10: 13. I hope you have these passages memorized and internalized; because they will help believers when doing things God’s way seems illogical to the world and even when they seem impossible to us. I won’t quote those two truths here. I hope you go back and meditate on these two passages; and if you don’t know them, memorize them; and then join me to do all we can, by living – in faith – from these truths, to know God, to love God, to obey God, to serve God and to live with God’s blessing – as did Abraham.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to have the discipline to know You in such a way that I can have the faith of an Abraham when things seem senseless in this world, knowing that You will always provide a way for Your children. Amen

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