Advent 2017: Joy to the World: Day 3

God’s Covenant with Abram

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Today's Text: Genesis 12:1-9, Genesis 21:1-7, Genesis 22:15-18, John 8:56-58

Scripture Reading: Genesis 12:1-9, Genesis 21:1-7, Genesis 22:15-18, John 8:56-58

God is calling us to move from the land of our birth to the land of promise. For most of us, this is not necessarily a physical move, but a spiritual one. He is calling us to give up what we know in order to fully embrace the life of Christ. God’s invitation and promise to Abram in Genesis is one of the most expansive promises in Scripture. It’s basically a superfecta of every imaginable blessing:

“I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
– Genesis 12:2-3

Why did God call Abram to leave Ur and move all the way to Canaan? Couldn’t He have blessed Abram in the place where he was already well established? Sure, God can bring His blessing anywhere, but Abram had to change. He needed to be able to give up his native soil, his dearest friends, even the succor of family, to follow God.

God called Abram to give up all the comforts of home because they were a temptation to return to his old way of life. The things that draw us back into our idolatrous habits aren’t worth giving up the promise of new life. God told Abram to run from these things. In the KJV it rings quite dramatically; God commands Abram to: “Get thee out of thy country”! He’s essentially saying to Abram, Run, with all your speed from the temptations that cling to you! Escape with your life, and don’t look behind you (Genesis 12:1, my paraphrase).

What do we have to lose if we leave our sin and turn to God? He invites us to unspeakable blessing. The call given to Abram is like the gospel call that comes to us through Christ, the One who was before Abraham (John 8:58). We, too, are invited to leave our old life behind to step into the land of promise. Our natural affections must give way to divine affections. It’s in the Gospel of Luke that Jesus shockingly says, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). Matthew Henry explains it this way:

Our country is dear to us, our kindred dearer, and our father’s house dearest of all; and yet they must all be hated, that is, we must love them less than Christ, hate them in comparison with him, and, whenever any of these come in competition with him, they must be postponed, and the preference given to the will and honour of the Lord Jesus.

Christmas reminds us that we are called to do the hard work of willingly parting with things that are dear to us, for the sake of turning our affections toward Christ. We are called to hold our earthly possessions and passions loosely, freeing our feet to long for the ground of promise, and to walk away from the land of death. The Messiah Himself has come, and He brings blessing and life in His wake.

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  • Kelsey Bender

    Growing up, I’ve always felt like I had held back with my faith completely. Only when I am at church can I fully worship God because I’m in such a busy and self-centered part of the world. I’ve been judged and hurt because of my heart and in a way, I’ve made myself cold and detached from myself and my relationship with God to fit in. I needed this today to go through the weekend and know that I am on the way to where God wants me to be. ❤️

  • Amanda McConnell

    This was such an encouragement to me today as I battle to stay pure from temptations. He fights for me. His ground of promise is better anyway.

  • Emily Lange

    Such a great reminder that I need to leave certain things behind and follow God. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in everyday tasks. It’s time to love Him more than anything I have.

  • Andrea Hope

    Prayed for you Natasha. I’m struggling with making God number 1. For all others to be “hated” in comparison to Christ.

    • Carissa Nicole Hill

      It’s too long and convoluted to explain here, but I have the type of personality that can give up physical things. I am not saying it would be easy, but I could. What is hard for me to give up are my dreams and everything I want to do in life. I wish I was married and had kids and I get to be a mom. Those are things I want-not necessarily what God wants for me. I think it’s important to realize that those things are just as important to give up to God if we want to follow Him.

  • Natasha Pavez

    I’ve been struggling with letting my temptations go and focusing on God. This was a needed reminder. If anyone sees this, I’d really appreciate prayer for my relationship with Christ. I miss how it used to be.

  • This passage for me speaks to my heart about walking away from the comfortable choices. It’s not always easy to be a good daughter, wife, mother or friend. We are human and in our humanness we see what our eyes see. We see our wants and needs. We see the disagreement, without seeing what’s behind the disagreement. Our God wants us to see him…his wants, his desires for our life’s and have a relationship with him, conversations,with him…fellowship with him. If I could stay focused on what Jesus would have me do in the face of adversity with my brother…then I would be able to take a deeper breath , filling up with the savior’s love, and reassurance that all is well, and he always has my back.

  • Thank you, Lord, for SRT! These studies are such a blessing to me.

  • Caitlin Phillips

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).

    I always had a different understanding of this verse. I don’t believe Jesus is asking us to hate our loved ones or our life in comparison to our love for him. I think he was saying something more general or metaphorical about discipleship.

    We aren’t perfect. We’re flawed. We love our friends and family, but I think most people have a love-‘hate’ relationship with their loved ones. By hate, I mean… frustration. We have disagreements. We fall out. We get annoyed by the little things and the big things they do. We’re human! Following Jesus is a process of learning to love everyone through his eyes. It means getting annoyed with family but actively trying to see the good and not letting our emotions get the better of us. Anger and frustration lead to more fall outs or fights, but that doesn’t mean we ACTUALLY hate our loved ones.

    With Christmas coming up, I’m going to pray for strength to love my family and ‘turn the other cheek’ when things get fraught. Or maybe I’m just the only person who feels like I want to strangle some of my relatives after four+ days of intimate, cosy celebrations. XD

  • Jeannette Walti

    Thank you for this…super timely. My husband and I…and our last of 5 kids live overseas as missionaries. We are very blessed…yet at times I get so sad being away from our other 4 children. they have all moved back to America to study and then work. This Christmas, they are not able to come here, and we can’t go back to the States. My mom’s health isn’t the best either. Oh, my heart is aching…and at times I question if it is really all worth it being here and all of my loved ones there. This study helped me…but please pray for me. I need the Lord to show me that He is worth it all. Merry Christmas… to you all.

    • Melanie

      Jeanette I am so sorry to hear about your mother’s health. I know that deep desire to be in the presence of your loved ones can be painful. It looks like our Father has already shown you he’s worth it! He has blessed you with what sounds like a beautiful family and is walking with you to carry out His work here on earth. There is no better place to be then in the center of His will. No better place then where the Holy Spirit has placed you. He IS and was before all He blessed you with, and now you have the privilege of serving Him and watching your family grow and walk where He would have them. Thank Him and trust Him you already know His ways are better than what we can ever imagine and it sounds to me like He has you right in the palm of His hand. May our God continue to bless all you do!

    • Bethany Clark

      Jeannette- I will be praying over your heart today. You have chosen the better portion. I know this isn’t the easy way, but you are literally walking this passage out. I pray over your mama’s heart to be with her children, and your daughter’s heart to be with her mama. I will pray that Jesus will bring you peace that passes understanding in this time, and the moments you have with your family will be even more precious because of your obedience. Praying over you now.

    • Emily Castle

      I will pray for you, wonderful strong woman of god xxx

  • Danya Ho

    God has a plan one we dont always understand. But we can be sure it is not to harm us but rather to bless us…and to give us what’s best for us

  • yes, ‘hold-on loosely’. thank you!

  • Shealee Owen

    In my relationship with my boyfriend, we have just been feeling the strain of being too close. What I mean by that is we’ve gotten so deep and so lost in each other that we forgot what it was like to be individuals & our relationships with the Lord were certainly not as close as they used to be. We are not called to be one with each other until marriage and yet too often, our society says it’s okay to act like you’ve made the commitment of marriage when you haven’t. We fell to that temptation. Prayers are appreciated in this time of separation from each other and rediscovering God’s path for each of our lives.

    • Suzy Lutey

      God will bountifully honor your commitment to His direction & precepts. Occupy in Bible study, prayer, LMI Biblical classes. As you grow closer to Him, you will become better partners for each other in the future. Seek ye FIRST His Kingdom & His Righteousness & ALL these things will be added unto you. Promise.

    • Leslie Helms

      God will bless you for your obedience in this situation. Keep running after the One who makes all things new. ❤️

    • Danya Ho

      He will honour your decision to be obedient to Him.
      Praying for you both

    • Emily Clark

      Also going through the same struggle. Wow. Praying for you both and praising God that he has enabled you both with the strength and wisdom to make this difficult choice!!!

    • Kirsten LaShure

      Wow. This speaks wonders to me. It’s amazing that you guys have chosen to separate yourselves to get back on track. I’m trying to do the same thing, though we have a child so we have to do it in our home. He and I aren’t in the same place though. I’m gearing up for whatever Christ has in store for me. I can already feel such a drastic change just over the course of a few months. If any of you want to keep in contact, please let me know.

  • Brandy Wallner

    The Lord recently called us to a new physical home and I fought it the whole way and really wrestled with God over it. But I know he has brought us here for a reason…It has already been a blessing to me. And there are things that my husband and I can work through here that maybe we could not have in the previous home. Glory be to God!

  • “Everyone wants a miracle, but no one wants to be in the position to need a miracle,” as said beautifully by my pastor. I am praying for the surrender from worldly ties as possible so that seeking the Lord is above everything. I want to challenge myself to fully surrender to the Lord each and every day to HEAR his promises declared to me

  • Anastasia

    “God called Abram to give up all the comforts of home because they were a temptation to return to his old way of life.” revelatory to me!

  • This passage rings particularly true to me as I am studying abroad next semester. I am leaving the people and the church that I know and love, that I have found comfort in. And I think it’s good that I have found comfort there, but a comfortable life is not what the Lord calls us to. He calls us to step out, to be bold for Him, to treasure His kingdom above ours. Prayers during this season of transition are greatly appreciated. Much love to all of you mighty women.

    • Gabrielle Gresge

      Hi Suzi! I’m a senior in college and went through this exact same thing last year as I️ studied abroad in London. One wonderful thing that surprised me about Europe/abroad is how many big, gorgeous churches are there. While I️ wasn’t at my home church, I️ was able to totally revel in just how global and strong Christianity is. Every time I️ found a new church (which was practically every day), it felt like the Lord’s spirit was there, too. I️ grew more in my faith than I️ ever thought I️ could have while studying abroad! Safe travels — I’ll be praying for you!

  • Ellie Bentzel

    This is so hard since I am denying my flesh, which can be so powerful. But its so helpful to remember that Jesus gave up everything for me. He is the true example of someone who gave up the comfort and love of His father and did the hardest task for those who don’t deserve it.

  • I have suffered a lot of loss these past three years; the loss of my beloved father, many (many) of my tribe leaving the state, large amounts of church upheaval and recently, another dear family friend who was like an uncle to me. As I have walked through so much grief, I have continually asked God to show me how to keep my joy, despite losing so much of what I love most. He has been so faithful, in so many ways, and the timing of this study is a part of that. Today’s post was so good, hard truth when one is hurting, but it also flooded my heart with hope. God is really wreaking me with this “sometimes the breaking is necessary, the losing of what you think is most precious for the sake of gaining what your heart longs for” stuff. Not to say he took my dad or friend to teach me something, but he certainly can teach me & grow me through the loss.
    Anyway, I am happy to be here.

    • Sophie Brockell

      proud of you, sis in Christ. the source of your strength will never run dry, because we are the broken cistern, but He isn’t. you overflow.

  • I am so encouraged by reading everyone’s experiences and insights. Today’s devo was good/hard for me. Lately I’ve been feeling like it is so hard to be a Christian. I keep praying – “do I really have to give everything up?” I want to hold onto my understandings, my addictions, my dreams. I’m gripping everything in my life with great fear. Lord, show us the freedom in following you. I️t is not a life of chains. Restore to us the joy of your salvation.

    • Liv

      I love how you say Christianity is not a life of chains. It becomes very easy to start feeling that way sometimes. When I feel that way, I like to declare 2 Corinthians 3:17 – “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!” Praying for you, Erin!

  • Love this, a great reminder to me in this season as well. I’ve been feeling the weight of going Gods way and feel as in this traveling season of leaving home and comfort, He’s been pruning me before we get to this new place. It’s been really good, but it hurts at times. I’m reminded that God’s way is so much better – it’s bigger than just me and my wants, it’s truly about His Kingdom and He’s showing me that I have to be willing to die to myself to follow him and be a kamikaze of sorts, willing to go to the battlefield and die to my flesh for Jesus without my expectations putting all outcomes in His hands.

  • Kathy Martella

    With God all things are possible

  • Laura Zimmerman

    We are in a season of literally leaving the house of my husband’s father. We live with my husband’s grandparents as caregivers and their decline has been fast. We were planning on the home becoming ours but due to laws in our state, my husband and I and our three girls may not be able to stay in this house should the grandparents enter a care home. These words were exactly what I needed-scarily, wonderfully so. Thank you, SRT team.

  • Kellie Galentine

    “we too are invited to leave our old life behind, and step out into the land of promise.” This concept is so beautiful and so easy to understand in theory, but so difficult to live out. Why do we cling to death when life is right in front of us? Lord help us to love you fervently and keep you first in our lives!

  • Abram moved from physical comfort but God calls us to move from emotional and mental comfort as well. God is not god of comfort zones. I am reminded of this so often, I volunteer at a summer camp which is an amazingly rewarding ministry but certainly no place for comfort zones. There are tough days and nights and tasks and yes even tough campers, but we received without deserving so we extend it to those who also do not deserve it. It is uncomfortable to extend grace when all you want to do is yell and hold a grudge, it is uncomfortable to hangout with that one kid who doesn’t have an inside voice, it is uncomfortable to work with that other volunteer who said that one thing, it is uncomfortable to get up at 6:30 AM and go to sleep at midnight cause a kid is homesick, it is uncomfortable to run off of seven cups of coffee the next day, it is uncomfortable when the person you’ve known less than four days. But earthly comfort will not bring us to a place of understanding those who have not know it, it will not bring us closer to God. Abram left his home and all he knew because god promised him so much more, leave your comfort zone behind and see what your so much more holds!

  • Today’s devo really hit me hard because it’s exactly what I needed. I have known for several months now that I’m moving, but it’s been a long hard process of actually getting on board with Jesus about it. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I finally started to get excited about it and stopped dragging my feet because Jesus began to show me just how much He wants to fulfill all my needs and desires, and that He has it all. Today was a wonderful reminder of all of that. Jesus must be greater than all the things He is asking me to leave behind, and He really is.

  • Thanks for your explanation, McKaela.

  • Cristina

    This really hit home with me. For the past several weeks, I’ve been anxious over my moms and my families health when I have no reason to be. Thank God we are all healthy. But I keep getting thoughts of “what if”. I hear Gods gentle voice reminding me to trust him that things will continue to be ok but I keep giving in to the “what if” thoughts. I need to give up what I know, which is wanting control, and fully embrace the life of Christ which is trusting him 100% . His past faithfulness demands my full and complete trust in Him for the future. I can hear His calming voice. Father God please help me obey it.

    • Larkin

      I also often get stuck in the “what if’s” of life. Sometimes I think the strongest parts of our testimony is not only us coming to Christ and being born again but observing and sharing with others the ways he has provided in our lives time and time again. When there seemed no way, he made a way. Remembering his past faithfulness and putting our faith in the present and future of his promises. I always pray to hold on to the feelings and the moments I hear his gentle and calming voice in my fears of life.

    • Stephanie M.

      “His past faithfulness demands my full and complete trust in Him for the future.” Wow! YES! I needed this reminder. Praying He will provide you with peace that only He can give! Hugs!

    • Christina D.

      From one Christina to another Cristina, you could have taken those words right out of my heart. I have really been struggling with fear and anxiety over the health of my family lately and it is such a burden. I am encouraged by you and your reminder of God’s call to trust in Him. I hear that gentle voice too but often fall prey to the sneaky “what if’s” as well. Thanks for sharing as it is encouraging to know I’m not the only person that struggles with this. I will be praying for you that those thoughts will be banished and you (and I!) can rest in the peace that our Lord is in control and He takes care of us and our loved ones. Thank you!

      • Cristina

        Thank you ladies! I am encouraged by your words and pray that we all rest in Gods perfect peace ❤️

  • God’s timing is amazing, isn’t it? I am preparing to move to college a couple of states away, and I was sitting in my room, terrified of the idea of leaving everything that I know. I was questioning whether it was worth leaving my friends and family, even if I felt like God was calling me. Then I read this. I have to face the idea that this is something that I need to do, am called to do, but I am also reminded of the promises and comfort that God gives me.

    • Lynn Foster

      I moved states away for college, then an ocean away to serve in a 3rd world country. While leaving behind friends and family is never easy God is ALWAYS faithful to provide new friends and family. This new chapter will shape your character and may be some of your best experiences to look back on. God goes before you!

  • “Christmas reminds us that we are called to do the hard work of willingly parting with things that are dear to us, for the sake of turning our affections toward Christ.”

    Oh wow, this spoke right to my heart today. As a girl who’s moved far from home to follow God’s calling, spending Christmas without family can be SO daunting. I’ve been seeking Advent studies that point my heart back to Jesus, because only He can carry me through this time and bring me to celebrate this year.

  • Kayla Thomas

    Just as Abram was uprooted, such is the same with us!

  • Always encouraged when I’m reminded that Jesus was ALWAYS there even in the. beginning. What is stretching and causing me some growing pains. Being in a situation where we know we needed to leave many people we love dearly to take on Christ and His plans for our family… I hurt… we are persecuted regularly by those and others close to us, and my heart hurts for our littles that are affected by our choice to follow what we KNOW God desir3d for us to do in this season.

    This reading reminds me to know… although it’s not written Abram whom left it all for His plans likely faced heart ache and growing pains. God is still with us and His plans are greater even when everyone around us can’t see it.

  • Abraham was being promised all of these things if all he did was leave his whole life behind, but never once asked for more- and never once questioned God’s plan. He continued to worship even when the one thing in the world he wanted most was not being offered. But in the end at 100 years old was still given a child. AMAZING how the Lord works in miraculous ways

  • Anyone else notice how Abram worshipped and praised God along the way? He didn’t wait until he got to the place he was supposed to go; he did it continuously. This reminded me of the importance of seeking the Lord through the process, and not just when we see the promise. Right now I’m in a place of uncertainty in my life, not knowing what the future holds. I know God is working in all things for my good and He has great plans for me, but some days I let my anxiety over the unknown (and letting go of my own plans) take over. I heard in a sermon a few months ago “If you honor the process, God will honor you.” I know I need to keep Abram’s story in mind as I wait for the Lord to fulfill His promises and His purpose for me.

    • valerie

      yes!
      the “process” is never easy but oh so worth it.
      “trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

  • Kelsey Ukena

    This was a great reminder!!!

  • Kelly Chataine

    Plans. We make them but thankfully God is in charge. Often times we don’t know the details of the location we are heading toward but God does. My husband fell off a ladder on Tuesday, October 10th, was in a surgical trauma ICU for six weeks and is in rehab currently. What a rollercoaster of a journey. Medical personnel had no hope for his recovery and told me so repeatedly. I kept telling them that my hope is in Jesus Christ. Thanking God for His timing, miracles, provisions and so much more.

  • Megan Cavanaugh

    The part of the reading that translates we must “hate our mother & father, brothers and sisters” etc is hard for me to understand. I know we must put God first always and love him most, but I certainly don’t hate anyone let alone my own family and loves ones. Maybe it’s just the way it’s written but I could never hate my parents, my brother, or my husband (or future children God willing). I love them of course but love God more!

    • Kelly Chataine

      Scripture also refers to us plucking our eye out if it offends or cutting off our hand if it offends. It is the deep, deep seriousness of being in a right relationship with God and Him coming first, just like you stated.

    • McKaela Lee

      What it means is that your extravagant love for the Lord must be so full that your love for your family seems like hate. Your love for God doesn’t even compare to that of your family. It doesn’t mean you literally hate them, it means your love for God is vast and foremost in your life, above all else.

  • Margaux Brink

    This devotion was a great reminder for me to bear my cross daily and trade Earthly things that are worthless compared to Jesus. Living for Jesus is worth more than anything ever because he is life!

  • This speaks to me. A few years ago, my fiance and I reluctantly moved from a wonderful big city to a very small town across the state in order for him to find work. At that point in our lives, we were struggling artists who could barely afford a package of ramen noodles. So we moved. This meant giving up on our creative dreams as artists. We were miserable at first. We missed our exciting city life and felt out of place in a small town, but as the years passed, we have reached a point in our lives where we can afford to work on some amazing projects, as well as travel the world. There’s never a day where we don’t have food on the table, and I know that we have been blessed.

  • Cookie (Mary) Speer

    The beauty of His love… looking forward to what He has planned, leaving what is behind, behind.
    Knowing always His plans are for His glory and my good.

  • Kezia Goodman

    It is also a blessing to read this devotional because it is speaking directly to my situation. You know how God always provides a word in season, but you will only hear it if you are open to listening. And I am so open because I need my situation to change, I know who my God is and which God I want to serve wholeheartedly ; Giving up everything; laying down my cross and dying those daily deaths and bearing my cross and following him into eternity.

  • Kezia Goodman

    Wow this devotional really hit home. As a believer me and my family don’t celebrate Christmas because of its pagan roots; however after reading this devotional getting back to the reason for the season is very crucial and important. We forget the root of the holiday because it’s been swept under the rug by all the worlds distractions but, I will definitely reconsider celebrating Jesus’ birth and his life.

    • Vanessa

      This is how I felt until this year and why I started the Advent study. I sort of didn’t celebrate Christmas because it was just too flashy and expensive and seemed to miss the point, but as I go through this study for the whole month rather than just remember Jesus for one day (the 25th), I’m actually wowed when I realize the significance of His birth. You can celebrate however is most genuine to you! No presents or presents, no tree or tree. I realized I don’t have to cave into the worldly materialism. I just have to be grateful and have a joy-filled heart this season!

  • My relationship with ‘stuff’ needs to be left behind so I can follow my invitation from Him.

  • Katie Zeeb

    Whoa this hits close to home for me. Just what I needed to hear during this hectic “buy me” season.

  • Catherine Cornell

    Loving all the comments, helps me to understand the text greater, thank you!

  • Christina Bell

    I have needed this. So much. My heart is relieved in knowing the stuff I’ve been chasing isn’t worth it. He is. He always will be enough. I’ve had these internal struggles and this devotional brought it all to the front. I HAVE to leave things/feelings behind. I need walk toward what He has waiting for me.

  • God knows exactly what we need when we need it. I am moving to Maine with my husband away from all of my family the day after Christmas. This will the first move away from home and it is coming with mixed emotions and guilt. I needed to hear that God moves us away from things to bring us closer to Him.

  • Elizabeth Gentry

    Before Abraham, I was! Today’s reading was powerful and soul-stirring for me. We must be willing to give up everything and follow Him. That, for me, is rather difficult!

  • Olivia Zaayer

    I needed this today. Sometimes I need to adjust my focus to what is really important to God. This time of year is full of materialism and I fall victim to desiring things I don’t need. Ultimately, having that new shiny gadget means nothing because I have Christ and He is my everything! It is so important to remember that earthly possessions are to be well stewarded but not clung tightly to. I am to cling tight to God.

    • Emily B.

      Love what you said about stewarding earthly possessions and not clinging to them. Thank you for that!

  • Diane Huntsman

    “God called Abram to give up all the comforts of home because they were a temptation to return to his old way of life. The things that draw us back into our idolatrous habits aren’t worth giving up the promise of new life.” – SRT
    That paragraph just cut through my heart.. I just returned from a trip and I could not wait to get home.. I love my little home and all the comforts I have in it.. if I’m honest, dead honest, idolatrous habits include me and this home.. I love to decorate and make my home homie, but the scale tips all too often to the side of idolatry.. holding tight to the things that make me comfortable but take my eyes off of that which is eternal.. the things that truly matter to God.. those things that matter most to Him do not matter most to me, but Magnolia decorations and plants sure do score high on the card of things that matter most to me..BIG SIGH.
    Oh Jesus, please help us all to hone in this advent season, to reality get our priorities in line, to move away from all that competes with our allegiance to You.. with all that chokes out that which is lasting and purposeful.. we invite you to change all that’s wrong in our focus, we invite You to transform our minds, change our hearts, birth in us that focus which is eternal.. in the life giving name of Jesus.. amen

  • Barbara Thompson

    I have and continue to learn this is a daily life long battle to die to self.

  • Megan DeLong

    Beautiful reminder to let the old fall away and embrace the new, abundant life!

  • Kelly Schulz

    Today’s reading has challenged me with two things:
    1) where in my walk have I not “moved from the land of my birth to the land of his promise”?? I am seeking to label these areas and prayerfully pack my bags for the journey out!
    2) in reading God’s covenant promise to Abraham this morning, probably for the upteenth time, something cracked open in me, and I realized that this is my deepest longing… I want to be a blessing by incarnating Jesus, by being a pathway along which THE WORD, LOGOS, would show up in the lives of others. Thanks be to the Lord, that through the first coming of Jesus Christ, this Abrahamic blessing has now been made a part of my spiritual DNA!!!

  • Alexis Maycock

    Obedience precedes blessings! May we all choose obedience in whatever forms it comes in today, this week, this month.

  • Olivia Hemsworth

    “We are called to hold our earthly possessions and passions loosely, freeing our feet to long for the ground of promise, and to walk away from the land of death. The Messiah Himself has come, and He brings blessing and life in His wake.”
    Phew. Good reminder for me that life, and especially this season, is not about possessions, family, or our passions/traditions/hobbies. We are called to leave our fleshly desires and sin, and run towards the One who gives us life, peace, and grace.

  • Our country so much needs to hear that love of country must never be primary in our hearts. As someone who lived 13 years in a foreign land, I always knew God called me to love those around me, not to pine for America. What a great reminder this study is!

  • The severity of the verse that mentions hating your family has always puzzled me, especially since so much of the Bible talks about loving. I’m so glad this was explained and now appreciate that verse and the truth it carries. I read a piece by a pastor today that made the claim we all have a God, but the crucial question is which one? After reading this, I can see the ways in which I have let comforts and family be a god over the one true God who calls me out of that familiarity and safety. This challenges me to follow God’s call, wherever that may be, with a willingness and a love and a passion that makes everything else seem insignificant. He is faithful and I can put my full trust in him without clinging so tightly to the things of this world.

    • Natalie

      I am thinking the same things. Follow the spirit, not the earthly “creature comforts.”

    • Vanessa

      I read somewhere that a literal translation of hate means “to avoid” or I also heard is Hebrew for “to love less”. So just love your family less than you love Jesus. Your words: “I have let comforts and family be a god over the one true God who calls me out of that familiarity and safety” really helped with my understanding of the scripture and reminded me of the Hebrew meaning I herd about :)

  • Kristi – praying over you this morning and your marriage – I have witnessed great healing in many marriages as we lean into Christ – trust His work in us and for us -

  • Caroline

    I love this so so so much! Lord, I want every spiritual blessing you have for me, even when it means giving up what makes sense, what others tell me to do and what is comfortable. I say yes to more of you Lord

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Kristi Veis

    I needed this blessing this morning. My marriage is failing and I needed to see that some type of blessing will arise once I let go and just trust God to see me through. I need to “willingly part with things dear to us and turn our affections towards Christ.” I don’t yet know where my land of promise will be but it is there I am waiting patiently to arrive. Be blessed today as well as be a blessing!

    • Victoria

      I’m asking for a peace for your heart that falls on your entire household today. You are a treasure my dear !

    • Kelly Schulz

      Kristi… here I am, a complete stranger just wanting to say how very touched my heart was by your transparency! Thank you for trusting your sisters in this place with the journey you are walking … I am so sorry for the pain and loss you are moving through, and also standing with you on the foundation of hope that you have claimed in God’s promise! Behold you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!!! Blessings for my sister in Wisconsin! ❤️

  • Obedience is part of God’s grand design, and Jesus has always been at the center of it all. Today I am praying for obedience not only in the “big picture” parts of my life, but in the mundane details. I pray for not only the faith to be obedient, but for a heart that is actively seeking opportunities and calls to obedience.

  • Hailey T

    I was struck by Sarah’s sacrifice, as well. it doesn’t say how old she is, but we do know she has gone into the wilderness with her husband. I loved the verse “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” I think we get fixated (understandably so) on the idea of forsaking all. BUT Father God does not do this to bring shame or sorrow. He turns it to good!! all in due time. be it 9 months or 5 years. He has made laughter for us, he has brought us the JOY of Christ! Blessings across this Advent season, sisters.

    • Natalie

      Thank you for this Hailey! This verse made me smile as well! I am so thankful for the laughter and joy in Christ!

  • Angelina

    God has called our family to move a lot over the last few years. And not just homes. We moved from Utah to Colorado to now Montana. It’s been a great struggle at times leaving everything behind, but we trust in the Lord. He has a plan greater than anything I can comprehend. Since moving to Montana, we have found a wonderful biblical church and a place we feel we’ve always meant to be. God is so good and so faithful!

    • Laura

      I could have written this myself but with a move from Illinois to Indiana to Michigan! It’s a comforting thing to see all of God’s efforts just to draw us closer to Him. He truly does pursue us!!

    • Kelly Schulz

      Love this testimony!!!

  • GramsieSue

    So many of your comments have hit home to me today. I am in an airport preparing to fly to Oregon to be with my daughter’s family. Her 18 month old son will be having surgery Thursday to “release his tethered spinal cord”. When I googled this (should never, ever google medical problems), it has thrown me into sleepless nights. But of course God meets me where I am. He’s asking now, “Do you trust me? Don’t I have a perfect plan for you and everyone else?” And I realize I have been holding tightly to my grandson. I have been holding tightly to a lot of people, and passions, and earthly things. And if I just loosen that grip and let go, I can receive the glorious blessings He has for me. What a wonderfully blessed life I can have if I just focus on Christ and all He has done for me! ❤️

  • Micahlee, I graduate soon, too, and don’t know what the future holds. My family is very tight -knit, all residing in the same town where I was born. My boyfriend is in medical school a ways a way, and I have an interview in a city that is over an hour away. I also have a son (I became a Christian after he was born), so I don’t know what it will be like to function without family nearby. That uncertainty is bittersweet for me. I think I’m going to follow your lead and save this study, knowing the transition will be trying.

    I pray that you will see the wonder and blessing in your move, and that your faith will be increased and strengthened through that upcoming season. I pray we both will fix our eyes on Jesus and that this Christmas season will prepare our hearts.

  • This spoke deeply to me this morning. I know the Lord is calling me to part ways with loved ones that are entrapped by sin (addiction, lying, abuse, infidelity, etc.). The Lord calls us out of our comfort zone—not to punish us or cause us pain, but to save us! He loves us so much!

  • Crystal Mendez

    Abraham’s story is an encouraging yet challenging reminder to consider the areas in which I am not fully obedient to Jesus. When God spoke, Abraham moved in faith trusting God with the outcome. May we be ones who do the same – move in faith and trust God with the outcome. May our hope be in Him and not in the result!

  • Micahlee

    I have not gotten to the “moving” place yet, but I will as soon as I graduate. My fiancé and I believe that we are meant to move from Illinois to Nashville. I have lived in the same county my entire life. So while I am not there yet, I am storing away this study in my heart to call back to when I am inevitably struggling during that transition

  • Patty Baechler

    I never read this verse and thought God wanted Abram to change and give up his comforts so he moved him to a new place. Thank you for sharing that and helping us to see deeper into scripture. This helps me to see why God has placed us where we are and I pray I continue growing closer to Him.

  • Laura Stacy

    I am new to She Reads Truth and loving all the comments you ladies make. They bring depth of multiple perspectives to my morning time with Jesus. Thank you!

  • My husband and I are in the midst of planting a church, having moved 1500 miles away from our home. I’ve been discouraged, missing our beloved friends and family, missing snow in this land of eternal green and palm trees, so this word was so encouraging to my soul. What we leave behind is far less than the promise that lies before us. I love what Romans 4:20 echoes about Abraham’s faithfulness: “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but his faith grew strong as he gave glory to God, fully convinced he could do what he promised.” Hallelujah! What comfort in the arms of Christ! To know that even though I struggle, I’m not working in vain. Victory has come through Christ, and his promise is infinitely more than I could’ve hoped.

    • Sarah McClain

      Lifting you and your husband up in prayer as you walk out your calling as sojourners in a foreign land. Thanks for sharing the verse in Romans. I went and read it as well and that passage ties in so well with today’s reading. Many blessings to you ♥️

    • Laine Smith

      Praying for you and your husband Sharon. I know it must be difficult but as you see, God is faithful to encourage us and his word is powerful.

  • Andrea Lucas

    Amen!

  • As stated, we must part with the things that are dear to us and leave our sin and turn to God. This strikes me today because the sins I know I need to turn from aren’t clear and simple. I’m not out murdering people or stealing, which are obvious sins; rather, my sins are sneaky ones of idolatry. Things or ideas I develop a love for that can sometimes get in the way between God and me. There are times when I idolize the thought of winning over other people instead of seeking only God’s favor. Gauging my self worth on how I look in other peoples’ eyes instead of the Lord’s. It’s easy to fool myself into thinking that my motivations are of God, but I have to ask myself what I am seeking. Is it praise? Love? Admiration? A pat on the back? Or is it obedience?

    • Kari

      Wow, thank you so much for posting this Peggy!

    • Cadbury

      Peggy, thank you so much for this! I struggle with this too! In today’s social media culture, it’s so easy to seek admiration or “winning at life” as a daily motivation . I need to remember to adjust the motivations of my daily life to reflect pleasing the One who really matters.

  • Michelle ShellyLynnReichel

    Trust in God’s guidance.

  • I’ve always been a little troubled by the verse, from Luke that says we must hate our own in order to be a disciple. Hate is such a dark, ugly work. But I really like the perspective given here – hate in comparison to the amount of love for our savior. Lord remind me, especially in a season of hustle and bustle with so much expectations, that you alone are worthy of our focus and our love. Let my heart desire you lord.

    • Peggy

      Agreed! That verse takes on a new meaning with this perspective!

    • Claire

      It really seems almost out of character – I wonder if the word “hate” is a good translation from the original language.

      • Kelly Schulz

        Hi Claire! I did a little digging into the Greek behind our translation of Luke 14:26, and found this from the Strongs concordance to be very helpful… The emphasis seems to rest on the comparative basis… Loving and esteeming everything else less than Jesus Christ! Definitely a helpful contrast to the way we usually interpret our English word, hate.

        “3404 miséō – properly, to detest (on a comparative basis); hence, denounce; to love someone or something less than someone (something) else, i.e. to renounce one choice in favor of another.

        Lk 14:26: “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate (3404 /miséō, ‘love less’ than the Lord) his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple” (NASU).

        [Note the comparative meaning of 3404 (miséō) which centers in moral choice, elevating one value over another.]”

      • Christina D.

        Thanks for your research on this Kelly. Great information and going back to the language always helps shine a light on some of those difficult passages.

  • Churchmouse

    I have heard it said that we are called to “lay our Isaac down.” Abraham trusted God and willingly put his beloved son Isaac on a sacrificial altar, made with his own hands. I have to tell you… I can’t even imagine. My trust in God pales to this. In the comfort of all that is familiar it’s easy for me to say oh I am willing to do whatever for the Lord… But that would be dishonest. I like to think my hands are open but I know they’re fists when it comes to my loved ones. I guess it comes down to whether I truly believe that God is good in all that He allows to happen, that He is good in all He asks me to do. He and I are having quite the conversation this morning.

    • Sarah Miller

      Same conversation being had here. It’s so good to know we can be honest with Him. What a place of freedom.

    • Heidi V

      I’ve been in a season of “laying down my Isaacs”. It feels a lot like giving up. In our world of “doing” – trusting in the stillness before the sacrifice is the sacrifice. Its the submitting to the Love and Will of God. Thank you for the word picture of this “laying” down process.

  • Kelly (Chataine)

    Plans … We make plans, which is fine and normal. However, we must bend our will and plans to God’s will and plans for us. On October 10th my husband fell from a ladder and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was at our daughter’s home helping her with improvements. This altered a lot of plans, perspectives, thought processes and more. Dennis, my husband, spent 6 weeks in the Surgical Trauma ICU and has been at a rehab facility ever since. The hospital was 85 minutes from our home and now the rehab facility is 2 hours from our home. God has worked His might will in me and many others. I am not sure what this has to do today’s study but I wanted to reach out to you all for prayers. If you would like to read our journey from the beginning, feel free to visit https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/dennisd.sienicki

    God’s plan is best, always. Praying that we all seek His plan this Advent and throughout the new year.

  • Alyssa Nelson

    I love where it says that the love for our kindred must be postponed and the preference given to Jesus. Abraham’s offspring was given a great blessing because of he listened & was obedient not because he put them first in all things. He put Christ first, & in a season that is so focused on celebrating friends & family, this reminder to keep Christ first is needed!

  • CarolynJ

    This hit home this morning for me as my marriage is in a season of change as is my personal life. The past couple weeks have been tumultuous and difficult but are getting better with God’s help and grace. My husband and I are taking a break and trying trial separation. He’s still in the home but only because of Christmas and both kids’ birthdays are next week. I know, maybe that’s a cop-out. We’re taking things one day at a time. But I have realized that things have to change if we are going to proceed. This has been very difficult because change is hard and messy and uncomfortable and difficult. But we owe it to ourselves to do the hard and messy work.

    Part of this has meant I have had to do some major soul-searching and have had to surrender my wants at the altar. For a week and a half now, I’ve heard God asking “do you trust me?” Even when things are difficult and confusing and scary, am i willing to trust him? All week I said that I didn’t know much, but the one thing I do know, the only thing I know and that I am standing firm on, is I love Jesus and He loves me and that’s all i have right now. Take this world but give me Jesus. He is faithful. It may not look like we thought and may be scary to give up control, but He is faithful. Abraham was asked at 75 to leave his country and his family and all he knew to follow God. And God promised him at 75, when he was childless, that he would bless Abraham and bring many nations from his descendants. Abraham was childless people!!! And yet … and yet he believed God was faithful and made an altar and praised the name of the Lord for the promise of the future blessing and family. Abraham didn’t have a child until 25 years later. Oh to have so much faith and assuredness to trust and believe, honor and obey, and to praise God for a promise that isn’t coming right this minute. And to hold fast to that promise through the trials and difficulties and not falter. Which helped since Abraham gave up and left all he had. I have had to give up a lot it seems. But now I’m in a place where I’m desperate for God and nothing else matters anyway.

    Today’s devotion touched me greatly and is great food for thought. Be blessed.

    • Eliza

      Thanks for sharing your story. I’m praying for you and your family in this difficult season.

    • Cindy

      Praying for you

    • Rachel

      Praying for healing – that the Lord will mend your marriage if that is his will and it draws you and your husband nearer to him. I pray for redemption and evidence of his grace and ability to bring life into things that are dead. I pray you continue to believe the truths you shared with us.

    • Lisa B

      Carolyn, I feel you shared my story. I’m in the same season. thank you for sharing and I will pray for you.

  • Kathleen

    The part of this story that affects me the most is the fact that Abram probably had plans in his old land. But he gave them up to do God’s will. I think that’s my take away. My husband and I are planners. I like to know what’s coming next. And I pray that my plans align with God’s but I still have to be completely willing to yield my plans to God. Because if I believe God’s promise to Abram, then His plans will be infinitely better than I could ever imagine for myself. I pray that I can be like Abram. To be brave enough and humble enough to give up everything I think I need in life.

    • Cindybelle

      Oh my gosh Kathleen, this is totally my husband and I! He’s retiring next year and has planned a “parting trip” of a 2 month cruise…planning, planning, planning… I always have in the forefront of my mind, what are God’s plans for us? Could I drop everything we’ve planned for His plans ? Abraham’s life is a good one to study and re-study …

  • Jennifer Borrego

    This was such a great read.

  • PursuedByHim

    I had never put it together that sometimes God literally moves us in order to save us from something. We have moved our fair share over the years, and when I look back God was working every time. He prepared a place for us to move. He saved us from bad influences or bad situations that could hurt us. He took us to a better situation. He also protected our children by moving. What a great God to have all this happen just for my family and me! He continually pursues!

    I know He will keep my children with him…He will pursue them…maybe by their moves also!

  • Tochi Heredia

    “He is calling us to give up what we know in order to fully embrace the life of Christ… Sure, God can bring His blessing anywhere, but Abram had to change. He needed to be able to give up his native soil, his dearest friends, even the succor of family, to follow God.”

    It feels like this was written especially for me. I moved to London, from Argentina, 6 weeks ago and I can’t help but question why did I have to come all the way out here to fulfill God’s purpose for me.
    I am anxious right now as I am looking for a job, and facing this cold, dark weather and the prospect of spending the holidays alone. It is so easy to focus on these things and forget that, if God brought me all the way here, it’s because He has a purpose and He knows exactly how things will work out.
    Yet He is already at work: He has provided the means for me to come, a comfortable home with lovely Christian roommates, and a biblical and generous church. Why then would He forsake me now?

    Father, help me to focus on You during this Advent season, instead on of my own want of comfort. With you, I have everything I could possibly need. Show me the way and fulfill your purpose in me.
    Tidings of comfort and joy, indeed.

    • Jane

      I love when God softens our heart with a word that seems written just for us. Praying for you as you come to understand the purpose God has for you in this place.

    • Karen From Virginia

      Oh my! My heart and prayers are with you. I have never moved that far but I did move away from home when I was 22 to another state for graduate school. I really didn’t know anyone. What I could tell you is to cling to Jesus. Often, we want tangible things that make us know that we’re safe and secure and it’s going to work out. But God is more interested in us believing and trusting him. So I am praying that you just run to him. I believe that he will meet your needs and direct your path‘s. One of my favorite verses is in Psalm 25 and it says those who put their trust in you shall not be put to shame. Sometimes, that verse help me to pray Lord and nothing I do for you will be in vain and you will be Faithful. I am standing with you. But more importantly, Jesus is standing with you. Allow him to comfort you and to speak to your heart.

    • Brandi

      ❤️

  • Jesus, I️ want my life to align with Yours, to be willing postpone all for the preference of You.

  • Annebet Pettit

    An important reminder to me is that when we are called, we often are unsure of ourselves and if the call is really from God. We walk in faith. Too often, I then judge whether or not this was really God’s “call” by how good by worldly standards my circumstances turn out. Yet it seems to me that in the Bible, when people obey the call they are asked to kill their son (Abraham), get stoned repeatedly (Paul), and killed (Jesus), just to name a few. So much good arose from their obedience, but it certainly doesn’t look like what I’d call “a successful transition.” How important it is for me to cling to my Lord and be confident in the fact that he has called me to do this good work even if the ensuing circumstances are painful or difficult.

    • Ina Dutkiewicz

      Amen! Well said, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Julia Walker

      Amen!!

    • Hope Minter

      As my pastor just said Sunday, just because something appears difficult does not mean it is not blessed. The blessed life and will of God is not always easy. Mary sure knew that as she was blessed for her faith yet had to deal with being a pregnant unwed mother and the results that had on her in society.

    • Allison Ryan

      What a great reminder that we are vessels for God’s plan. It’s not about me in that moment but God’s great plan for goodness!

    • Christina D.

      Annebet this is a great word for me. I am in a situation right now where I felt the Lord distinctly lead me here about a year and a half ago and now things are feeling so difficult and uncertain I find myself questioning, was that really God? Did I really do the right thing? Thank you for the admonishment to cling to Him!

  • This morning I was struck again that Abram was 75 when God called him to do this. It is a good reminder that God doesn’t take age into account when He wants to use us. We can’t ‘retire’ from God’s work and consider ourselves done. There is always more that God calls us to do regardless of our circumstances, age, or anything we consider ourselves to be that makes us think God can’t use us. That is one of the amazing things about God. He sees us differently than we see ourselves.

    • Kaylee Hobbs

      Amen, Bessie! Praise God for how the lord uses us regardless of age, circumstance, or ability!

    • Christina D.

      Love this reminder Bessie. My sister and I were just chatting the other day about remembering that it’s never to late to start something new. What a perfect reminder that God doesn’t see our lives or timelines the way we do. It gives me more continued hope!

  • How I long to pursue the desires of Christ alone. It is not an easy task to give all of our worldly affections over to Him… but oh the blessing that we are promised to deny self and follow Him. My hope is that I will experience just a small portion of the blessing promised to Abraham. “I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

  • Kristine L

    The end of this devotional, the idea that Abram was called to walk away from the “land of death,” really spoke to me. I usually focus on how hard it must have been for him to leave his land and family. But in obeying God, Abram was also escaping death. When a God calls us to obedience, it’s always for our own good, even if we can’t see it.

  • I struggle with this one. . . I cannot imagine being called to harm my child. I cannot imagine that Jesus wants us to hate our children on any level at all, even just in comparison to him. Granted loved ones and children may frustrate us or make us angry at times, but if I’m honest I’ve been angry with God before too. . . I think God is bigger than that. Like a parent that understands when her toddler says “you’re not my friend anymore”; God understands I don’t mean it and it’s not my heart speaking.

    • Kay

      Julia, I know what you mean. This message is dreadfully confusing to me, too. I can’t seem to wrap my brain around it. I feel like I can grasp the rest of this message on some level, but this particular part of it – that I could be called to sacrifice my children – is more than I can contemplate. So I am not going to worry about it. I am going to pray that God will give me faith enough to do what He asks every minute. That is what this message is saying to me this morning.

    • Shannon

      I agree with you ladies – I struggle with these passages too. But even in Matthew Jesus, when calling the disciples, asks them to drop EVERYTHING. Even the one man who asks to bury his father first, Jesus says “let the dead bury their own dead”. I know he’s speaking a bit metaphorically, but the point is, let go and follow. Our pastor was talking about this just on Sunday — how the more we are attached to earth, the more difficult it is to fully follow Christ. He mentioned CS Lewis’s book in the Screwtape Letters, how when people are young they’re more willing to sacrifice everything for Christ, but as they get older (get married, have kids, grandkids, more money etc) they get stitched to the earth more tightly (Hope that makes sense as I’m paraphrasing). It’s something I wrestle with a lot as family truly is my most loved thing on earth.

    • Bonnie

      I don’t think of it as being called to harm the child. Nowhere in scripture do we see anyone actually sacrificing their child to our God. (Leviticus specifically prohibits it saying the pagans “did all these things, and I abhorred them.”)
      Rather, what God taught Abraham was that the children He gives us are HIS first. If He really were to command us to do anything at all regarding our children, who are we to say no to the One who created them and gave them to us? He didn’t allow Abraham to follow through with sacrificing Isaac, but He did allow Abraham to show himself devoted enough to be called the father of all nations. That was a calling specifically for Abraham, not for the rest of us.
      But some of us do find ourselves being called to “lay our Isaac down.” To put our children in God’s hands, His will be done, because we don’t have any control here anyway and no matter what happens, He is Good.

  • “Christmas reminds us that we are called to do the hard work of willingly parting with things that are dear to us, for the sake of turning our affections toward Christ.” What things do I need to part with? What am I holding onto that is getting in the way of my walk with Christ? Hard questions that I will spend today pondering.
    Papa God, I pray that You will help me to hold my possessions and passions loosely. As I journey through this day keep my heart soft and tender towards You. Open my eyes and my ears that I can see what I need to walk away from and, even more important, what I need to be walking to.
    Be blessed, sisters.

    • EarlyBird

      Thank you for this. I struggle not so much with holding on to ‘things’ but instead allow someone to control my time. This needs to change, but I need strength to make that change and to stand strong in the face of adversity.

      • Claire

        I can relate. Often daughter and grandparent obligations squeeze my time. I am thankful for my one living parent, daughter and grandsons (too much so most of the time) but the do steal time and sometimes even Joy. Joy because it might interrupt church activity,or prayer time, etc. I truly love and am thankful for them but seek God’s guidance to manage my time.

  • Rachel Nordgren

    As someone who is currently doing some traveling, this rang especially true.

  • Alice Catherine

    I had a dream a couple of nights about, I was in a house I didn’t know, my blood relatives were there on one side and my Church family were on the other side, in the dream my blood relatives behaviour was making me upset, then a man appeared, a kind man.. he held his hand out to me and asked me to walk with him, and said I need to follow him. I felt like today’s reading has spoken to me. Loudly.
    Thank you.

  • Anna Chviedar

    It’s an interesting thing i’ve noticed while reading Genesis 12. God tells to Abram to leave his home and father and go with all possessions to the land He is going to show. And i remembered a place in Hebrews 10:5-7 “Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have taken no pleasure. “then I said, ‘behold, I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of me) to do your will, o God.'” And for the first time i realized how thoughtful the Bible is. Even in the story of Abram’s call there is a view of Jesus! He also was told to leave His Father and His home in Heavens to come down to the place God has shown Him. And just as Abram was obedient in Genesis 22, so was Christ. And that’s why God could accomplish his plans both on earth for the chosen nation and in the whole universe for the whole creation. A beautiful parable across all the Bible.

    This Christmas I want to be obedient to Christ all the way. Thank you for such an amazing advent reading!

  • Elisabeth

    The fact of God giving Abram a way of making a new start without these temptations is such proof of His grace towards us. Even in the hard of moving away, God gave him this grace-filled way to loose the chains I’m so grateful He still gives us this grace!

    • Kelly Schulz

      “even in the hard of moving away, God gave him this Grace – filled way to loose the chains.” Thank you for posting this, Elisabeth! These were words I needed to read this morning…

  • Excellent reminder to hold my plans & passions loosely

Further Reading...