Day 4

Jesus Is The True & Better Abraham

from the Advent 2015: Born Is The King reading plan


Genesis 12:1-4, John 8:54-56, Galatians 3:6-14

BY Debbie Eaton

Text: Genesis 12:1-4, John 8:54-56, Galatians 3:6-14

Leaving what is known for the unknown of new beginnings takes enormous inner strength and courage. As a newlywed, my husband and I left family and friends for the unknown of the West. We were terrified and expectant, sad and excited all in one breath as we moved across the country to begin a new life together. Perhaps you’ve experienced life-altering decisions like this, too.

What I’ve learned over the years is that God rarely calls us to comfort and convenience but instead to a life of faith and trust. Such is the story of Abraham and God’s everlasting promises to him and his descendants. It is a covenant deeply woven into the fabric of the Advent story.

When we meet Abram, before God changes his name to Abraham, he is living in the land of his people, where he has been for 70 years. But God appeared to Abram with instructions to leave—in faith—the comfort and safety of this familiar life. God promised to make Abram’s name great. The man who had yet to become a father would now father a great new nation—a nation marked by mercy and grace, a living illustration of the forgiveness and love of an everlasting God.

All that was required of Abram was to obey in faith.

Of all the promises God made to Abram, one was key: a son. The long-awaited promised son to an older barren woman and her faithful husband would become the seed of a family tree through which Jesus Christ was born to save all humanity. The first promised son was a foreshadowing of the second, when God would come to earth in flesh and blood to redeem mankind’s past, present, and future sins for a new beginning. Two baby boys, born 2000 years apart, would change the world.

That second baby boy, Jesus Christ, was the true and better Abraham. He, too, left the comfort and safety of His home with His Father. While Abraham’s obedience led generations to the Promised Land, Jesus’s obedience fulfilled the whole of God’s covenant of love to His people, so that we who have faith are also “Abraham’s sons,” heirs to the promise (Galatians 3:6-7). Like Abraham, we are invited to have faith not only in what we cannot see, but also in what has already been secured for us by our good and sovereign Father.

God’s sovereignty over Abraham’s story illuminates the ultimate love God has for us. Jesus is the Son of promise, and all of God’s promises to us are made possible through Him (2 Corinthians 1:20). New beginnings tell the story of grace, mercy, and forgiveness—gifts from a loving Father who is worthy of our faith, even when we cannot see what lies ahead.

Where is God calling us to new beginnings? Will we remain in the familiar or step out in faith?

May we obey His calling and trust that He will fill us with strength and courage, grace and peace, hope and joy—everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). These were the gifts given to Abraham, and they are the Advent gifts freely given to us through Jesus Christ.SRT-Advent15-instagram4

Post Comments (222)

222 thoughts on "Jesus Is The True & Better Abraham"

  1. Deb says:

    Thanks for sharing. Prayed for you and thought you would enjoy this excerpt from my other Devils this am. May you sense the joy of God’s relentless pursuit for your good, this holiday season!
    You serve a dissatisfied Redeemer.
    Your Redeemer is zealous for one goal—the final renewal of all things. Ultimate salvation from all that sin is and all that sin has broken is His unrelenting pursuit.
    Our problem is that we are all too easily satisfied. We’re satisfied with a little bit of theological knowledge, a degree of biblical literacy, occasional moments of ministry, and a measure of personal spiritual growth. We’re sadly satisfied with being a little bit better when God’s goal is that we be completely remolded into His image. So we quit pressing on because our Redeemer is pressing on. While He, in glorious dissatisfaction, still works to redeem us from us, we are out chasing other lovers. We begin to invest our time, energy, and hope in things that can never deliver.
    He will continue to unleash His power to accomplish redemption and He will not be satisfied until the last enemy is under His feet and the final kingdom has come. Yes, there is great and eternal hope for you in the dissatisfaction of your Redeemer.
    Excerpt: New Morning Mercies

  2. ~E~ says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I was thinking too of times when the Lord moved me to new lands, and didn’t tell me where I was going. All that was required of me was obedience.

  3. rachel marie says:

    i’ve often wondered, if God called me to a foreign land to spread His Good News, would i jump up without hesitation and say “yes Lord!”. would i immediately obey, like old abraham? and then i think of our dear Jesus, who willingly stepped down from His place at the right hand of His Father, to come and live in a broken world. a place with sin so deep and dark that it was certainly most foreign to Him! He prayed in the garden before walking to His certain death, and asked His Father to remove the cup from Him, the symbol of God’s wrath and judgment on mankind, knowing He was taking on not only the physical agony of death on the cross, but also the spiritual agony of complete separation from His Father. but without skipping a beat, He prays on, “not my will, but Yours be done.” He willingly drank every last drop of that cup, for you and me. what obedience!

  4. ~ B ~ says:

    This brings me back to an important, but painful, season in my life. I know I’ve shared this in different ways before, but I’m led to share it again in this Advent season. Just last night I rec’d prayer requests over marriages in trouble and I know that sometimes the Holidays bring great pain with them. There was a time God was calling me to a move in my life, one of many, but I believe the most important. One greatly different than I knew I wanted. After years of trauma, tears and vasts amount of trying I struggled with wanting to reconcile my marriage. I had endured a marriage that was not remotely what I had dreamt I would have; countless amounts of separation in it’s midst, for many reasons. In the last separation, I had finally gotten to a point that I no longer believed I could sustain the relationship and had reconciled my heart to it. I was broken, hurt beyond words and every bit of angry and sad wrapped up in one. God came to me and made clear I was to drop my hurt and reconcile with the man that had been the root of great pain for me. Confused became the new norm for me and I fought it. I wrestled with my Father because I couldn’t comprehend putting myself in a place so risky….again. After months, I finally agreed and what was amazing is the changes God had made in my husband. There was still work to be done, but when I committed to letting go of my pain, giving it up, God didn’t rebuild something broken … He built something new. One by one, He picked up the old stones of pain, anger, distrust, & fear and polished them until they were unrecognizable. He placed them one by one in both of our hearts. He used the very things that broke us to build something amazing in us, for us! And as I type this that man sits across from me with a heart that is changed, a heart that is for God, a heart that has amazed me, with a love for me I was certain I’d never see. We are in our 21st year of marriage now and I am overwhelmed.

    Sometimes God calls us to things we are deathly afraid of, things that by societal terms or our own, make no sense. But our God is a God of great things; He is not a color in the lines kind of guy … He paints wild pictures and occasionally He’ll ask us to throw our own hand in the mix. It is easy to stand back from the canvas and hesitate. It is easy to stare at something blank and be overwhelmed by the unknown, by fear of making a mistake or destroying the masterpiece, but the incredible thing is that we have a Father who will take our hand and lead it. His hand guiding ours as we paint across the canvas of our life. And often when we think we are done, He’s going to ask us to dip that brush in the most wild of colors and throw it across our landscape and we just need to take a deep breath, close our eyes and go for it because our days don’t end without color … beautiful sunsets and sunrises don’t just happen … they are splashes of color to top off our days and in these moments of faith, God is just asking us to paint with Him, to allow Him to lead our brushes across our skies and show us profound beauty in His plans. Debbie Eaton nailed it with these words, “New beginnings tell the story of grace, mercy, and forgiveness—gifts from a loving Father who is worthy of our faith, even when we cannot see what lies ahead.” … Thankful that God holds the brush of my masterpiece, but incredibly grateful that He also allows me a grasp of that brush too and that He promises the picture, no matter what, will be amazing, it will be beautiful, it will be matchless, it will be glorious!!! ~ B

    1. Missy CM says:

      B, I´m a recovering “color in the lines” girl. Thanks so much for using that word picture. I´ll be keeping my eyes open for those sweeping strokes…

    2. lauren says:

      Thank you for this! I lol forward to your comment almost as much as the devotion content itself! You’re a wonderful writer and I am thankful you allow the Lord to lead your thoughts. This is a wonderful testimony!

      1. lauren says:

        I look forward **

      2. ~ B ~ says:

        Lauren, thank you so much for your kind words over me. I am truly humbled by them. So grateful for my fellow SRTers!

    3. Jenn says:

      Wow this really hits home. I am not married, but I believe I have met the man I am supposed to spend my life with. He has caused me so much pain and done so much damage and yet he is still around and I struggle with whether or not I could ever let him back in. Could I ever allow myself in that position again and actually marry a man who has caused me so much pain. I know deep down if it is Gods will, He can and will fix it. Thank you for sharing so I can see that even the impossible is in fact possible.

      1. Holly says:

        Hi Jenn, I know it may seem brave for you to stick it out through a relationship, or maybe you feel obligated to finish what you started, but your description of this man certainly does not sound like marriage material. Husbands are called to be selfless, loving their wives like Christ loves the church (an extremely high calling). It seems as though someone who has already caused you “so much pain and done so much damage” is not ready or equipped to be yolked with someone else in marriage. I think it’s important to point out a distinction between your story and B’s story – she had already entered into a marriage covenant with this man, and she did the incredibly brave and difficult thing of reconciling that relationship – and I’m sure God was cheering her on, stirring her up, and equipping her the whole way. In God’s eyes, you have not entered into any type of committed relationship with this man, so your obligation to reconcile is no where near what B’s was (note, there is also a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation – for people who deeply hurt us, sometimes the safest thing to do is forgive, but not necessarily reconcile). Out of love for a fellow sister-in-Christ, I would caution you against pursuing marriage with this particular man, and I would encourage you that God has an incredible and perfect plan for your life – one that does not involve any type of “settling” for less or confusion. Sometimes God allows us to experience pain to refine us, but he certainly would not want us to make choices that lead us directly into a situation that hurts us. Praying for you.

        1. Churchmouse says:

          There is great wisdom in your caution here to Jenn. Thank you for sharing

        2. JJ Smith says:

          agreed, thank you

        3. ~ B ~ says:

          So beautifully said, Holly! ~ B

      2. ~ B ~ says:

        Prayerful over your future Jenn! That God brings great clarity over it and that you feel with absolute confidence His plan for you! I couldn’t agree more with Holly’s comment. Remember that God desires a husband grounded in faith for you. If this man is to become that it should be prior to your choosing a covenant with him. It is so hard to go the route of a troubled spouse believing that God will change him and it affects every aspect of your life and choices. Sit back and let God lead you here. Prayerful over this man in your life as well. Love to you sister! ~ B

    4. Lyle says:

      B, thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony about your new beginning. Our marriage has been restored as well, and I am burdened for how many couples are struggling. I totally agree that God doesn’t mend the broken but builds something new. At one key turning point in our story, my husband said, “you can’t change the past, but you can change the future.” Jesus came to give us hope in tomorrow. If we will just take one step out into the unknown, whatever it is He is calling us to, He will carry us one thousand miles into victory. I will never forget the joy of obedience when my husband and I decided to start fresh. I love your idea of God’s masterpiece that He is painting–that He can take the messy strokes that I have put in and turn it into something beautiful.

      1. Christina D. says:

        “If we will just take one step out into the unknown, whatever it is He is calling us to, He will carry us one thousand miles into victory.” This brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing Lyle.

      2. ~ B ~ says:

        I love hearing other stories of restoration Lyle! It is so humbling to think back on those seasons. “He will carry us one thousand miles into victory” – – YES! It isn’t our own strength, it is entirely God’s. Thankful for you fellow marriage believers, prayerful that God continues to use you two and your story to bring others’ great hope! ~ B

    5. heather (MNmomma) says:

      oh my B…..your words hit me powerfully this morning. Your testimony is so powerful…..saying a prayer of thanksgiving this morning for you and your husband. For your obedience….for your gift of sharing….thank you so much!!! I pray that I can follow where I am lead….that I allow Him to lead me, to paint my masterpiece to brilliance….xo

    6. NM says:

      B, like you have experienced, I talk to my Father daily about reconciliation of a relationship that was at one time harmonious. At this Advent season, I am prayerfully seeking those gifts listed in 2Peter 1:3: strength & courage, grace & peace, hope& joy…gifts for a new beginning. As God guides my brush strokes, may He rekindle trust, and bring His beauty to re-establish the love in broken relationships, and bring GRACE to erase hurt and misunderstanding. I believe in His sovereign artistry, and cannot wait for the masterpiece that will be created from the brokenness! It will come as I hand the brush to Him. HIS work in our lives.

      1. ~ B ~ says:

        I LOVE your wording NM! Constant conversation with God is pivotal in knowing what He desires for us! Praying 2 Peter over you as well! ~ B

    7. Jess says:

      Tears in my eyes as I read this. This is my prayer for my parent’s marriage! ❤️ God bless you for your witness x

      1. ~ B ~ says:

        Prayerful over your parent’s marriage this morning Jess! So thankful that they’ve a daughter so willing to lift them up. Through your prayers and love over them, great change can come! ~ B

    8. Tina says:

      Thankful that God holds the brush of my masterpiece, but incredibly grateful that He also allows me a grasp of that brush too and that He promises the picture, no matter what, will be amazing, it will be beautiful, it will be matchless, it will be glorious!!! ~ ah -B, I just love that picture of God holding the brush, yet like a father teaching his child, allows you/me to hold the brush with him, to show you/me how, to guide us, to lead, for us to follow…..Thank you dear dear friend, for your testimony…there is nothing seemingly broken, that God cannot re- New…with a new beginning, that is seemingly hope -less, that He cannot HOPE- fill…with His love, Grace, mercy and forgiveness…
      Love you -B…Love to the family…xxx

    9. Victoria says:

      Thank you, B, for your words and your wisdom. I, too, always look for your posts, as they resonate in my heart long after finishing the daily devotions. I am currently in a season of learning to trust my heart again in my marriage. Loved how you said that God hadn’t rebuilt something broken, but that He built something new…. praying for this kind of healing…. beautiful, matchless, and glorious!

  5. Stacey says:

    God began a new chapter in my life this past year. I went along with it kicking and screaming and pouting and crying. I wonder if Abraham had moments when he did the same? I obeyed… I could have gone out and found another job. I could have pitched more of a fit. But I did as I felt I was led… Just with not a great attitude. Now I look back and am sad that I did not have more faith. I am still sad that this is the journey He led me on. But I now see that it was also a change i needed and I truly believe His plan for all of this is still so much greater than I can even comprehend right now. Things are starting to grow and change for the better… And that is only the beginning. God is so good. My trust is so little. I am glad he keeps nudging me in the right direction.

    1. ~ B ~ says:

      God is so good! Even when we go kicking and screaming … have I been there too! Love that he gently nudges us! ~ B

  6. Carly B says:

    This really speaks to me today. I feel like God is calling me to something new. I have a vague idea but I don’t know exactly what, or where to begin. In many ways it seems impossible and it would mean leaving comfort behind. I’ve been a bit frustrated lately because I just want to know what to do, what God is saying, how to move forward, but this reassures me that he has a plan, he has it under control, I just need to trust him and he will show me at the right time and he will lead me. I want to use this time of Advent to wait before God and seek him and his will for the future.

    1. ~ B ~ says:

      In those seasons of quiet, when God isn’t saying what we want to hear, it can be so frustrating. Prayerful that in this season He directs your feet and keeps your eyes on Him. That when you worry or grow concerned He brings great peace over the process Carly. ~ B

      1. Carly B says:

        Thank you for your prayers, B.

    2. Tina says:

      Tina F
      Carly B your words ring so true to me. If I had written this myself the words and sentiment would be exactly the same. Big change has occurred in my life this past year and I have felt like I am lost in the wilderness, crying out to God for direction, yet seeing none. I am trusting in Him and standing in God’s promises that he will now we leave me or forsake me. For someone who always feels she has to be in control this is challenging. I’ll be praying for you this Advent season that God will reveal His plan for your life. Blessings to you!

      1. Carly B says:

        Thank you, Tina. Praying for you too.

  7. Tina says:

    This, Debbie Eaton is just what I needed to hear….
    I totally heard all you said/ have written…God’s promise to Abraham. ..The first promised son that would be the lineage to the second promised son who would be the redeemer of our sins.. our Savior, our Hope…
    I heard ya…I did…but what hit me was the fact that Abraham was in his 70s when his life changed, when God made him aware of the purpose He had for him…and the future of mankind…
    I have often sat, wondering what, now my children have left home, my purpose is…For a long time, when my family was young, I believed my children were my life..They still are, don’t get me wrong… just I do not take care of them now..They make their own decisions, eat what they want..etc..I am obsolete..redundant. .
    So where does that leave me…In a pickle….because questions like..is this it? Was that my life..now empty and non descript. .no purpose, no reason…But God gave me ears to hear this morning, eyes to see your words Debbie Eaton. .and a heart to receive this message for me…that God’s plan for my life was not just to be a mother to my children, but there is more…much more..just wait…and in the waiting to trust Him, hold fast to Him to obey in faith…It is a lonely and seemingly empty life I live now to me, But God.., and with all I have believe this…has a plan, and although I cannot see right now the bigger picture of my tapestry. ..I know He is in control, whilst I hold fast to him…
    I wait in this advent ..waiting..period, trusting that He will fill me with strength and courage, grace and oh His peace, Hope and joy..For New beginnings are coming…
    I have tears now…New beginnings are coming…
    Thank you Lord God, thank you…
    Praying the Lord God turn His face to shine so brightly on you…hugs..xxx

    1. Jess says:

      Tina, I too have been in a place where I’ve questioned my purpose in life. It helps me to remember that no matter what is happening around me, I can be of use to God by praying for others. As long as we are connected to our Heavenly Father, not a day goes by when we’re left without purpose. Prayer allows us to be warriors even on days when we can’t get out of bed.

      And of course, God can take the most mundane events of life and use them for His glory. Who knows when our small actions are actually serving a greater purpose! Even offering a smile to a stranger in the grocery store could be a way to shine His light.

      I have confidence that not only does God have great plans for your future, but there is also purpose in the present, in the waiting, and He’ll be with you every step of the way.

      And for what it’s worth, I think your reflections here have been an encouragement to all who read them, so it’s clear to me that God is doing great things through you even now in this darker hour.

      Hugs and blessings!

    2. candacejo says:

      Oh what a blessing you are in this season of waiting!! Your ministry in the kitchen and your ministry here (the only two that I KNOW of) are vital and so important to the Kingdom. Does God have more? Yes, I believe He does too but in the middle of your in-betweens God is preparing you for the great adventure. Do not dismay dear friend, He is in control. ♥ Bookmark these posts to remind you! http://www.hopeinthehealing.com/2013/06/28/in-the-middle-of-your-in-betweens/ http://www.hopeinthehealing.com/2013/07/22/when-the-music-stops-2/

    3. Stacey says:

      “But God” is what you wrote, dear Tina. Don’t all renewed stories all being with “but God”!? It’s your new chapter… So similar to Abraham’s!!

    4. ~ B ~ says:

      I think all too often the latter parts of our lives are greatly discounted by our hearts because of all that you said….but what I find is that there is so much knowledge and wisdom to gain from those who have gone before us…. like a Titus 2 woman, you are a leader. You bring great truth to the forefront for all of us and your story, your life reflect great hope for so many. Your heart is evident and I can’t wait to see what God continues to do with you because I know no matter your age or how your life seems, He’s got great plans! Much love for you T and many many hugs! ~ B

    5. Liz says:

      Love this! And how true it is for so many life stages!

    6. karen says:

      hi- five years ago everything seemed to be going fine- health, family home… approaching the sunset years! today- husband sick (iCU, death, forced retirement), lost our home, much uncertainty. I had to start over to support my family. I moved 1200 miles away to take a job that paid well- starting over at 55! no friends, no family. it seems like ages ago- I still wonder why- but I know that God is with me- has been with me- it’s His plan. I still feel -angry- I may be working for a very long time – I still wonder.. did Abram have doubts? did he wonder? And most of all I wait- for what is to come. I pray constantly.

    7. Debbie says:

      I just want to say, Tina, you are right where the Lord wants you and you are making a difference around the world. I love SRT, and when I finish I look for your response because I am touch by you and others. God’s new beginnings are right here and in the now for you and me as we are given the gift of a new day. Each women or man that reads this sight is touched by God through each other and what you do here makes a difference. God is working out a life just how He wants, to make us useful to Him. Ahh Sweet baby Jesus, new beginnings.

      1. Elisabeth Harkness says:

        Debbie, I know it’s been a year since you wrote this. I am praying for you. How are you now? Are you seeing God working in your life?

    8. Churchmouse says:

      Oh Tina, do not underestimate the effect your postings have on so many. You are reaching next generations through your faith story and insight into His Word. Our children are adults also and thought we were heading into the empty nest years BUT GOD! He opened a door for me to lead a Bible study for young women that I never would have imagined I would do. And He’s given us the opportunity to watch our granddaughter while our daughter works as a teacher. So, another generation to influence with the love of our Savior! We pass the baton of Faith in a myriad of ways. Within our own families. In the ministries we each have. In our prayer closets. In our every day interactions with our neighbors, friends and acquaintances. In a post at SRT. Look again at Abraham. Oh what one can do when one is willing to trust and obey! You have much influence, Tina. You bless many. And I thank you and encourage you to continue. Press on dear sister. Love you

    9. Jessica says:

      Hello! I also had to write to tell you, everyday after I read the devotional, I scroll down and say to myself, “where’s Tina!?” So, know you make a difference with every post. Much love, Jessica

    10. Meagan S says:

      Tears rolling down my face now. Tina, your post makes me think about my own mother of 2 newly married daughters. I know she is feeling the same things you do. Too often I am impatient with her but today my heart is broken for her. I cry out for the Lord to place in her and in you a sweet contentment with your present state and a sweet expectancy for what the Lord has in store for you in the future. We serve an awesome God of new beginnings!

  8. C says:

    “Obey in faith” what a beautiful phrase!
    How often have you had someone say to you “oh it seems that God is testing you!” Now I know to reply that he is guiding me to obey in faith. He is calling me to a life of “faith and trust”. And with that faith and trust we receive the most amazing gifts. In every situation we are so blessed!

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