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Friday, August 19, 2011

Exceedingly Great Reward

Genesis 15:1-6

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
 And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

Interestingly, Abram's experience personifies God's redemptive plan for mankind in a much deeper way than it is generally expounded.  Abram was a resident of Ur of the Chaldees, a decidedly pagan culture. Abram became the first Hebrew at his faith in God.  So the first Hebrew was a redeemed pagan! This is exactly what God has been asking of mankind since the Garden. Today God is calling people out of the world with the same request, “Have faith and live.” Imagine Abram's excitement and amazement as he stood in awe staring at the starry expanse of sky as he received his promise from God. Through many trials and missteps, Abram come Abraham experienced God's grace and promise because he continued to believe. Even when God asked him to sacrifice his long-awaited son of promise, Abraham was willing to be obedient even unto death, even as Christ was. “All The Men of the Bible” succinctly speaks of this situation, “What God wanted was Abraham's heart, not Isaac's life” (Lockyer, 1958, 29).

God wants your whole heart today. Whatever it may be that is impeding His having all of it is not worth holding on to. There is promise in obedience. Faith must be a dynamic action in our lives. James 2:26 expresses this truth, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” God begins His promise to Abram with the grand truth that, “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Friendship with God is the result of obedience.

Lord, I pray that we remember the promises that You have spoken to our hearts, and that our faith is strengthened. Lord, please enable us to hold on to the mustard seed of faith that is able to move mountains. I pray for the fortitude to be able to move forward in the face of adversity. Thank You God for Your Word. Thank You for Your Son and the Spiritual life that You impart to us at our belief in Him. How wonderful it is to know that Your brought forth Abram from a pagan culture to build Your people. Thank You that You are still doing this today. Lord please help us to lay down any idol that is preventing us from giving ourselves to You totally. I pray for healing and peace for Israel and the coming of Your Kingdom here and now; as well as, in the future. In Jesus' name. I love You and praise You. Amen.

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