TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, July 25, 2019:
The founder of the Jewish nation and the first Biblical patriarch. In Hebrew Abraham means “father of multitude.”
I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Abraham was God’s chosen vessel through whom He would reveal Himself to the world. Abraham could never have imagined how significant a role he would have in the future of all mankind. When God promised Abraham to make him “a great nation” Genesis 12:2, he had no idea of what God was saying to him.
The key to the fulfilling of God’s plans was Abraham’s obedience. Abraham was told by God to “Get out of the country, get out of your father’s household, leave your people, and go to a land that I will show you” Genesis 12:1. We can follow the steps of faith in Abraham’s life in Genesis chapters 12 to 25.
In order to accomplish what God had commanded Abraham to do there were six stages of journeys that Abraham took over the years that showed his growth in obedience to God’s will.
First, he travelled from Ur of the Chaldeans, where his father’s house was, to Haran. His father, Terah, and his nephew, Lot traveled with him. He only obeyed God in part. He left his father’s house but not his father.
Second, he travelled from Haran to Shechem with his nephew Lot, which is the center of Canaan (his father died in Haran). By making this move he left his country as God had told him, but still had not separated from his father’s family. It was in Shechem that the Lord appeared to Abraham and promised the land of Canaan to his children. Abraham built his first altar here to worship and honor the Lord.
Third, Abraham moved from Shechem to Bethel. Abraham built his second altar to the Lord here.
Fourthly, he moved from Bethel to Egypt because there was a famine in Canaan. But by going to Egypt he was disobeying God. He did not build an altar because he knew he was out of the will of God and could not worship God. Abraham learned that it was better to endure trials (famine) and accept the will of God than to attempt to surrender to his own but limited solution.
So, fifthly, Abraham left Egypt and went back to Bethel. He went back to worship at the altar of God. Lot separated from Abraham and for the first time Abraham was fully obeying God. He was now separated from his country, his family and his father’s house.
Finally, Abraham moved to Hebron which became his home as God desired for him. It was here that God started to fully bless him because he had become fully yielded to God and was in His perfect will. It was here that his two sons were born. It was here where Isaac was presented for an offering on an altar of sacrifice. God had fully blessed Abraham as He had promised.
We can learn from the experiences of Abraham and the importance of listening for the leading of God in our lives and responding according to His will and not to our desires. We now know how important it was for Abraham to obey God because it was through the line of Abraham that Jesus, our Messiah, came to earth to save us from our sins.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Matthew 6:33.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Open my heart so I can listen to You and obey Your directions for my life. Help me to go where you send me and do what you desire that I do. Use me in whatever way you desire to grow Your kingdom.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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