Scripture: Genesis 17
OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him,4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! Gen 17:1-6 (NLT)
APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
Much is said in God’s Work about covenant relationships. In this particular chapter there were several covenant relationships made with Abram (Abraham) and they all were similar in form. God made a covenant that He would do certain things and this was either preceded, or followed by, certain things that would be required by Abram and/or his people. In this particular covenant God told his servant who was once fatherless, that he would become the father of countless descendants and of many nations, and to mark this his name would be changed to reflect the new him, because Abraham actually means ‘Father of Many’. Now prior to all this being revealed, God demanded of Abram that he vow to serve Him faithfully and live a blameless life. Throughout God’s Word He makes many promises to us, the greatest of which was the gift of His Son Jesus. In this particular covenant, God sent His Son so that those of us that believe on, and accept Him as Lord of our life, would have eternal life. At Christmas time we celebrate the gift that was presented to us. I trust that for all who may read this devotional, You would truly accept this gift and complete the covenant presented by God, for I guarantee you that He will live up to His part of the covenant by opening heaven’s gates and receiving us into eternity with Him. Friend I pray that your eyes will be opened to this invitation, because the alternative is not very bright for those who refuse to accept Jesus. An eternal life of damnation and the unpleasentries of Hell is not anything that I can imagine anyone wanting to set as a goal in their life.
PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Father I thank You for the greatest gift ever given – Your Son. I thank You also for touching my life and encouraging me to accept Your gift some 35 years ago. I am concerned about the numerous number of family and/or friends and/or co-workers that have chosen to ignore Your gift and the covenant You have offered to us. I pray that this will be an important Christmas weekend in the lives of those that You have touched my life through, because I pray that You will once again overly sensitize their hearts so that they will understand how hopeless life is without You. May they experience the real meaning of the reason that we celebrate Christmas as they surrender and submit their lives to You this week.