January 22, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”—Genesis 12:2–3 (NIV)
Did you know that you belong to a huge family? Like way bigger than your own. I’m talking about millions of people from all different ages, countries, and languages.
A really long time ago there was a man named Abram (you might also know him as Abraham). God wanted to bless the entire world through Abraham’s obedience of leaving his land and his people. I know it sounds crazy, but God wanted Abraham to learn that his identity and security came from God, not where he lived or who he was.
Well, all of this happened when Abraham was 75 years old, and he obeyed God and left. God promised Abraham He would give him a son (Abraham didn’t have any children, and he was a little old). So, 25 years later, God kept His promise. Abraham had a son when he was 100 years old. He named him Isaac, which means laughter, since Abraham laughed when God told him He would give him a son at 75 years old.
At last, Abraham has his long-awaited son—God’s promise was fulfilled. Have you ever waited 25 years for anything? Probably not, but even when we wait like two days it can feel like forever. So, after 25 years of waiting, Abraham didn’t want to give up his gift, but God asked him to sacrifice him. Does that sound familiar in any way?
In the same way, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, God did that Himself. God gave up Jesus to save us from our sins. Abraham’s obedience to God in giving up his son to be sacrificed shows us how God would later save and bless the whole world through His son.
Because of God’s amazing mercy, Isaac lived and later had two sons. One of them was named Jacob, who later had 12 sons who went on to form the nation of Israel. God had promised Abraham he would have as many children as the stars in the sky, and God’s promise came true over the years as their family line grew. Even though their family was pretty big, the growth didn’t stop in Israel. The family continued to grow throughout the world, and eventually Jesus was born from the line of Abraham. The birth of Jesus is the most perfect example of God’s blessing and promise to all mankind. God, the promise keeper, fulfilled His promise and saved all of mankind from their sins.
Through Jesus, we’re all welcome into God’s kingdom, and we have become a family. We who believe are now children of God because of Jesus! And in the same way God asked Abraham to give up earthly things to understand he already had everything he would ever need in God, Jesus asks the same of us. We are to let go of all earthly things and receive the new family and life we have in Christ. We are carriers of God’s blessings. As we carry God’s blessings, we’re called to bless those around us and share the good news of Jesus.
During this holiday season, I hope we can all remember the special gift Jesus makes available to us and that God always keeps His promises.
Knowing Jesus came to save us and He allows us to carry His blessings, I want to challenge you to be a blessing to others around you. Here are just five ways you can do that:
Clean up all your toys around the house before your parents ask.