June 26, 2007

Heirs of Abraham's Promise



I must admit that after I read Galatians 3 today, I just didn't get it.  There are times when Paul's writing seems complex and difficult to understand.  This was one of those times.  Reading Romans 4 helped a little, and then putting it together with Genesis 12:1-3 helped me make sense of a key point - God's promise to Abraham and his seed was a promise to Jesus (his Seed) and to all believers including me (also his seed).  I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around this and understanding what it means.  Drawing a picture helps me to visualize it and make more sense of it.

By faith Abraham was made righteous, becoming the heir of God's promise.  Similarly, through faith I have been made righteous, also becoming the heir of God's promise.  Jesus didn't need to be made righteous, but as the seed of Abraham, he also receives God's promise.  Abraham believed, as I do, that God has the power to do whatever He promises - He can do anything; He's God! 

So what does God promise to Abraham, Jesus, and me?  He will make a great nation of us.  He will bless us.  He will make our names great.  We will be a blessing.  All peoples on earth will be blessed through us.  Clearly God's promise to Abraham was fulfilled - he became the father of the great nation of Israel.  He was blessed.  His name was certainly great - I'm still reading about him today.  He was a blessing to others during his life, and Jesus lineage is traced back to him...he truly was a blessing to all peoples on earth even far beyond his own lifetime. 

God's promise in Jesus has also been fulfilled.  Believers are the nation God has made of Jesus.  He has blessed Jesus and given him all power and glory.  Jesus' name is the greatest of all, and He has become the greatest blessing the world has ever known.  His sacrifice on the cross was for everyone...whoever believes in him regardless of their nationality is blessed with the gift of eternal life. 

Galatians 3:29 tells me: "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."  So how is God fulfilling His promise in me?  Am I becoming a great nation?  Well, 5 kids is certainly a start!  Have I been blessed?  Absolutely!  Is my name great?  "Mommy" is spoken more often than most any name in this house.  Have other peoples or nations been blessed by me?  I certainly hope that my participation in short-term missions trips to California, Argentina, and Russia, and any contributions I have made either in prayer or money have resulted in blessings to people of other nations.  Is God finished fulfilling His promise to me?  Not at all...He won't be finished until I join Him in heaven...or perhaps not until the end of time. 

Lord, thank you for the amazing promise You made to Abraham...and that it wasn't just for him.  I always had an inkling that you had a similar promise for me, but today you made it clear that the same promise is for me.  Help me to continue to believe Your promise.  Help me to listen and pay attention to what You are asking me to do, that I may not in any way hinder the fulfillment of Your promise to me.  Amen.

Posted by jennbeck at June 26, 2007 07:12 AM