Read Genesis 12:1-7; Joshua 24:23; Hebrews 11: 8-10; Hebrews 11:13-16; Mark 10:27-30
Reading the above texts in sequence all point to one inevitable reality of Jesus’ claim upon our lives: the call to leave behind ancestral home and family and culture for the sake of the Gospel. For some, it’s a permanent departure as in the case of Abraham; for others, it may not be so radical (relocating from one part of town to another). This ‘leaving everything behind’ is always painful. Abraham’s life of faith and departure from his culture in South West Asia (modern day Iraq) to relocate to the eastern Mediterranean region was a profound turning point. Hebrews 11 tells us Abraham didn’t really know where he was going. But God’s Word tells us it created a cascade of blessings with effects felt to this day (Galatians 3:8-9). In the end, the relocation wasn’t about any place on this earth, but was to a city-state a lot greater than Ur, a city-state that lasts forever, which builder is God Himself!
So there is a definite giving up involved on our part and it’s painful! But as Jesus promises, we receive back “hundredfold” and we end up the ones being blessed. Of course, it would be wrong to assume it’s a sort of quid pro quo and that we can commandeer God as a vending machine to get our “blessing.” God chooses when and how these blessings are allocated to us and the journey is not without persecutions and opposition.
To leave it there would be wrong because the final dimension of Abraham’s turning point is actually a commandment. Genesis 12:2, translated “so that you will be a blessing” is actually an imperative = “be a blessing!” We don’t sit of the benefits of giving up everything for the sake of the Gospel. We in turn become a blessing to others.
Questions for the week:
What or who is it God is asking you to let go and give up? your culture, your calendar, your reputation, your family, your children (who are God’s to begin with), the list is really endless here. Let the Holy Spirit show you what it is you need to let go.
Are you recognizing and identifying the blessings in your life as you have given family country etc. for the Gospel?
What sort of blessing do you think God is calling you to be to others? Do the people around you need you? Does your church need you to serve (a result of giving up control of your calendar)? For some it may be time to actually pack up your bags and go on to the next leg of the journey.
In all these scenarios of giving up, we don’t know all the details when we begin this journey of faith, but one thing is abundantly clear: Jesus will be with us all the way to the End! This is the blessing of Abraham passed on to us today.