Thursday April 21, 2022
Scripture James 2: 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
Life Lesson: Abraham’s life demonstrated that his faith was genuine by doing something most would never consider doing, sacrificing to God the one thing he had waited for most of his life and that mattered to him the most.
– It is truly a fool’s game to actually think that you can have faith and not do anything in response to faith. God had told Abram that he would have descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens, Gen. 15 and Abram exercised faith by believing the Word of the Lord. Too often we want to stop right there and assume therefore that is all faith is, but true Faith hears the Word of God, believes the Word of God, accepts the word of God and then acts on the Word of God!
– The testing of Abraham’s faith through the sacrifice of his son is almost unimaginable to our modern day sensibilities. How could God possibly ask such a thing? But it was the voice of the Lord Abraham heard speaking to him as he had heard so many other times in his life.
– You say you have faith, but do you talk to God? Do you hear from God? Do you even believe God speaks to His people today? Faith is not the child’s play we try to make it out to be; faith is honed, developed, exercised, and tried. We are called to be people of faith, not of fairy tales! Fairy tales are nice and easy, always happy endings, and fun. Faith requires spiritual muscle! Abraham heard the Word of God, he was to take his son, his only son (the son of promise) and go to a place chosen by the Lord where Abraham was to offer him as a burnt sacrifice. And all God’s people said, “WHAT!?”
– But take Isaac he did. And as Abraham prepared to do exactly what God had told him to do, yes even as his hand was raised above Isaac’s body, the awful blade glittering in the sun, pointed down to be plunged into him, God then spoke again to His servant! Gen. 22: 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” This act of faith proved the sincerity of his faith! This one action ratified the covenant God had previously made with Abraham in Gen. 12:1-2, 22: 15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Because you have done this Abraham and have not withheld your only son, I will surely bless you! Abraham not only said, “I believe”, he proved his belief in his readiness to sacrifice what he loved dearly because he knew that no matter what, he could trust God! That’s faith!