Dear Cornerstone brothers and sisters,
As we go through the week, do we not often feel as if we are surrounded by the enemy? Our sinful flesh wages war against us and the war does all it can to tear us away from Christ. In Psalm 56, David felt something similar. In Ps 56:1-3 David says he is trampled and attached all day long. But listen to the next verse, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me” (vv. 3-4). This week, let us take these words to heart: “In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust.”
This Lord’s Day we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper and we will have a fellowship meal following worship.
Also, remember to mark September 27th for our Fall theology conference. Brochures and registration coming soon!
Next Wednesday, August 6th we will gather at the Barnes’ home for dinner and prayer.
Finally, this week’s devotional is a reflection on the faith of Abraham!
From the Pastor’s Desk
“The Father of the Faithful”
Genesis 12:1, “Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.’”
The Apostle Paul refers to Abraham as the father of the faithful (Rom 4:11-12). In the New Testament, Abraham is often put forth as an example of believing in Christ (Romans 4; Hebrews 11). What does it ‘look like’ to follow the Lord? Look to Abraham! Gen 12:1-3 describes the call of Abraham in which God summons Abraham to follow him in faith. There are two points we should take from this text: first, the call of faith; and second, the grounds of faith.
First, the call of faith? What was the Lord calling Abraham to do? God was calling Abraham ‘to go’ (Gen 12:1). But more than that, the call was also a call ‘to leave.’ God called Abraham to leave his country, his kindred, and his father’s house. In effect, Abraham was called to leave all that was familiar to him – all that he had known. And to go where? Wherever the Lord led. Heb 11:8 says Abraham went out, “not knowing where he was going.” Abraham was called to obey and to follow the simple word of the Lord! He rested in and clung to the word of his Lord!
But Abraham’s faith was not a groundless faith. For not only did the Lord call Abraham to follow him, but also he gave to Abraham great and precious promises. Five times in vv. 2-3 God says he ‘will do’ something on behalf of Abraham. God promises to make Abraham a great nation, to make his name great, and to bless him. And these promises of God to Abraham form the foundation of blessings traced through the Bible. Abraham believed God’s promises and followed him. He trusted in the promises of God, and obeyed the word of God!
Brothers and sisters, Paul refers to Abraham as the father of the faithful for good reason. In effect, Abraham’s faith is to serve as a paradigm or model of the faith of all Christians. God calls us to follow him, to trust him, to obey him. Jesus’ call to Matthew is his call to us, “Follow me” (Matt 9:9). His words to his disciples are his words to us, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me” (Mat 16:24). His words to the crowds are his words to us, “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).
But like Abraham we too have received great and precious promises from the Lord. In fact, the same promises God gave to Abraham he gives to us. We have the great privilege, however, of seeing all God’s promises fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 1:20). As believers we are part of the great cloud of witnesses, the Israel of God, the 144,000 worshipping before the throne (Heb 12:1; Gal 6:16; Rev 7:1-8). Moreover, we have the blessed name, ‘Christian,’ indicating our union with our Savior whose name is above all names (Acts 11:26; Phil 2:9-11). And finally, every spiritual blessing is ours in Christ (Eph 1:3). That is, the blessing of forgiveness of sins, of eternal life, of joy and peace, of hope and assurance, are ours in Christ alone!!
Dear brothers and sisters, may we – like Abraham – cling to God’s word. May we obey him, follow him, trust him … no matter the cost or the hardship. And may we remember that our faith is not a bare, groundless faith; but it is grounded upon the unshakable promises of God, promises which are yes and amen in Christ! Our Savior lived for us, laid down his life for us, and rose for us; may we take up our cross and follow him!