In the below reading we meet the person who sits atop the family tree of Jesus, and our spiritual family tree – Father Abraham
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:1-8)
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: (Matthew 1:1)
Yesterday’s reading took us through the entirety of Jesus’ family tree, and today’s reading looks at the person who sits atop that tree, and the moment when God put him there. Covenants are a major theme throughout the Bible, where God binds Himself to His promises. The particular focus of this one seems to be Abraham’s fatherhood of many nations, as God repeats this at the end of verses four and five. Abraham will be a spiritual father in the faith to God’s family. A father to our Lord and Saviour Jesus, and to you and me.
Similar to what Emily said yesterday, I find the fact that God loved, blessed and used Old Testament figures who were clearly flawed to be a real encouragement. He blessed and used people who made mistakes and failed to trust in Him. Jesus’ family tree is full of people like that.
Abraham probably isn’t the most obvious example of flawed humanity in Jesus’ family tree. He did some incredible acts of faith that form some of the most often-told stories of the Old Testament. But like everyone, he did have his failures. He had those times when He didn’t trust in God, and acted contrary to His plans.
Despite our obvious cultural differences, I think Abraham would on one level be able to relate to our struggle in trusting in God, when it doesn’t look like He’s doing what He said He would. He can relate to our temptation to make decisions not in line with God’s will. But he serves as an amazing father figure for us, as members of God’s family in Jesus, in how to live a life of faith and simple obedience, a life modelled perfectly by Jesus Himself.
Head: Have a look at the stories of Abraham in Genesis. What stands out to you? How does his life demonstrate both unfaithfulness and faithfulness?
Heart: How can you relate to his failings? How can his acts of faith spur you on today?
Hands: What simple acts of faith and obedience could you do today, modelling yourself on Abraham and Jesus?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for our spiritual father and the father of Jesus’ family tree, Abraham. Thank you for his life that demonstrated amazing faith and trust in You. Thank you for his simple obedience. We pray that we would emulate that in our lives today more. But as great as Abraham was, we pray even more so that we would emulate more the man who perfectly modelled faith and obedience, Jesus. Thank you that He came to model that for us, and most importantly, to die for us and all those times where we don’t model faith and obedience. We pray that our lives would better reflect His life in a way that draws non-Christians in to Your family tree this Christmas time. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
A song to listen to: O Come All Ye Faithful
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of a previous Christmas series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years