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Genesis 12:1-7 and Revelation 22:3-4

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. Abram travelled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. (Genesis 12:1-7)

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. (Rev 22:3-4)

In Luke 23 Jesus is hanging on the cross between two criminals. One criminal recognises he’s getting the punishment his crime deserves, but that Jesus is innocent. He recognises who Jesus is, the promised King and Son of God. The man doesn’t try to justify his crimes, he simply says, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Somehow he realises it depends 100% on Jesus and 0% on him. Jesus answers the man’s new found faith saying, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Previously the Federal Parliament unanimously agreed to pass laws brought there by Kelly Dwyer that could improve the lives of at least one million people. These laws meant that big companies (or government bodies) could no longer dictate contracts that give them self-centred powers to vary contracts at a whim on small contractors that employ less than 20 people (e.g. the price they pay, terminate the contract, or impose unreasonable penalties). Robert Gottliebsen commented (Business Spectator, 19 Oct 2015), “These horrible one-sided contracts are one of the reasons why Australian productivity is so bad and show that big groups (both government and private) are not focusing on what they really need to do to make independent contracting work…Let’s hope [the Minister] is strong enough to stand up to the considerable pressure to effectively reverse what has been a magnificent moment in Australian democracy for the benefit of the nation.”

In Genesis 12 God enters into a contract with Abraham (a covenant). It’s one-sided in the sense that God has the power, but unlike humans, God keeps his contracts to the letter! God promises that there will be a great nation of people who will be God’s blessing to this broken world. Though, in the centuries that followed, Abraham’s descendants kept breaking the contract, God fully and finally keeps his contract with Abraham by coming as Jesus and fulfilling the human side for us. Like the criminal who said to Jesus “remember me”, we enter into all the blessings of this ancient contract by trusting in Jesus – in the power of his life, death and resurrection. This is what Revelation’s metaphor “his name will be on their foreheads” pictures. We, as followers of Jesus from every nation, are now meant to be God’s blessing to the world as we, together, trust in Jesus and bring his love and new life to our broken world.

Head: Do I understand the significance of God keeping his contract with Abraham, even when Abraham’s descendants kept breaking the contract?

Heart: Is my heart amazed by the goodness of God in not only keeping his side of the contract, but stepping into our world as the man Jesus and keeping our side of the contract for us in his life, death and resurrection?

Hands: What can I do today to be God’s blessing to others? How can I express my trust in Jesus and bring his love and new life to my broken world?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise you for keeping your ancient contract with Abraham, even when Abraham’s descendants kept breaking the contract. My heart is astounded by your goodness in not only keeping your side of the contract, but in you stepping into our world as the man Jesus and keeping our side of the contract for us in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Thank you for the clear example of the thief on the cross relying on Jesus and not justifying himself. Please enable me as a follower of Jesus to be a part of your blessing to the world promised to Abraham. Please enable me to express today my real trust in Jesus and to bring his love and new life to my broken world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

A song to listen to: Cornerstone

Phil Strong

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