Reading: Genesis 12 vs 1 -5
Thought: If we have to go somewhere, one of the things I always think about is what we need to take with us. But, what we take depends on where we’re going and how long we’re going for. When our youngest is going anywhere, she usually grabs a bag or doctor’s kit box (not a real one, before you panic – she’s dangerous enough at times without her own collection of medical supplies!) and she fills it with whatever she wants to fill it with. It could be a small stuffed toy, a book, 3 cartons of juice, four bags of crisps and a selection of biscuits – there’s a good reason people search bags, you know! While I try to think about the practical things and what we all need, she thinks about what she likes or, simply what she thinks will be useful for her! It also seems, in our house anyway, that whatever journey you are going on, it is very important that you ask: ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ I’m not sure if this is a kind of necessity, but it seems to be a pretty important part of any travelling we’ve done ;o)
I’ve never had to pack to go on a journey where I didn’t know where I was headed. That would be tricky because, after all, if you don’t know where you’re headed, how do you know what to bring? I wonder if someone asked you to take your loved ones and your belongings and just follow them, would you be willing to go? I’m not sure that I’d be very keen to do that – it would be pretty scary going into the unknown and compeletly trusting someone to sort out a new home and prepare a new life for you.
But, I wonder if it would make any difference if you were told, that if you were to trust them, leave behind everything you knew and move with your family to a new place, that you would make a difference – for good – to the lives of people for thousands of years to come. I reckon I might be quite hard to convince, but Abram, quite amazingly, did just that!
God spoke to Abram, He told him to take his family and all his belongs and go to where God would send Him. And, what would the result of this be? Nations would be blessed through him! Because Abram trusted God and did as he was asked, God honoured His promise and He not only blessed Abraham with many, many descendants, from his family line, Jesus was born!
Abram trusting God and following His plan meant that God’s plan to save the world would one day come to be! What an amazing show of faith, trusting God with the unknown and yet, what an amazing and incredible outcome there was for doing just that!
But, the important thing to remember, is that God never left Abram, later Abraham, to journey alone – God was always with him, as He is with us. We are reminded in Hebrews 11 that everything Abraham did, he did ‘by faith.’ Matthew 17 verse 20 tells us that Jesus said: ‘For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” It doesn’t mean that having faith and trusting is easy, but we can know, that the God who never changes, the God who was with Abraham and the God who promises in Joshua 1 verse 5: ‘As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you’ and He will be with us, strengthening our faith in Him, not leaving us to go it alone!
Abraham lived a very, very, very long time before us but, he also lived a very, very long time before Jesus was born. Yet, because of the faith Abraham had in his God, that same unchanging God used his family line to bring us the gift of Jesus – the Gift we still celebrate at Christmas now! Never underestimate how God can use you. Abraham could never have fully known the extent of the impact his life would have, but, because he had faith in God, we now do! I wonder if any of those travelling with Abram or, indeed, the man himself, ever asked God, ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ As you journey through life, like Abraham, trust God, have faith in Him and His incredible plans for you. Because Abraham trusted, the One who was ‘promised from eternal years’ was born in that stable. Who knows where trusting God will lead you to – no matter how long it may seem it’s taking you to get there!
Carol of the Day: See in Yonder Manger Low
Advent Activity: Puzzle Treasure Hunt
Materials Needed: This can be done many ways! We printed out 5 pictures each with the first letter spelling out one of the letters of the word ‘Faith’. I had little craft matchboxes, so hid them in these and placed them around the house. They could simply be on the pages. We had a little scroll with a poem to tell them what they had to do and, very importantly, their advent calendars on hand for a treat when they had completed the puzzle (other treats may be used of course!)