Day 337: December 3, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Genesis 12:1-3
The Lord said to Abram: “Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who treat you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

The Lord said to Abram: “Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”—Genesis 12:1

The Call of Abram
by Brian Ball, Member of Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood Campus

As we walk through this Advent season, we’re looking at how passages in the Old Testament foreshadow Jesus. I love the passage for this morning—our first story of the faith of Abram. For me, this passage is echoed in Philippians 2:5-11. Take some time to read it.

These two passages are really interesting to study side-by-side. For the sake of time, let’s look at a couple of the parallel aspects of Abram and Jesus.

The first parallel is that both of them left. Abram, in an act of faith, left what he knew—his country, kindred, and father’s house—to go to a land God would show him.

Jesus not only left heaven, but (and I love these words) “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Wow. He emptied Himself—literally translated “made Himself nothing.” Of any passage of Scripture, this captures the terrible cost of sin and the value and beauty God places on our souls. Amazing.

Another parallel we see is the result of God’s grace. To Abram, we have the promise that he’ll be made a great nation and his name will be great so that he’ll be a blessing: “… in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

What a tremendous legacy that continues down to you and me! And this isn’t because of who Abram is or what he does—this is God’s promise to Abram. As Weirsbe says, “We are not saved by making promises to God; we are saved by believing God’s promises to us.[1]

And then we have Jesus—the Promise embodied, highly exalted by God. His name is not only made great, but His name is above every name. And His name has power.

Look how many times in Acts the name of Jesus is invoked to change circumstances. Peter professed the name of Jesus before the rulers and elders and scribes when asked where his teaching came from. For Jesus’ ultimate service in the crucifixion God bestowed on Him ultimate authority—Lord.

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1991). Be Obedient (p. 13). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Reflection Questions

  1. This time of Advent is often a time of new beginnings. Like Abram, is God calling you somewhere? The calling might not be geographic. It may be another ministry or a new opportunity.
  2. Be thankful. How amazing is our God that He can use someone like Abram to become a great nation? How much more amazing is it that God sent Jesus here, in the likeness of men, to live and die and be raised so people like you and me can be reconciled with the Father?

About the Author

Brian Ball

Since 2004, Brian has been a member of Brentwood Baptist. He’s been involved in many ministries, including leading and teaching Bible studies and is currently serving as a Trustee.