Friday, July 11, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Justice and Peace for all Creation
(World Population Day)
“Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel.”(V.2)
At the age of 75, God called Abram to embark on the greatest journey of his life.  He told him to leave behind everything he had ever known, forsake his inheritance and everything he valued on earth and receive from God an inheritance of infinitely greater value.  God graciously promised to do for Abram the impossible!  God said “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen 12:2-3)  Considering that Abram had no heir at the time, his wife was beyond the age of childbearing, and she had been barren all her life, for God’s word to remain true God would have to accomplish the impossible.  
Four hundred and thirty years after Abram was called, we meet Israel standing at the gates of the land God had promised to Abram.  God’s word remained true!  Out of one man, Isaac, God created a great nation, and He multiplied them like grains of sand on the seashore (Gen 22:17). Despite famines, hardships, and slavery, Abraham’s descendants survived. Despite even the attempts of Pharaoh and his army to wipe out the people of Israel, his nation prospered.  When we read Numbers 1:1-57 and the congregation of Israel is counted we ought to be amazed at what God has done.  Israel is a testimony to God’s faithfulness and power to accomplish the impossible deeds He promised to Abraham.
But God’s covenant to Abraham was not fully met in Israel’s conquest of the Canaan land.  God had a much greater plan!  He promised that through Abraham’s “offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen 22:18)  The real fulfillment of all that God graciously promised to Abraham is found in his one son, Jesus.  The apostle Paul points it out this way: “The promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring.  Scripture does not say, ‘And to offspring,’ referring to many heirs, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ.” (Gal 3:16) It is in Jesus that God fulfills His promise to Abraham, by making Jesus the heir of the world (Rom 4:13), the father of nations, and the only means of eternal blessing to the world.  By the reconciliation to God accomplished in the death of Christ, Jesus brings peace and blessing to all mankind.  All who have faith in Jesus are the promised children of Abraham (Gal 3:7) and enter into His peace, blessedness and prosperity.  God planned for his Church to be recipients of lavish grace and in response become a nation of people who are salt and light in a wicked age, caretakers of creation, lovers of all people, and most importantly, the means of proclaiming the saving death and resurrection of Christ. 
Prayer: O Lord, you have made us heirs of heaven and earth. Please give us a passion to see others experience the lavish blessedness you have bestowed on us…Amen
Thought for the day: God designed the Church to bless the world by glorifying Jesus.

                                 Manoj Cherian, Farmers Branch MTC, Dallas