Daily Bread Tuesday 22 January 2008
Bible in a Year: Exodus 9,10; Acts 21
Like father, like son
How much do you reflect the appearance or traits of your father or mother? How much do you resemble your spiritual forebears as well?
Romans 4:13-25 (NLT) [Read passage]
And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
Romans 4:23,24 (NLT)
God is faithful and doesn’t switch teams halfway through the season! He chose Abraham, and through him the whole Jewish nation, by grace. And Abraham responded with faith (v 13). Even when God told him in his old age that he would become the father of many nations, Abraham believed! Although he might not have appreciated Paul’s description of being ‘as good as dead’ (v 19), the elderly man trusted God in spite of his wife’s own advanced years and her obvious infertility (vs 20,21). By retelling this story (see Genesis 18:1–15), Paul is illustrating his point that God used this couple, not because of their allegiance to the law, but because of their unswerving faith in him.
From the beginning, God has preferred faith to works. He has not changed his plan in sending Jesus. Rather, by inviting us to enter into our salvation by faith in Jesus, he is keeping with his ages-old approach to humankind. He is a trustworthy, consistent and gracious God. Paul wants his readers, like Abraham, the father of their faith (v 16), to realise that they too are justified by faith alone (v 24).
Paul is one of the fathers of our faith. How much do you, like him, rely on God’s grace and not your own efforts?
Pray: ‘Father, help me to inherit your character, and to trust you completely.’