24th November 2022
Read (Hebrews 11v8-10 & 17-19)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
There are few more remarkable figures in the Bible than Abraham and it isn't hyperbole to say that I could write devotions about him for the next month at the very least. I'll not do that but instead we'll think today briefly about the faith of Abraham.
The Apostle says that Abraham's faith could be seen in how he believed God even when most of us would hesitate. Abraham was called to go out to place that he would receive as an inheritance (v8). The only difficulty with this command was that Abraham didn't know where he was going. Nevertheless Abraham left the city of Ur and headed for the land of Canaan.
When he arrived in Canaan he and his family lived there in tents, heirs of God's promise (v9). Abraham knew that the Lord had given the land to him and his ancestors and yet even so they still lived like pilgrims. Why was this? Because Abraham knew that the promises of God spoke of a greater reality than just a patch of land.
Paul puts it this way "he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God." (v10) The land of Canaan, also called the land of promise was a glimpse of the heavenly realities. Abraham knew that the hope of the one who followed God was greater by far than any earthly fulfilment. Heaven is the city that we look forward to. It has foundations that will never be shaken and it has been designed and built by God (v10).
When we consider heaven we think of clouds and angels and harps and white robes. But we actually believe that after Christ's return the heavens and the earth will be restored to their pre-fall glory. The church will dwell with Christ and we will live in the new heavens and the new earth where righteousness dwells. Equally we won't be floating around as spirits with no body - when Christ returns He will raise us to life. We will dwell in heaven with body and soul reunited forever. We believe in the resurrection and Abraham believed it too.
By faith he offered to take his son Isaac's life because he knew that God could raise the child from the dead (v19). The claim of the resurrection is an extraordinary one and for many it sounds like ludicrous nonsense. I hear all the time that this life is all we have, death will come and then all we'll be is food for the worms. I don't believe this and you shouldn't either.
Abraham believed the promises of God and we believe the same ones. The Christian's eternal home will be beautiful indeed. I can only imagine what it will be like to walk in the valleys of heaven. I can only dream of the extraordinary beauty of the new creation. I can only dimly comprehend will it will be like to see Jesus and yet because I have received Christ by faith, one day I will be in the place designed and built by God. I will be there body and soul and on that day which will never end I will realise what it is to be truly human.
This life isn't all there is. Something greater is coming and it is claimed by saving faith in Jesus.
Q6 How many persons are there in the Godhead? There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.