My Bible slipped off my lap as I tried to balance it and my journal and write at the same time.
- His faith cooperated with his works?
- His believing what accounted to him as righteousness?
- What are you trying to tell me, Lord?
My mind flashed back to the Jeff Cavin’s teaching CD (The Great Adventure) on Genesis 12-26, Rafal and I had listened to on the way to Frostburg last week. The focus of the teaching was mainly Abraham.
Abraham believed that God would give him the promised son and that belief was put into an account. The account said “righteous”. Later, after Isaac was born:
“[God] said, Take now your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love and go to the region of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon the mountains, of which I will tell you. ” Gen. 22:2
And Abraham did what God commanded him. We know the end of the story, but Abraham didn’t. He didn’t have a foreshadowing of the ram in the thicket. The ram was the foreshadowing of the Lamb of God who took our place on the altar.
It reminds me of the words I said in church as a child for so many years (without thinking about what I was saying) “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of His name for your good and the good of all the church.”
I pray that my sacrifice may be acceptable. Do I even know what that means? I am learning. How about you?
God gives us gifts, great and glorious gifts. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is the ultimate sacrifice, He gave up His seat on the heavenly throne to become to blood sacrifice for us. We are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. Yet, we are called to participate in His suffering. We are called to sacrifice.
“Was not our forefather Abraham [shown to be] justified (made acceptable to God) by His works when He brought to the altar an offering his [own] son Isaac?
You see [His] faith was cooperating with His works, and [his] faith was completed and reached its supreme expression when he implemented it] by [good] works.”-James 2:21,22
My faith cooperates with my works when I am obedient, when I am willing to sacrifice my will for His own, when I am ready to lay down my Isaac for whatever He wills. I am justified through works as well as by what I believe (Tweet That)(James 2:24).Sometimes, God asks me to lay down a gift He has given me.
My word this year is sacrifice. It’s only a month in and it is turning out differently than I imagined. I pictured myself jumping around and singing, “We bring the sacrifice of praise unto the house of the Lord” while wearing a white skirt and twirling in happy circles. Instead, God is calling me to sacrifice time, to sacrifice my way of doing things and my time table. Basically, I am sacrificing my flesh on the altar of His will.
It means not doing some good things. The Lord wants me to lay them down and walk away for some better things. How about you? Have you been given a glorious gift or opportunity that God has asked you to sacrifice? Are you on the other side of it, or like me are you standing at the altar looking for the ram?
The works of obedience God calls me to are mostly in areas of my weakness, with a sprinkling of my strength and a healthy dose of my God-sized dream. Is God stretching you too? Asking you to sacrifice your comfort zone on the altar of obedience so He can be glorified?
Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday, join us!