This is the one-hundred-sixty-first lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.
“The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you…all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”” Genesis 12:1, 3
It takes a lot of effort and faith to move your family to another city. You face the uncertainties of whether you’ll like the culture of the new place, whether that new job will work out, what it will mean for your spiritual life. If the move is an act of obedience because you believe God is calling you, the stakes are higher still.
But what if the history of the world hinged on your decision to relocate?
Abraham, the man called “the father of all who believe” (Rom. 4:11) moved with his extended family across hundreds of miles from Ur on the Euphrates River, eventually into Canaan (in modern geography: Iraq to Turkey through Syria into Israel). Faith indeed. But that was just the beginning. Look at this call:
I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:1–3)
To be called means to be sent: “Go.” To be called means to stand somewhere in the great timeline of God’s plan in the world: “I will make you a great nation.” To be called means to be elevated by God: “I will make your name great.” To be called means to be blessed in order to be a blessing to others: “I will bless you […] you will be a blessing […] all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
“All peoples on earth”? Four thousand years later, we know that the faith of Abraham, whereby he was right with God, is indeed a world-changing force. Abraham “believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). This kind of faith—openhanded, submissive, obedient, trusting—is the only way to be right with God. Millions of believers today—young and old, men and women, Chinese, Nigerian, Argentine, Swedish, American, Irish, Eskimo—are all called to this faith that binds us to our Creator. Then the blessings of Heaven flow throughout the Earth.
How might your faith in God allow you to be a blessing to others today?
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Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s teaching pastor. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel’s many books include Spiritual Leadership Today: Having Deep Influence in Every Walk of Life (Zondervan, 2016). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.