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Abraham's Faith Rewarded

(Genesis 15:1-6; 17:17-21; 21:1,2)

Lesson 6 -- third quarter 1999
July 11, 1999

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1999, Christian Light Publications

What's in it for me? We may not often be so crass as to voice such sentiments, but I wonder whether such sentiment does not find ready lodging in our hearts. We want to make certain our efforts and sacrifices will receive their just rewards. We want assurances that "in due season we shall reap." And I don't imagine that is necessarily wrong.

I wonder, though, if we would be satisfied and thrilled if God's word to us were simply, "I am...thy exceeding great reward." In other words, for all the good we do and all the sacrifices we make and all the service we execute, we ask nothing additional but God. We don't ask, seek or hope for recognition, reciprocation and appreciation; we want only God as our reward. Is that too idealistic to be realistic?

Sometimes I marvel that so much of what I do in "unselfish service," I seem to really do to be appreciated and rewarded by men. Does such a mentality connect with you? Oh to get beyond such ego-centrism to the marvelous heights of simply serving others and God!

Today's lesson focuses on faith. The effectiveness and practicality of faith lies in its focus on God. You see, if God is my focus...and my exceeding great reward...faith is neither surprising nor difficult. Furthermore, a life of faith in God will not be excelled by any other type of life.

That being the case (and it is!), how shall our God and our faith impact the everyday features of our lives? What issues and events test you? Obviously, I do not know; but I do know some "generic" issues.

Why do I look like this? While faith not only believes that God makes no mistakes, it also believes that God has an express purpose in what He does. Shall our faith also believe enough to love God for endowing us with the physical characteristics He chose for us? And in the face of real "detrimental" looks, can we believe they are one more visual reminder of God's love for us? Oh, by the way, faith does not need to understand. Otherwise it wouldn't be faith, would it? Faith believes and lives according to that belief.

Why must I be in this family? The other family is the perfect one, or at least more so than your own, right? Yours is either too big or too small, too affluent or too poor, too strict or too lenient, too orderly or too disorganized, too plain or too fancy, too fun or too dull, too something or too other. Faith believes any other family is not the right one for you. Faith learns to rejoice in God's provisions for you...and your family...by so wisely selecting your family tree. Then faith blooms accordingly.

Why did that happen? People fall asleep at the wheel, lose their jobs, say unwarranted things, behave in unseemly manners, and just generally do substandard things. Faith believes knowing why is less important than trusting God. And then responds to people accordingly.

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