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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
February 19, 2005
This is why the fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God's promise arrives as pure gift. That's the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father - that's reading the story backwards. He is our faith father.
We call Abraham "father" not because he got God's attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn't that what we've always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, "I set you up as father of many peoples"? Abraham was first named "father" and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.
Romans 4:16-17 (Message*)
Paul, deeply steeped in Judaism before being completely transformed by Christ, opens up the story of Abraham. Christ enables him to understand this great story which had meant so much to a particular people in a much broader context. Abraham becomes the father not of a particular ethnic group, but of those who put complete trust in God, regardless of their ethnic origins.
"God's promise arrives as pure gift," Paul tells us. If we really feel that in our hearts, then we are opened to embracing God and all He does, trusting Him completely. And this enables God's promise to be fulfilled in us - God's amazing promise which can even raise the dead to life and make something out of nothing.
Dear friends, have your hearts accepted that God's amazing promise is pure gift? Do you fully embrace God and all He does, trusting Him completely? Do you see God's promise being fulfilled in your life?
* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.
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Document last modified on Saturday, 26-Feb-2005 20:42:12 EST