Crossroads: Why Are We Called Children of Abraham?

Crossroads_family_web

Romans 4:13-25

Your Story

Talk about a person who helped you believe in God and Jesus.

My Story and the Bible Story

When I was a kid, we used to sing a song called Father Abraham. “Father Abraham had many sons. Many sons had Father Abraham. And I am one of them, and so are you. So let’s all praise the Lord.” I always wondered why we sang that Father Abraham had many sons. Because if you read in Genesis, Abraham had two sons: Isaac and Ishmael. And that’s not many, that’s just two. And yet, God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. That doesn’t mean that we are all descendants of Abraham (that Abraham is all of our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers). But what it does mean is that Abraham believed in God. He trusted God and he followed God. And because he trusted and followed God, God used him to do big things. God used someone that nobody knew to pass on the faith. You see, Abraham trusted God. And he did what God wanted him to do. And he shared his faith with others. And then his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren trusted God. All the way down to Jesus. And as Paul reminds us in Romans, Abraham is our faith father.

Read Romans 4:13-25. From The Message: That famous promise God gave Abraham—that he and his children would possess the earth—was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God’s decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed. If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God’s promise at that—you can’t break it. 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 backward. 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. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”

Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed. He believed in God’s promises and he had faith in what God was doing. And so God made him the father of a multitude of people. Abraham showed us how to trust in God, to trust in the good times and the bad, and to trust even when things seemed impossible. Abraham is our faith father because he showed us how to follow God. Now, sometimes Abraham made mistakes. After all, there were a few times when he tried to tell everyone that Sarah (Sarai) was just his sister and not his wife. But even though he made mistakes, he followed God. He trusted in God’s promises when things seemed impossible.

Sometimes things seem impossible in our own lives. But we can trust that when God promises something, God will follow through. When God tells us God will do something, it will happen. And when God shows us what to do and we do it, God can use us to do great things.

Discussion

• Are there things that God is asking you to trust God about right now? Talk about those with your family.
• Are there things in your life that seem impossible? How might God be working?
• What are some ways that God can use us?

Prayer

Thank God that nothing is impossible with God. Ask God for helping in know what you should do. Ask God for helping in trusting that God will always follow through with God’s promises.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

*