Christmas Devotional | Day 16
December 18, 2017
Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 | A Blessing for All Nations
God's plan to bless all the peoples of the earth through Abraham was fulfilled in Jesus.
Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
Abraham has been mentioned twice in Luke's account of Christ's birth, as both Mary and Zechariah praised God for keeping His word to this well-known patriarch of the Old Testament (Luke 1:54-55, 73). This should lead us to ask the question, What exactly did God promise to Abraham?
In today's passage we read about God's original promise to Abraham (originally Abram), a promise that set the stage for God's saving plan to unfold throughout Scripture. God promised to make Abraham into a great nation. We know that great nation as Israel, God's treasured possession among all the peoples of the earth. Only Israel would receive God's law and His covenant blessings. However, God's blessings were never intended to stop with Israel.
The promise to Abraham was that, through him, "all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Israel was supposed to be a pipeline of God's blessings, not a dam. Through Israel would come the Messiah, Jesus, and through Jesus would come salvation for all the peoples of the earth. Today, as the gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and believed across the world, people are still coming to share in the blessing of Abraham. It's the same blessing we receive when we put our trust in Christ. How grateful we should be that God keeps His promises!
God promised Abraham that he would make him a great nation, and that great nation was Israel. God also promised Abraham that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. This worldwide blessing came through Jesus, who was from Abraham's family. Jesus fulfills God's promise to Abraham because He is the Savior of all the peoples on the earth.
Does God's promise of worldwide blessing mean that everyone will be saved? Why not?
For Kids: God said he would use Abraham to bless all the peoples of the earth. How did He do that? (Parents, remind your children that Jesus is from Abraham's family.)
Thank God that He has provided a Savior for all the peoples of the earth. Ask Him to use you to make this good news known.
For Further Reading
To learn more about how we come to share in God's promise to Abraham, read Romans 4.
"But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities . . ."
Practical Response - Pray for the Persecuted
In addition to praying for the unreached, we should also remember to pray for brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing opposition for their faith. Pray that God would sustain their faith and empower their witness to Christ. For more on the persecution of Christians across the world, visit opendoorsusa.org.
Devotional credit: Radical, Inc.