When pastor and blogger Jarrid Wilson asked fellow Christians what they were struggling with most in their walk with Christ, a startling majority responded, “spending time with God.” To help them, Wilson wrote 30 Words: A Devotional for the Rest of Us. A daily devotional, 30 Words gives readers a new word for 30 days, accompanied by Scripture, teachings, and a challenge to live out the Word.
Research suggests that it takes 30 days to form a habit, and Wilson wants us to make spending time with God our new habit.
Enjoy this excerpt from 30 Words: A Devotional for the Rest of Us:
Regardless of your religious beliefs, attempting to kill your only son because someone told you to will always sound a little bit strange. It’s because of this that the story of Abraham and Isaac is one of the most controversial and discussed stories of all biblical text.
I’m not trying to bash this story. I believe it paints a powerful picture for us in regard to our faith, making us consider to what extremes we would go to prove our faith.
Here’s the back story: God has continually promised Abraham an heir through his wife, Sarah; He has also promised Abraham that his descendants would come through this son. When she is 90 years old, Sarah gives birth to Isaac. Then, not long after this, God calls Abraham to offer up his only son as a worthy sacrifice. Genesis 22:9–10 describes the experience:
When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice.
The word “sacrifice” can be defined as giving up something for the sake of something or someone else. God requests that Abraham sacrifice the very thing he loves dearly to test whether Abraham fully trusts in Him and has placed his heart fully in Him. He is looking for Abraham to prove his faith.
From Abraham’s story, we see just how epic of a statement a sacrifice can make. We also get a picture of just how much God loves us: He spared Abraham from having to give up his son, but for us, God sacrificed His only son so that we could know Him.
How much would you sacrifice for someone you loved? What would you give up to prove your love for God?
Verse of the Day:
Romans 12:1: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (NLT)
Give up something you know is hindering your relationship with God. It may be something as simple as TV, or something as harmful as drugs. Regardless, anything hindering your relationship with God is something you can live without. Today is your day to make a change for the better and step into a new way of living.
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