“And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham,‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.” — Acts 3:25-26
Athletes often need some kind of inspiration, especially when working out in the offseason or when going through adversity, something to keep their eyes looking ahead and hoping for a positive outcome. Thanks to God’s promises, the future is bright for believers — His Word is our inspiration.
The Bible records a large number of God’s promises, with one of the most recalled being a promise to Abraham’s lineage in the Book of Genesis. God promised a specific, large plot of land to the many descendants of Abraham when he was childless, and God devoted Himself to be present with His followers for all generations. God also promised Abraham that the Messiah would be one of his descendants, and that Christ would come at just the right time.
Isaac, the son of Abraham, knew he was living proof of the absolute certainty of God’s promises. When Abraham was 75 years old and his wife Sarah was 65, God promised them a son. The Lord waited 25 years to honor His pledge, but His timing is best even when the wait is hard. God, as the great Promise Keeper, inspired Isaac to pray for a child when his wife, Rebekah, was barren for 20 years. “Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant” (Genesis 25:21). Though Isaac and Rebekah had to wait, they saw God do more than they even asked when twins named Esau and Jacob were born to them.
Jacob eventually surrendered his life to God, though he took longer than Abraham or Isaac to listen to God and obey. Jacob learned to lean on the Lord after he met with God in the wilderness when his life was in danger. When God spoke to Jacob and included him in the promises made to his grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac, Jacob was amazed at God’s grace.
God established that He can meet with us anywhere and that He keeps his promises with every generation. From then on, God introduced himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — including when He called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt — because God’s promise of relationship and purpose was fixed for all those who descended from them.
As the Lord provided a cloudy pillar by day and a fiery pillar by night to guide the Israelites away from captivity to His promised land hundreds of years later, He showed all people in all places and all times that He is reliable. His faithfulness and Israel’s blessing were directly tied to the possession of the Promised Land.
Even the New Testament refers to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. After healing a lame man, who was now standing before them, Peter and John attribute the miracle to the power of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, working through Jesus. “When Peter saw this, he said to them: ‘Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. … By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong” (Acts 3:12-13, 16).
Peter intentionally linked the miracle to the one and only God of their fathers. The same God who made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was at work right in front of them, and Jesus was to get the glory. The plan that was set in motion when God called Abraham and blessed him was brought to fulfillment when Jesus was crucified and resurrected. Through the seed of Abraham, God blessed all the generations and nations of the world.
Now, isn’t that something to inspire and give hope to all who believe?
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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