This is an image I drew years ago to illustrate a point in one of my teachings. I did a Google image search for “Abraham and the stars”…and this popped up. I forgot that I had uploaded it to my blog. Funny thing…it also popped up on a LOT of other sites as well. Some had taken unfortunate liberties with the image and made the design extra cheesy. I’m not complaining – it was just a quick illustration I did and had honestly forgotten about it. What is really interesting to me though, is how it multiplied…sort of took on a new life of it’s own. It became something that illustrated many points, like the drawing itself was pointing to: Abraham the father of many gentile nations.
Sunday (bring an umbrella) we’ll be reading Romans 4:1-25, and Paul will be revisiting the story of Abraham.
As Paul begins his story of Abraham, he emphasizes how it was that Abraham was made right with God. What was his answer to that question – how was Abraham made right with God? How difficult is it for you to keep from measuring your spiritual value by your religious activity? What do you do to keep your faith in God and not your own good behavior?
Paul does talk about religious rituals such as circumcision, indicating that they are simply a symbol of something that has already been accomplished by faith in God’s grace. What other rituals or works do we sometimes require of others or ourselves before we afford them the status of accepted by God? How can we avoid this practice in our journey with Christ?
When Paul wraps it up, he recounts the sequences of Abraham believing God’s promise even though no evidence supported his hope. What was the promise to Abraham; what was he believing God would give to him? How does Paul’s final statements about the New Testament, largely gentile church provide the conclusion to Paul’s argument? In other words, how is it you and I, believing God the way Abraham did, reveal God’s faithfulness to keep his promise to Abraham? It’s almost a riddle…but we’ll spell it all out on Sunday!
Hope you can make it!