God, I ask that people will hear the good news of the Lord Jesus and respond to Your love.
Read Genesis 17:15–27
 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.  I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”  Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”  And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”  Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.  And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.  But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.”  When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.  On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him.  Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised,  and his son Ishmael was thirteen;  Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day.  And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does Abraham respond to the promise?
“Princess”. That’s what “Sarah” means. That a husband should call his wife “Princess” when she’s pushing 90 seems kind of cute. But that’s not really it. Sarah has a forever, royal name because from her will come kings (6), after she has a son. Has a what? Abraham laughs: “No way – we’re too old!” But the son will be called Isaac, meaning “he laughs” (19). God will have the last laugh. From Isaac, not from Ishmael, will one day come Jesus (Matthew 1:2). He’s the way by which people from “many nations” will be blessed and become part of Abraham’s “family”, by faith (Genesis 17:4). Then the plan starts to take shape, with lots of circumcisions (23)! Notice who’s included in God’s loving covenant. Not just Abraham’s family by birth, but “every male in his household”, including bought-in slaves. What have they done to deserve to be included? Nothing at all. Neither have we, nor anyone else. We are only brought in by the covenant cut at the cross- and the circumcision in our lives is that of the heart. We are accepted in Christ alone. Nothing changes (Ephesians 2:8,9). God’s grace is inexhaustible.
Consider a promise that God has given you that is so outrageous you would laugh. Hold that promise tight!
God, make my life far more significant in Your epic plan than I dare to imagine.
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