Keywords: blessed, faith, obedience, promises, yielded
"And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son]: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba."
The Lord said to him, "BECAUSE you have done this... I will bless thee..." Abraham did not withhold from God what God asked him to give. Because he went right to the point of slaying his only son, Isaac, Abraham gained everything... by giving up everything.
Life in the kingdom is a continual repetition of salvation. Jesus was talking about being saved when He said, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 16:25), yet it still applies. Colossians 2:6 says just as I have received Christ Jesus the Lord, I am also to walk in Him... in faith, to be sure, but also in a continual yielding of whatever He asks for.
Whatever I cling to from my past, whatever I cling to from my wants and human desires, God takes away. And it hurts like crazy, yet when I have yielded all to Him, whatever is really important He gives back a blessing that cannot even be compared to whatever I thought it was I would gain by hanging on.
Abraham wanted a son. He gave up his son and not only got the son back but gained a nation. I'm sure Abraham also wanted to be a blessing to his son. As he tied him on the altar, and raised the knife, I wonder what thoughts went through his head. Is this the pathway of blessing? Sure didn't seem like it. But God stopped him and then told him BECAUSE you have done this, I will bless the entire earth through you.
Abraham knew the truth of Matthew 16:25. He didn't try to save that which was most precious to him. He knew whosoever will save his life shall lose it. Instead, for the sake of the Lord who asked, he was willing to lose what was most precious. When he did, he discovered whosoever will lose his life for the Lord's sake shall find it.
How is Jesus Christ revealing Himself to me in this passage? Jesus faced the ultimate test when He was asked to lay down His own life for the sake of God. He went before those that Matthew 16:25 speaks to, including me. He did it first, and because He willingly lost His life, it now or never can be taken from Him again. It is His forever.
Not only that, because He was willing to give it up, the life He saved is also made available to me. It is mine forever.
What has He shown me that my response ought to be? God is showing me what it means to lose it all for His sake, only to find it again. I need to be always alert to His asking, and always remembering that He can be trusted with my most precious things. If it is really all that important, He will give it back. If it isn't, do I really want it?
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