Sunday December 2 – God uses sinful people to bring forward his promise
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great,so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonorsyou I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. – Genesis 12:2-3 Scripture reading: Genesis 12; Joshua 24:1-3 Abram was a sinful human being, yet God called Him into a relationship with Himself. Joshua 24:1-3 tells us that Abram served other gods when God called him. The amazing thing is that when God called him into this relationship, He not only promised to bless him but also said he would be a blessing forall the families of the earth. God promised to make this sinful man, who would also lie about his wife to save his own skin, into a great nation and bring blessing to all people groups around the world, even to us today. God was not only going to send Someone great to conquer the devil, but He was also showing that He would use the line of sinful mankind to do it. This should give us confidence that if God could use Abram to fulfill His amazing promises, He can use us, His children, to fulfill His promises for us to be a salt and light in this fallen world. God has called us to be His ambassadors to the world, showing and telling our neighbours that Jesus is able and willing to transform lives. As sinful people, we can think that we cannot do that. But if God could transform and use Abram for the purposes He had in store for him, He can transform you and me and use us for the purposes He has in store for us. Suggestions for prayer Praise God for His willingness to transform sinful people into His children so that He can use them to fulfill His wonderful promises for this fallen world. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Richard Bultjes is pastor at a church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario, called River of Life....
Saturday December 1 – Introduction
For the month of December, we will be looking at a number of passages in the Old and NewTestaments that speak of the coming and work of Jesus Christ. In doing this, we will see how God has always communicated that He had a plan to rescue people from all over the world so that they could be part of His redeemed family. We will also see that God not only had a plan to rescue people, but He also desires to use His people as instruments in His hands to bring His saving work to others. In the Old Testament passages, we will see how God gathered His people and preserved them so that they would be a light to the world. We will also see that this light to the world would only truly be fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Yet, God not only saved His Old Testament church, but also used its people so that through them the Saviour would come. In the New Testament passages, we will see what fulfilling God’s promises meant for God’s people. Not only was the sacrificial system of the Old Testament not needed anymore, but the nation of Israel no longer was to be seen as the isolated people of God. God’s people would be people from every nation. But we will also see that God not only saves people from all tribes and nations to be his Church, He also uses His church to continue to bring the Saviour Jesus Christ to the world. Lastly, we will see that Jesus is not only the founder and perfecter of the faith, but also challenges us, His people, to be witnesses of this faith in how we live and what we say to the world around us so that others can be brought into the family of God. The mother of all promises I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. - Genesis 3:15 Scripture reading: Genesis 3 When we get discouraged with this fallen world, we can easily think God does not care or that He is indifferent to our struggles. But the words of Genesis 3:15 should remind us that God does care for sinful people in this fallen world. Right after Adam and Eve rebelled against God and sided with the devil, God showed them and us that God still cares. When Adam and Eve were hiding from each other and from God and were in a hopeless, self-inflicted turmoil, God came and told them and us that He still cares. God promised to separate a people to Himself and promised to deliver these people by sending Someone to conquer the devil and to free people from the clutches of the devil. God made this promise even though Adam and Eve did not have the ability to plead for forgiveness. When God said that He would separate a people to Himself from fallen humanity, He did not say who those people would be. He not only wants us to believe that we could be included in that special group, but He also wants us to have such a love for our neighbours that we would want them to be part of this group. God made that promise to Adam and Eve because He has a mission to bring people who are dead in their sins into a saving relationship with Himself. That is why He promised to send His Son. In order for us to be part of God’s people, we ought to have the heart of God, desiring that other sinners be brought into the family of God. Suggestions for prayer Pray that this passage will give you comfort, but also motivation to tell others that God does care for sinful people in this fallen world. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Richard Bultjes is pastor at a church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario, called River of Life....