Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Genesis 12:1-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Call of Abram
12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 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. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”[a]
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak[b] of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed on by stages toward the Negeb.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Abram and Sarai’s experience is just one of many, many stories of calls and answers: God’s call and the answers of God’s people down through the ages. They lived in Ur and Abram heard God speaking: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house …” (Genesis 12:1). God called Abram to leave his land to go to a place where God’s promise would come true: “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” (12:2). God is determined to do something wonderful with Abram and Sarai in the Promised Land: God is determined to bless them so that they may be a blessing. Abram and Sarai set out on this journey, answering God’s call.
For most of us, God’s call does not come out of a cloud as an audible voice. Rather, word will come in the deep inner sense we have that God is calling us to a new place in our spiritual lives or God is calling us to make a change in our ministry focus or God is calling us to a particular challenge or responsibility or way of living or opportunity for growth. Our role is to listen and to discern if the new land we’re contemplating is a Promised Land—a place where we—like Abraham and Sarai—can fulfill our potential to be a blessing to others: through volunteer work, church involvement, family life, and profession or vocation.
Abram and Sarai heard God’s call and moved to a land where the LORD could use them to be a blessing to others—to family, to their descendants and to people of faith throughout history, including ourselves.
There is a sense in which God is calling us to get moving. God may not be asking us to move from the specific geographical location we call “home,” but God does ask us to recognize that we are on a spiritual pilgrimage (see Hebrews 11:8-16).
What happens on the journey? Well, that’s always a surprise! Rarely, if ever, can we plan out our lives as they will actually be. But there are some things we learn from looking at the faith journeys of others and from looking back on our own faith journey:
- The call of God on our lives—no matter to what destination, to what ministry, to what calling—is a call to be Transformed by God along the way on the journey.
- The Call of God is most often a call to join in what God is doing. There’s a great piece of advice I heard once, “Find out where God is already working and join God there.”
- We never know where the journey will take us.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster