[forthright] Three Minutes/Abraham & Sarah

Message: < previous - next > : Reply : Subscribe : Cleanse
Home   : July 2004 : Group Archive : Group : All Groups

From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 2004 14:07:47 -0500
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

Today's prayer: With our families at home

COLUMN: Fidelity

Three Minutes
by Mike Benson

In his commentary on the book of James, Warren
Wiersbe relates the following incident,

"Whenever I ride a bus or elevated train in the
city, I often think of the man in Boston who was
entertaining a famous Chinese scholar. He met his
Oriental friend at the train station and rushed
him to the subway. As they ran through the subway
station, the host panted to the guest, 'If we run
and catch the next train, we will save three
minutes.' To which the patient Chinese philosopher
replied, 'And what significant thing shall we do
with the three minutes we are saving?'" (Warren
Wiersbe, "Where To Get Wisdom," Be Mature, 105).

Dear reader, before you "break your neck" to try
to catch a car, a bus or even a traffic light, it
might be helpful to consider what you will do with
those few extra seconds or minutes that you save.

The Bible urges, "See then that you walk
circumspectly (i.e., carefully), not as fools but
as wise, redeeming the time..." (Ephesians
6:15,16a). Think about it.

Read this article online, tell us what you think,
see who's commenting, click here:

COLUMN: The X-Files

Faith's Hall of Fame: Part 2
Abraham & Sarah
by Mitchell Skelton

Hebrews 11 is like the portrait gallery of Faith's
Hall of Fame. As we walk through it, we come to a
portrait much larger than the others. Instead of a
single person, we see two. Abraham is the main
figure, but in the background is his wife Sarah.
As we look at this picture, we see the reason why
it is displayed so prominently in the hall.

If anyone was ever sure of what they hoped for and
certain of what they did not see it was Abraham
and Sarah. They are commended because they took
God at his word and believed in his promise. They
gave up the things of this world and looked
forward to a greater reward.

Abraham was considered faithful because he trusted
God's word.

"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he
would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and
went, even though he did not know where he was
going. By faith he made his home in the promised
land like a stranger in a foreign country; he
lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were
heirs with him of the same promise. For he was
looking forward to the city with foundations,
whose architect and builder is God" (Hebrews

When God spoke to Abraham, he believed and obeyed.
In the same way, God speaks to us today through
his word. "In the past God spoke to our
forefathers through the prophets at many times and
in various ways, but in these last days he has
spoken to us by his Son" (Hebrews 1:1,2a). To be
faithful to God we must not only believe in him
but we must obey his word. "Not everyone who says
to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of
heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father
who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).

Abraham and Sarah were considered faithful because
they trusted God's promises.

"By faith Abraham, even though he was past age --
and Sarah herself was barren -- was enabled to
become a father because he considered him faithful
who had made the promise. And so from this one
man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as
numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless
as the sand on the seashore" (Hebrews 11:11,12).

Abraham and Sarah trusted God to fulfill his
promise. "By faith Sarah herself also received
strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child
when she was past the age, because she judged Him
faithful who had promised" (Hebrews 11:11 NKJV).
God has made a promise to us and asks us to trust
in his promise. "Therefore, the promise comes by
faith, so that it may be by grace and may be
guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring -- not only
to those who are of the law but also to those who
are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of
us all. This is why 'it was credited to him as
righteousness.' The words 'it was credited to him'
were written not for him alone, but also for us,
to whom God will credit righteousness -- for us
who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from
the dead. He was delivered over to death for our
sins and was raised to life for our justification"
(Romans 4:16,22—24).

Abraham was considered faithful because he trusted
God's guidance.

"By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered
Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the
promises was about to sacrifice his one and only
son, even though God had said to him, 'It is
through Isaac that your offspring will be
reckoned.' Abraham reasoned that God could raise
the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did
receive Isaac back from death" (Hebrews 11:17—19).

God tested Abraham's faith when he commanded him
to sacrifice his son Isaac. God never induces
anyone to sin. "When tempted, no one should say,
'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by
evil, nor does he tempt anyone" (James 1:13).
However, God does test our faith to see if it is
genuine. Abraham did not question God. Even though
he had received the promise through Isaac, he
trusted in the Lord; it was for God to reconcile
his promise and his command. He trusted in his
guidance. God's promise to those who trust his
guidance is a home in heaven. "Do not let your
hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in
me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it
were not so, I would have told you. I am going
there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come back and take
you to be with me that you also may be where I am"
(John 14:1—3).

"All these people were still living by faith when
they died. They did not receive the things
promised; they only saw them and welcomed them
from a distance. And they admitted that they were
aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such
things show that they are looking for a country of
their own. If they had been thinking of the
country they had left, they would have had
opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing
for a better country -- a heavenly one. Therefore
God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he
has prepared a city for them" (Hebrews 11:13—16).

Read this article online, tell us what you think,
see who's commenting, click here:

You can help us get the word out. Here's how: