My husband, Nate, and I made resolutions to read through the Bible this year. We chose a chronological plan, which in hindsight might not have been the best idea. We’ll be in the Old Testament until October!
Genesis 12 begins the narrative of Abraham, the first of the Patriarchs. When God calls Abram, He makes a covenant promise that becomes the foundation for the people of Israel and really, the coming of Christ. “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ So Abram left, as the LORD had told him.”
God’s call to Abram came with a promise of blessing and abundance. Yahweh didn’t merely say, “Get up and go.” Purpose surrounded the command of the Lord; the purpose of bringing into being a people group through whom the savior of the world would come and die on the cross. With the command to go came the promise of blessing.
Likewise, we are called in purpose and not only with the promise of blessing, but with the Promised Blessing, Jesus Christ. Paul wrote that all promises are “yes” and “amen” in Christ (2 Cor. 1). Every instruction that we receive from the Lord comes with a Promise – that Person of Christ who fulfills all prophecy and provides for all needs. Whatever He asks of us we can be confident of His blessing to be with us, for the culmination of the blessing which was spoken to Abram was the gift of Jesus Christ.
We are not asked to live according to the Word of God without the promise of His blessing and His Spirit. We are, thus, without excuse when it comes to our sanctification, that process by which we are becoming more like Christ and by which the fruit of the Spirit is increasing. He who provided Christ will provide all that we need (Romans 8). We have “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1). So let us hear this charge from Peter with confidence that we can indeed live in holiness:
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled. Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written, ‘Be holy because I am holy.'”