An Uneven Trade

( [email protected] ) Sep 08, 2004 10:35 AM EDT

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God." Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner-those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant." (Genesis 17:3-14 NIV)

God made a covenant with Abram. The covenant was so strong, God changed Abram's name to Abraham and Sarai's name to Sarah, so that all who spoke with them would know that they were the father and mother of many nations. He would give Abraham and all his descendants the land of Canaan. He would bless Abraham and Sarah with incredible blessings. He would give them more than they could ever expect to receive. And their part? They were to do what God said. They were to obey. As a sign of their obedience, every male who was or became a part of Abraham's household was to be circumcised. That was it. Obey and receive countless blessings. A pretty uneven trade.

God has made the same kind of covenant with you and me. Obey and be blessed beyond your imagination. But we hear so many people say that they don't want to become a Christian because they'd have to give up so much. Give up what? Give up a lifestyle that leads only to destruction and eternal punishment? Give up desires that do nothing but make a person miserable? Give up fear, hate, debauchery, lasciviousness, distrust, bitterness, pain and suffering? For what? For peace, joy, love, understanding, trust, and blessed, blessed freedom and grace. That's quite a sacrifice, isn't it?

God does make uneven trades. He says that if we make Him the central focus of our lives, He will give us anything we ask for. He says that if we trust in Him, He will take all our burdens upon Himself so that we don't have to carry them any more. He says that He loves each of us enough that He would have sent His Son if you or I were the only one that needed to be saved.

So if you're worried about what you have to give up in order to follow Jesus, look at how minute those things really are compared to what you'll gain.

From Newsong Ministries

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Used with permission.