What God Gives Back
A daily devotion for June 25th
15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
I swear by myself declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you(Genesis 22:16-17a).
When Abraham gave his son back to God, then God said the promise of fruitfulness would be immediately fulfilled. The rivers of living waters would now begin to flow out from him to bless all the nations of the earth as God had promised. It was when Isaac came back from the dead, so to speak, in resurrection power that God said,
Now the fruitfulness of your life will be manifest.
Even God's gifts to us are of no value until we are willing, if necessary, to lose them so that God might reign without a rival in our hearts. When we have to come to that place to which the Spirit of God wants to bring us, that perfect relationship with the Father when God means more to us than anything, and we are even willing to give up the very gift that God has given, then in resurrection power that gift will be a blessing to everyone it touches.
We all have been given gifts from God. Maybe God has given you a special talent, and you are asked to take a job where perhaps you can't use that talent. You wonder about it and perhaps rebel over it. But remember Abraham, and give it back to God. Face the possibility of not using that talent, and the God of resurrection will take that talent and return it to you and make it a blessing to many hearts. Perhaps you have a loved one, and a situation arises in which you have to part from that one or break that relationship. This is a struggle, but Abraham's faith says that if God asks you to do it, then there is blessing beyond if you obey. Maybe you are living in a situation of comfort and happiness, but you are needed in another place that is not as pleasant, and you say,
Lord, why do I have to give up my home and my relationships that I enjoy and go there? Remember, however, that if God calls, you must obey.
Beyond the apparent heartbreak and death lies resurrection. In the resurrection of that experience, God will give you back that gift and make it a blessing. Is not this the record of every man and woman whose life has ever counted for God, who have been willing to give up the very areas they thought were God's choice blessing for them when God called? In so doing, God made them a blessing. It can be in minor or major areas. This is the principle of the cross throughout all our lives. This is what makes resurrection life possible. When it looks as though we are throwing away every chance of blessing, God transforms in a moment the very thing we give up into the most richly rewarding and meaningful experience we have ever had.
I dare you to act upon this! I don't know what this sacrifice might be for you, but I know this is true, and God has written this account so we may know that this is His way in the affairs of people.
Thank You, Father, that beyond the heartbreak, there is resurrection. Give me the grace to act on this great promise.
Life Application: Have you ever received a gift from God that He is asking you to release back to Him? Are you willing for God to be in control of timing as you use His gifts?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.