March 15, 2018

Faithfulness Fulfills All

Romans 4:16–17

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16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

In Context:

11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. 13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”

Faithfulness Fulfills All



Bio | Mason Haynes

Goooood morning, y'all. My name is Mason Haynes, and this is my second time doing a devotional for the Join The Journey family. I am extremely excited to spend my daily devotional with all of you. Just a little bit about me: I have the same interests and hobbies as I had last year when I wrote my Journey devotional: playing baseball, hunting, and hanging with friends. But the person performing these interests has changed dramatically over the last year. I encourage you this morning to see the importance of faith in God's Word. Because it truly has changed my life.

Central Truth

God gives us the easy part, offering us the free gift of grace. But what comes after that is the hard, but oh so rewarding part. Our personal walk with Jesus Christ. Like Abraham, you will face trials and hardship, but faithfulness in Jesus is what truly proves our faith.

Devotional | Romans 4:16–17

For as long as I can remember, I was the most competitive kid—the one who could never accept losing or backing down. I was competitive and faithful to baseball, school, and anything that...

For as long as I can remember, I was the most competitive kid—the one who could never accept losing or backing down. I was competitive and faithful to baseball, school, and anything that I set my mind to. But around the end of eighth grade, that fire and competitiveness for Jesus began to burn out. I was tired of fighting the world and my fleshly desires that so often tempted and beat me down. In the last six months, however, I have started to see walking with Jesus as a competition. Me against my sins and this world, but the cool part is that I have the God of the universe on my side. Faithfulness to Him is what keeps it all together and keeps me going and growing with Him. We see this in a big way from Abraham.

The end of verse 16 talks about Abraham and how we should share his faith. In a way I look up to Abraham in this story for his acts of faith toward God no matter how hard the circumstances. Abraham and his wife Sarah were strong servants of God and had continued to be for many years despite their disappointment in not being able to have children. Then, at the age of 90, Sarah gave birth to a son, fulfilling the promise God had given them years ago. It's encouraging to see how God rewards those who are faithful even when it's hard. But what's even more encouraging in the story of Abraham is that Abraham was satisfied with God even though God had not yet given him a son. 

I have just experienced the hardest year of my life with broken relationships, falling into sin, and temptation continuously. Faithfulness on the back end of it has become the driving force in my walk with Christ. I have sought to leave it all up to God, remaining true to Him because God is good all the time. So let's be like Abraham and be found faithful to Christ today.

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Discussion Questions

1. What are some specific areas in your life that you need to become more faithful to Jesus? What should be your game plan to do that?

2. How in your walk with Jesus do you feel you should stoke the fire to become more competitive in being faithful to what Jesus is calling you to do in every circumstance?

3.  Where in your daily life do you see faithfulness to the world and not to Jesus?

 

8 Comments available

Linda Green 9 months ago

Thanks, Mason, for giving a your perspective on staying on course in our walk with Jesus. You think like Paul, who encouraged us to “run the race set before us” and other athletic competitive metaphors, like winning the crown!

Michael Scaman 9 months ago

As far as ‘making something out of nothing’, God makes things out of the formless and void, whether out of the formless and void in Gen 1:2 or the the formless and void desolate howling wilderness of Deut 32:10 from the Song of Moses… or the life of Rahab Josh 2:1 … or Ruth Ruth 1:16… or Gomer Hos 13:14 … or saving the Gentiles… 1 Cor 1:26 Hos 2:23 Deut 32:21

… or even maybe about the meth lab a neighbor runs across the street as in the story Rossaria Butterfield told a few days ago. Great story of reaching out and redemption.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/conferences/awakening-2018-national-conference/loving-the-stranger/?format=audio

Michael Scaman 9 months ago

Q2 If you use compete in the best sense Spoiler altert! Rom 12:10 ‘outdo one another in showing honor’ comes to mind

Rita Satagaj 9 months ago
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Thank you Mason for sharing your personal story. I, like Sue, love what you said about competitiveness being your driving force in your walk with Christ.” What a wonderful way to turn that around. A personal realtionship with Christ draws us into the best kind of world. It sure did with me. Turned my perfectionism around. Looking at this as Christ walking the path with me.

Rita Satagaj 9 months ago
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Love your response Sue!

Sue Bohlin 9 months ago

Bless you, Mason! I looooove your idea of using competitiveness as a spiritual tool to up our game–flesh vs. spirit, being determined not to lose to the part of us that will not last eternally.

The phrase in today’s reading, “calls into existence the things that do not exist,” is like a gold nugget of insight and truth that needs to be mined rather than plucked up like an Easter egg. This is where I will meditate today.

Michael Scaman 9 months ago

Q2 we should ‘run the race set before us’ if it’s more competitive it would be letting the new nature run the race and competing against the old nature

God warned Adam if you eat the fruit ‘dying you shall die’ (in Hebrew), the doubling down on the word is a way to emphasize Gen 2:17

God told Abraham, ‘blessing I shall bless you’ (in Hebrew) also a doubling down on the word. Gen 12:1-3 The blessing exceeds the curse and ‘death is swallowed up in victory’ Keeping that in mind helps not being bogged down by the world

Hugh Stephenson 9 months ago

Well done Mason. Hard years yield bountiful harvests, (Galatians 6:7). Mine was 2013. The worst and best year of my life.

My verse today is “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.”

In the discipleship ministries that work through recovery processes we often discuss what it takes for a person to get to the Luke 15 “eating with the pigs” bottom. Usually it’s the next verse “and no one gave him anything”.

My new life in Christ that called “into existence the things that do not exist” came when God let me experience the full consequence of a lifetime of bad choices. He loved me enough to NOT rescue me.

Mason, praise the God of Abraham that will never rescue you or me but let us die in our sins so that Galatians 5:22-23 is the witness to our new life.

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