“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. As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” Romans 4:16,17 New International Version
I grew up knowing my father was adopted. I never really thought anything about our family tree until one day when my dad told us he was half American Indian. He wanted to try to get us listed on some government roll that would make sure we received certain benefits. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be any way to apply. Dad said the records were lost in a fire, so we couldn’t prove a claim.
It was always a great feeling to think of being Native American, to believe I might be one who was a part of the Native American community. We had understood it was likely the Yakima Indians that were our heritage. However, not too long ago we discovered we are probably not Yakima and there is now some doubt if we are Native American. Even more surprising was the discovery of my father’s adoption records. This opened up all kinds of questions for my sisters and me, though we may not ever discover all the reasons why.
Do you know your family tree? Have you ever wondered what your family dynamics are, what makes you who you are? With the creation of DNA testing it has become possible to find out what genetics were involved in making you who you are. What none of us dreamed was possible just a few years ago is now available. For less than $200 you can find out what nationalities your ancestors came from, what makes up you!
There is an extremely interesting program on PBS called Genealogy Roadshow where genealogists look at peoples genetic backgrounds. It’s very enlightening for those involved, offering them insights into who they are, what makes up their family tree, who they are, and what they discover gives them an understanding of their history. How it impacts the way they see themselves is quite fascinating.
Why is it we allow what’s outside of us to determine how we see ourselves? We say we understand it isn’t what we own, or drive, or how we dress, what our job is, or how much we earn that defines who we are, or gives us our value. Yet we regularly find ourselves coming up against these measuring sticks. Jesus told us it was never about what we might have, rather it was about how we responded to those in need. Jesus consistently pointed His followers to the reality that anyone connected to Him would be concerned with others first. And no matter who we are there is only one way to receive the inheritance of Abraham. It’s the same for all; it’s through Faith!
It doesn’t matter who you are related to, or who you have in your genetic tree! It is no problem for God to add anyone into His genetic code. We are made in His image! God is so intriguing in the way He accomplishes His desires. He never seems to work through the largest, greatest, most abundant, instead He chooses to work through the exact opposite to those things! God tells us He chose Abram because he was small, there wasn’t anything to recommend him as one who would become a mighty nation too numerous to count. God gave Abram the promise that his offspring would be more numerous than the sand on the beach, or the stars in the sky. When was the last time you tried counting stars or sand? And when you did, how far did you get? Exactly. That’s God’s point in a nutshell, it can’t be done, ever!
So, what does any of this mean to you and me? What does it mean to be one leaf more or less on any family tree? As is so often said on the singing competitions, “It means everything.” And it does mean everything to us and to the entire world, so much so that we can’t afford to miss out on its reality. It brings to us an even deeper message that we must take into the depths of our innermost being.
That message is this, God who is able to give life to the dead is able to make things that are not as though they were! Let that sink in for just a moment. The power God used to bring Jesus back from Death. Remember, Jesus is the only being who has actually experienced Death as it is defined by God, therefore the power God used in bringing Jesus back to life is mind boggling to say the least!
In discovering the immense power of God, the same power used to bring Jesus back to life, God reveals it is used to make real that which was never real! God delivers this incredible message to us through a letter that has survived 2000 years. A letter we so desperately need to hear and understand today! Especially as there are so many messages telling us to give up, give in, bail out, give it up because we are the exception to the rule, whoever the “we” happens to be. However, have I got news for you! There are no exceptions to the rule; there is no one that God can’t make into a New Creation!
Not only is there no one He can’t transform into the New He desires for them, the truth is He desires to transform all our lives with His Grace. He looks forward to that moment when we finally allow Him access to do what He has been longing to do for us from the moment we could make that choice! Just think, rather than wanting to make us jump through a bunch of hoops to prove we are worthy to receive what He has to give, it’s just the opposite! He is trying to convince us He has exactly what we need. And it doesn’t matter if we can’t imagine it becoming a reality because God can make something out of nothing! If He was able to create entire universes with just the sound of His voice, then what He will be able to do in our lives is beyond our comprehension!
We have an enemy seeking to convince us there is no way God wants to have anything to do with us. This enemy keeps throwing everything we’ve ever done wrong in our faces, telling us God will never forgive us. Over and over he comes beating us down, chronically destroying any truth God has planted, continuously repeating his lies, and driving us away from the very One who is able to change it all! Because the truth is, God is the One who brings the dead back to life, creates that which never was into that which now is, and pursues us all with His Grace!
We become partakers of the promise given to Abraham the same way Abraham became the Father of a multitude beyond counting, by faith. By faith we are grafted into that family tree. Every day we choose what we will believe, the one we will believe. It isn’t any different from the choice made in the Garden of Eden. We need to decide who is telling us the truth, will we believe our Creator or the father of lies?
I know how difficult it is when the enemy is shouting in your mind through the tapes of lies he has been recording all your life! However, I also know the power of that Still Small Voice to overwhelm the cacophony of the enemy, bringing into our hearts and minds the truth we not only need, but we are longing to hear. We also are gifts to each other, sharing the responsibility of reminding each other about the truth of the Still Small Voice, the Voice of God’s Grace! Because let’s face it, no one needs reminding of anything the enemy tells them, at least I surely don’t! So let’s become partakers of the promise, joining together and inviting others to check it out and see if what God offers isn’t better than anything the enemy has lied to them about!
Besides, God offers a Lifetime Guarantee on everything He creates or recreates, and it just doesn’t get any better than that!
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