In Genesis 12, God finds a man, chooses a man, and promises to him. So you can see the promise and calling of Abraham. God promises Abraham a land, a specific location for his people; descendants, contextually, that would mean righteous descendants; and blessing, blessing to all the nations. The covenant with Abraham is a promise of the kingdom of God.
Today’s text, Genesis 17 is very similar to Genesis 12 but it is little bit more specific. ‘The content of the covenant is the kingdom of God’ and each phases of kingdom is about God’s people in God’s place under His rule and blessing. So, it is helpful to categorise this passage and look at three different headings, three different words to help us place things in this passage.
So firstly people: what are some of God’s promises when it comes to people? God’s first given command, ‘to be fruitful and multiplied’ on earth was fulfilled through offspring of Abraham. Secondly, God’s Place: where do you see the place? The Promised Land, Canaan. And then finally Blessing: how would you see blessing? I think the land is certainly a part of blessing and everlasting generation after generation is another. God’s plan is bigger than anyone can see. It is just built again and again through the scripture.
I guess it must have been hard for Abraham to believe that it would all take place, but he did (15:6). He was accepted by God, not on the basis of his own goodness, but by faith in the promises of God. That has always been the way of salvation for sinful human beings. We can never deserve a place in God’s family but as we believe and trust in Jesus Christ we can be His kingdom people and enjoy the blessing of God. IL-WOONG.
DVD of the Week: From Behind The Bars – The Life Story of Maggie Troyer. Traumatic events early in Maggie’s life forever changed the path she would walk. The unexpected death of her father caused her world to fall apart. In the pain and confusion caused by her father’s death, she determined to prove that she didn’t need him. This decision would lead her to become involved in a destructive lifestyle of drugs, abuse and danger. She became a wife and mother by age 16. At 19 she was in prison, charged with first-degree murder and several years later she was married to a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang. Today, Maggie is the wife of an ordained minister and continues to share her story. What has brought about the dramatic changes evident in her life?
Marriage. On the 6th August the Lugarno Peakhurst Uniting Church Council met together to discuss the outcomes of the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia in regards to the views on marriage. The Church Council believes that this is an important matter and would like to assess the congregations’ thoughts on the matter. To understand the views of the congregation we will be providing an information booklet that contains the Church Councils response, a statement by the President of Assembly, an Insights Magazine article on “Matters vital to the life of the Church”, a proposal from the Far North Coast Presbytery and a 2-question poll. We are asking the congregation from both the morning and evening services to read through the information provided and complete the poll questions. The results of the poll will be given to our Presbytery Sanding Committee to express the views of Lugarno Peakhurst Uniting Church. The poll will be open for 2 Sundays opening from Sunday the 2nd September in the morning service and closing on Sunday 9th September in the evening service. A sealed box will be provided to collect the responses. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or any other Church Council member. – Rob Kell.