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The Journal

It's all about God, not us

Dear Friends,
In Genesis 15:7-21
we have a strange story (at least to our ears) of Abram being told by the Lord to bring different animals and cut them into 2 except the birds and lay them on the ground. Abram then falls into a deep sleep and God spoke to him about the future captivity of Abram’s descendants in Egypt and God’s promise to bring them back to the land promised to Abram. After this God made a covenant or an agreement with Abram confirming the promises as a smoking firepot travelled between the pieces of animals. In the ancient world when a covenant was made the cutting of the animals was symbolic of the fact that if one of the parties fails to keep this promise then what happened to the animals will happen to the person who fails to keep the covenant. But what is interesting is that this covenant is one sided in the sense that God promises that he will ensure that this covenant is kept and if it isn’t God himself will pay the price through death. As far as we can ascertain Abram is asleep so the covenant is totally binding upon the Lord to keep it. It is breathtaking that God is saying that He is willing to take the curse of the covenant if Abram or his descendants don’t keep it. That is how much God is committed to us and His promises. He is willing to die to ensure that His promises are upheld. That is what Jesus did. He died to ensure that the covenant is kept and He paid the price for our failure. That is amazing grace. Praise Him. We also see that the Lord doesn’t hide the difficult bits from His servants. With the Lord there are no hidden agendas or secret clauses. He expects obedience and provides the promises and encouragement and strength to follow through even as we face hardship ! At the 5pm service we conclude our final message on people who met Jesus. Tonight we meet a man with leprosy Luke 5:12-16 who falls at Jesus’ feet and begs Jesus to make him clean. This man shows great faith by saying “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus responds to the man’s request and heals him. There is a deeper truth here because leprosy was a sign of being unclean and Jesus’ healing of this man points to the fact that He can make unclean people clean. That is the great blessing of faith in Jesus and His death on the Cross. We who are unclean because of sin are made clean through Jesus’ blood. That is amazing grace. Praise Him. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara