This article is part of a church-wide study of the book “One Faithful Promise” by Magrey deVega. Learn more >
The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s house and go to the land that I will show you. I will bless you. I will make of you a great nation. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, those who curse you I will curse; all the families of the earth will be blessed because of you.”
—Genesis 12:1-3 (CEB)
In the Old and New Testaments, Abraham and Sarah were venerated as the founders of God’s people.
Why? It all goes back to Genesis 12. God said, “Go.” God didn’t say where, just “go.” They went. God followed up with that call with a promise, a covenant or testament: I will bless you and you will be a blessing. Abraham and Sarah trusted God and, so, claimed the covenant.
Ever seen circus acrobats fling through the air? On one side, a trapeze artist grabs the bar and launches herself from a platform high above the arena. On the other side, her partner launches an empty bar. At the very top of the arc, suddenly, she let’s go. How do we feel, seeing her there in mid-air? But here’s the key. She trusts her partner to launch the second bar at precisely the right moment. She flips around and there’s the bar, waiting to carry her safely to the other side.
To claim God’s covenant, we let go of our self-made security and trust God, who is always there to catch us and bring us home.
The testimony of scripture is loud and clear: we can trust God to save us, by faith alone. We count on God to keep God’s promises. Can God count on us?
In John Wesley’s five steps to spiritual renewal, this is Step Three: Claim the Covenant, grab ahold of God’s promise. Step One and Step Two prepare us. Steps Four and Five will empower us to keep the covenant. How do you claim the covenant? Wesley said:
- Show God that God can count on you by committing yourself to God, regularly, in formal acts of worship. Claim the covenant in Baptism. Receive Holy Communion as often as you can. And, at least annually, participate in a service of covenant renewal. Wesley created a special worship service for this purpose. At TUMC we will share this on November 19.
- Show God that God can count on you in the way you live, in the real, tangible, day-to-day aspects of your life.
The Lord said, “Go… and I will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing to all the families of the earth.” Will you go? You can count on God. Can God count on you?
Rev. David Gilliam