Good morning from Tel Aviv! I wrote on Monday that I’m going to be traveling in Israel/Palestine this week. It’s a trip devoted to entering into the heart of God for peace and reconciliation. Today we’ll spend some time here and in Nazareth.
We just arrived last night so I’m a little fuzzy, but I’m wondering if you might want to join me virtually. I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to post or how much time I’ll have to reflect, but this morning here was my view from the top of our hotel as I soaked in the goodness of God (that’s pretty easy to do with this view, sunshine and 70 degrees).
As I sat here, these are the words I read. As you read them, what words stand out to you?
Genesis 12:1-3 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
Galatians 3:6-9, 26-296 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
2 Corinthians 5: 17-20 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
As you read that, what might you observe about God and about yourself?
I was struck by the words “I will” in Genesis 12. With Abraham, as with us, everything starts first with the work of God, and everything good comes from Him. He blesses us so we can then be a blessing. He reconciles us to Himself so we can be reconcilers in the world.
So often I charge off into the day in my own power with my own agenda (“Laura loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Woohoo!”. But I need first to bow before God…to acknowledge my own sin, my own need. To receive from Him. Then I enter the day with both the humility and joy of a beloved child of God.