Meditation for Monday

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Galatians 3:7

Abraham had eight children: Ishmael the son of Hagar, Isaac the son of Sarah, and Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah, the children of Keturah. Ishmael was a man whose birth brought him into opportunity, although he failed to seize that opportunity. Isaac’s birth brought him into the great promise and inheritance of his father. The birth of Keturah’s children brought them gifts from Abraham. We who are the children of faith receive all of these as the spiritual descendents of Abraham.

What a great opportunity Ishmael had! His father was wealthy, and was the recipient of God’s blessing. Abraham’s deep desire was that Ishmael would serve the Lord, and if he had, we have no idea how differently things would have turned out for him. Being brought into God’s family by the new birth has also brought us into great opportunity. We can only know what benefits that opportunity will bring us if we serve the Lord, as Abraham had prayed that Ishmael might do.

God’s promises to Abraham were passed on to Isaac, promises that have been fulfilled and that are yet to be fulfilled. Down through the centuries, the Israelites have been blessed according to those promises, and will yet be blessed. As the spiritual children of Abraham, we have received exceeding rich and precious promises, and are to enter into the good of those that we have not already seem fulfilled. Many of those promises are unconditional, and we will forever appreciate them; others are conditional on our laying hold of them and accepting God’s challenges to us to serve and follow Him with our whole hearts. All of our hope lies in the fulfilling of God’s promises to us.

As Abraham’s children, we receive gifts. Keturah was Abraham’s Gentile bride, and her children had a totally different relationship than Isaac did; they did not even live in the same land. This reminds us of the sharp difference between God’s dealings with His earthly people and the Christians. We are not told what Abraham’s gifts to Keturah’s children were, but it it safe to assume it was enough cattle, sheep, or money to give them a good start in life. They could take those gifts and invest them wisely to keep themselves busy and prosperous. This reminds us of the gifts that God has given to each Christian. According to His purposes and according to our abilities, He has placed with us gifts to supply what we need for our spiritual journey through this world. He has left no one out; the new birth has brought to us the gifts that God knows we require. The proper use of those gifts leads us to the full measure of life as a child of God.

What are we doing with the opportunities, the promises, and the gifts that are ours as the spiritual children of Abraham? – Jim MacIntosh

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