Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Call of Abram

Today's Reading
Genesis 12:1-9

Our "Missional Journey" began with the reading of the creation story, in which we discovered two important components of our call to participate in God's mission in the world:

1. Creation itself is an expression of God's mission. Creation is the overflow of divine love, the explosion of God's internal missionality.

2. We are sent forth as God's image-bearers. We are sent forth to expand and multiply the blessing of God
Today we jump forward to the call of Abram (later renamed Abraham) as told in Genesis 12. We don't know much about Abram (other than the list of his ancestors as found in Genesis 11), which makes the calling of Abram all the more abrupt and startling. Abram is seemingly minding his own business, when suddenly the voice of the Lord calls to Abram and instructs him to leave his country and his family, and to go to a land that the Lord will show to him. Along with this commandment, the Lord promises that Abram will be blessed and that through Abram all the nations of the earth will be blessed. Surprisingly, the response of Abram is just as abrupt and startling as the initial call itself; the Bible simply says "and Abram went."
Now there are at least two significant themes in this passage that relate to our call to be a people of mission:
Leaving the Known for the Unknown
Abram is instructed to leave behind all he has ever known in order to be sent forth into an unknown future reality. The Lord simply says to Abram, "go to a land I will show you." The obedience of Abram is one of the most profound examples of faith in the Bible; Abram's response was one of trust and risk. Our call to participate in the mission of God often requires us to leave behind what is known in order to embrace the unknown reality of God's future for us. This requires trust and risk on our part as we step out in faith and surrender ourselves fully to God's call for our lives.  
Being Blessed to be a Blessing
As I mentioned above, the commandment of God comes with a promise - the promise of God's blessing. The Lord declares to Abram, "I will bless you and I will make your name great!" However, this divine blessing is not simply for Abram's own protection and edification, but rather God's blessing upon Abram will enable Abram (and soon the whole people of God) to be a blessing to the world. This is a critical part of what it means to be a "missional" people. We are empowered and equiped with the blessing of God in order to go forth as a blessing into our neighborhoods and communities.
Take a moment today to reflect upon the ways in which God is calling you to participate in his mission in the world. Are there things God is calling you to leave behind? Do you struggle with fear or doubt as you contemplate where God is leading you in the future? Thank God today that your future is in his hands and that God has blessed you to be a blessing!


  1. I'm reminded of our purple T shirts - Abundantly blessed to be a blessing.
    Today's message encourages me to live it.

  2. There are so many people in the Bible that drop everything at the drop of the hat and do God's bidding.

    Me ... Whimpy, whimpy, whimy ... remember that commerical?

    Many prayers to grow and hear my call of the Lord.