An old chorus says, “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God.” According to Gloria Gaither, she and her husband, Bill, wrote the song after seeing how their church showed tremendous love to a member who had been badly burned in an explosion.
God’s vision for a community began with the first family of Adam and Eve. In today’s passage we see how that vision grew through the calling of Abraham. God’s plan was to expand Abraham’s family into a great nation and to bless all nations through him. Abraham played a critical role in setting the stage for the arrival of the church. He did this in two ways. First, he became the prototypical believer. Abraham was declared righteous and was called God’s friend because he believed God’s promise (Gen. 15:6). In this way, Abraham became our spiritual forefather (Rom. 4:1). His example set the pattern for all those who would believe God’s promise and receive the gift of righteousness by faith.
The second way that Abraham served as the prototypical believer was by functioning as a kind of missionary. Abraham left his home and set out for the place that God showed him. God’s plan was not only to bless Abraham but to bless all nations through him. By his life Abraham bore witness to the grace of God. It was through the line of Abraham’s descendants that the nation of Israel and Jesus the Messiah came. Abraham’s descendants were the first to receive the written word of God. It was through the example of Abraham’s faith that all those who were not descendants learned that they could obtain righteousness from God as a gift of grace. This makes Abraham the spiritual father of all those who walk in the same footsteps of faith no matter what their background is (Rom. 4:9–12).
In conclusion of our prayer time for Custodial Services, please encourage in prayer John Pettett, John Williams, Paul Henle, and Thomas Pizano. They work behind the scenes, but the fruit of their service is evident to all.