The CCN Daily Worship.
Gooooooooooooooooooooood morning brethren, peace unto you and the grace of our lord Jesus be with you. May the Almighty God of hosts stay ever with you this morning and thank you, for joining us here at ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’ for worship and praise. Let us begin as is our tradition every day here at the Nation, by reading from the word of God. Amen………….. By Pastor Don Roy Hemingway.
The Gospel according to….
Genesis 12. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken unto him, and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
5 And Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls whom they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan, and into the land of Canaan they came.
6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram and said, “Unto thy seed will I give this land.” And there built he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.
9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
10 And there was a famine in the land; and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was grievous in the land.
11 And it came to pass, when he had come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, “Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon.
12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister, that it may be well with me for thy sake, and my soul shall live because of thee.”
14 And it came to pass, when Abram had come into Egypt, that the Egyptians beheld the woman, that she was very fair.
15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.
16 And he treated Abram well for her sake; and he had sheep and oxen and heasses, and menservants and maidservants, and sheasses and camels.
17 And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.
18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this that thou hast done unto me? Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
19 Why saidst thou, ‘She is my sister,’ so I might have taken her to me for a wife? Now therefore behold thy wife; take her and go thy way.”
20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.
‘O’ Lord our God, Ruler over the whole world, whose longing is to see your thoughts and your will in all peoples, we come before you and ask that we may find strength in your Word and never cease to hope for the coming of your kingdom. Even when the world storms and rages, even when earthly kingdoms rise up against each other and everything seems dark, even then be present, be with us, comfort us and bless us. Let your kingdom go quietly forward, to grow and wax strong to the honour of your name. Help us come closer to the goal Jesus has shown us, closer to the time we wait for, the day of his coming, when all shall be made new and good through your power and through your Spirit. In Jesus we pray. Amen.
The Lesson today.
(1) Now the LORD had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you. (2) I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing. (3) I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
To understand fully what God has done, it is necessary to go back to the beginning to see His purposes in choosing Israel. Israel’s beginning occurs, not with Jacob, but with the calling of Abraham.
God’s final remark in verse 3 is the most fundamental reason God chose Abraham, and thus Israel and his descendants: to bless mankind in the Person of Jesus Christ. Christ is the center, the focus, of everything. He is the end or the goal of the law (Romans 10:4), the One toward whom the whole Old Testament was written (Galatians 3:24; see Luke 24:44). As Paul puts it, to us He “is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11; see Ephesians 1:23).
Physically, Jesus had to descend from some line of humanity. Abraham, who was himself descended from those who had been faithful to God in earlier times, possessed special qualities that pleased Him. Therefore, He chose Abraham and his family, which later became known as Israel, to work through to bring the wonderful blessing of salvation to all mankind. God says of him:
For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him. (Genesis 18:19)
This man had a special relationship with God: He knew God, and God knew him. God says He had worked with Abraham to bring out the qualities that would allow the patriarch to command his descendants so that they would keep the way of the Lord. In other words, Abraham had such a force of godly character that he would pass down to his descendants an affinity for God’s way (see the principle in Exodus 20:6). In Abraham, God created a people who had a special link to Him. God knew that, for the purpose He was working out, Abraham was the best candidate, later called “the father of us all” in the faith (Romans 4:16), from whom to build a model nation with certain desired qualities.
We should be careful not to take this idea too far. Abraham was not perfect; he sinned and his story reveals that he had to grow a great deal. Nevertheless, he was the only person whom God ever asked to sacrifice his only son, just as He did. If nothing else, this puts him at least one rung above the rest of us. Beyond that, his righteousness does not make his descendants one whit better than other people of the earth. Their prime advantage lies in the fact that, since God had a close relationship with Abraham, they hold a special place in God’s heart (see Deuteronomy 7:7-8).
This is the beginning of Israel. For His purposes, and to produce an eventual blessing for all nations, God started with the best clay that He could mould.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
May God bless you all and ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’, Amen.
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