40 Days of Faith
"By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac,
and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son."
Talk radio host and financial "guru" Dave Ramsey told of his struggle with giving and tithing early in his Christian life. He said that he was the kind of person that needed to know why he was to give. He was not going to do it blindly just because someone said so. In his personal devotions one morning, he was reading the famous passage of John 3:16, and the light of truth was switched on for him. He read that God "gave" His only begotten Son, and it was at that point he realized that we are to be givers, because we are supposed to be like God.
Abraham had waited decades for God's promise of a son, an heir of righteousness, to be fulfilled. Finally the day came when these two senior citizens had the child of promise. There was without any doubt great joy in their hearts and a song on their lips as they gave praise to the Almighty. What great things He had done for them! They now see how the promise that Abraham's seed would be a great nation can be carried out. This son will live a good, long life and their descendants will multiply for centuries. It all makes sense.
Then, the test of faith comes. God calls upon Abraham to take his son Isaac and offer him as a burnt offering and sacrifice to the Lord. This is unbelievable and heinous. Surely he will stand before God and protest this unreasonable request. He did nothing of the sort. He just obeyed. Why would God ask Abraham to do such a thing? God was testing Abraham to see how strong his faith was in the Father. Was Abraham willing to do what God Himself would one day do? God is a giver; would Abraham follow His example of giving?
There are two considerations that we must make about our lives. First, what are you holding on to that you need to give to God? Second, what is holding on to you that you need to give up for God? Abraham chose by faith to literally lay it all down on the altar that day. Are we willing to do the same?
May you be a giver today!