Unstoppable! 'Promise, Not Possession' — Acts 7:2-8

Friday, April 1, 2022

[Stephen replied to his accusers by speaking about Abraham's faith]: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran. God told him, 'Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.' So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died. Then God brought him here to the land where you now live.

"But God gave him no inheritance here, not even one square foot of land. God did promise, however, that eventually the whole land would belong to Abraham and his descendants — even though he had no children yet. God also told him that his descendants would live in a foreign land, where they would be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. 'But I will punish the nation that enslaves them,' God said, 'and in the end they will come out and worship me here in this place.'

"God also gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision at that time. So when Abraham became the father of Isaac, he circumcised him on the eighth day. And the practice was continued when Isaac became the father of Jacob, and when Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs of the Israelite nation."

— Acts 7:2-8 NLT

Key Thought

Eventually! Abraham's "eventually" was a long time! God made huge promises to Abraham. The LORD even changed his name from Abram to Abraham to emphasize those promises. Abraham lived most of his life waiting. He lived his life in faith, trusting God's promises while not having anything to possess in the promised new land. God's promise put Abraham in the "land of in-between." Still, Abraham trusted God to fulfill his promises, even if the fulfillment seemed impossible and beyond any time he could imagine. Abraham's faith challenges us to join him as we wait for the glorious promises of God to unfold for us. The difference is that we know God fulfilled his promises to Abraham. We get to see Abraham's faith rewarded so we can continue in our journey and in our waiting!

Today's Prayer

Father, I believe in your promises, yet I need your help to grow in my belief. You know that I am stuck in my own "land of in-between" where I must trust beyond what I can see and believe beyond what I know. O Spirit of the living God, strengthen my resolve as I commit to follow Jesus until my faith becomes sight and the Father's promises are caught up in the glory of their fulfillment. Through the intercession of my Savior, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Galatians 3:6-14
  • James 2:14-24

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 7:2-8 NLT — [Stephen replied to his accusers by speaking about Abraham's faith]: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran. God told him, 'Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.' So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died. Then God brought him here to the land where you now live.
"But God gave him no inheritance here, not even one square foot of land. God did promise, however, that eventually the whole land would belong to Abraham and his descendants — even though he had no children yet. God also told him that his descendants would live in a foreign land, where they would be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. 'But I will punish the nation that enslaves them,' God said, 'and in the end they will come out and worship me here in this place.'
"God also gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision at that time. So when Abraham became the father of Isaac, he circumcised him on the eighth day. And the practice was continued when Isaac became the father of Jacob, and when Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs of the Israelite nation."

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.