OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SATURDAY 12th DECEMBER 2015
LOVE IS SOMETIMES TESTED
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Read: Genesis 22:1-3
1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
The presence of love can be perceived when it is demonstrated through giving. Love does not only give, it gives its best. It also gives sacrificially and willingly. God did not give His only begotten Son to the world because He was forced to; He gave Him because He wanted to (John 3:16). When He came into this world, the Son followed the example of the Father. In John 15:13, He said:
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Even after the Son accepted to become a man, nobody compelled Him to die. He voluntarily laid down His life. He willingly did this as proof of His love for God and man (John 10:17-18).
If you go through the Scriptures, you will definitely come across passages where God demanded that those who professed love for Him should prove it. One of such cases can be found in today’s Bible reading. The word “tempt” used in Genesis 22:1 is actually “test” in the original Hebrew text. God does not tempt people, but Satan does (James 1:13). However, God can test His children to evaluate the quality of love they have for Him. Although it is on record that Abraham was a friend of God, God still wanted to know if he would give Him his best sacrificially and willingly. God therefore asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son to Him. Abraham did not argue; he immediately set out on a journey to perform God’s request. God took him on a three-day journey to the mountain where the sacrifice would be carried out, to find out if he would change his mind along the way.
To show his willingness to give without obstruction, Abraham did not tell his wife or Isaac about the sacrifice God demanded from him. If he had done so, Sarah would have stopped him from fulfilling what God wanted. It is also possible that if Isaac had known about God’s request ahead of time, he would have run away. Today, when God demands something sacrificial from some people as proof of their love for Him, what He gets is excuses. Such people would tell their spouses about God’s demand, fully aware that they would vehemently resist it. They do this because they never wanted to give what God was asking for in the first place. Thereafter, they would tell God that although they were willing to obey His instruction, they had to back out because their spouse’s disagreement with it could negatively affect their home. What an excuse! Do you think that God does not see into your heart to know what actually led to your refusal of His request other than what you claim?
Ask God for grace never to fail the tests He puts you through.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR : PSALM 111-118 and JAMES 1:19-2:13