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Trust God's Gracious Provision
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
"In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen." (Genesis 22.14) God brought this to me recently as a "rhema" word. A "rhema" word is a living word, when the "logos" word in your Bible kind of jumps off the page, penetrating your heart.
The story of God testing Abrahamís fear of the Lord is, hopefully, well known to you. Abraham had been sojourning in the Philistinesí land many days. Abraham made an agreement with King Abimelech concerning a well he had dug. In this covenant seven lambs served as witness. Abraham called the place Beer-sheba, "well of the oath." He called there on the name of the LORD, El Olam, "the everlasting God."
After these things God commanded Abraham to take his son Isaac into the land of Moriah to offer him there for a burnt offering. Abraham rose early in the morning in obedience. On the third day he lifted up his eyes and saw the place of which God had told him afar off. He told the men who came along to wait while he and Isaac went up to worship. Abraham got everything ready. Isaac questioned his father, "Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
Abraham said, "My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering." This was his faith. Abraham proceeded to lay Isaac on the altar and actually took a knife to slay his son. The angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, stopping him. "Now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Godís provision of a substitute indicates that He did not want human sacrifice. In fact, no sacrifice could ever atone fully for sin save the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 9)
Abraham called that place Jehovah-Jireh, meaning, "The LORD will see, or, provide." (Genesis 22.14) In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. Because of this demonstration of loyalty and fear, God gave His word to Abraham:
By Myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because
you have done this thing and have not withheld your
son, your only son: that in blessing I will bless
you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as
the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is
upon the seashore, and your seed shall possess the
gate of his enemies; and in your seed shall all the
nations of the earth be blessed; because you have
obeyed My voice. (Genesis 22.16-18)
And Abraham returned to Beer-sheba and dwelt there.
Hebrews 11.17ff tells us that it was by faith that Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, that he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall your seed be called.
Abraham reckoned that God was able to raise Isaac up, even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a figure. Abraham was justified through the righteousness of faith, by grace. Abraham had an understanding that God quickens the dead and calls those things which are not as though they were. Against hope, Abraham believed in hope, staggering not at the promise of God. He was strong in faith, giving glory to God. (Read all of Romans 4 to see faith worship, walk, and work.)
"In the mount of the LORD it shall be provided." Godís provision is seen as we worship, as we approach a holy God in full confidence of His provision. But just what is the providence of God anyway?
The word "providence" (Greek pronoia) means foresight or making provision beforehand. It is the idea that God looks ahead and makes provision for His goals and accomplishes what He sets out to do. Bakerís Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology defines it thus: "Providence, then, is the sovereign, divine superintendence of all things, guiding them toward their divinely predetermined end in a way that is consistent with their created nature, all to the glory and praise of God." Every believer can trust in Godís providence by embracing the following fundamental principles:
- God in His sovereignty is in complete control of all things. (1 Chron. 29.11, 12; Psalm 24.1; 115.3; 135.6)
- God alone is God and nothing succeeds in standing up to Him, defying Him, or defeating Him in the end. He has no serious competitors! (Deut. 4.35, 39; Isaiah 45; 1 Cor. 8.4-6; 1 Tim. 1.17) Nothing is impossible for Him. (Luke 1.37)
- As Creator of the world, it is His and subject to Him. No one, nothing, is self-sufficient or answers only to himself. (Deut. 10.14; Job 9.5-10; Psalm 24, 89, 95; 1 Cor. 10.26; Isaiah 45.11, 12; Jeremiah 37.17-23; Rev. 20.11-13)
- God has an eternal plan so that what He decrees will be done. (Psalm 33.11; Proverbs 19.21; Isaiah 14.24-27; 46.8-11)
- Godís will and purpose are realized in and through Jesus Christ. His eternal purpose existed before the world began and God decides when and how to effectuate it. (Ephesians 1.9, 10; 3.11)
- We are not God, so whether we discern what God is up to or not, we are called to have faith and trust in Him, in His providence. (Proverbs 3.5, 6; Hebrews 11)
- God is benevolent, holy, good, and loving. He preserves and governs all things, including the natural world, brute creatures, and people. (Psalm 18.35; 63.8; Acts 17.28; Col. 1.17; Hebrews 1.3; Psalm 104; 135; 47.7; 18.30; James 4.13-15; Psalm 33; Romans 11.32-36; Ephesians 2.10; Gal.5.22-25)
As you celebrate Christmas this year, consider how the eternal God, who made and governs our universe, chose and decreed that in the plan for our redemption Jesus Christ would be God Incarnate, the Word made flesh who dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. Though you and I will never fathom the depths of God or the glory of the plan of redemption, we can yet praise Him and find our appropriate place. Receive Godís gracious provision of a Savior, the sacrifice acceptable to God for sin in order to terminate the alienation and make peace possible. Return grace to God by thanking Him for this unspeakable gift of love. Reflect the grace of God by ministering and releasing grace to others. Rise in worship. And even in the worst of times, worship. In the mount of the Lord His provision is/will be seen. As you worship, you will discover His love and grace.
The Lord has been taking Mary Craig Ministries to new levels of anointing. We are seeing people being healed, strongholds broken, and major breakthroughs in lives touched by Godís grace and power. For more on what weíre up to, check out www.marycraig.org.
Also, Pastor Jim wants to express his gratitude to all of you who are participating in the blessing of Craighouse. Many more are coming to the Bible study and healing prayer Friday nights 7:30 p.m., prayer for personal needs on Saturdays 3:30-5:30 p.m., worship Sunday afternoons at 4:30 p.m., discipleship classes Wednesdays, and "Revival!" Tuesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Itís truly encouraging to have your prayers and financial support as we keep moving through each new door of opportunity that opens. Thank you for your faithfulness to prayerfully seek the Lord regarding your gift each month. With every gift, you make it possible for this ministry to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Already, we have seen God provide Bibles, hymnals, toys, childrenís play equipment, chairs, money for missions, and more!
Please take time today to prayerfully ask the Lord what He would have you do to help us be witnesses unto Jesus as we take the gospel to the uttermost part of the earth.
Pastor Jim and I pray you have a blessed Christmas and New Year with bountiful blessings and abundant grace. Weíll be on the MCM mission trip ministering in Chile, Argentina, and Antarctica. Exciting things are happening, and the penguins have been spreading the word that the gospel is reaching even unto the very foundations of the earth. Good news for families! Good news for the nations! Jesus has come Ö and is coming again!
To the uttermost part of the earth,
But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth
His Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might
Receive the adoption of sons. And
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the
Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying,
Abba, Father. (Galatians 4.4-6)
Pastors Jim & Mary Craig
© 2002 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.
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