Thursday, May 24, 2012

Daily devotions: The Language of Heaven - Genesis 12:1

Genesis 12:1   The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.”

Genesis 12v1 was the very first Bible verse that I ever had to read, pronounce, and translate in Hebrew and it got me hooked on studying the Old Testament at Glasgow University in Scotland. My professor, Robert Davidson, was an outstanding biblical scholar and when he gently spoke the verses in Hebrew, you could hear from his voice how much he loved the ancient language in his heart. As he lyrically pronounced each word and syllable, I yearned to study Hebrew. It was a new part of my faith journey into ministry and it’s something that I still cherish.

Prof. Davidson made the text come alive and created an amazing picture of Abram’s journey to Canaan with his descriptions. He was Old School, which meant that he had been a parish pastor before becoming a university professor. This also meant that his lectures, which were full of wonderful research and knowledge, were also grounded in grass roots faith. Years later, he became the Moderator of the Church of Scotland and is still regarded as one of the finest spiritual leaders that Caledonia has ever known.

God commanded Abram to leave all that was familiar to him and go to a land that he had never seen. Abram’s obedient response puts a whole chain of events into motion that still affects many of us today. Three great faiths – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – are born in that amazing moment. Abram’s blind acceptance of God’s Word not only affects his immediate family, it changes the history of the world.

Today God will call each of us to do His bidding, some of which may have life changing effects upon our lives, our families, and even our careers. The question we may have to ask of ourselves is not whether we are willing to listen to Him, but are we willing to listen and obey God?

Prayer:                        Lord God, we each believe that You have a plan for our lives, a call to our hearts, and a ministry to fulfill. Help us to be ready, willing, and able to accept Your Word, work, and way for our lives. In Christ’s Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send John an email to

Today’s image is one of my latest Pentecost drawings. It’s called “Pentecost People” and is a simple depiction of the disciples receiving the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link:

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