Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

How Much Do We Love God?

Genesis 22:2

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”


What or who is it that we love more than anything? I love my wife more than anyone else in this whole world – and my daughters too – but my granddaughters are catching up with them. I would most anything for them. Last night is a good example (this is meant to be a funny point folks). My beloved Baltimore Orioles were playing the team from Boston in a tight baseball game. The score was 1-0 in favor of the Orioles. It was the top of the ninth and our closer had already gotten four outs and was trying to close out the game with the final out. He had two strikes on the batter and my granddaughters arrived from New Jersey!

I’m not sure what happened – but I got out of my chair – left the TV room and went to help them as they came into the house. I didn’t run back in to see what was happening until all of their stuff was in from the car and I had one granddaughter in tow around my neck! (He ended up walking that batter but got the next one out and won the game.)

They key point – I left something I enjoy – at a critical moment in the game – to see my granddaughters. I’m not holding that up as any major thing mind you – but as an example of what we do when we love something or someone more than something or someone else!

Abraham and IssacWhat or who is it that we love more than anything? In today’s passage – Abraham was being tested by God to see how much he loved God.  Abraham loved his son more than anyone.  He was the promise from God after all.  Surely God wouldn’t ask for his life!

Here is today’s passage in partial context. Genesis 22:1–14 – 1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. 9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

What or who is it that we love more than anything? Do we love God like Abraham loved God? I must be honest – I would wrestle with offering up one of my children and pray that God never asks that of me. But what else do I cling to that God is or might ask me to give up? What possessions do I cling to rather than hold them loosely – giving them up if God asks? Am I like the young child who clings to their toys – telling other children – mine – with a stern look and voice? Or do I realize that all I am and all I have – belongs to God? Remember Sunday’s message – we’ve been bought and paid for by the blood of Christ – we no longer own ourselves or our things – all belong to God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – 19 You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


June 10, 2015 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , ,

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