January 4 | Daily Devotion

If you plan to read every verse of Scripture this year, use the  Lectio Continua (continuous reading) passages. The  Lectio Semi-continua (shorter reading) is an abbreviated selection of verses from the day’s passages. Lectio Divina (divine reading) is Pastor Lionel Young’s commentary on the daily readings. See the Resources page on the Lectio Divina website for additional study helps.

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina (meditation on the text)

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing….and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” ~Genesis 12:2-3

God divides the earth by confounding the communication between people (thus the word “Babel”). In this moment, He is not unlike a teacher separating troublemakers in a classroom to maintain order. God promised not to wipe out the earth again, but He needed to bring some control measures to bear on man’s propensity to arrogantly defy him.[1]

Out of this messed up world, God places a call on one man’s life, Abram, who will later be known as Abraham. He blesses him and, did you notice?, “all peoples on the earth” through him (Gen. 12:3). This is one of God’s first overt steps toward restoring all creation. As is typical of God, He works through means; in this case, He will use a chosen people to declare His name and to draw other people into a relationship with Him. The Hero who arrives on the scene in Matthew’s gospel is the great descendant of Abraham. He comes to take away all our sin and to create a new community of forgiven people, who will spread the fame of God to all the nations.

If you know Christ, you are a descendant of Abraham, one of the chosen people of God. You have been blessed and, in fact, you have been blessed to be a blessing. How might God use you to bless someone else today? Look for an opportunity to share your faith, and pray that God will give you the strength and wisdom to do so.   Just think, God is working through us to bless all peoples.

[1] God is not against the building of towers and great cities. The people’s sin was in uniting in an arrogant defiance of Him.

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.