What We Believe

June 27 Daily Devotional

The Father of the Faithful

Charles and Norma Ellis

Bible Reading

Genesis 12:1-8

1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
5And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
6And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
7And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
8And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.


God had promised as early as Eden that the day would come when sin would be conquered by the seed of the woman. He has now begun to take steps toward bringing this about. In our reading we see how God chose Abram from the land of Ur of the Chaldees and gave him directions to leave his people and go to a land God would show him. God made a covenant with Abram that He would be his God and the God of his children after him. He changed Abram's name to Abraham, since he was to be the father of many nations (17:5). From him would come a people so closely identified with God that those who cursed the children of Abraham would find themselves cursed by God and those who blessed them would find themselves blessed by God. And God promised that through the seed of Abraham all the families of the earth would be blessed! If we did not know that God was here preparing the line through which He would some day send His Son, we would be completely unable to see how the family of one mere man, a man whose faith was sometimes very weak, could make such an impact on the world. But the faith of Abraham was kept alive through the generations ihat followed him and it lives today in the Christian church. What a heritage is ours as his


Our pride is not really in Abraham, our father in the faith, however. We boast in God's Son, born of Abraham's line. He is the Seed who was promised. He is the One in whom all the families of the earth are blessed. All the families? Yes, the blessing of Abraham comes upon all who hear the gospel and respond in faith. And where the gospel of his Seed, God's Son, is poured out, blessing spills over and touches for good even the unbelieving. Western civilization with its many benefits and accomplishments is what it is because of the enlightenment of the gospel working in its people through the centuries. God's people are light, and that light reaches the remotest corners of the earth.

We may tell our Jewish friends that we, like them, are children of Abraham. We are his spiritual heirs. We who believe in Christ as our Saviour and Lord are adopted into the family of Abraham according to God's covenant. They, too, may become heirs spiritually as well as physically. So may any who will come to God through faith in His Son.

We praise God for the unity of believers, as we all claim Abraham as father. We praise Him for Christ to whose coming Abraham looked forward and through whom we as well as Abraham have life eternal.

We are happy to have obtained permission to post as our current daily devotional Heirs Together of Life: Daily Bible Reading for Husbands and Wives, published by The Banner of Truth Trust. Don't be misled by the subtitle. As the book's "Preface" indicates (see below), although Heirs Together of Life is "especially prepared for couples,"the authors declare, "Since the basis for this guide is God's Word, we believe it would have value for any reader."

Charles and Norma Ellis are husband and wife and the authors not only of Heirs Together of Life (which was first published in 1980 and continues in print today), but also of Wells of Salvation (first published in 1985, and likewise still in print today). The latter contains a series of short studies covering the entire book of Isaiah, while the former contains a series of almost 200 short studies covering the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Both books by the Ellises can be ordered from the publisher, The Banner of Truth Trust. We trust that these daily Bible readings, posted daily on our site, will be helpful to you in your Christian walk before God. Whether married or not, all of us are members of families and members of the family of God.

Charles Ellis was educated at Wheaton College and Westminster Theological Seminary. Upon graduation from Westminster (where he earned not only a Th.B. but also a Th.M.), he was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and pastored a number of OPC churches, including Immanuel OPC in West Collingswood, New Jersey; First OPC in Cincinnati, Ohio; Covenant OPC in East Orange, New Jersey; Knox OPC in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine. Less biographical information is available about his wife, but it is known that they served as parents of seven children. After retiring from the ministry, Charles Ellis went to be with the Lord in 2003, but he and his wife left us with a beautiful legacy in the two books they have given to the world, and we are proud to share the daily Bible readings from Heirs Together of Life here with you.



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