Genesis 20:1-22:24 The father was patiently instructing his seven-year-old son how to be an effective outfielder in baseball. He gave the following instructions: "First, son, you have to stand with your glove ready to receive the ball, and keep your eye on the ball. As the ball is falling, you need to run to where the ball is and try to catch it before it reaches the ground. If the ball hits the ground, scoop it up quickly and throw it to the base-.-.-.-"

The young boy looked puzzled as he reviewed the instructions. "Dad, why can't I keep the ball? After all, I caught it."

Can you imagine the puzzled expression on Isaac's face as his father tied him and laid him on the wood for a sacrifice? Isaac was about to learn one of the greatest lessons of living a life of blessing. His father obeyed God's instructions to sacrifice his own son. He was able to do this because he trusted in God's goodness. Abraham had already tasted the Lord, and he knew He was good. He knew that whatever God told him to do would be the best thing he could do even if he did not understand the instructions. Abraham never questioned God; he only obeyed, and because he believed God knew what was best for him, his belief was counted as righteousness to him.

Abraham was willing to give his own son if this was God's requirement. He was willing to do this because he believed that God had the power to resurrect his son. He made a great faith statement to his servants: "Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you" (Gen. 22:5, KJV). As they were climbing the mountain, Isaac asked his father where the lamb for the burnt offering was. Abraham made another faith statement, "My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering"(v. 8). Abraham believed that God would provide.

Just as a young boy cannot catch or throw a ball with a closed hand, we cannot receive from or give a blessing to others with a closed hand. Only those things we give to God will be blessed. Those things we withhold from Him will never be blessed. The first step is to believe that God will provide as we are willing to give. Everything we receive in this life from the hand of our heavenly Father we must hold lightly, and we must be ready at any time to throw it heavenward by investing it in His kingdom here on earth.

Today pray with me:

Lord, help me to hold on to nothing but You today. You are all I need. Amen.

READ: Genesis 20:1-22:24; Matthew 7:15-29; Psalm 9:1-12; Proverbs 2:18-22

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