Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16; Romans 4:13–25; Mark 8:31–38 (read online ⧉)

We celebrate people who reach the 100-year mark (or more). Reporters will ask how they’ve lived so long, and the person will say that they never did such-and-such, or always did such-and-such, or that it is all about perspective. We are amazed at their age. Of course, we are always seeing the once who are out-and-about and doing pretty well.

If you asked any of them if they would like to have a child at their age, I’m sure they would look you as if you were crazy. Start all over again as a parent?

Yet, here God is telling Abram, now Abraham, that he was going to be a dad…again. And 90-year old Sarai, now Sarah, will bear her first child.

To top it all off, Abraham and Sarah would be the ancestors of nations! To see the proof of being ancestors to nations, Abraham and Sarah would either have to live a very long time, or they could trust God. They did live a long time, but neither saw a grandchild from their son. They could only trust God.

Trust and faith. By trusting God, God called Abraham righteous. Abraham trusted God, as God trustworthy, thus Abraham had faith that God’s promise would be fulfilled. While Abraham had a long walk in faith, there were probably many things he questioned as to God’s plan.

Peter opened up with his doubts. He “knew” that God’s plan was wrong. Jesus corrects him swiftly and with brutal honesty. Jesus then takes that and expands upon it. Jesus tells his disciples that there is a “cross” for each of us to bear. Yet it is by carrying our cross that we step in concert with God…a faithful walk.

1) Paul writes about Abraham’s faithful walk with God. Why was Paul so adamant that faith was the driving force, rather than acts? How does this inform your walk with God?

2) When you read about “picking up your cross”, what does that mean to you?

3) As we “walk to the cross” through the time of Lent, is it time for you to lay down the cross you carry now, and pick up a new one?

Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at