Meet Sarah: The Mother of Believers (Pt 1)

Daily Devotion | Day 317

“And God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her’” (Genesis 17:15-16, NKJV).

In the Bible you will find many women of exemplary faith, each special in her own right. To name a few: Rahab, Deborah, Ruth, Naomi, Esther, Abigail, Hannah, Anna, Mary, and Elizabeth. But of these great women, only one stands as the ‘mother’ of believers (Jews and Gentiles alike). Her name is Sarah. She was the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac.

In this teaching series, we will examine Sarah’s special place within the nation of believers and draw some lessons from her life. We will start by looking at God’s promises concerning Sarah which made her the mother of the believing nation. By “believing nation” I am referring to all of Israel, i.e. the community of all who believe in Christ whether Jew or Gentile.

Before we delve into today’s passage, let us first look at what God told Abraham in the opening verses of Genesis 17. We want to juxtapose that with today’s passage. This will enable us to observe more clearly what God is saying to us about Sarah. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and said to him, “I have made you a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5). In the next verse, God continued, “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you” (v. 6).

Now let us see what God (addressing Abraham) said about Sarah. In verse 15, He changed Sarai’s name to Sarah. Then He added, “And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her” (v. 16).

Comparing what God said about Abraham with what He said about Sarah, you will notice that they are almost identical. Abraham would be the father of many nations and Sarah would be the mother of nations. Kings would come from Abraham and kings would come from Sarah as well. This makes sense.

When God chose Abraham, He chose his wife also, so that the two (as a couple) would be the father and mother of nations and kings. These “nations” and “kings” refer to multitudes of peoples from different nations who would have one thing in common: faith in Christ. This is why in heaven Jesus is praised for having redeemed us “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:8-10; see also 7:9-12). Because of their common faith in Christ, these redeemed peoples are the offspring both of Abraham and of Sarah.

God chose Abraham to be the father of believers (Romans 4:16). But for Abraham to be the legitimate father of believers, it was necessary that he become a believer himself. That is, it was imperative for him to have faith in Christ. To this end, God “preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand” (Galatians 3:8). We could, based on this text, say that Abraham was ‘the first Christian.’ He and his wife, Sarah, were the first believers. Therefore, subsequent believers would trace their line to Abraham (as their father in the faith) and to Sarah (as their mother in the faith).

We, believers, are a line of kings and priests. And Sarah is the mother of us all.

God willing, we will continue this message tomorrow. Till then, remain ‘in Sarah’: remain in faith. Amen.

For further study1 Peter 2:9-10 and Romans 4:9-25

Casting Out Demons: 101

Daily Devotional: Day 84

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’” (Acts 19:13-15, NKJV).

Acts chapter 19 tells us that Paul entered the city of Ephesus, and for several months, taught the people about Jesus Christ. While Paul was in the city, God did unusual miracles through him. At one point, even his aprons or handkerchiefs were placed on the sick and the diseases as well as demons left. Observing this extraordinary phenomenon, some Jewish exorcists decided it would be a great idea to invoke the Name of Jesus as part of their exorcism ritual. Among these were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest. Much to their chagrin, however, these seven men discovered that demons know the difference between authorized use of Jesus’ Name and unauthorized use of the Name.

One day, the seven men wanted to cast out an evil spirit by invoking the Jesus preached by Paul. But the evil spirit was quick to call them out, saying: “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” The evil spirit subsequently charged on them and gave them a thorough beating. Lesson: Evil spirits are not ignorant of our spiritual standing and our spiritual authority in Christ. They can tell a true Christian when they meet one. Every true Christian has, by default, the spiritual authority to command evil spirits to flee (see James 4:7). However, when a false believer uses Jesus’ Name for exorcism, he does so illegally, because his action is not backed by a faith-relationship with Jesus Christ.

As a child of God, if you must cast out demons, you are not allowed to appeal to the faith of Paul, or the faith of your pastor, or the faith of any other person, dead or alive. The only name you are authorized to invoke is Jesus. And this is the Name demons will obey without question. To command evil spirits to depart, stand in the authority of Jesus’ Name and speak for yourself as a believer. This is casting out demons: 101.

Confess:

In the Name of Jesus, every demonic activity in my life, I command you to cease. And I forbid you, satan, from manipulating my life. Amen.

For further study:  Luke 10:17-20