M o d u l e   1:
God's Eternal Plan

From the beginning to the end of the Bible, God reveals His plan. In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we learn of the creation of the earth and all that it contains—how God created mankind to walk with Him and have fellowship. We also learn how man disobeyed God and sinned against Him. We read the story of how man’s sin and wickedness brought on a near-total destruction of the human race. From the one righteous family that survived came a man named Abram. To this man God revealed His eternal plan.

A. The Plan Revealed to Abraham

Genesis 12:1–4a:

"The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. 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. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.' So Abram left, as the Lord had told him..."

1. What did God command Abram to do?
2. What were the actual blessings promised to Abram?
3. What was the purpose for blessing Abram?
4. How did Abram obey God?

God later repeats the blessing and purpose to Abraham and goes so far as to declare its strength with an oath (Genesis 22:15-18). Interestingly, He again repeats this promise and purpose to Abraham's son, Isaac (Genesis 26:3-5). And yet again, God proclaims the promise and purposes to Abraham's grandson, Jacob (Genesis 28:12-15).

By repeating Himself, God emphasizes the importance of the message and shows that it is His plan for each generation.

God commanded Abraham to do something. God promised blessings to Abraham and then told him the purpose for that command and blessing: that all peoples on earth would also be blessed. Then Abraham obeyed.


B. The Command of God

God gave Abram a vision of another country, a greater kingdom, and told him to go to this land that would be shown to him. To do this would mean leaving his home and everything that was familiar for the promise of something he had never seen. But this call was for a bigger, eternal purpose.

Of course God loved Abram very much. God created him. He did not ask Abram to do something harmful or bad. Since the Lord sees and understands everything, He knew what was the very best thing for Abram and for mankind. Abram was willing to trust God and obey Him. We also must trust God. When the Lord tells us to do something, we can be assured that it is for our good. God is good—all the time.

To separate yourself for God is actually the definition of the word "holy". When you became a Christian, you asked God to forgive your sins against Him and gave your life to Him. At this point you separated from sin and selfish pursuits; you became holy unto the Lord. Does He then have the right to use your life as He pleases since you have given it to Him?

Can your Lord go a step further and ask you to separate yourself, even from things that are not sinful or selfish, to further His purposes in your life and His eternal plan (as He did to Abram)?

What God asks us to do, He will enable us to do. Our King has an eternal purpose - a plan for the entire world. He showed Abram his part in that plan. He also has a specific part for you. God loves you very much and does have a wonderful plan for your life. God has a unique plan for every person.

If you can, pray: Dear God, thank You that You love me and that I can trust that You are causing things to work out for my best interest even if I don’t understand how. I do want to be a part of Your eternal plan. I separate myself from sin, selfish pursuits and anything else that keeps me from Your desires. Show me the vision that You have for my life. Amen.

C. The Blessing

The Lord told Abram that He would make him a great nation, bless him and use him to bless all the nations of the world. Can you begin to imagine how crazy it must have sounded when a 90-year-old, childless Abram told his relatives this promise as he was leaving them? How could he possibly establish a nation when he had no children? How could he and his wife possibly have children at their age? Yet God told Abram that his descendants would be as numerous as the sand and stars, and he believed. God even changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which meant "father of a multitude". People may have laughed at him then, but he had a vision; he had faith in God.

God blessed Abraham by giving him a personal relationship with Himself. He said, "I will be your God." He forgave Abraham's sin and "justified him by faith." Abraham demonstrated his faith through believing and obeying God consistently.

In Genesis 22:18a, God declares to Abraham, "...through your offspring (seed) all nations on earth will be blessed." Through one of Abraham's descendants, our sins could be forgiven and mankind could again have relationship with God. Later, in the book of Galatians (3:16), Paul reveals to us that this promised seed of Abraham is Christ Jesus! Jesus is the fulfillment of God's plan that was made known in Genesis.

History has proven that Abraham's physical family did grow to become great nations, but his primary legacy was not the nation of Israel (or even that of his other sons). The Bible says clearly that Abraham is the father of all who believe (Galatians 3:7). So we are his primary legacy! The "great nation" that God promised to Abraham now numbers more than 2 billion Christians, and all of us are heirs to those promises made so many years ago.

Personal reflection: Think about why Jesus is the greatest blessing to mankind.

While the primary act of God's love toward us was sending Jesus, He also blesses us with fullness of life here on earth. As Christians, we know that all good things come from God. There are many, many other forms of blessing we may have on earth: adequate food, clothing, shelter and even air. God has given each of us certain talents, abilities, spiritual gifts, opportunities and time. We may have some manner of good relationships, health, work and material possessions. Spiritually we can be blessed with things like peace and joy. God is good.

Action point: Write out a list, draw a picture, write a poem or a song on the blessings that God has already given to you. Pray a prayer to express your gratitude for all He has done for you.

D. The Purpose of the Blessings

Why did God bless Abraham and why does He bless us? God ended the dialogue in Genesis 12 by telling Abraham the purpose of the promised blessings:

"All peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

While it is part of God’s very nature to bless, it also is His hope that we will join in with His eternal plan. That plan is to bring the message of Jesus Christ to all of the nations of the world.

Action point: Pray and ask God to reveal His purposes to you.
Next, write out the following Scriptures:
Psalm 67:2, 7
Isaiah 49:6
Daniel 7:14
Romans 1:5
Romans 16:25-27
I John 2:1-2
Revelations 5:9

God’s desire to bless all the nations of the world is certainly not a minor part of His Word. When God repeats something, it's important! Consider that there are hundreds of Scriptures from nearly every book in the Bible referring to His heart for all nations to know Him! It is actually a very consistent theme throughout His word. There are a variety of terms you can investigate: "all nations" (or "every nation"), "all peoples" (or "every people"), "all mankind", "all creation", "all the ends of the earth", "every creature", "every knee", "every tongue", "every tribe", "every language", "all of the Gentiles", "the whole world". See Appendix A: "All Nations" Verse List.


Pray: Lord, I ask You to give me a heart for all the different peoples of the world, especially where You are yet unknown. Expand my vision. Bless me abundantly so that I might be a blessing to those who do not know Jesus. Guard my heart against the evil of greed. Help me to please You in all that I do. I want to be found faithful. Amen.

E. Obedience to God

"So Abram left, as the Lord had told him..."

Abram had a choice to obey God or not. When God told him to "leave," Abram did so. Through all situations, God is working to lead men toward His eternal purposes. However, man has free will and can choose to obey God or not.

Activity: Think about the following questions and come up with three answers for each.

1. Why should we obey God and bless the nations?

The highest and most noble reason for obeying God is because you love Him and want to bring Him joy and not pain. Another is to thank Him for what He saved us from when we asked Him to be our Lord.

God is like a good father who has adopted us into His family and gives to us generously. He does not force us to work in this family's business, but it would please Him if we did.

2. What things might keep us from obeying?

(Jesus said) "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46)
Many things can distract you from doing what the Lord asks of you. Jesus explained in His story of the sower and the seed (Matthew 13:3-23) that the word of God could be choked out by the worries of the world, love of riches, shallowness or the desire for instant fulfillment. We also can be so hard and uncaring that His word is taken from us by the evil one before it even enters our heart.


There are so many things that can block God’s purposes for your life if you let them. You can be hindered by the opinions and desires of others for your life. Your own insecurities, doubts, selfishness or lack of faith may keep God’s plan for you from being fulfilled.

3. What are the personal benefits of obeying?

When we obey and bless others, more blessing comes to us. The Bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. It also says that those who are faithful with the little that they are given will be given more. When we obey God, we will have more fulfillment. We were made for a purpose, so there is an emptiness or longing when we do not do it. And finally in heaven, the eternal city of God, those who are faithful will not only receive the approval of our Father when He says, "Well done, good and faithful servant," but they also will receive a greater reward.

Action point: Refer back to the list, drawing, poem, or song that you made on the ways that God has blessed you. Are you reflecting God's nature by blessing others with what you have been given? While it is much easier to bless those of your own nation, can you think of ways that you might use what you have to bless other nations to know Jesus Christ?

Pray: Dear God, I know that it is Your desire that all nations know You, and I want to work with You. Help me to know how to do that. Give me the courage and determination to obey You. Please guard me from the temptations that distract me from Your plan. I do want to impact eternity. Amen.