Lessons from the Life of Abraham (part 1)

LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM

PART 1: THE CALL OF ABRAHAM

(PASTOR LEE JACKSON – FFWC)

1)    INTRODUCTION – THE NAME ABRAM, WHICH WAS ABRAHAM’S NAME BEFORE GOD CHANGED IT TO ABRAHAM, MEANS EXALTED FATHER.  IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT THE STORY OF ABRAHAM IS NOT FOLK LORE. ABRAHAM LIVED ABOUT 2100 BC. MANY OF THE NAMES IN THE BRIEF GENEOLOGY OF GENESIS STILL EXIST OR ARE KNOWN TODAY AS CITIES OF THE UPPER MESOPOTAMIAN VALLEY.  WE BELIEVE THAT CITIES WERE NAMED AFTER THE EARLY SETTLERS OF THAT REGION.  THE ANCIENT ASSYRIAN RECORDS A PLACE CALLED THE “MOUND OF TERAH”.  THE CITY OF HARAN, A LAYOVER FOR ABRAHAM IN HIS TRAVELS, EXISTS TODAY.  THE UR OF THE CHALDEES, WHERE ABRAHAM BEGAN HIS JOURNEY WAS ONE OF THE WEALTHIEST CITY STATES EXCAVATED IN THAT AREA.  THE MOON GOD UR-NAMMU WAS WORSHIPED THERE.  TEXT: GEN. 12: 1 – 7 (NIV)

2)    THE CALL OF GOD IS SOVEREIGN.

A)   IT WAS ENTIRELY GOD’S WILL AND GOD’S INITIATIVE TO CALL ABRAM.

B)   I DO NOT KNOW WHAT CRITERIA GOD USES TO CALL A PERSON BUT I DO KNOW IT IS NOT OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, OUR TALENT, OR OUR PEDIGREE.

C)   GOD STILL CALLS WHOM HE WILL; IT IS HIS CHOOSING BUT IT IS OUR PRIVILEGE.

D)   IF YOU ARE HERE THIS MORNING GOD HAS CALLED YOU INTO HIS KINGDOM AND HIS SERVICE.

3)    THE CALL OF GOD REQUIRES CHANGES OUR DIRECTION, PRIORITIES AND VALUES.

A)   GOD TOLD ABRAHAM TO LEAVE SOME PEOPLE AND THINGS BEHIND:

a)    HIS COUNTRY UR OF THE CHALDEES (TERRITORY OCCUPIED BY IRAQ TODAY)

b)    HIS PEOPLE, INCLUDING HIS FATHER’S HOUSEHOLD: ABRAMS FOREBEARS WERE IDOL WORSHIPERS,

B)   GOD TOLD ABRAM TO GO TO A LAND THAT HE WOULD SHOW HIM.  FROM HEBREWS WE LEARN THAT AS ABRAM FOLLOWED GOD HE NO LONGER WAS LOOKING FOR A PLACE ON THIS EARTH BUT A CITY BUILT BY GOD.  HE WANTED TO GO AND LIVE WITH GOD.

C)   GOD STILL CALLS PEOPLE AND OFTEN REQUIRES THEM TO LEAVE THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS BEHIND.  (GOD HAS NO GRANDCHILDREN HE ONLY HAS CHILDREN.)

D)   HE CALLS US TO GO TO A PLACE THAT HE WILL SHOW US; BUT THE FINAL DESTINATION IS A PLACE CALLED HEAVEN.

E)   JESUS SAID IN JOHN 14:1 I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU AND I WILL COME AGAIN AND RECEIVE YOU ONTO MYSELF.

4)    THE CALL OF GOD IS URGENT DEMANDS OBEDIENCE.

A)   IN VERSE 4 WE SEE THAT ABRAM OBEYED GOD WITHOUT HESITATION, WITHOUT QUESTIONS.

B)   SCRIPTURE SAYS THAT ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD AND IT WAS COUNTED ONTO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

C)   OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS STILL COMES THROUGH FAITH: Rom 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. The just shall live by faith.

D)   A MAN FELT TO FOLLOW JESUS BUT HAD TO BURY HIS DEAD; JESUS TOLD HIM TO LET THE DEAD BURY THE DEAD.  WE NEVER HEARD FROM THAT MAN AGAIN.

E)   THERE WAS A RICH PHARISEE THAT WANTED TO FOLLOW CHRIST.  JESUS TOLD HIM TO SELL ALL THAT HE HAD AND GIVE IT TO THE POOR AND HE WOULD HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN.  WE ARE TOLD THAT HE WENT AWAY SAD. WE NEVER HEAR ABOUT THAT MAN AGAIN.

F)    Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

5)    THE CALL OF GOD BRINGS BLESSING.

A)   ABRAM WAS TOLD THAT GOD WOULD 1) MAKE OF HIM A GREAT NATION, 2) THAT HIS NAME WOULD BE GREAT, AND 3) THAT GOD WOULD BLESS THEM THAT BLESSED HIM AND CURSE THEM THAT CURSED HIM.

B)   GOD HAS GIVEN US AN EVEN BETTER COVENANT THEN ABRAM HAD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST:  2Co 8:9  For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

C)   Rom 9:22 – 24:  What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath–prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory– even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? (niv)

6)    CONCLUSION – Romans 4:3 “Scripture say THAT “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  FAITH IN GOD WILL produce obedience.  IN VERSE 6.

A)    ABRAM TRAVELED THROUGH THE LAND, SURVEYING THE LAND THAT GOD HAD PROMISED TO HIM AND HIS HEIRS.   HE BELIEVED WHAT GOD HAD TOLD HIM.  VERSE 6 SAYS At that time the Canaanites were in the land.  THAT DID NOT DETER ABRAM.  ABRAM KNEW THAT WHEN HIS TIME WOULD COME TO POSSESS THE LAND GOD WOULD DEAL WITH THE CANNANITES.

B)   VERSE 7 SAYS THAT ABRAM BUILD AN ALTAR ONTO THE LORD.  ABRAHAM WORSHIPED GOD.

C)   THE CALL OF GOD IS NOT FULFILLED IN OUR FRETTING AND WORRYING OVER IT BUT IN FAITH AND OBEDIENCE.  WE MAY SEE THE WICKED SEEM TO PROSPER BUT WE DON’T SEE THEIR END.

D)   Psa 37:4 – 7: DELIGHT thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.   Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

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