Lessons from the Life of Abraham (part 7)

LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF ABRAHAM

PART 7: WE LEARN TO EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED (EXPECT A MIRACLE)

( Pastor Lee Jackson FFWC)

1)    INTRODUCTION – WHEN ABRAM LEFT THE UR OF THE CALDEES HE COULD HAVE NEVER ANTICIPATED THE JOURNEY THAT WOULD FOLLOW.  THROUGHOUT THIS JOURNEY WE SEE UNSTEADY GROWTH, YET STILL GROWTH, IN ABRAHAM’S FAITH. IT SHOULD ENCOURAGE US THAT GOD THINKS LONG TERM AND DOES NOT GIVE UP ON US!

TEXT: GENESIS 17.

2)    YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD (OR TOO YOUNG, REMEMBER KING JOSIAH, AGE 16 BEGAN TO SEEK THE LORD) FOR GOD TO USE YOU (1- 6)

A)   GOD CONFIRMED HIS COVENANT WITH ABRAM

B)   GOD REMINDED ABRAM WHAT KIND OF GOD HE WAS (GOD ALL MIGHTY)

C)   GOD CHANGED ABRAM NAME TO ABRAHAM

D)   ABRAM MEANS “EXALTED FATHER”

E)   ABRAM MEANS “FATHER OF A MULTITUDE”

F)    GOD CHANGES OUR CENTRICITY.  IN THE BEGINNING IT IS ABOUT US…

G)   WHEN GOD GETS THROUGH WITH US IT IS ABOUT BECOMING A SPIRITUAL FATHER OR MOTHER TO MANY.  

H)   JESUS BROUGHT AND IS STILL BRING MANY SONS AND DAUGHTERS INTO GLORY.

3)    GOD’S COVENANT WITH US EXTENDS TO FUTURE GENERATIONS (7 – 8)

A)   IT IS AN EVERLASTING COVENANT – TO YOUR DESCENDANTS AFTER YOU AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD (8B)

B)   VS 21: “BUT MY COVENANT I WILL ESTABLISH WITH ISAAC, WHOM SARA WILL BEAR TO YOU BY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR” (THIS IS THE 1ST TIME GOD GAVE A TIME FRAME FOR ISAAC TO BE BORN)

C)   GOD’S COVENANT REQUIRES OBEDIENCE – AS FOR YOU, YOU MUST KEEP MY COVENANT AND YOUR DESCENDANTS AFTER YOU FOR GENERATIONS TO COME

 4)    THE OUTWARD SIGN OF GOD’S COVENANT WITH ABRAMHAM WAS CIRCUMCISION (9 – 14)

A)   EVERY MALE AMONG YOU MUST BE CIRCUMCISED – BEGINNING WITH ABRAHAM AND HIS HOUSEHOLD, EVEN THE ALIENS (NON JEWISH) SERVANTS AMONG THEM

B)   UNDER THE ABRAMHAMIC COVENANT, CIRCUMCISION IS A MARK IN THE FLESH DENOTING THAT THE BEARER OF THE MARK WAS IN COVENANT WITH GOD; IT ALSO SPEAKS OF BELONGING – BEING A PART OF GOD’S FAMILY

C)   UNDER THE NEW COVENANT ESTABLISHED BY JESUS IN GOING TO THE CROSS IT HAS BECOME THE CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART

D)   ANY WHO HAVE NOT RECEIVED THIS CIRCUMCISION WILL BE CUT OFF FROM GOD & HIS PEOPLE

 5)    WHEN WE WALK IN COVENANT WE CAUSE OTHERS TO BE BLESSED (15 – 16)

A)   SARAH WOULD SHARE & PARTICIPATE IN THIS BLESSING

B)   GOD ALSO HEARD ABRAMHAM’S REQUEST THAT ISHMAEL WOULD LIVE UNDER GOD’S BLESSING (20)

C)   ABOVE ALL WE REMEMBER THAT THROUGH ABRAHAM’S SEED THE MESSIAH WOULD COME AND ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH WOULD BE BLESSED.

6)    WHEN WE WALK IN COVENANT WITH GOD, GOD TAKES NOTE OF US, WE BECOME A SOMEBODY –  HE EVEN GIVES US A NEW NAME! (15 – 16)

A)   WE ALREADY MENTIONED ABRAM BEING CHANGED TO ABRAHAM, GOD ALSO NAMED JOHN THE BAPTIST, JESUS – “GOD SAVES” OR “GOD BRINGS SALVATION”, SAUL’S NAME WAS CHANGED TO PAUL.

B)   SARAI’S WAS NO LONGER TO BE CALLED SARAH, SHE WAS TO BE THE MOTHER OF MANY NATIONS

C)   Rev 3:12 (NIV) Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

 7)    GOD’S PLAN FOR US HARDLY EVER MAKES SENSE (17 – 18)

A)   WHEN GOD TOLD ABRAHAM THAT HE WAS GOING TO BLESS SARAH AND SHE WOULD HAVE A SON, ABRAHAM JUST COULDN’T HELP IT.  HE FELL DOWN LAUGHING AND SAID TO HIMSELF “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”

B)   GOD REFUSES TO BE PUT IN OUR “GOD BOX”.  HIS PLANS AND PURPOSE OFTEN ASTONISH US.   DON’T LIMIT GOD!

8)    CONCLUSION: IN CLOSING I WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT CIRCUMCISION   CIRCUMCISION INVOLVES A MARK ON THE FLESH, A CUTTING AND REMOVING OF THE FORESKIN ON THE MALE ORGAN.  WHY WOULD GOD PUT HIS MARK ON THAT PART OF THE BODY?  IN GENESIS IN THE BEGINNING, GOD TOLD ADAM AND EVE TO BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY.  GOD PUT HIS MARK ON THE MALE ORGAN INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS OF REPRODUCTION.  GOD STILL WANTS US TO BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY BUT SO OFTEN WE BREAK OUR COVENANT WITH THE WIFE OF OUR YOU.  LOVE GIVES WAY TO LUST AND PERVERSION.  INSTEAD OF CHILDREN BEING BORN INTO A LOVING PROTECTIVE, NURTURING HOME THEY ARE OFTEN ABORTED (THEIR LIVES TERMINATED), ABANDONED OR DISCARDED…. WHAT BETTER PLACE FOR THE MARK OF COVENANT.  WHEN WE MAKE COVENANT WITH GOD, THIS COVENANT PROVIDES PROTECTION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.  GOD HAS CALLED MEN TO BE THE PRIESTS OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD.  WE ARE TO LOVE OUR WIVES AS CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR IT.  SEXUAL INTERCOURSE OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE IS SIN AND SIN HAS CONSEQUENCES.  WHEN THE MARRIAGE COVENANT IS BROKEN THE CHILDREN SUFFER.  MAY GOD HELP US MEN TO HONOR HIM EXERCISING THE GIFT OF OUR SEXUALITY. 

 

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