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This Sunday I'll be preaching at Redeeming Life Church in our “By Faith” series and looking at one of the most faithful men ever to live: Abraham.
I’d like to encourage you to read through Hebrews 11:8-12, 17-19. This New Testament accounts for the highlights of Abraham’s life but if you’d like to get the full story of Abraham from the Old Testament, I’d encourage you to read Genesis chapters 12 – 22.
If you’re like me, you may have the tendency to view Abraham as a super spiritual person who accomplished all that he did because he was “special”. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Abraham was a normal human being just like me and you. Him and his wife Sarah actually make a lot of mistakes along the way (including laughing in God’s face and then lying about it – to God’s face) yet God still used them as they did their best to walk by faith in the things God commanded them to do.
Don’t miss that point: God uses people who make mistakes.
While God uses people who make mistakes (all of us) we can also learn a lot from the life of Abraham. God called him to do many incredible things and most were very difficult, confusing, and down right brutal. In short, this was Abraham's whole life!
As you read the Genesis accounts of Abraham's life, notice how he trusted God, believed God, had faith in what God promised, and moved forward in faith believing God knew what He was doing even when it didn't make sense.
While Abraham made mistakes along the way, his immediate and faithful obedience is what justifies his nickname as the "father of the faithful".
One of the timeless truths I think we can learn from Abraham's life is this: real faith will have a real cost.
Abraham experienced loss of convenience, loss of comfort, and loss of self in order to faithfully obey the commands of God. The cost for Abraham was high yet the reward was generational (Genesis 12:1-3). Abraham truly exemplified what Jesus described as "losing your life for my sake" (Luke 9:23-26) and you and I are reading his story today as a result of God's sovereignty and Abraham's faithfulness.
What is Jesus commanding you to leave behind in order to follow Him?
Are you willing to do it?
I hope you’ll have some time to read these stories and ask yourself these questions as well:
1. What are some verbs that describe your present level of faith?
2. How has your life changed as a result of your faith in God?
3. What has your faith cost you?
4. How has your faith affected your neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends that do not know Jesus?
5. What are the timeless principles, or timeless truths, from these passages about Abraham? How will you apply them this week? Are you even willing to apply them?
For the Kingdom,