God Keeps His Promises

God promises us redemption, righteousness, new life, freedom from sin and death, justification, His never-failing presence, adoption as His children, deliverance from the anguish and torment of hell, the Spirit with its gifts and fruits, and a new and better life now and for eternity in a new and better body on a new and better earth.

Four things stand out as we look at our Bible reading today. First, God keeps His promises. Second, God develops patience and trust. Third, God reveals His power. And fourth, God accomplishes His purposes.

  • God Keeps His Promises
    • The promise of a son was at first very general and became more and more specific after Abraham’s call. 
      • In the first three recorded instances, for example, God merely promised Abraham many descendants (Gen 12:2; 12:7; 13:16). In the fourth and following instances, however, the promise becomes far more specific: “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son” (Gen 18:10).
    • The birth of Isaac involved much more than parental joy. 
      • His birth meant the fulfillment of God’s promise. In Scripture, it is recorded that God comforted Abraham and Sarah eight times with the promise of a son.
    • Sarah had borne the burden of childlessness for many years, a heavy burden in that culture and at that time. 
      • People must have smiled when they heard that her husband’s name was Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude.” He was the father of one son, Ishmael, but that was far from a multitude. 
      • As for Sarah herself, she had never given birth. No words can express her feelings of frustration, hopelessness, and helplessness. 
      • Only another childless woman can know what she went through all those years. But now all of her reproaches were ended, and they were rejoicing and laughing at the arrival of their son. 
    • This childless couple must have discussed the promise nearly every night.
      • I suspect hardly a moment passed without them thinking about it. And, I am sure, most nights they dreamed about the promised child.
    • (Ge 21:1) And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
      • The Hebrew word translated as “gracious” can also be translated as “visited.” The Lord visited with Sarah.
      • After years and years of waiting, the Lord visited with Sarah. And He did for Sarah what He promised (Gen 21:1). 
      • To make sure we don’t miss the point of this sentence, Moses tells us Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age (Gen 21:2).
    • Make no mistake about this: the child to be born to them was the child of the promise.
      • All of God’s wondrous covenant promises to Abraham were bound up in this promised child.
  • God Develops Patience and Trust
    • Way back in the Garden of Eden already God promised that the woman’s seed would crush the serpent (Gen 3:15). 
      • At first, with Eve, it is hoped that Cain is the promised seed who would destroy the serpent. 
      • Remember how Eve thought, hoped, and prayed that Cain whom she brought forth was going to crush the serpent’s head and undo the damage done in the Garden? 
      • When Cain killed Abel, it was discovered Eve was flat out wrong in thinking this.
    • In Genesis 12, it is expected the Lord will fulfill His promise through Abraham.
      •  But the suspense only intensifies. The patriarch jeopardizes his family in Egypt (Gen 12:10-20), fathers a son who will not be his heir (Gen 16), and then finally risks having Sarah bear a son with another man (Gen 20).
      • Just like a good book or movie, you start to think; “Lord, are you ever going to keep your promise of the promised seed?”
    • Do you remember how long Abraham and Sarah waited for God’s promise to be fulfilled? 
      • Twenty-five years they waited. Twenty-five years have passed since Abraham was called by God. It has now been twenty-five years since Abraham and Sarah left Haran.
    • Trusting God’s promises not only gives you a blessing at the end, but it gives you a blessing while you are waiting.
      • Just as athletes develop their skills as they practice hard long before the big event, so God’s children grow in godliness and faith as they wait for the fulfillment of God’s promises.
      • Faith is a journey, and none of us know how long is the journey, where the journey will take us, or what difficulties we will face along the way. 
      • God wants to build our patience and trust, SO He gives us promises.
    • We like the promises that I read first.
      • Redemption, righteousness, new life, freedom from sin and death, justification, His never-failing presence, adoption as His children, deliverance from the anguish and torment of hell, and the like.
      • But we tend to neglect the whole counsel of God. We like the Burger King mentality. Have it your way. Listen!
      • (Jn.15:20.) Jesus said:  They persecuted Him, they ARE going to persecute you. Paul said it like this. (2Ti 3:12) Yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
      • (Php 1:29) For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; what about Peters words: (1Pe 3:14) But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.
    • James told why this also is important. 
      • (Jas 1:3-4) Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (4) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
    • God loves you like you are. But He loves you too much to leave you that way.
      • God is not making you into churchgoers.
      •  He is fashioning you into THE CHURCH by conforming you to the very image of His Son Jesus THE Christ.
    • If you remember, Abraham had problems with trusting God.
      •  At least, he had problems with trusting God completely. He thought, more than once, that God needed his help.
      •  So, instead of trusting in God’s protection, he lied two times about his relationship with Sarah (Gen 12 & 20). So, instead, of trusting in God’s promise about a son, he tried to make a servant his heir (Gen 15:2) and had a son with another woman (Gen 16).
      •  God had to take him over the same hurdles again and again until he learned that God did not need his help. Abraham’s strategies were always getting him into trouble, but God’s faithfulness dug him out each time.
    • How many times don’t we think and act exactly the same as Abraham?
      •  How many times don’t we try to help the Almighty? 
      • God’s promise is that salvation is by grace and through faith but we think we need to earn salvation. 
      • God’s promise is that He builds the church and the kingdom, but we act like it is completely up to us. 
      • God’s promise is that He hears and answers prayer, but we neglect prayer because we think we can do it on our own.
    • Does God have you on the here we go again plan? 
      • Try trusting Him this time.
  • God Reveals His Power
    • (Ge 18:10-11) And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. (11) Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
      • God didn’t just impregnate a woman but listen: (Heb 11:11-12) Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a child when she was past age because she judged him faithful who had promised. (12) Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
    • Both Abe and Sarah’s body was not able to produce, carry, and deliver a child. He did the miraculous
      • Remember God’s response to Abraham? (Ge 18:14) Is anything too hard for the LORD? 
  • God Accomplishes His Purposes (Pr 19:21) There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
    • This crazy messed up, mixed-up time that we are living in has not derailed or dismantled God’s plan.
      • God promised Abraham and Sarah a child
    • He did not do things the way we presumed,
      • but He did it spectacularly 
    • God’s still completing His purposes.
      • He has a plan for New Hope. He has a plan for you.
      • (Pr 24:10) If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small
    • We need to remember: (Ge 18:14) Is anything too hard for the LORD? 

Abraham A Good Start

(Genesis 20: 1-13)

We saw though he had a good start there was still a lot of work to be done in his life. He stepped out in faith simply on God’s word. (A plus)Then when Abram came to this land that God had promised, because he was doing what God had told him to do, he probably didn’t expect to encounter such obstacles as famine or enemies. (A test)What we find with Abraham instead of following God and His plan, he relied on what he learned as a pagan idol worshipper. Do it yourself. (A failure)

Forsaking the path of faith, for whatever reason, always brings its own complications. There is no knowing how low a saint will sink when he is out of touch with God. 

Through the Gospels, you will find example after example where Jesus will put people in a position where they must choose. All of us here are going to make a choice today. Many of you including myself God has been intimately pursuing you. Some are becoming better.  Letting God strip away the things that camouflage themselves as good and Godly. Some seem to become bitter. Holding on with a tenacious spirit the desire to be right instead of righteous. To be heard instead of Holy. To be brash instead of broken. 

Still, we choose which way we want to go.

In our scripture today we find Abraham choosing.

  • The rerun. Unbelief 
    • (V2) don’t know for sure why he journeyed south but did. 
    • No matter how you cut it up, no matter how you justify it, the issue that arises in Abraham’s life still boils down to unbelief. Jesus had some hard words for the sin of unbelief, using what we spoke about last week.
      • (Mt 10:14-15) And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. (15) Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
      • Unbelief is the foundation that all disobedience is built on.
    • The problem for us is the same as Abraham. We like what we see as the easy way. We don’t really want to trust God and wait and rely on Him.
      • We speculate and figure out all the different ways we can afford to carry on without faith. Here at church, at work, in our homes.
    • How many when it comes to our church finance have already thought; what if we cut this out, don’t have this, and do away with that?
      •  Then how many have done what God has already told us to do. Witness and live in such a way that God brings others in not that we cut things but actually add things?
      • You know why this is not appealing to some? You think we’re doing too much already because it is cutting into your world time, or making you feel guilty.
      • Many of us have been greatly impacted by the less is more movement found in our churches today. What I mean is many self-professing believers only want to invest and spend a minimum amount of time doing things with the church. Mainly because it interferes with their real life.  
    • When we fail to believe God it always brings confusion and despair.
      • (Pr 3:1-2) ¶ My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: (2) For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 
      • I have used this on several occasions. When we believe God, He adds to us length of days. Time to get done what needs to get done, time to enjoy this life.
      • He also adds to us long life. Time on top of time to enjoy the blessings He gives.
      • But you have to trust Him and His word to get this.
    • In Abe’s life, the fear came from a false sense of righteous discernment, which generated unbelief.
      •  Look in verse (V11). Is this not the pot calling the kettle black? 
      • Here was Abraham lying or worse partial truth, and once again bringing his wife down with him and thinking this king and his subjects were acting ungodly.
      • Religious pride is what kept the leaders in Jesus’s day from seeing and receiving the blessing and it is the same today. 
    • (Pr 3:3-4) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: (4) So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
      • You can only show mercy if you have received it. You can only share the truth if you know it.
  • The repeat. God’s plan of action.
    • Before God delivered fully on the promise of a son, He brought Abraham back to an issue he faced earlier on in his journeys. 
      • The first time this couple went south so did their testimony. It was the lack of trusting God that sent them and the lack of trusting God that got them in trouble with the Pharaoh.  
      • Now God was allowing him to be back in the same situation. 
      • A time to choose.
    • Seems often like many a believer comes to the point in their life they feel they can coast. They’ve taught, preached, studied, and led. They have sung, served, sacrificed, and suffered. 
      • For the believer, we cannot coast for one minute. We will have all of eternity to rest and relish the victories, but only this short life to work and win them.   
    • There are those here who God has dealt mercifully with you on areas of sin in your life. It might be in the area of pride, selfishness, lust, greed, etc. but you are still being hounded by the same ole thing.
      •  A time to choose.
      • God has so much more in store for you. Not that He hasn’t done and is doing far more than you deserve but like as was recorded of Jesus’ hometown folks. (Mt 13:58) And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Oswald Chambers said “ if we really believed that God meant what He said, just imagine what we would be like! Do I really dare to let God be to me all that He will be?

Are you here with some unfinished business?

  • Many of us have been raised or raised our own young’uns with the gathering of the body, the church is important unless it conflicts with what I want to do mentality.

All Things Are Justifiable

(Genesis 19)

When we start reading this chapter it doesn’t take long until we are standing there in utter amazement. Did I just read what I thought I read? Is that really in the bible?

Before we started protecting ourselves from God, becoming divine interpreters, making God’s word not so offensive, intolerant, and more palatable for our self-righteous soul. God said things plainly. Didn’t leave things to chance, guess, or maybes.

In this “in your face” chapter of the Living Word of God, He lays it out flat. What is the world without God? Let’s see.

Read. Gen 19.

Where it is easy for us to get caught up in the vile wretchedness of this account in history, the main point is not about how sinful people were as much as what happens when a righteous man falls.

(Pr 25:26) A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

When we recall the events leading us here, it is evident, though Lot was influenced by a great follower of The One True God, he chose the generic brand of walk instead of The Real Thing. It cost him. oooohhhh did it cost him.

  • A justifiable journey.
    • In (Chp.13, V10) he sees the plain of Jorden as the garden of God(Eden) and as Egypt.
      • It is clear because he has been subjected to the lifestyle of the Egyptians he has developed a taste for it.
      • Though Lot has left Egypt. Egypt hasn’t left Lot.
    • (v12)  we read, “He pitched his tent toward Sodom.” 
      • It is a dangerous thing to pitch your tent toward Sodom.
      •  In the next verse, we read: (Ge 13:13) But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
    • We somehow have a strange attraction toward sin. 
      • We find it rather fascinating. There is a dangerous curiosity about evil.
    • There are always those who like to play with fire and hope that they will not get burned.
      • They like to live on the edge.
      • Their goal is to see how close they can live to the world and still maintain their fellowship with the Lord.
      • Ask them and they will say they are fine.
      • The scripture warns us: (JAMES 4:4) That the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
    • The next time we see Lot, he is living in Sodom.
      • As in the Psalm, (1:1) it so often begins with walking in the counsel of the ungodly, then moves on to standing in the way with sinners, and finally, you are sitting in the seat of the scornful.
      • Once you turn and begin to move in the direction of Sodom, it always seems to be progressive.
  •  A justifiable jump.
    • And Lot had become a leader in the community, serving as a judge. What a position to influence people. Right?
      • Being a righteous man, a moral man. Being influenced in how to be a man, You’d think this would have a happy ending. But it doesn’t.
    • Remember? Abraham, out of concern for Lot and his family, eventually convinced the Lord that if He could find 10 righteous people in the city of Sodom.
      • The odds were stacked in Sodom’s favor. 
      • After all, Lot and his family were there. We know he had a wife and two daughters, who were engaged to be married. So…there’s six right there. 
      • Surely he had enough influence on the people around him that God would be able to find just four more righteous people in the entire city of Sodom.
    • But instead of being an influence, changing the culture from the inside out by being a powerful dose of salt and light…
      • Lot and his family allowed the sinfulness of the community around them to influence them. 
    • Lot and his family were in a position of influence.
      • (Ps 75:6-7) For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. (7) But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
      • But instead of living a life of holiness in the midst of sinfulness, they chose to allow the corruption to taint their own lives as well.
      • To bring them down. 
  • Justifiable grace.
    • Whereas God would have been justified in destroying Lot and his family along with the rest.
      • (Mt 5:13) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
    • The Almighty showed mercy, grace justified. 
      • Just as if it never happened.
    • We were doomed to the same fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. 
      • But God, The Almighty, has shown us grace, mercy.
    • When Jesus came to give Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, He came to rescue us from the destructive paths that we were on. 
      • Like Lot and his family, we, too, had pitched our tents within the city limits of the wicked.
      • And that sinful choice demands judgment. It demands punishment. It demands death.
      • We were doomed to the same fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. 
    • But God has given us an escape route through Jesus. 
      • He has invited us into a life that is full of hope and joy and peace and abundance. 
    • It’s a journey.
      • It’s a journey away from the things that are not of God. It’s a journey of holiness. It’s a journey of becoming more and more like Him as we draw closer and closer to Him.
      • Even in this crazy time we are living, God has amazing things ahead of us. He has amazing things He wants to do to us, in us, and through us – right here, right now…and in the future, too.
    • Make NO mistake. Jesus reminds us( Lu 9:62) And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.    
      • We cannot drag our feet. We cannot turn back and secretly long for the lifestyle we once had before we came to know Him. 
      • We must put all of that behind us and move away from it. 
      • That’s why Jesus Christ came to die for us – He came to put that past behind us.

Throughout the story of the people of God as displayed in the Old Testament, we see time and time again how when things got a little bit tough, they started to wonder what might have been if they’d stayed where they were. 

  • Let me tell you: 
    • God loves you where you are. But He doesn’t want to leave you there.
    • He wants to shape you and make you into the person He has planned for you to be since the dawn of creation.
    •  He has amazing things He wants to accomplish through you, good works, which He has prepared for you in advance.
    • But you can only reach the potential that God has envisioned for you if you leave that past life.
      • The one of sinful choices and destructive, self-centered decisions and turn and trust Jesus. Don’t hesitate.

A Praying Man

(Gen.18 )                                                        (James 5:16-18) 

The time comes in History of all places like Sodom when God decides to act. America is in and has been in that position even as we speak. Before proceeding against Sodom God took Abraham into His confidence and revealed to His servant a new line of truth, apocalyptic truth, the truth concerning the impending overthrow of an utterly vile civilization.

The revelation of this truth was an interesting test of Abraham’s growth in grace and his increase in the knowledge and trust of God. How would a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society?

Jonah, when faced with apocalyptic truth was glad. He pondered the impending doom of Nineveh with glee, determined to do nothing. Jesus faced apocalyptic truth with tears as he could envision Jerusalem within a generation. Here; faced with apocalyptic truth, Abraham prayed.

  • Prayers position.
    • (V2) the wording here implies one moment there was nothing and the next, three men were there.
    • Notice there was no slothfulness on Abrahams’s part. ( Pr 3:27) ¶ Withhold not good from them to whom it is due when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.   
      • He seen an opportunity and acted upon it, and was rewarded.
      • We too often spend more time worrying about getting taken, or someone else has more to give, or even I have done my share its time someone else carries their weight, that we miss out on great opportunities to serve.
      • He made haste, he didn’t confer with others, and he put himself into a position to serve. He bowed himself. Laid prostrate before Him.
  • The preparation of prayer.
    • Abraham put himself in the way of God. He saw where He was and went to Him. Now he is planning on getting to know Him. Not just more about Him but know Him.
      • He calls out to his bride for help.
    • Now I feel that because of the twisted wicked world that has so invaded our minds there could be those who scoff at the idea of imposing on Sarah like this and those who twist Sarah’s part in this
      • Notice the transaction between this Godly man and his loving wife.
      • Abraham didn’t lay all the work on her. He didn’t feel he had more important things to do. He took care of the majority of the preparation of the meal. Why? It was his guest.
    • This is a major part of who this man of God was. Peter wrote of it ; (1Pe 3:7) Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
      • He led his household, by example.
      • The preparation of his prayer life started long before these men showed up in his front yard.
    • Abraham set aside a specific time, made preparation, saw to it himself, then reeled in the benefits that come from knowing God.
    • The Lord not only reminds him of the promise, the covenant He has made with him but now shares with Abraham an apocalyptic truth.
  • The petition or accountability of prayer
    • How does a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society? He prays.
    •  It is the first solemn prayer we have upon record in the Bible, and it is a prayer for the sparing of Sodom.
      •  Abraham, no doubt, greatly abhorred the wickedness of the Sodomites; he would not have lived among them, as Lot did, even if they would have given him the best estate in their country; and yet he prayed earnestly for them. 
      • (2Pe 3:9) ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
      • Though sin is to be hated, sinners are to be pitied and prayed for. God delights not in their death, nor should we.
    • So what is it with this man that God would share with him something like this?
      • We are told in the bible that he is known as a man of faith, he was called the friend of God(Jas.2:23) and we also know that no one pleases God except by faith. (Heb.11:6)
    • Hey did you know that as born-again believers that is exactly what we are known as? People of faith. (Eph 2:8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:    Did you also know we are known as Christ friends? (Jn 15:15)
      • Did it ever dawn on you just like Abraham God has given use apocalyptic truth?
  • The petition or accountability of the church in prayer.
    • How does a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society?
      • Well, maybe we should take Abraham’s example.
    • God has shared with us through many different passages of scripture the outcome. Those who continue to rebel against God and choose to serve sin will be forever damned.
      • He has warned us that a day is fast approaching when the church will be taken up or raptured. Then hell on earth is the only way to describe future events.
    • Abraham made haste. He didn’t wait around but went to the Lord. He prepared his heart by living what he believed. Then he faithfully petitioned the Lord.
    • The Lord kept his promise. Those who would listen he saved. 
  • Daddy’s letter.
    • How far have you gone? How much have you done with this knowledge of impending destruction?
    • How do you have to hate someone to hold back this truth?

Covenant

Genesis 15

We have just left off where Abram had rescued his nephew and all the other captives. God had strengthen him with the visit from King Melchizedek, for he knew the temptation that was to come from the king of Sodom.

One thing noteworthy here is this. God never tempts us with evil, but He does try us or put us through trials to strengthen our faith.

Over the last decade or so it has become more prevalent in my eyes the sissifying of our nation. It is difficult to find people with dogmatic grit. It is increasingly hard to locate men or women with a drive and determination not to just do something but give their best. Men and women, who push their children to excel, who push each other to continue to grow, to better themselves. This trend has invaded Christianity.

We feel if we get through one trail then we should be able to coast for a spell. Here is a news flash, God doesn’t follow trends. 

God is interested in making us the best, conforming us to the very image of His Son Jesus. He keeps pushing us, driving us to succeed, by trusting Him, relying on Him, knowing Him.

Look at Abram. A great battle had been won, a lot of fanfare, getting to worship with the King of Salem. Then all goes quiet. It is here that the battle begins. Our mind starts going into overdrive. 

We see Lot after being rescued going right back where he came from. One of the most depressing, heartbreaking, devastating things for a pastor is watching those whom God delivered out of slavery going back into it.

Abrams thinking about all these things, Lot and his family, showing the other tribes his military strength, and we come to the 15th chapter.

  • God’s call. (V1)
    • This is really comforting. Note He did not say hey you, didn’t do some spectacular flash, simply called him by name.
      • Many today speak of God having their number I am here to tell you God has your name.
    • The God of all creation, the God who holds your life in His hands, the God who is and was and is to come knows your name!
      • He is personal. He is intimate. He is interested in you.
    • Listen. Teenagers, so often it is all about being accepted by others having a friend, needing company.
      •  God knows all about it. You can trust Him, He hears your heart, He knows your need, and He cares to give you the best.
      • Quit settling for seconds. Quit compromising to be liked. Quit listening to those who want you to lower your standards because they don’t have the grit to raise theirs.
    • God called him by name and God came to him.
      • From the time of the garden where God came and walked in the cool of the day till now. He still searches us out, pursues us, and calls us.
      • He doesn’t have to, He is not in need of companionship, He wants to, He loves you, He desires to invest in you.
    • Today God is calling you. 
      • You who are in need of a Savior, you who needs to be committed to what you gave to Him. You, who are broken and in need of healing, God is calling you. 
  • Abrams cry. (V2-3) Remembering as we look at Abrams life we see a perfect picture of the life of the believer. Listen to what he says in Verses 2-3.
    • Doesn’t really sound like someone who just had a great victory or does it?
      • How many times have we left our quiet time, a Sunday service, an encounter with our Holy God only to have something from our past or someone close rain on our parade?
    • Abram is just like us, he quickly forgets it is only by God’s grace and mercy we rise up or are sat down.
      • He is not blaming Sari, he’s not blaming God. He is placing the blame on himself. (v2) I go childless.
      • Now in our sinful hard heart, we see this as a good sign of humility.
      •  In truth, just like when we do it is a sure sign of pride. 
    • Most of us think, in spite of all the scripture that points otherwise, believe we earn God’s grace.
      • Proof; The reason good things happen is because of our faithfulness and bad things are because of our wickedness.
      • Don’t want to belabor this so here is one scripture that sums it up : (Lu 17:10) So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
    • If, if, if we have done all we were commanded to do we still haven’t done enough to earn God’s favor.
      •  Pride tells us we aren’t that bad, we have done enough, we deserve more…
      • We don’t serve God, do good works to earn anything we should do it out of gratefulness, hence why we pick and choose what we like and don’t like; was not very grateful.
    • Abram was depressed, distressed, discouraged. 
      • God answered him; this is not going to be your heir, count the stars if you can, so shall your kindred be.
      • Abram asked for a sign, something to hold on to during times of discouragement.
      • God gave him some directives to which he obeyed, “obedience is better than sacrifice”. He set up the sacrifice and waited.
  • God’s covenant.
    • God revealed to Abram what He intended. He let him in on the past, present, future.
      • After telling Abram what He designed, He gave him a picture, a visual to recall.
    • Smoking furnace: cannot help but think of the Nazis during WWII.
      • The suffering and the humiliation the Jewish people endured. And now those who don’t want to acknowledge God neither want to acknowledge this great tragedy.
      • This smoking furnace was a symbol of the affliction the Jews would suffer because of their unbelief, their rebelliousness, their ungratefulness, at the hands of the Egyptians.  
    • The burning lamp was also symbolic:  
      • The burning lamp denotes comfort in this affliction; and this God showed to Abram, at the same time that he showed him the smoking furnace. 
      • Also Light denotes deliverance out of the furnace; their salvation was as a lamp that burneth, (Isa 62:1.) When God came down to deliver them, he appeared in a bush that burned and was not consumed.
    • (18) is a key part of this transaction.
      • The wording is very important. In (v7) God is reminding Abram what he had already promised him earlier. (Ge 15:7) ¶ And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 
      • (v 18) the wording is changed. “Unto thy seed has I given this land.”
      • It is a done deal.
  • God’s covenant with us. Remember where I told you that today God is calling you. You who are in need of a Savior, you who needs to be committed to what you gave to Him, you who are broken and in need of healing, God is calling you.  Not going all theological though it is a great study. Listen.
    • (Joh 14:23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
      • How does He do this?
    • (Joh 14:26-25) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
      • God loves you. Really! His is not a false promise, empty words. It is a covenant sign with the blood of Jesus
    • Eternal life does not start after we pass from this life to the next.
      • Our Lord’s half-brother John said. (1Jo 3:14) ¶ We know that we have passed from death unto life…
      • Have passed. Without Jesus, you’re not living your just surviving.
      • He even gives a sure sign that you are living eternal life. … because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
    • God made it simple. John 3:16

  Separated Not Secluded

                                                               

(Genesis 14:13-14)

Balance is the key to living a productive, blessed, exciting life as a follower of the Most High God.

We are; because of the transgression of our grandparents in the garden, given over to a lop-sided mentality.

We find it hard not to lean one way or the other. When it comes to our relationship with God it is no different. You find those who are against everything traditional and those who are against everything new. We find those who are so caught up in the spiritual side of things that they are spooky and those so caught up in the material side of things that they are worldly.

As we have used Abrams life as a reflection of the Christian walk, we have already seen the good the bad and the ugly. As we continue to observe the life of this man of God we see a balance based on, not tradition, morals, or own ideas, but on serving a Holy God.

  • Separated not secluded. (V13)
    • This is one of the hardest practices of the believer. Because of our addictions, our attractions, there might need to be a time period of seclusion. 
      • (Matt.10:16) Jesus told us to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.
    • It is not wise for an alcoholic to go into a place where drinking is prominent. Can they go in and not take part? Yes. Is it smart? No!
      • No different for the druggie, the womanizer, or the glutton. 
    • But as a general rule in our day-in and day-out living, God didn’t expect us to be isolated but insulated.
      • Jesus’ example is He went down into the valleys to teach and reach, then withdrew Himself with His disciples. Too many of us are going into the world with very little time invested in the things of God and find ourselves drowning. 
      • We don’t see the importance of fellowshipping with those whom you joined in a covenant relationship of this congregation, so we don’t gather that strength and support then go out among our old friends who are still enslaved with our old ways and we find ourselves struggling to maintain and often caving in and slipping back into the imprisonment of sin.
    • Abram had made a confederacy with some of the Amorites. He knew of the first raids (V7) and was attune to this last invasion. He had a mass herd of cattle, sheep, and things that invading army’s like to pilfer, so he was concerned.
    • It is the same with Sodom. He knew and detested what they stood for. His separation from their politics, pleasures, and principles, and even people kept him protected from them but he in no way pretended they didn’t exist.
      • He had a heavy heart for them. He had already lost a nephew to their immorality. 
      • When word came to him his nephew was taken captive Abram went into action.
      • Where was Lot his nephew? Living down in Sodom.
  • Deceived and deluded.
    • At last look, we saw Lot taking the good land near the Jordan. We took note that he pitched his tent toward Sodom. He didn’t go to Sodom, at first probably even talked about how wicked they were and looked down upon them in public while in private longed to participate or see what it was really like in this wild and wicked place.
      • When once your heart gets full of the world it isn’t long before your feet follow. 
      • (Pr 4:23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
      • Lot was playing with sin. He thought he could just dabble a little. So has everyone, whom sin has stolen away from their life.
    • Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, looked toward Sodom, and then dwelt in Sodom.
      • You can almost hear the new and improved Lot. I don’t want to be like my stuffy uncle. I feel we cannot; only live around them but live among them. I am not going to make my children go to church, if they don’t want to participate then they don’t have to. On and on.
      • When once we get down in the mire we have to justify our surroundings.
      •  Sin hardens our hearts that we are no longer sensitive to the prodding of the Holy Spirit. It blinds our eyes so that we cannot see its grip on our lives. It deafens our ears that we cannot hear the voice of God warning us, calling us pleading with us not to go.
      • A little later we see where Abram rescues his nephew but instead of seeing where he had fallen to, he goes back to the same ole song.
    • Don’t know if a nagging wife was to blame? Maybe it was the smell of money to be made. Could have been the worldly need of his children.
      • Like Lot, there are a lot of men today who won’t trust God with issues because they don’t want to hear it, don’t want to argue, don’t want the fuss.
      • (Pr 27:15) ¶ A continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
      • In today’s fallen world where there are many effeminate men, it goes both ways. A wimpy whinny husband is like a dreary nasty day. They both wear on you.
    • One of the greatest travesties of today is watching men succumb to family pressure.
      • They are supposed to be leading them. Not by pushing, shoving, bullying, but by being out in front, helping them see where God is at work and where they are needed.
      • They are the ones who are supposed to be praying and seeking God’s face as to wear to worship and what to get involved in. Praying with and for their children, their wife, being confident because of their relationship with God they are right smack dab in the middle of His will.
    • I pray to God for men who love their wives as Christ loves the church, for daddy’s who love their children enough to face the hard issues of raising devoted, sold out, followers of Jesus, instead of partying, playing, half-hearted, selfish sissies who jump here and there wherever the crowd is greater.  
      • May I ad I am thankful we have many of the right ones here.
  • Tempted but devoted. As in the life of the Christian after every victory, Satan slithers in with something seductive to steal away God’s peace and joy
    • Abram didn’t have an army he had servants. But if God is for us who can be against us. Abram came, saw, and took names. It was an overwhelming victory. Emotions were high, excitement filled the sky. And (V21).
      • In the flesh, Abram could have said “well God is blessing me, I deserve this and more.” But instead, we have (V22-23)
      • He was looking ahead.
    • God had provided Abram with a time of strengthening with the King of Salem.
      • You might say why did he need strengthening he had just won a victory? Because that is when we get self-sufficient, boastful and pride raises its ugly head.
    • (1Co 10:13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
      • God provided for Abram, He will provide for you.  Abram was able to see the provision because his heart, eyes, and ears were attuned to God. He had separated himself from the ways of the world but did not seclude himself so that he could still be used.
    • God is wanting to use you. In the youth group, in the music ministry, on the football field. In the band, at the office, in the board room.
      • If we keep hiding our face we are not impacting but being impacted.

Link to the sermon preached on 7/4/21 via Facebook live.

A Bunch from Abram

(Genesis 13:5-9)

Last week we took time to discover a fatherly lesson from Lot. A lesson in what not to do. I would like to camp here one more day and look at a bunch of what to do’s from Abram.

We have been looking at the life of Abram and how it relates to the Christian walk. We have seen how he started out with a handicap to begin with which we will see come back and be a sore spot a little later. 

We were privy to an event in Abrams life where he didn’t trust God with his new life and fell back on his old ways which produced some serious and embarrassing issues. 

Here in the 13th chapter thankfully we see him returning to where he abandoned God’s truth. When it comes to restoring the passion in your life there are some things you must do.

Remember, repent and return. This is where we find Abram today in the process of restoring the passion. It is here we are able to look in and see how the mind of a spiritual man functions.

Remember the sore spot I spoke about, the one Abram thought he had to hang on to? Well it’s beginning to fester.

And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.

And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.

And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.

Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Genesis 13:5-9
  • Worrying circumstances.
    • We all have them, sometimes its marriage, sometimes its sickness, financial, family. Most of the time it’s a combination of theses and others. Having issues in life is not always a sign of our failure as it is life.
      • How we go about handling these issues is a different matter.
    • God’s word is full of directives here.

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 55:22

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Matthew 6:25

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

1 Peter 5:7

    • God’s word never contradicts itself.
      •  This is in no way shape or form, saying don’t work or provide but is speaking of trusting God. Don’t place priority on these worldly things. 
      • It is best expressed when He states:  (Mt 6:33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
    • Here in our scripture we find a good problem but none the less a problem.
      • God had richly blessed these two men and it had become too much for the land to bare.
  • We saw why and what a carnal man decided last week.
    • Because Lot was: Weak in his devotions, Worldly in his desires. He was:
  • Wrong decisions: 
    • A person who is weak in their devotion, worldly in their desires, is going to be wrong in their decisions. 
      • The next thing we see in Lot’s life is he set his tent towards Sodom. Very important to see this. He didn’t start off in Sodom just let it occupy his mind. It won’t be long before he is right in the midst of it.

So today what would one who trusted God do?

  • A divine resolution. A spiritual man’s approach to life.
    • An old cliché’: We most often hear “don’t just stand there do something.” But when it comes to God’s word we most often see “don’t just do something stand there.”
      • Abram had been promised by God that this was going to be his land. He could have stood for his rights and demanded that Lot go find his own land.
      • His reaction to the problem at hand was: wait. He had learned all too well what happens when a child of God takes matters into his own hand. A lesson that will be repeated in his life.
      • When confronted with worrying circumstances that seemed to be crying out for immediate action he waited. He was sure God would soon make his way clear.
    • An old sore. Abram made Lot a problem of his own choosing. God had specifically told hold him to leave his father’s house and kindred.
      • That one thing he held on to that he thought he needed or thought he was being a help to was now starting to demand attention.
      • They always do.  Abram was now learning how to deal with things God’s way. 
      • The first thing we see as a spiritual man Abram surrenders his personal rights.
    • He deals with spiritual directness.
      • Look at the wording in verse 8: between me and thee. He named himself first as though he was the cause of the trouble.
      • He came directly to the point and called the problem what it was strife. He wasn’t giving the devil any room to run.  
      • He wasn’t willing to give God a bad name in front of their wicked neighbors. (V.7)
    • He dealt with spiritual discernment.
      • “We are brethren,” the things that unite us are far more important than the things that divide us.
      • Would to God we as believers could reach that point in our spiritual journey.
    • He dealt with spiritual dignity:
      • Sovereignly he was the stronger. Socially he was the senior. Spiritually he was the securer.
      • Abram put aside his rights and let Lot choose. He took whatever was left. Why do you ask? Because his confidence was not in a land or an economy but God.
  • Whose does your thought pattern resemble? The carnal or the spiritual?
    • As born-again believers, the bible tells us: Ro 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
      • Lot filled his mind with the things of this world. His lifestyle and decisions suffered for it. 
      • God blessed Abram. Where the world would have called him a fool for giving up the good land. God had a better plan.
    • He has a better plan for you if you will trust Him.

The Family Unit

(Gen.1:26-28),

(Gen.2:18,21-24)

(Gen. 4)

We have seen the first created human beings becoming parents and raisng young’uns. A little while in this thing called life we see one becoming a murder. One being murdered. One turning to God.

We live in a society today that has little regard for the honor and sanctity of marriage as God designed it. In an effort to undermine the sacred values in which this great nation was founded on; Satan has made an all-out attack on the family. It is evidenced in the number of divorces among Christian families, the number of those who feel cohabitation is alright under certain circumstances. It is evidenced in the way God’s people have failed to esteem the lofty position of marriage and family due to compromise.

So the question is this. Is marriage is still viable in modern society? The answer is yes. Marriage is still the best Idea because it is God’s Idea. He created it, designed it, established it and define it parameters. God established marriage as a permanent relationship, the union of two separate people – a man and woman -Into “one flesh”. God established it as the first and most foundational and fundamental building block of society. The Bible contains God’s principles and plan for achieving quality and health in family life. If we want to experience marriage the way it was designed to be, first of all we need a vital relationship with God and also we must take very seriously the Bible as it relates to the family.

I would like for us to take a fresh look at God’s design for the family, to reestablish a Godly standard and perspective to this divine institution we are allowed to be a part of. I would like for those of us who have faltered in keeping with the Holy-Standards of God design for family to be road blocks, steering others away from the traps we have succumbed to.

  • Where did the idea of family originate? In the very heart of God.
    • In the Garden, God Himself instituted and ordained marriage at the very beginning of human history.
      • The world has no authority over marriage or what it consist of.
      • God did not create marriage to be an Alice and Eve or an Adam and Steve event. He created woman for man and man for women, and I for one am glad of it.
    • The homosexual agenda has invaded our homes through what is promoted as entertainment, our schools though fear of law suits, even our minds through the new toleration movement.
      • The world has deemed it an alternative lifestyle, whereas the bible has declared it as any other sin; rebellion against a Holy Creator.
    • Since the plan didn’t sweep across the world the way they had hoped for, there are many who still stand for the truth and teach it to their children and grandchildren, they had to devise another component to their plot.
      •  Gender neutral. 
    • The humanistic heterosexual movement of cohabitation has done just as much if not more damage.
      • Because it is not viewed in the same light as a homosexual couple it is more acceptable to many.
      •  Marriage is not a piece of paper or a ceremony. It is the creation submitting and surrendering to the ordain plan from the creator God.
      • Sadly, time and time again it has been proven that couples who live together have a higher rate of divorce, yet still they feel it wont happen to them.
    • The feminist movement (Gen 3:16) (that came out of women being tired of being treated like second class citizens) has had a devastating impact on the family. 
      • Like any movement that separates itself from God’s truth it goes to far one way or another. A quick look around will reveal there are far less men today and way more substitutes.
    • According to Scripture marriage is ordained by God as an intimate and permanent partnership between a man and a woman in which the two become one in the whole of life.
      •  Marriage is the sacred and lifelong union of a man and a woman giving themselves to each other in love and trust. 
      • Anything other is derived from vain, depraved imagination.
    • Next to salvation, Marriage is the most important affair in one’s life.
      • We can conclude from this account in Genesis that marriage is God’s idea, designed and instituted by the Creator.
    • Why did God create marriage?
    • (Ge 2:18) And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 
    • In these verses we also discover that at the heart of God’s design for marriage is companionship and intimacy.
      • To enjoy one another’s company. Doing things together.
    • So many start out separate.
      • Prenuptial agreements, bank accounts, lands…
        • I understand sometimes one can’t handle money and you need to set up some safe guards. Lands often are tied with other family, but if you can’t trust the gal or guy with what you have; children, money, things, you’re an idiot if you marry them.
      • This is the idea behind what God said( Ge 2:24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
        • It takes work, it takes sacrifice, it takes dying to self.
        • Satisfying marriage is all giving and no taking.
      • Marriage is a gift from our heavenly Father given so that husband and wife may enrich and encourage each other in every area of their life together
    • Marriage is for procreation, to continue the human race. But also God designed sexual expression to help married couples build intimacy and permanent bond.
      • Not just to raise children, but Godly children. God spoke specifically how we are to teach, train and be examples for our children.
        • Seems like a trend I see in many parents life is once their son or daughter say a prayer, get baptized their concerns begin to alter.
        • It becomes more important for them to have friends, be popular, have etiquette, be kool,  than to be disciplined spiritually, understand God is calling us to be Holy, which brings true lasting happiness
      • Here is a sobering statement. Why do our kids act like…
        • Their modeling what they see before them.
    • Another startling thing becoming very evident, parents are not parenting.
      • Because of this worlds pressure and demand placed on the family in most household, both parents work.
      • Young’uns are placed in day cares or others houses.
      • Then when time is given them instead of coaching, training, teaching, they just tell their kids to do a task and rarely check to see how or even if it gets done.
      • Parenting takes time and investment rather you work or not.
    • Marriage is the firmest foundation for building a family and then society and Nation.
      • Marriage mirrors God’s covenant relationship with His people.
        • God desires that we develop and nurture a personal, interactive relationship with Him.
    • Marriage Is A Platform To Practice The Same Qualities Or Characteristics Of Christ.
      • Remember, Marriage is the sacred and lifelong union of a man and a woman giving themselves to each other in love and trust.
      • Marriage is the full expression and design of God’s image in human beings. 
      • Marriage is created out of divine order, is based on a covenant relationship, reflects our relationship with God and truly has a greater impact in our lives than many have assumed.
      • It signifies the mystery of the union between Christ and the Church.
  • The Main Purpose Of Marriage Is That Through Your Marriage You Become Transformed To The Image Of Jesus Christ.

I know there are many who have suffered divorce, broken relationships all this messed up world has to offer. We know according to God’s word He hates divorce. You know what He hates all sin and has made a remedy for it. Through the blood of Jesus you can find forgiveness and cleansing. You’re not second rate, not threw away. 

The Fruit of Sin

(Genesis 4:1-7)

As we examined the creation of man last week we noticed we were God’s crowning achievement. From clay in His hands, to thorns in His side, right to the apple of His eye.

  • Grace inacted
    • The ending of the story was the best part. 
      • God moved in to rescue the wretched hopeless creatures who had fallen so low. He did so in grace.
      •  Salvation is always by grace.
    • Adam like the rest of us tried to cover up his shame. 
      • He and his wife made a covering of fig leaves but soon discovered that his own self-effort would not do in the presence of God.
    • God who had been providing everything they needed, provided them with a covering.
      •  Right there in the garden; a place that had known nothing but tranquility and security blood was shed for the first time.
    • They must have stood there horrified as they saw the animal slaughtered. 
      • Here is this thing called death.
      • Its life removed its covering taken and made theirs. It was the first dramatic illustration of the ultimate cost of Calvary. Sin is a radical disease and calls for a radical cure.
  • To save this fallen pair God acted in grace but He also acted by governing. 
    • In the garden there still remained the tree of life. 
      • To the rebellious nature it sounds as if God was worried for His own protection.
      •  In truth, the reason God forced the couple out and placed the Cherubim there to protect the gate was once again, our protection. 
    • If they had of eaten of that tree they would have lived forever in their sins. 
      • They would have become like the fallen angels, incapable of death forever locked in their guilt, their shame and the penalty of sin. 
      • It would have been impossible to re-right the broken relationship. 
      • Impossible to find repentance, but God in his infinite mercy and abundant grace protected us from ourselves.
    • One of the effects sin has had on creation is the distortion of the mind.
      •  Without the power of the Holy-Spirit we see up as down, left as right, Holy as hellish, righteous as rebellious. 
      • The first offspring of Adam and Eve reveal that caricature. 

In chapter (4:1-7) We see the root of sin producing the fruit of sin.

  • A man
    • Eve thinks she has delivered the Christ. God had already promised a seed that would bruise the serpents head. It shows that they had not yet learned the depth of sins pit.
      •  It takes you farther than you want to go, keeps you longer then you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.
    • It is apparent these two boys were brought up knowing of God and sin and the whole garden scene.
      •  The bible says in (Heb 11:4) By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
      • (Ro 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    • In verse 3 “ Cain brought” is the idea of an appointed place. It would indicate they had been instructed.
      • As we look at this account lets us remember they are without excuse. Though it is not wrote down for us to see it is apparent that over time they had been introduced to what God expected.
  • A man-centered scheme. The bible says: (Pr 16:2) All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
    • God made the first sacrifice to cover man’s shame. 
      • We can figure since God spoke to Noah (Chp.9) and then told Moses to write (Le 17:11) For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
      •  It was the standard.
    • Cain ignored all that. 
      • He brought what he wanted to bring. To worship how he thought was best.
      • So began the philosophy that salvation had to be earned, that it had to be merited, purchased at the cost of one’s own effort.
      • Cain brought to God fruit which he labored over, toiled.
    • The notion that good works merit salvation is at the heart of every false religion on earth and in the heart of every cult of Christendom.
    • Though Cain’s offering was impressive and beautiful in its outward form,
      • It was founded on error and on willful disobedience to God’s truth.  
      • It is bluntly called by God “the way of Cain: and marked down as apostasy.(Jude11)
  • A man-centered sacrifice:
    • Don’t miss this. 
      • Cain’s offering was undoubtedly costly. It may have been more costly than Able’s.
      •  It was the result of toil, effort, hard work, persistence, and careful thought.
    • You could imagine, the most beautiful flowers, the sweetest aroma filled the air.
      •  The biggest, brightest, ripest fruit the earth had to offer. 
      • It was the best of the best. It was for God.
    • Cain did not come by faith, trusting and taking God at His word. 
      • He came on his own.
    • He was willing to worship.
      • But on his own terms. 
    • His plan made since to him. 
      • Couldn’t see why it would not be good enough.
    • The bible does not record any thought on Cain’s part that what he was doing was an offence to God.
      •  Not that he didn’t know but he justified it in his mind.
    • Just as the animal in the garden was a foreshadowing of the atonement of Christ that would cover our transgression.
      •  Every sacrifice was pointing to the sacrificial Lamb of God.
    •  Cain’s offering was the beginning of the world’s attempt to please God.
      • Doing it our way. Our time. 
      •  The giving of everything except self.
  • A man-centered satisfaction:
    • Cain could stand back and survey his offering with pride.
      • You can almost hear him. ‘There! That should please Him. That cost me a great deal, it’s beautiful. I have done my best, even God couldn’t expect more than that.
    • It was all wrapped up in what he thought God should want. 
      • Sound familiar? A lot like today
    • It was purely man-centered not God centered.( Pr 16:25 )There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
      • The difference between Cain and Able, between the religious and the real. Is not in the person themselves but in the object they trust.
    •  The one follows their heart. Their feelings. 
      • Derived from a mind stained by sin.
    • The other follows God’s word.
      • Accepts what and how God provides for them.
  • A mercy-centered plea.
    • Even after Cain chose to come his way God continued to pursue a relationship with him.
      • The bible says: (2Pe 3:9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance 
    • God invited Cain to come the right way.(V7)
      • (Ge 4:7) If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
    • How many perish.
      • Not because God is not seeking reconciliation and offering The Way, but they refuse and instead hold to their way 
    • How many are paralyzed by sins strike and infect all those around them, not because God is not calling them back. 
      • But they refuse to repent God’s way. Instead, like Cain bring what they think God should want.

God’s inviting you today.

Hiding from God

In the book of Revelation we see in the 6th chapter that God’s wrath is finally poured out upon the wicked. What we find is (to me) very interesting. We see people of all types running, hiding looking to escape God, more willing to die than yield to the truth.

Seen this on a church sign. The truth sounds like hate to those who hate truth!

  • Just a quick side note; truth is not subjective.
    •  Contrary to the lie that has been shared since our grandparents rejected God’s truth in the garden, which had Cain kill Able. That had scores of men and women refuse forgiveness and are condemned to an eternal hell.
      •  The same lie that has captivated and confused many a mind of those who are already searching for anything that will allow them to fulfil their lust and not feel guilty.
    • Truth is truth no matter where you find it.
      • It is not my truth and your truth. It is not relative.
      • Other words changing to ones conditions.
      • If it was true then it is true now and will always be true. ( like I said, quick side note)
    • Truth is NOT subjective!

We wonder how can this be? How and why would anyone given the overwhelming evidence, reject God’s truth?

 For the period of time we are looking at the answer is found in Paul’s 2nd letter to the church in Thessalonica. In speaking on the subject of the day of the Lord he says:

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.

2 thessalonians 2:11

For the day which we live in, it is simple. The bible tells us; men loved darkness rather than light.

Remember it is not that God is defrauding or deceiving, He is just allowing them to have what they desire. (Like those who want to believe in subjective truth?)He is removing His hand, He is turning them over to their own mind.  (Wow! that a scary place for many of us.)

Now we have many examples of mankind running or attempting to hide from God.

 We have Jonah. The illustration of the Prodigal son. To name a couple. But it all starts at the beginning. In the garden. It has been a character trait ever since.

This is why Jesus says “come unto me”. (Matt.11:28) We so busy running the other way, attempting to hide. Also “and if any man will come after me”. (Luke 9:23)  Jesus ain’t into the hiding seek thing. He says here I am.

This is what really floors me though. Have you ever experienced God’s presence? This is what revival is all about. Coming into the very presence of God.  If you have ever experienced it you know it’s an amazing place. Every day we should be, as born-again believers, should be in His presence. Life ought to be a romance.

If we were to be honest with ourselves this isn’t always the case. Why?

Look at (Genesis 3:6-9)

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

Genesis 3:6-9 KJV
  • His Presence.
    • If anyone should be able to speak about being in God’s presence it should be these two. Think of the effect that the little glimpse of God’s presence does in us.
      • Makes a drunk man sober, a stoner straight. It brings to light all the dark recesses of our heart and cleanses them. Sets us free.
      • Now think about it. God actually walking, talking on an afternoon stroll. I can’t comprehend it. How it must have been.
    • Now look at what they (Adam and Eve) are doing. Hiding.
      • From what? God’s presence. The very thing that had to be just out of this world. The very thing they come to expect, time with God. An experience that we can none testify to.
      • Walking with God. Talking about the events of the day.
  • Sins presence.
    • What caused this turn about? What could make you want to hide from the only one who created you? Who loves you? Who came purposely to spend time with you?
      • SIN!
    • When you carry sin in your life, when you justify its presence, it drives you away from the light, away from anything lovely.
      • Sin has so marred us that we see ones that love us as enemies. Ones that destroy us as desirable.  Ones that care for us as overbearing and ones that prey upon us as protectors.
      • Sin makes us hide from the only thing that can cleanse us, heal us, satisfy us.
    • What would have happened if Adam and Eve had come straight before God and repented instead of hid themselves and explain their rebellion away?
      • ( Isa 1:18) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
      • .James said it like this; (Jas 4:8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
    • We could most likely conclude that life would be totally different.
      • But what our grandparents started in the garden, we carry on today. We have been hiding ever since.
  • You’re present.
    • Even today there are those who would rather hide from the truth than to confess the truth before God.
      • Sin has blinded them into thinking that God is ok with what they have done or what they are doing.
      • They continue to go through the motions but death is at work upon them.
      • Slowly corruption is eating away at their love of anything Godly. Replacing it with a self -anointed, appointed theology of service.
    • Remember when you carry, hold on to unconfessed sin in your life; it drives you away from anything of worth, anything lovely, anything of God.
      • Part of our problem is what we consider confessing. Most of us fell its telling God.
      • He already knows.
      • Confessing is actually agreeing with Gods word about the issue. Total agreement seeing it as He does reacting to it the way He does.
    • Then when we can confess we can’t help but repent.
      • Remember how David repented. If it doesn’t cost you something there is not much repenting happening.
    • We can only guess at what might have happened to creation if Adam and Eve would have repented, but we don’t have to guess about what will happen if you do.
      • (Isa 55:7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
      • (1Jo 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
      • Jesus said: (Lu 15:7) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
    • Two major obstacles of repentance. Pride and fear.
      •  Fear that what we done is unforgiveable. Fear of other people opinions. Fear of rejection. Fear of the unknown.
      • The other is pride. 

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

Proverbs 13:10
  • If you’re struggling within come today. If you’re struggling with the words I have spoken, come.