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.

Abraham

Sermon Date: 6/6/21

Genesis 12

We have gone through 11 chapters of the book of Genesis. During this time you might have noticed some interesting things in how the beginning took shape.

We started with a conniving couple, fatal farmer, plastered preacher and a hero hunter. Seems like God don’t always use and do with the same ones we would choose to accomplish things with.

Has it ever dawned on you  we have a different evaluation of people then God does.

Seriously look at the way God chose to accomplish His plan, would we have done any of it that way?

Sometime I think we out holied the Holiest One, out righteoused the Righteous One. It gives us a false pretense of our self- worth. Don’t confuse what I am saying. God thought we were priceless, He made us in His image, breathed His breath in us, and paid our sinful debt with the blood of His precious Son. Too often the way we look at His creation we feel we are better than them. Take God out of a person then they aint worth a dime.

With this thought in mind it is no surprise who God uses to create His nation. In God’s eyes he is a pretty important character, for He devotes 25% to him in this book. He is an inhabitant of Ur, an important center of moon worship on the Great Euphrates. He is from the Godly line of Shem but most probable like his neighbors he is an idolatrous pagan. Though most of his ancestry has been forgotten, God has not forgotten.

What we see in the life of Abram is a picture of the life of the believer. The statement of faith, the step of faith, the path of faith, the fight of faith.

  • The statement of Faith. (1-3)
    • As is the norm with the God of creation; He initiates the contact.
      • God came down to walk with Adam, God ask Cain about his brother, God called out Noah, and here God is calling out Abram.
      • He still works the same today. We don’t wake up one day and begin seeking God. The bible says :(Joh 6:44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    • He starts with the statement of faith. You trust me and this is what will happen.
      • (V2-3)God gives clear and precise directives and what Abram can expect in return.
      • He did the same for us and even wrote it down in case we forgot.
    • The bible is God clear and precise directives for redeeming His creation and what it means to be redeemed.
    • Abram was in the land of Ur when God came to Him and called him to move away. The call of salvation is always followed by the call of separation.
      • God is serious about the sanctification of His people. The setting apart for His use. It always starts with separation.
      • Separation is setting apart from something, sanctification is a setting apart for something
    • What Jesus is recorded saying in the gospel of Luke is not request but a command.      (Lu 14:26) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  (27) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
      • We understand that hate is not used the way we use it, but means loves less. If our decisions, our actions, our directions are based on family or self-promotion, anything other than our commitment to Him, we are a hypocrite.
    • I am very aware in today’s watered downed, tolerant adapted sermonettes that is heard across the globe today this is not a popular view.
      • I’m not here to be popular but truthful. I want you to know this uncommitted, uncaring, unrepentant Christianity light that is being promoted and accepted today is not the same as what Jesus Himself spoke of.
    • This is very important. God told Abram three things he wanted him to leave. His country, his kindred and his father’s house.
      • (V4-5) tells us he left his country.
      • He is no longer in Ur. He left Haran, the place of his birth and the place where he was established.
      • He left his father’s house. The comfort and security of familiarity.
      • But we see he took some kindred.  Lot will be a subject of discussion a few times in Abrams life.
    • So often like Abram we obey part of God’s invitation only to hold on to something we believe either is not important or we can’t do without.
      • Here is a worthy note: if God brings to your attention it is important!
      • These things we hold on to always come back and becomes a source of competition in our walk with God.
  • There are two reasons for God’s demand for Abrams separation.
    • God had Abram turn his back on all things of familiarity.
      • We are creatures of habit. When we get in a bind we will turn to what we know.
      • This is a lesson in faith. He no longer has what he is comfortable with. He no longer has what he use to trust. He burnt his bridges so there was no way back
        • We need some bridge burning in our lives.
      • I am no way telling you God is wanting you to move to an obscure place to survive, but one of the greatest detriments to faith is not diving in, holding back.
    • Oswald Chambers speaks of total abandonment. In the opening page of his devotional Utmost for His Highest he states “My determination is to be my utmost for His highest. To get there is a determination of the will, not of debate nor of reasoning, but a surrender of the will” …  
      • Jesus in His parable of the hidden treasure, in the13th chapter of Matthew; spoke of a man who purchased a field. He sold all he had with joy because he knew what he was getting was better than what he had.
      • He purposely gave up what he had to obtain what he could get. He was sold out, he bought in. he believed so much in what he was doing it affected every part of his life. 
      •   What are you investing in? That is where your faith is. That is where your heart is.
    • The other reason for his separation was obedience.
      • Obedience activates faith. It is here that what you said you believe in, what you said you trust in, what you said has authority over your life, it is through obedience you give proof of genuine, saving conversion.
        • When we step out and obey it is then God gives us the confidence the security of knowing we can trust Him.       
      • Where obedience activates faith, disobedience deactivates it. We fall back into that dark foreboding worry of how are we gonna make it, what can I do, should we do this?
    • There are those here today who started out well, but are having difficulty in their walk because of disobedience. The only way to get back into the relationship is to jump in.
      • Repent, then dive.
  • There are those here today who need to burn some bridges.
    • You continue to hold on to something incase God don’t pan out. You will never experience His freedom, His power, His peace, until you decide rather He is worth selling all for.
  • There are those here today who like Abram feel the Holy-Spirit of God calling them out.
    • It sounds scary leaving all behind but in truth its gaining more than you ever let go.

As we look around at the shape our world is in, we see many signs. These aren’t meant to worry, us scare us, but to turn our attention back to Him. God is still at the helm, still in control, His plan is still being enacted. He wants you to be a part of it.

Sunday School

Mrs. Joyce Hicks

May 17, 2020

Luke 16: 19-31

  • There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
  • And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
  • And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
  • And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
  • And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
  • And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
  • But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
  • And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
  • Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
  • For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
  • Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
  • And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
  • And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Once again, I’m just doing an outline of what we will be talking about.  Take the time to read the scripture and notes and then do some research before class.  Looking forward to what you find about some of the topics mentioned this week.  

Heaven or Hell? 

2 paths

Which would you rather hear a sermon on?

Do you think the average person really believes there is a hell?

Most people avoid talking about it.

Place of eternal, conscious torment 

Everlasting Fire, outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth

Fire that never shall be quenched; worm dieth not

Hell, Fire and Brimstone message?

Hell – cruel? Unkind? Unfair?

Would God really send someone to hell?

Tragic truth is that most people who end up in hell will be shocked to find themselves there! 

A 2007 Gallup poll survey revealed that virtually all the people who believe in heaven also believe they will go there.

Which brings us to the lesson….There was a certain rich man

How rich was he?

Clothed in purple and fine linen

Challenge you to look up purple and fine linen and see how many times

they are in the KJV.   Read about the making of the tabernacle. 

Purple – Where did they get purple dye?

Acts 16

Mark 15:17 

Fared sumptuously every day

Fared:  perform in a specified way in a particular situation or over a               particular period of time 

Sumptuous: splendid and expensive-looking

Similar words:  lavish, luxurious, deluxe, opulent, magnificent, gorgeous, Splendid, grand, extravagant, lush, princely, rich, costly,

Expensive, impressive, imposing, plush, ritzy, swanky, 

Opposite:  humble, plain, cheap

 Fared sumptuously: “The word used for feasting is the word that is used for a gourmet feeding on exotic and costly dishes. He did this every day.” (Barclay)

Every day! Sounds pretty rich to me!

And there was a certain beggar (named Lazarus – unusual to find a person in a parable with an actual name)

What do we know about him

Was laying at the rich man’s gate

full of sores (which the dogs came and licked – yuck) and yes, I know the dog’s name was moreover

hungry – begging for food (would gladly have taken anything including the crumbs from the rich man’s table)

 Fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: “Food was eaten with the hands and, in very wealthy houses, the hands were cleaned by wiping them on hunks of bread, which were then thrown away. This is what Lazarus was waiting for.” (Barclay)

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The following came from John MacArthur Commentary.  

The story of these two men is marked by extreme contrasts in life and shocking reversals after death.  In life, one was enormously wealthy, the other an impoverished beggar.  The rich man was inside the house, the poor man outside.  The poor man had no food, the rich man had all the food he could eat.  The poor man had needs, the rich man had none.  The poor man desired everything, the rich man desired nothing.  The poor man suffered, the rich man was satisfied.  The poor man was humiliated, the rich man was honored.  The poor man sought crumbs, the rich man feasted.  The poor man needed help, the rich man gave him none.  The poor man was a nobody, the rich man was well-known.  The poor man had no dignity in death, not even a burial, the rich man had dignity in death and a lavish funeral.  The poor man possessed no hope, the rich man possessed all hope.

After death, however, the situations of the two were completely reversed.  The rich man became poorer than the poor man had ever been, while the poor man became richer than the rich man could have ever imagined.  The poor man was on the inside (heaven), while the rich man was on the outside (hell).  The poor man enjoyed the great heavenly banquet, while the rich man was totally deprived.  The poor man needed nothing, the rich man lacked everything.  The poor man had all his desires fulfilled, while the rich man’s desires would go eternally unfulfilled.  The poor man was satisfied, while the rich man suffered.  The poor man was happy, while the rich man was tormented.  The poor man was honored, while the rich man was humiliated.  The poor man enjoyed a lavish feast, while the rich man longed for a drop of water.  The rich man desperately sought help, while the poor man was unable to provide it.  The poor man had a name, while the rich man did not.  The poor man had dignity, while the rich man had none.  All of the poor man’s hopes were realized beyond what he could have imagined, while the rich man’s hopes vanished forever.

The rich man is the main character in the story.  The poor man never speaks; his role is primarily to serve as the contrast to the rich man.  The rich man’s words give the only testimony from hell found anywhere in the Bible.

Wow.  That pretty much says it!  

Lazarus died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. (no burial, funeral, or earthly honor in death.  His body would have been thrown onto the dump with those of the rest of society’s outcasts….)  

Rich man died and was buried.  Notice he wasn’t carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom!) Sure he had an elaborate funeral though.

And in hell (bet he was one who was surprised to be in hell – sure he was thinking that he would be in heaven)

Father Abraham…

Have mercy on me!

Send Lazarus…..(he asked for Lazarus twice)

5 brothers

They have Moses and the Prophets – let them hear them

But if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent 

Neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (aren’t you glad that One did rise from the dead!

So, what do we take away from the lesson today? What does this mean to me?