Abraham Part II

 2014-02-17 10.41.38

I was so encouraged at the end of our service when all of you were praising God for what God has done in your own lives. Each of us has our own story of how God has changed our name, our identity. What a witness to the power of God in the lives of His people! I felt so blessed to worship together with you in that way. It's so true...The story of Abraham is chock-full of good stuff for us. Ideally we could have had 3 weeks on Abraham but I didn't want to overdo it... There is a lot more we could say and learn but alas, I suppose we must move on!

In Genesis 12-22 we learned so much about God's plan for his children and we learned so much about the identity of God's children. We learned about God and we learned about us. The truths we learned from these chapters are very important and go to the core of our faith. These chapters are not just about Abraham, they are also about us. As Christians, we are always needing to be reminded of God's plans for the world and of the ways God has changed our own identities. We learned in all of this, God is redeeming His people. Nothing will get in the way of God's extravagant love for us. God wants His glory to be known among all people - among all the nations. Thankfully, that is the sort of God our God is. 

We didn't have a ton of questions on Sunday. Probably b/c a lot of our questions from these passages were answered the week before. But I do want to briefly highlight a few tweets that came in as I was preaching: 

@kpslp #hcpreach Luke23:45-for the sun stopped shining and the curtain of the temple was torn in two - God of Abraham keeps His promise from Gen.15.

When in the sermon I was talking about the pictorial promise of God in Genesis 15 when God alone walks in between the animals, Kaylyn was reminded of what happens later in the temple when Jesus died - the curtain tore in two (Matthew 27:50-51). What a cool connection - I hadn't thought of that. God is constantly breaking down barriers, keeping His promises, and making ways for humanity to approach Him in confidence and faith. God started doing it all the way back in the beginning, and He continued to bridge the gap through Jesus, and God continues to do it today through the Holy Spirit. Our God is truly a God-FOR-us. 

‏@AllFoto01 #hcpreach Gen 15:13-16 God reveals to Abram that his descendants will be enslaved to Egypt; saved by God and given treasures as they leave. 

Great catch (especially since I skipped over it in the sermon!). This was a prediction that would come true in the very next book - Exodus! We are almost there... the author is trying to give us clues of what is coming and he is showing us that all of this is a part of God's greater plan. God is such a rescuer, time and time again. 

@AllFoto01 #hcpreach so Abram at times not only wanted it done on his own time frame but also wanted to know each step that would be taken and when....

Another great point. As I alluded to in the sermon - Like Abram I get impatient with God. For me it may be a bit worse b/c I often get impatient with God after only a day, or only a week. Sometimes it is so hard to be patient and trust God while I am going through things that don't make immediate sense to me. It's fun to know the heroes of our faith also struggled in similar ways as we do. But time and time again, God proves Himself to be faithful. These are the stories I go back to when I find myself struggling with the very same issues. These passages help me to remember that 

1) I am not a failure

2) God is up to something! 

And in many ways, that is what we have spent the last two weeks talking about. This wonderful book of Genesis gives us some pretty encouraging, basic, and necessary insights which helps us to live our lives with greater hope, purpose and trust in God. I hope all of us at Holden Chapel are increasingly putting our faith in God, trusting Him in the hard times, and remembering all the ways God has changed and transformed us in the process. This stuff is so good... and the stuff that is coming is just as exciting. I can't wait to talk about Joseph... but more on that on Sunday. 

- Pastor Mike 

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