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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 1/3/2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

ABRAHAM, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 1/3/2011

Genesis 22:1-14
THE LAMB ON MOUNT MORIAH, Part 25b, Continued From Yesterday

V. 3-4 The Compliance - Abraham never wavered! He simply gathered together all the things he needed to worship God through a sacrifice and he headed to the place that God told him about. His heart was fixed on doing the thing God had called him to do! What a man of faith! It must have been a difficult journey for Abraham, but he continued until he arrived at the place! What a picture paints for us of our heavenly Father! It must have broken the heart of God to know that the man He had made in His own image had sinned against Him and had to die. However, God was not deterred! He had already formulated a plan to pay the price for mankind. He knew what had to be done and He set out to do it, (Rev. 13:8). It’s known as God’s Plan of Redemption.

You see, the Lord knew the place to which He was leading Abraham. When He fashioned this world the Lord knew that on that very spot, He would ask Abraham to take the life of his beloved son Isaac. But, God knew something else about that place. He knew that centuries later, Mount Moriah would become known as Mount Calvary. He knew that His Own Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, would die on a cross there to save humanity. Even though He knew, He still formed the place! Bless His HOLY Name! He fixed it so Jesus would die for us!

V. 5 The Confidence - When they arrived at the place, Abraham instructed the servants to wait while he and Isaac went to worship. He told them that they would worship and that they would return. There are two great truths that must be noted right here.

1. Even though Abraham had come to this place to kill his son, he still viewed what he was about to do as worship! When you love the Lord with all your heart, everything you do is a form of worship before the Lord.
2. Abraham still had faith that even though he was about to kill Isaac, God would keep His promises. God had promised that Isaac would be the father of a vast multitude. However, Abraham must have known that a dead man does not father children! How can he believe that God will keep His word?

The writer of Hebrews answers that question for us, (Heb. 11:17-19), "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." Simply stated, Abraham knew that even if he killed Isaac, God would bring him back from the dead. He believed God! In time, the Lord Jesus would come from that family line and all nations would be blessed (Gen 12:3).

So it is with the Lord Jesus! God knew that His Son had to go to the cross, but God already knew the end of that story before the beginning! He knew that when Jesus died on the cross, He would not stay dead. God knew that when Jesus died, He would raise Jesus from the dead after three days,( Ps. 16:10.)

V. 6-10 WE ARE TOLD OF A GREAT SON
V. 6 He Is Working - As they head to the top of the mountain, Abraham lays the wood for the fire on the back of his son Isaac. Isaac is literally bearing the wood upon which he will die. He is carrying the burden of death upon his shoulders. What a picture this paints for us of the Lord Jesus. Jesus too labored under the burden of death. He carried on His shoulders the very wood upon which He was to die, (John 19:17). But, there were greater burdens that Jesus bore that day, (Is. 53:4-6). He bore our sins, and this was the thing upon which He died, (2 Cor. 5:21). I am glad Jesus completed the job that the Father sent Him to do!

V. 7 He Is Wondering - Isaac's question is one that touches the heart! He sees the knife in his father's hand. He feels the weight of the wood upon his own back. He feels the heat of the fire from the torch his father carries. Yet, there is no lamb to offer to the Lord. So, he asks his father, "Where is the Lamb?" Isaac knew that a blood sacrifice was required to allow one to enter God's presence in worship. Abraham's answer surely did little to ease the concern that the boy must have been feeling. But, as he studies the aged and weathered face of his father, Isaac trusted his father's God and if Abraham said that God would provide a lamb, then surely God would do just that. People today are still wondering how they can come into the presence of God. They go to church and see the knife, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb? They go into beautiful buildings where men stand and preach sermons, where singers stand and sing songs, where people pray and give money, but they leave unchanged and unmoved. They leave still asking, "Where is the Lamb?" Know that the Lamb is here! His name is Jesus and He has already died for you sins on the cross. He shed His blood for you and if you will come to Him, He will save you by His power. Wonder no more, but come to Jesus and He will bring you into the presence of the God.

V.6, 8-9 He Is Willing - Notice the phrase "they went both of them together." There is no rebellion detected in Isaac. Amos the prophet lets us know that men cannot walk together unless they are agreed, (Amos 3:3). Even though Isaac doesn't understand all that is happening, still he follows his father. Even when they arrive at the place of sacrifice, this strong, young man allows his father, a man who is at least 115 years old, to tie him up and lay him on an altar to take his life. It seems that Isaac is willing to obey his father, even unto death! Again, what a picture this is of the Lord Jesus! He wasn't forced to go to the cross and die a horrible death. No! He willing gave Himself up to die on that cross! Even when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying, He prayed to the Father to allow Him to live long enough to go to Calvary and die for sin, (Luke 22:42). This is the heart of the One Who died for you!

V. 11-14 WE ARE TOLD OF A GREAT SUBSTITUTE
V. 11-13 It's Provision - Just as Abraham is about to kill Isaac, God stops him! He calls to him again and provides a substitute for Isaac. Did God actually expect Abraham to kill his son? Yes! Would Abraham have killed Isaac had the Lord not intervened? Yes! It all boils down to grace. God provided a substitute for Isaac through His matchless, boundless grace. God moved to provide for the need of Abraham and Isaac!

V. 14 It's Purpose - The whole purpose in that ram being there was for it to take the place of Isaac on that altar. Abraham hadn't noticed the ram, because he wasn't looking for a substitute, but while he and Isaac were coming up one side of the mountain, that ram was coming up the other side. It arrived at the right place at the right time. It was there to take the place of Isaac!

V. 11-14 It's Picture - This ram paints a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, every sinner, just like Isaac, was doomed to die a terrible death. In fact, all sinners are headed to Hell. However, the Lord Jesus Christ, just like that ram became our substitute on the cross. Put yourself in Isaac's shoes that day as his father untied him and then took that ram, tied it up, placed it in the wood and plunged that knife into it. I can see the tears running down the Isaac's face as he watched that lamb bleed to death. Isaac knew that he was the one who should have died, but he lived because another had taken his place. I am sure his heart was filled with gratitude over what the Lord had provided for him!

My friends, from where you stand today, can you see the One Who died on the cross for your sins? Does it move your heart to know that Jesus loved you so much that He died in your place on the cross? Does it thrill you to know that by simply trusting and obeying Him, you can be forever free from the penalty of sin? Does it fill you with gratitude to know that He died so that you could live? Notice the last phrase in verse 14, "in the mount of the LORD it shall be seen." That was a prophetic statement! Many centuries later, Jesus Christ died on that same mountaintop. He wasn't dying just for Isaac, He was dying for you and me. Just as God provided a ram for Isaac on Moriah, He provided a Lamb for you on Calvary.

Conc: Now, the question that must be asked is: What are you going to do with Jesus? Isaac and Abraham trusted that lamb to take Isaac's place. They offered it, worshiped before the Lord and then they came back down the mountain together. Have you come to the place today where you are willing to come before the Lord and trust Jesus as your substitute and Lord? Are you will to come to Him and trust what He did on the cross to set you free? Yes, Jesus died a terrible death. Yes, He paid a high price. A price, I might add, that He did not owe! Are you going to allow His death to be in vain as far as you are concerned? Or, will you come to Him right now and be saved by the grace of God?
One day, you will reach the end of life. Wouldn't you like to know that you are saved when that day comes? You can, but only if you will come to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you will turn to the Lamb of God and receive Him as your Savior, you can be free today. You can worship and go back down the mountain, alive and free because of the One Who took your place.

TODAY’S PSALM and BLESSING,
Psalm 16:7-11
New International Version (NIV)

7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. 11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

  
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SNUZSUZ 1/3/2012 9:54PM

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 1/3/2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

ABRAHAM, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 1/2/2011

Genesis 22:1-14
THE LAMB ON MOUNT MORIAH, Part 25a

There are several places in the Bible that are describe as holy ground. This chapter is one of those places. In fact, there is too much good stuff here to even hope to get it all in one message. Therefore, I want to look into these verses and try to catch a glimpse of the Lamb. Today, I would like for us to see the Lamb on Mount Moriah. As we move through this great story from the life of Abraham, I hope we will see that there is something far larger to view here. I hope we will see today that there is a clear portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the price He paid for sinners.

As this story unfolds today, I ask you to give the Lord your undivided attention. Allow Him to speak to your heart today and let Him have His way in your life. This is a chapter that is filled with great blessings. Allow me to share a few of them with you as we look at The Lamb On Mount Moriah.

V. 1 WE ARE TOLD OF A GREAT SAINT
His Name - The man's name is "Abraham". It means "Father of a multitude." When the Lord first called this man to follow Him, his name was "Abram". That name meant "Exalted Father." Yet, at that time, Abram was 75 years old and he was childless. As Abram began to follow the Lord, the Lord changed his name to "Abraham". When he had no children, his name was "Exalted Father". Now, he has one child and God calls him "Father of a Multitude." Imagine the reaction of those around Abram when he announced the name change.

While some surely laughed at this old man and his strange name, that name was, in fact, the promise of God to Abraham. While he only had one son, the Lord promised him that he would have many more, "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.", (Gen. 17:5). By the time we arrive at today's text, Abraham has two sons. The first, Ishmael, has already left the home, (Gen. 21:9-21), and Isaac, the son of promise, who was born when Abraham was 99, is the only one there.

While people may have mocked this man of God, he placed his trust in the Lord. Even though he only had one son, Abraham looked ahead to a time when the Lord would keep His promises! My friends, this is what saved Abraham's soul. Simple faith in the Word of the Lord, (Gen. 15:5-6), "And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Friend, that is how salvation worked then, and it is how salvation starts its works today, because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6)! You hear the promise of God , you accept it by faith as you repent, confess Jesus is Lord, and put Jesus on in baptism (Acts 2:38; Rom 10:10; Gal 3:27). That is obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what saves the soul!

His Nature - Notice that as soon as the Lord speaks, Abraham responds. This tells us a lot about this great man of faith. He has his ear tuned to the voice of the Lord. He is literally waiting for orders from headquarters. Here is a man who is literally living by faith, (Rom. 1:17). Here is a man who lives his live for the will of God.

What a lesson for those who claim to love the Lord Jesus Christ! Most of us are so busy listening to the call of the world and the flesh that we cannot even hear His voice when He does speak to us! What are you living for this morning? Is it wealth? Is it family? Is it job? What has your attention today? Don't you think men should be listening for the voice of the Lord? I think so! After all, He is the only voice in the world today that is speaking the truth. He holds the way of salvation for you if you will listen to Him!

After all these thousands of years, Abraham is still viewed as a great saint of God. He is revered by the Jew, the Muslim and by the Christian. He is called by name 284 times in the Word of God. Why? Because he believed God! What about you? What legacy are you leaving behind? Where is your faith today?

V. 1-5 WE ARE TOLD OF A GREAT SACRIFICE
V. 1 The Challenge - The Bible tells us that the Lord "tempted" Abraham. This was not a temptation to do evil. The Lord is never a party to sin, (James 1:13). This is a trial or test of Abraham's faith. There is no doubt that Abraham loved Isaac, (v. 2). There can be no doubt that Abraham loved God. Just look at his life from chapter 12 until this time. He has proven his love over and over again. After all, he left his home, his country, and his family all because God called him to do so. He journeyed as a stranger in a foreign because he loved the Lord. Now, he about to prove the depths of his love for the Lord God.

It is one thing to trust God while waiting on a promise to be fulfilled and quiet another thing to trust Him when He asks us to give that thing back to Him. Abraham had waited for 25 years for Isaac to be born. Now, Isaac is somewhere around 15 or even older. He is the fulfillment of all the promises God ever made to Abraham, and yet the Lord asks Abraham to give him back to God. What a test of this man's faith! Abraham has spoken of his faith in the Lord for years. Now, he is given the opportunity to prove his love for the Lord.

On the surface, this may seem like a cruel thing the Lord is doing. However, we know the outcome! God is demonstrating that there are some people who love the Lord more than anything else in this world. Even more than themselves or their families. God is also painting a picture of His love for humanity. This picture will become clearer as we move through these verses. At this point, do not miss this lesson: real faith is always tested! God never tested Lot. Why? Everyone knew what Lot was. He was worldly, selfish and foolish. He could not be trusted in a time of testing. Abraham, on the other hand, could be trusted! When God trusts you, He will test you! Why? Two reasons.
1. To show you that He can take care of you in the test.
2. To show the world that He is worthy of faith. He does it to get glory for His name!


V. 2 The Cost - The cost is almost beyond calculation. God tells Abraham to take, and notice how the cost is kept constantly before Abraham, your son, your only son, the son you love more than life itself, and offer him to Me as a burnt offering! Surely, this must have broken Abraham's heart! After all, Isaac represented all the promises of God for Abraham. In truth, to Abraham, Isaac was life, (Gen. 17:19-20)! If Isaac were dead and gone, then the promises of God would become worthless. If Isaac were to die, then the hopes of Abraham would die as well. Yet we do not find him trying to negotiate with the Lord. As we will see, this father, brokenhearted though he was, was willing to pay the price! What a portrait this paints of our great God: the Heavenly Father! He also gave up a Son! Notice the similarities between Isaac and the Lord Jesus.
1. Thy son - Is. 9:6 - "unto us a son is given."
2. Thy only son - John 3:16 - "only begotten son"
3. Whom thou lovest - Matt. 17:5 - "this is My beloved Son."

Yet, when the Lord looked at the plight of humanity, He loved us so much that He willingly allowed His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die in our place on the cross, (Rom. 5:8). Never be guilty of thinking that salvation is a cheap thing to be taken lightly! Your salvation cost the Lord Jesus His life on a Roman cross. The price was pain, agony and death, but He paid it because He loved us ( Isa. 53:3-7).

TODAY’S PSALM and BLESSING,
Psalm 16:1-6
New International Version (NIV)

1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” 3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” 4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. 5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

To Be Continued Tomorrow!


  
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SNUZSUZ 1/3/2012 2:57PM

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WENDYSPARKS 1/3/2012 8:15AM

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE! 1/2/2012

Monday, January 02, 2012

ABRAHAM, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 1/2/2011

Genesis 22:1-14
THE LAMB ON MOUNT MORIAH, Part 25a

There are several places in the Bible that are describe as holy ground. This chapter is one of those places. In fact, there is too much good stuff here to even hope to get it all in one message. Therefore, I want to look into these verses and try to catch a glimpse of the Lamb. Today, I would like for us to see the Lamb on Mount Moriah. As we move through this great story from the life of Abraham, I hope we will see that there is something far larger to view here. I hope we will see today that there is a clear portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the price He paid for sinners.

As this story unfolds today, I ask you to give the Lord your undivided attention. Allow Him to speak to your heart today and let Him have His way in your life. This is a chapter that is filled with great blessings. Allow me to share a few of them with you as we look at The Lamb On Mount Moriah.

V. 1 WE ARE TOLD OF A GREAT SAINT
His Name - The man's name is "Abraham". It means "Father of a multitude." When the Lord first called this man to follow Him, his name was "Abram". That name meant "Exalted Father." Yet, at that time, Abram was 75 years old and he was childless. As Abram began to follow the Lord, the Lord changed his name to "Abraham". When he had no children, his name was "Exalted Father". Now, he has one child and God calls him "Father of a Multitude." Imagine the reaction of those around Abram when he announced the name change.

While some surely laughed at this old man and his strange name, that name was, in fact, the promise of God to Abraham. While he only had one son, the Lord promised him that he would have many more, "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.", (Gen. 17:5). By the time we arrive at today's text, Abraham has two sons. The first, Ishmael, has already left the home, (Gen. 21:9-21), and Isaac, the son of promise, who was born when Abraham was 99, is the only one there.

While people may have mocked this man of God, he placed his trust in the Lord. Even though he only had one son, Abraham looked ahead to a time when the Lord would keep His promises! My friends, this is what saved Abraham's soul. Simple faith in the Word of the Lord, (Gen. 15:5-6), "And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Friend, that is how salvation worked then, and it is how salvation starts its works today, because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6)! You hear the promise of God , you accept it by faith as you repent, confess Jesus is Lord, and put Jesus on in baptism (Acts 2:38; Rom 10:10; Gal 3:27). That is obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what saves the soul!

His Nature - Notice that as soon as the Lord speaks, Abraham responds. This tells us a lot about this great man of faith. He has his ear tuned to the voice of the Lord. He is literally waiting for orders from headquarters. Here is a man who is literally living by faith, (Rom. 1:17). Here is a man who lives his live for the will of God.

What a lesson for those who claim to love the Lord Jesus Christ! Most of us are so busy listening to the call of the world and the flesh that we cannot even hear His voice when He does speak to us! What are you living for this morning? Is it wealth? Is it family? Is it job? What has your attention today? Don't you think men should be listening for the voice of the Lord? I think so! After all, He is the only voice in the world today that is speaking the truth. He holds the way of salvation for you if you will listen to Him!

After all these thousands of years, Abraham is still viewed as a great saint of God. He is revered by the Jew, the Muslim and by the Christian. He is called by name 284 times in the Word of God. Why? Because he believed God! What about you? What legacy are you leaving behind? Where is your faith today?

V. 1-5 WE ARE TOLD OF A GREAT SACRIFICE
V. 1 The Challenge - The Bible tells us that the Lord "tempted" Abraham. This was not a temptation to do evil. The Lord is never a party to sin, !James 1:13). This is a trial or test of Abraham's faith. There is no doubt that Abraham loved Isaac, (v. 2). There can be no doubt that Abraham loved God. Just look at his life from chapter 12 until this time. He has proven his love over and over again. After all, he left his home, his country, and his family all because God called him to do so. He journeyed as a stranger in a foreign because he loved the Lord. Now, he about to prove the depths of his love for the Lord God.

It is one thing to trust God while waiting on a promise to be fulfilled and quiet another thing to trust Him when He asks us to give that thing back to Him. Abraham had waited for 25 years for Isaac to be born. Now, Isaac is somewhere around 15 or even older. He is the fulfillment of all the promises God ever made to Abraham, and yet the Lord asks Abraham to give him back to God. What a test of this man's faith! Abraham has spoken of his faith in the Lord for years. Now, he is given the opportunity to prove his love for the Lord.

On the surface, this may seem like a cruel thing the Lord is doing. However, we know the outcome! God is demonstrating that there are some people who love the Lord more than anything else in this world. Even more than themselves or their families. God is also painting a picture of His love for humanity. This picture will become clearer as we move through these verses. At this point, do not miss this lesson: real faith is always tested! God never tested Lot. Why? Everyone knew what Lot was. He was worldly, selfish and foolish. He could not be trusted in a time of testing. Abraham, on the other hand, could be trusted! When God trusts you, He will test you! Why? Two reasons.
1. To show you that He can take care of you in the test.
2. To show the world that He is worthy of faith. He does it to get glory for His name!

V. 2 The Cost - The cost is almost beyond calculation. God tells Abraham to take, and notice how the cost is kept constantly before Abraham, your son, your only son, the son you love more than life itself, and offer him to Me as a burnt offering! Surely, this must have broken Abraham's heart! After all, Isaac represented all the promises of God for Abraham. In truth, to Abraham, Isaac was life, (Gen. 17:19-20)! If Isaac were dead and gone, then the promises of God would become worthless. If Isaac were to die, then the hopes of Abraham would die as well. Yet we do not find him trying to negotiate with the Lord. As we will see, this father, brokenhearted though he was, was willing to pay the price! What a portrait this paints of our great God: the Heavenly Father! He also gave up a Son! Notice the similarities between Isaac and the Lord Jesus.
1. Thy son - Is. 9:6 - "unto us a son is given."
2. Thy only son - John 3:16 - "only begotten son"
3. Whom thou lovest - Matt. 17:5 - "this is My beloved Son."

Yet, when the Lord looked at the plight of humanity, He loved us so much that He willingly allowed His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die in our place on the cross, (Rom. 5:8). Never be guilty of thinking that salvation is a cheap thing to be taken lightly! Your salvation cost the Lord Jesus His life on a Roman cross. The price was pain, agony and death, but He paid it because He loved us ( Isa. 53:3-7).

TODAY’S PSALM and BLESSING,
Psalm 16:1-6
New International Version (NIV)

1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” 3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” 4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. 5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

To Be Continued Tomorrow!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNUZSUZ 1/2/2012 7:52PM

    I just love that you take the time to give us a lesson in the Lord everyday! You are a very special person! Even on days when I don't comment, I still love reading your posts and learning from them. Thank you.

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GROEDER 1/2/2012 8:33AM

    Abraham's faith was truely amazing!!!! I just pray that my faith is strong enough for God to test it - and that I pass those tests!!!!

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 1/2/2011

Sunday, January 01, 2012

ABRAHAM, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 1/1/2012

Gen. 22:1-14
QUALITIES OF GENUINE WORSHIP
The principle of “The Law Of First Mention”: (Satan in Gen. 3; Egypt in Gen 12, etc.). The First mention of the word “worship” is seen in Gen 22: 5, in the Bible. This passage sets the standard for what genuine worship is all about.

The word “worship” means, “reverence or devotion for a deity”. It comes from Anglo-Saxon word “worthscipe”, meaning “worth ship”. Means “ascribing worth to a person or object.” When we “worship” God, we are saying “God is worthy of all our love, our attention and our devotion. He is worthy to receive all that we can give Him.”

The word translated “worship” in verse 5 comes from a Hebrew word that means “to bow down, to prostrate oneself”. In the New Testament, “worship” comes from a word that means “to kiss the hand in a token of reverence”. It was used to refer to “a dog licking his master’s hand”. It is an image of absolute love and complete trust and devotion. People have some strange ideas about worship like it’s something that can only be done in “church“. Like going to a church and sitting quietly while religious exercises are conducted. Worship is a time of singing, preaching, reading of God’s Word, praying, meditating, offering up our gifts, and praising God, and can be done anywhere, anytime and not just in “Church”.

You hear people say, “We really worshiped Sunday! Why, our preacher didn’t even get to preach!” Did genuine worship really take place? Or, they may say, “Our service Sunday was so sublime. The minister’s words were so touching, everyone left the service uplifted and encouraged.” Was that genuine worship? In Gen 22, we are allowed to see genuine worship fleshed out. In this terrible time of testing, Abraham shows us what worship truly is. Let’s examine these verses about the Qualities Of Genuine Worship.

v. 3 GENUINE WORSHIP IS SUBMISSIVE
God’s command was hard, most hard and unbelievable. Yet, it was absolutely clear! God said “Go, worship and sacrifice your son, Isaac.” Abraham did not hesitate; he did as he was commanded! He did not offer excuses, he got up early and he went,( v. 3). A true heart for God is marked by obedience, (John 14:15and 21). Scriptures says that we are His and that we can show our love for Him by doing what He tells us to do ( John 5:24; 8:51 ; 14:15and 23). Worship is not only something a person does; worship is what we are! Every obedient moment of our lives is an act of worship. Our work, witnessing, praying, studying the Bible, meditating, praising Him, singing, our thinking, and even planting a tree..

v. 2 GENUINE WORSHIP IS STEADFAST
Abraham’s life is marked by worship as seen in his altars and in his worship. In fact, Abraham had just finished a time of worship at Beersheba, (Gen. 21:33). He was enjoying a time of blessing and prosperity and he worshiped God. He worshiped the Lord when times were good. In this passage, things take a turn for the worse. God and His ways are not making sense, but Abraham still worships Him! It’s easy to worship God when things are good. It’s not so easy when hard times come! Genuine worship looks beyond the crisis of the hour and sees a God Who is worthy of worship regardless of how life is going. Genuine worship sees a God Who is in control of all the situations of life and it bends the knee to Him, (Rom. 8:28; Ps. 37:23; 2 Cor. 12:7-10). Far too many people are looking for an excuse not to worship. Genuine worship sees the hand of God in all of life and loves Him through the good and the bad.

v. 5 GENUINE WORSHIP IS SEPARATED
When they arrived at the mountain, Abraham separated himself from every worldly care and went to worship. Abraham came ready to worship and he let others take care of worldly matter. Genuine worship shuts the world out and separates itself unto the Lord. Too often our worship is contaminated and controlled by the world. Genuine worship should be the first priority of our lives. We should do nothing else until we have worshiped Him! For examples: Jesus in Mark 1:35; 6:46; and David in Ps. 5:3. We are never too busy not to pray! Worldly concerns contaminate our public worship too. Church is not the place to catch up on gossip; do your nails; figure your checkbook; show off your clothes; fix your hair; talk to your neighbor; look for fault; cause trouble, etc. When we enter the assembly we should come for the sole purpose of worship!

v. 5-10 GENUINE WORSHIP IS SACRIFICIAL
This worship was going to cost Abraham very dearly. He was called to give up the Son of Promise, Isaac. Notice how God makes the demand, (v. 2). Abraham’s response was he never waivers! He gathers what he needs and he goes to do what the Lord has asked of him. He is willing to sacrifice everything he has and everything he has been promised at the command of God. He holds nothing back! Would Sarah have understood?

Genuine worship is costly because it requires us to make sacrifices. Things like time, plans, pride, pleasures, secret sins, etc., will all have to be taken to the mountain and placed on the altar. That is why so few genuinely worship. It is not cheap! What some will give is a cheap variety. We get what we pay for (Gal 6:7)! Genuine worship requires that everything of value be placed on the altar and given to God, ( John 4:23-24; Rom. 12:1-2).

v. 5 GENUINE WORSHIP IS SECURE
Abraham did not know all that was going to happen, but he went up that mountain expecting a miracle, and that is just what he received. (Heb. 11:17-19) He knew that his worship would not be in vain!

Genuine worship does not understand all of life. It is not pleased with every twist in the road. Genuine worship gives itself unreservedly to God, in spite of the things it cannot comprehend, and it bows before Him in the face of everything. Genuine worship knows that its earthly expression is merely practice for what will be perfected in Heaven. Genuine worship bows before God because it realizes Who God is, what God has done and where the road of faith will end up. Genuine worship knows that the real miracle, privilege and blessing is that God allows it to happen in the first place!

Conc: What made all this possible was Abraham’s availability, (v. 1). He was in his place, listening for the voice of the Lord and he was ready for worship. God is seeking genuine worshipers, (John 4:23-24). Is your worship genuine; do you worship in Spirit and in Truth; or does it need work?


TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING
Psalm 5:1-12
New International Version (NIV)

1 Listen to my words, LORD, consider my lament. 2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, or to you I pray. 3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. 4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; 6 you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, LORD, detest. 7 But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. 8 Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me. 9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies. 10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you. 11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 12 Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

A SAYING ABOUT MOMENTS I PRACTICE:
In Happy Moments, I praise God; In difficult moments I seek God; In quiet moments I worship God; In painful moments I trust God; And for every moment I thank God.

HAPPY NEW YEAR MY FRIENDS! Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GROEDER 1/1/2012 7:51AM

    What a wonderful way to start the first day of a new year!!! I worship Him as I read your daily lessons and I pray for blessings for you each day.
Have a very happy and blessed New Year, Vic.

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 12/31/2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 12/31/2011

Genesis 21:33-34
HOW TO ENJOY THE REST AREAS OF LIFE, Part23b, Continued From Yesterday!

V. 33 FOR INVOLVING YOURSELF WITH HIS WORSHIP

Abraham used this calm period of life to call on the name of the Lord. He used this time to deepen his relationship with God. This certainly equipped him for the battles that still lay ahead.

Why is it that so many people wait until the bottom falls out to call on the Lord? The best time to worship Him is all the time! It says far more about your character when you are consistent in worship than it does for you to wait until you are in trouble to call on Him. Many people treat Him like He was a spare tire! Pull Him out when life goes flat, put Him away again when the crisis has passed.

Don't wait until some calamity comes to run to Him, be in the business of seeking His face day by day (Mat 6:33). Then, when trials do come, you are already close to Him. That is why church, Bible reading and study, and prayer are so vitally important.

V. 33 FOR INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

This verse tells us that Abraham planted a "grove". This simply means that he planted a tree. He is making an investment for the future. At his age, he might never cool himself under its shade, but Isaac will, and his grandchildren will. He is looking beyond himself to those who will follow and is making a difference for them while he can.

Use the rest areas of life as times to make an investment in the future of the Lord's kingdom work. Is there a young person you can mentor? Is there a life you can impact for the glory of God? Is there someone's life that you can be a blessing to for the glory of the Lord? This is what the Lord intends His people to be doing (Titus 2:2-10).

There will come a time when your life will be wracked by the winds of adversity. When those times come, your focus will be so inward that you will not be able to make a difference for others. The time to reach out is when things are going smoothly. Sadly, too many believers live their lives for self, with no concern for anyone else.

V. 1-8 FOR INVENTORYING HIS BLESSINGS

As those peaceful days unfolded for Abraham, he was able to spend the time listening to the laughter of Isaac and Sarah. He was able to contemplate all that the Lord had done for him and how God had blessed his life. It was a time for him to inventory the blessings of the Lord.

Being thankful for the blessings of the Lord in the days when life is good is a great way to prepare for those times when it is less than pleasant! Living in the constant awareness of the Lord's goodness and blessings in your life is a hedge against doubt, fear and uncertainty when the hard days of trials come. God would have us to be a thankful people (1 Thes. 5:18; Phil. 4:6). Don't take the easy days of life for granted! They will not last forever, but while they are here, use them as times to rejoice in the blessings of the Lord and to prepare for the days that are coming when it may seem that the blessings are few and far in between!

Conc: At this point in his life, Abraham was well aware of all that he had already been through. He knew what the storm felt like! He knew how dark the valley could be and he knew how long the night could last. But, he did not know what lay just ahead! If he had been able to see the future, he might not have ever chosen to face it. God in His wisdom, used this rest area time in Abraham's life to prepare him for the trial that was just ahead.
You know, you and I cannot see tomorrow either! We do not know what is ahead. I am just glad that God, in His wisdom, plans a few rest areas along the way for us to enjoy. He gives us the times of refreshment and peace to help us to recover from our past battles and to prepare ourselves for the trials that lie ahead. Are you using the rest areas of life to their full advantage? If you are in one of life's lulls, thank God for, and ask Him to help you to use it for His glory. If you are in the storm today, why not come before Him and thank Him for the battle you are fighting and thank Him that somewhere out there, there is a rest area with your name on it!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING!
Psalm 68:10-19
New International Version (NIV)

10 Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor. 11 The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng: 12 “Kings and armies flee in haste; the women at home divide the plunder. 13 Even while you sleep among the sheep pens, the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver, its feathers with shining gold.” 14 When the Almighty scattered the kings in the land, it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon. 15 Mount Bashan, majestic mountain, Mount Bashan, rugged mountain, 16 why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the LORD himself will dwell forever? 17 The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary. 18 When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious— that you, LORD God, might dwell there. 19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNUZSUZ 12/31/2011 11:02PM

    Very inspirational message!

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TIFFPATTERSON 12/31/2011 1:05PM

    This brought a lot of things into perspective for me, thank you Vic!

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HAVE-MERCY 12/31/2011 8:03AM

    I especially liked the story on counting blessings. Thank you. emoticon

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GROEDER 12/31/2011 7:43AM

    This lesson really hit home for me, Vic!!
Every day I pray the prayer of Jabez and ask the Lord to "enlarge my territory" of influence, so I can share Him with others. The rest areas of life are perfect to be a witness for God!!!

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