Sermon Illustrations


First, what do we notice about the Person God blesses.

A. The person God blesses has had a conversion to God's ways. Where do I get this concept? I get it from Abram’s name change. When we first meet him he is known as "Abram." After an encounter with God (Gen. 17:5) he is known as "Abraham." In the Bible a person’s name often reflects his/her character. Abram became known as Abraham. Jacob became known as Israel. Saul became known as Paul. The name change reflected a change or conversion that occured in the person’s relationship with God.

B. The person God blesses has a personal relationship with God. I draw your attention to Gen. 12:1. Notice two key words in verse 1, the word "Lord" and the word “Abram.” Both of those are personal names. The word "Lord" is God’s personal name. It is used in God’s dealings with man. It is the name we notice when God began to approach man after the beginning of creation. The word "Abram" was his personal name. There is a warmth to this interaction. As you study the Bible you also discover that Abraham, three different times, is called the "Friend of God." In Genesis 12 Abram was at the point whereby he was deciding if he wanted to obey and follow God. He made the decision to trust God and follow Him.

Illustration: Years ago I cut out a little story from Reader’s Digest that speaks volumes about a personal relationship with God. John Dulmage said during Sunday mass at the church where his mother attends, the priest told of a conversation he had had with a young parishioner. When the priest asked the little boy if he believed in God, the child quickly responded, "Yes, I do."

"Well," said the priest, "why do you believe in God?"

The boy said "I don't know why, I think it runs in our family."

That boy reflects the opinion by which many people live. Many people are holding to a faith experience because it was passed down from their family. It is wonderful to pass along a faith heritage. However, there must come a point when it becomes personal.

(From Leland Patrick’s Sermon "God's Funnel")

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