Summary: As we come to the close of the life of Abraham, we are once again given a wonderful lesson from this man’s life on how we can face end with wonderful Christian virtues
Following In the Footsteps of Faith
ABRAHAM GATHERED TO HIS PEOPLE
Intro: These verses record the end of a great life! Abraham was taken from among a pagan people and made the Father of the Faithful. He was taught the harsh lessons of faith and obedience. He suffered for God and he enjoyed the best God had to offer. In the end, his life is concluded by the words "and was gathered to his people."
As I consider the life of this great man, I realize that there are certain characteristics that were present in his life that need to be found in us as well this morning. I would like to point out just a few of those characteristics as we conclude our study of this great man of faith. As we come to the end of this study and to the end of Abraham’s life, I see some similarities with what could have been said about him and what might be said about us when we too leave this world. These similarities are made clear by the characteristics I want to point out this morning. So, lets take some time to look into the Word of God, and consider this thought, "Abraham: Gathered to His People."
When someone dies, three things usually come up at some point during a discussion of the deceased individual’s life. Those three things are: 1.) How they lived their life; 2.) Some of the events surrounding their death; and 3.) Where did they stand with the Lord. These are the three characteristics I want to talk about this morning.
I. HOW HE LIVED HIS LIFE
A. It Was A Life Of Faith
• One of the clearest and most striking things about Abraham’s life is how he lived everyday and took every step by faith in God.
o His faith was not declared by him, but it was declared years later by the writer of the book of Hebrews - Heb. 11:8.
• This is the kind of life that God wants everyone of His children to live.
o If the people of God could ever learn to let go of their lives and leave them in the hands of the Lord, it would revolutionize our lives and forever end the struggles we have with worry and fear.
• Faith is not just for the super saint, it is for all believers. Even you!
B. It Was A Life Of Following
• Heb. 11:9 tells us that the life of Abraham was one lived in the acts of following.
o Wherever the Lord pointed him, that was the direction he took.
o It would seem that Abraham had no life of his own, but that his life was one totally given over to the will of the Lord.
• A life spent following the Lord is a life that will always end up in the right place!
o Why, you may ask?
o When He leads the destination is assured!
C. It Was A Life Of Favor
• Because Abraham walked in faith and followed the Lord regardless of where He led him, God abundantly blessed the life of this amazing man.
o He blessed him financially, militarily, physically, spiritually and He blessed Abraham’s family as well.
o Of course, this had been the oft repeated promise that Abraham had been given by the Lord.
o God had promised to bless him and God did just that!
• I can guarantee you that a life lived for the Lord, is a life that will not lack blessing!
o He may not bless you in the ways you want Him too, but I can guarantee you that He will bless your life in the ways that matter the most!
• It is worthy noting how the life of Abraham fleshed out the list of graces that are to characterize those who believe in the Christian virtues found in 2 Peter 1:5-11.
o He had all of these great virtues in his life and it proved that a work of grace had been done in his heart!
o By the way, we are to be abounding in these things as well!
o When we have them in our lives in abundance:
they make us fruitful, v. 8
they give us assurance of our salvation, v. 9
they help prevent us from falling, v. 10
they give us a glorious entrance into the kingdom, v. 11.
II. HOW HE LAID DOWN HIS LIFE
In his life, Abraham was a wonderful example of what a believer should be, but even in his dying there are precious truths that can be seen in him that should mark all those who know the Lord Jesus!
A. He Laid It Down With Readiness – (v. 8)