Summary: Consequences of our actions as seen in the life of Abraham
Intro: I can remember growing up, every night at 7:00 PM we would all come into the living room and gather around the TV. Bob Barker -- before the Price is Right was around -- would come on a show called “Truth or consequences.” He would get contestants who had to answer three riddles, and if they couldn’t give the answer, they would pay the consequences and have to do some ridiculously funny stunts. We laughed a lot while watching that show, but the truth remains, that for every action in our lives, there are consequences. And they are not always funny.
God speaks about that in Galatians 6:7. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Now, I’ll have to admit, I’ve questioned that verse. You see, a year ago, I planted some squash, and I planted some cantaloupe. Yet, what ended up being produced was a mix of something in between. Yet, I guess in all actuality, God’s word was still right, for I planted squash and cantaloupe, and that’s what I got, squash and cantaloupe.
This morning, my question for each one of us is this: what are we planting in our lives, and what will be the consequences. I’ve share with you before, the perfect garden to plant. But, I’ll share it again.
For best results, this garden should be planted every day:
Five rows of “P”eas:
Three rows of squash:
Five rows of lettuce:
Let us love one another,
Let us be faithful,
Let us be loyal,
Let us be unselfish,
Let us be truthful.
Three rows of turnips:
Turn up for church
Turn up with a new idea,
Turn up with the determination to do a
better job tomorrow than you did today.
What are we planting in our lives. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” This morning, as we talk about Abraham, we want to talk about consequences.
I. Consequences of Hospitality - READ Genesis 18:1-16
We see Abraham was a man of great hospitality. But we see that there was a cost involved for him. He had to pay a price for his hospitality. And so will we.
A. The Cost -
*he had to give up his free time / relaxation - in verse 1, we see that God comes while Abraham is sitting in the entrance of his tent. He was sitting down relaxing. In our culture, he might have been kicked back in his Lazy Boy recliner, had his shoes off, and a cup of iced tea in his hand.
-sometimes we don’t like showing hospitality because it interferes with our own agendas. There are so many other things we want to do for ourselves, that we don’t like to think about doing nice things for others. Yesterday, as we went shopping, Ronda said to me, “Let’s see how many people we can show kindness and the love of Christ to as we go shopping today.”
*he had to give up his convenience - not only was this cutting into his free time, but it was in the hottest part of the day. It was time for a siesta. Nobody was up moving around. No wonder he was lying down in his tent. It was hot! We think it gets hot here, but think what it’s like in the heat of the day in Israel! Yet Abraham was willing to get up to show hospitality.
-did you ever notice how company shows up when you don’t have anything extra prepared. You have just enough steaks for your family, and here comes someone right about supper time. No one comes to visit when you’ve got a big bowl of vegetable soup. Yet, showing hospitality means being willing to go the extra mile to minister to the needs of others.
*It involved an urgency on Abraham’s part - vs. 2 - as soon as Abraham sees them, he hurries to meet them. If a visitor comes to church, do you rush to be the first to greet them, or do you figure sooner or later someone else will introduce them to you so you don’t need to worry. Abraham shows urgency in providing hospitality.
*It also involves servanthood - Abraham humbles himself before them and makes himself their servant. Hospitality is not about inviting others over to your house so you can brag about yourself. A good host always spends much time in conversation about the guest. You want your guest to know you really care about them.
*It involves an invitation. Sometimes we have the idea that if anyone wants to stop by our house they’re always welcome. Yet, people won’t stop by unless they’re invited. You could say, “why every Sunday we always fix two extra portions.” Unless you make the invitation, no one will benefit from the hospitality. Abraham offers water, food, and rest.