Summary: Change is hard

INTRO: Historic signing of two hated enemies sworn to destroy each other. On one side you have the PLO

Leader, Yasser Arafit; the other, Yitzhak Rabin, leader of the nation of Israel, who have been fighting ever since Israel became a nation in the late ‘40s (not to mention they have been fighting since Isaac and Ishmael, two children of Abraham).

Interesting, war of’67 Rabin was an army chief and Arafat was a gun runner opposing each other.

Change that has taken place!!!

Communism is feared enemy of the west. How it has changed in just a few short years. (Who would have thought the Berlin Wall would have come down the way it did).

Today talk about change to hopefully learn a little bit more about it.

TITLE: Circumstances of Life

TEXT: Gen. 12:1-5

I. Change - It’s Hard - Some thoughts on why.

A. Afraid of the unknown - Gen. 12:1-5 (READ)

1. Abraham venturing into another land, leaving home to go to another area.

ex Jolene, Ben, Tammy, anxious feelings by moms and dads.

-My example of going away to college (Tammy no emotion).

a. Abraham was leaving parents home possibly for the first time (culture, live with parents).

1. Wealth - scholars tell us Abraham was well to do. Gave all that up to go where God was calling him.

2. Relatives behind - aunts, uncles, cousins, known faces.

a. Father’s household - meaning protection, clout, ways things were done.

b. People - race people, leaving people who do things the way you grew up with (comfort zone).

c. Country - move to a distant land (thousands of miles away).

ex Experience, Colorado.

d. Religion - scholars tell us Abraham’s family members were idol worshippers.

Point: Look at all Abraham was leaving, total change, not only who he was but also his surroundings.

2. I believe Abraham had some fear of what all these changes would bring!

v. 4 - “Abraham left as the Lord told him (do what the Lord directs).

3. Situation at church - pastor leaving, vacancy “what’s going to happen?”

a. Key: hear from God - going on fast.

-I believe the Lord has given me His direction in being pastor, but you folks can confirm this on October 3.

B. We don’t understand - questions when bad things happen.

ex. Dobson - Focus On the Family article.

When God doesn’t make sense

The 11th chapter of Hebrews bears relevance to believers who have gone through great sorrow and suffering. Described in that chapter are the men and women who preserved in hardship and danger for the sake of the Cross. Some were tortured, imprisoned, flogged, stoned, sawed in two and put to death by the sword. They were destitute, mistreated, persecuted and inadequately clothed. They wandered in deserts, in mountains, in caves and in holes in the ground. It is most importance to understand that “they died not receiving what they had been promised.” In other words, they held onto their faith to the point of death, even though God had not explained what He was doing (Heb. 11:35-40) I shared a story about a 5-year-old African-American boy who will never be forgotten by those who knew him. A nurse with whom I worked, Gracie Schaeffler, took care of this lad during the latter days of his life. He was dying of lung cancer, which is a terrifying disease in its final stages. The lungs fill with fluid, and the patient is unable to breathe. It is terribly claustrophobic, especially for a small child. This little boy had a Christian mother who loved him and stayed by his side through the long ordeal. She cradled him on her lap and talked softly about the Lord. Instinctively, the woman was preparing her son for the final hours to come. Gracie told me that she entered his room one day as death approached, and she heard this lad talking about hearing bells. “The bells are ringing, Mommie,” he said. “I can hear them.” Gracie thought he was hallucinating because he was already slipping away. She left and returned a few minutes later and again heard him talking about hearing bells ringing. The nurse said to his mother I’m sure you know your baby is hearing things that aren’t there. He is hallucinating because of the sickness.” The mother pulled her son closer to her chest, smiled and said, “No, Miss. Schaeffler. He is not hallucinating. I told him when he was frightened – when he couldn’t breathe – if he would listen carefully, he could hear the bells of heaven ringing for him. That is what he’s been talking about all day.” That precious child died on his mother’s lap later that evening, and he was still talking about the bells of heaven when the angels came to take him.

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