Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Believe and be safe, right, and sure.

A Texas dad (who did not want to give his name) had some unexpected excitement on his family vacation a few years ago (2013). The man and his family were traveling through Memphis, Tennessee, when they stopped to fill up their gas tank. That's when the trip got really interesting.

Dad had been driving all night while another adult had been sleeping in the back of the van. At the stop, the two were going to switch places so dad could get some sleep. He went inside the station to pay for the gas, but after a while his family thought he had already crawled in the back. So they closed all the doors and took off, leaving dad at the gas station.

He tried to call his own cell phone, which was still in the van, but nobody answered it. Then he tried calling everybody else’s cell phone, six different phones, and still nobody answered. He tried his own cell phone again and it went straight to voicemail. They were obviously in a dead zone.

So the father called the police, but it was social media that saved the day. The frantic dad borrowed a computer from a local motel and got in touch with his family through Facebook. The van was about 100 miles away by the time he finally reached his family. The story had a happy ending: the family turned around, picked up dad, and continued their vacation. (WMC-TV, “Kids leave dad at gas station, realize mistake 100 miles away,” 6-25-13; www.PreachingToday.com)

Sometimes, dads get left behind, especially in our contemporary culture where their role is seen as more and more irrelevant. But that’s not the way God views dads. He places a high value on dads and rewards them for their faith in Him.

If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Genesis 15, Genesis 15, where we see how God rewarded Father Abram, and how He rewards anyone who trusts Him.

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” (ESV)

Now, Abram had just returned from a battle where he made some very powerful people very angry. So God reassures him: “I am your shield,” literally, “I am a shield to you; to you a very great reward.” It’s not so much that Abram’s reward shall be very great, but that God Himself is Abram’s very great reward.

You see, God rewarded Abram’s faith with the protection of His very own presence, and God rewards anyone who trusts Him with that same protection. Psalm 46 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…” (Psalm 46:1-2).

Just like for Abram, God is our shield and defender. All we need to do is trust Him with our lives like Abram did. All we need to do is depend on Him. All we need to do is…


Put your faith in the Lord and He will be YOUR shield. Trust Him with your life, and He will protect you from any real harm.

Several years ago (May 1995), Randy Reid, a 34-year-old construction worker, was welding on top of a nearly completed water tower outside Chicago. According to the news reports, Reid unhooked his safety gear to reach for some pipes when a metal cage slipped and bumped the scaffolding he stood on. The scaffolding tipped, and Reid lost his balance. He fell 110 feet, landing face down on a pile of dirt, just missing rocks and construction debris. A fellow worker called 911.

When paramedics arrived, they found Reid conscious, moving, and complaining of a sore back. Apparently the fall didn't hurt Reid’s sense of humor. As paramedics carried him on a backboard to the ambulance, Reid had one request: “Don't drop me.” (Doctors later said Reid came away from the accident with just a bruised lung.)

Sometimes we’re like that construction worker. God protects us from harm in a 110-foot fall, but we're still nervous about three-foot heights. You see, the God who saved us from hell and death can protect us from the smaller dangers we face each week. (Greg Asimakoupoulos, Naperville, Illinois, Leadership, Vol.16, No.4; www.PreachingToday.com)

Just trust Him with your life. Depend on Him. Believe and be safe. More than that…


Put your faith in the Lord and find yourself in a right standing before Him. Trust God with your life and He will treat you as righteous and holy in his sight.

That’s what happened to Abram. He not only found protection in the Lord, he found righteousness in the Lord as well. God said to Abram, “I am…your very great reward…”

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