Summary: How to develop an exponential perspective and start believing, trusting, and cooperating with God for miraculous growth in His Kingdom. A sermon of early preparation for a 40 Days of Purpose Campaign.
FATHER ABRAHAM HAD MANY SONS
Genesis 15: 1-6
1. At our Wednesday night gathering and with the group that met at Al and Birdie’s home on Thursday, to start getting a broad overview of our planned 40 Day’s of Purpose Campaign during Lent, we heard Pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA tell us on video that for this campaign to accomplish God’s purpose among us, we would have to start thinking exponentially.
• What does that mean? What on earth is exponential thinking and how does one start thinking exponentially?
2. What Warren is attempting to do is move us out of the limited and restricted type of thinking that focuses more on what we can do, what we are capable of accomplishing with what we have at our disposal rather than on the power and unlimited resources of God.
• It is a way of thinking that challenges us to “think outside the box” and to trust God and believe God for results that go way beyond anything we could ever have visualized or imagined for ourselves.
• And so what he suggests as a way to move us into that dimension of thinking is to add a zero to the numbers of people we desire to reach with our 40 Day Campaign.
• Now we have 70 people on our membership list. That would not be too hard for us to reach all 70 of our members. I mean it would take some work, but it is not beyond the reach of our imagination or of our capability.
• Now think of adding a zero to that number and we have 700 people. And immediately we realize that that forces us either to say an immediate “NO WAY!” or to acknowledge that there is no way we can do that unless God shows up and works a miracle among us. I doubt there is even a facility in Morton that can accommodate 700 people at once.
• That is exponential thinking – it takes out of the realm of human capability and forces us to rely and trust on God’s divine ability.
3. Now the exponential approach to life was God’s idea from the very beginning in every living thing that He made.
• You have surely noticed that God never created any fruit or seed bearing tree or plant that only produces one fruit or vegetable bearing only one seed. There are always multiples of seeds in every fruit or vegetable so that from that one plant could come many, many more plants.
• You are also no doubt aware that in every human female at birth God placed 1-2 million eggs and an unlimited supply of sperm in the male, so that we truly could “be fruitful and multiply” as He commanded Adam and Eve.
4. Of course, sadly sometimes in this imperfect world, we have to deal with issues such as infertility and miscarriages.
• And we sure had our share of the latter losses to deal with in the process of producing 3 beautiful daughters.
• Infertility was the problem with which dear old Sarai, Abram’s wife, had to contend. It was cause for much sadness and anguish and meant not only that there would be no son to continue the family line, but that Abram’s entire inheritance would go to one of his slaves.
• Listen to Abram’s plea in Genesis 15:3 “Lord, you have given me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir.”
5. And God responds by taking 75 year old Abram out to examine the night sky and say to him, “Look up at the sky, and count the number of stars if you can” and then He added, “That’s how many descendents you’re going to have”. And Abram believed the Lord.
• God was encouraging Abram to exercise exponential thinking and in a leap of faith he said yes to the challenge.
• He believed God – which means he had to keep looking at God and not his own increasingly aged body or that of his wife. He had to keep reminding himself of God’s word and promise and not the doubts and fears and uncertainties that must certainly have flooded his mind.
6. It’s hard to start exercising faith as we become older if it has not been part and parcel of our life since we were young.
• It’s no wonder Jesus said that unless we become again as a little child we would be unable to enter into the Kingdom of heaven. Little children generally have such a natural inbuilt ability to trust and believe. Their imagination has not yet been poisoned or limited or darkened by the lies, deceit, disappointments and sinfulness of this world. They are not yet as prone to skepticism, cynicism, and doubt.