Summary: A discussion on GENESIS 22, showing how the test of Abraham is also a test for us, and in that test, we are given a moment of personal testimony.
There is one constant in the kingdom of God. Every time God tests our faith, He also gives us something in return. That ‘something’ is a defining moment, and we refer to these as ‘personal testimonies’.
They give witness to the fact that God is active and working in our lives. Two weeks ago, we had some people give their personal testimonies. It is always impacting to hear what God has done in the lives of fellow Christians.
Today, I would like to ask if there are any others who might want to share their testimony with us, to give us another chance to see what the Lord is accomplishing in their lives.
HAVE VOLUNTEERS GIVE THEIR PERSONAL TESTIMONY
One of my most favorite things in church is listening to personal testimonies. To see evidence of God actively working in other people’s lives is thrilling to me. But there are many ways to offer a personal testimony of faith. One of those ways is through music.
A man by the name of Heratio Spaffard was an American businessman, and he was scheduled to travel by boat with his wife and four children to Ireland. At the last minute, a big business deal kept him from going, so he sent them on and told them he would follow shortly. Halfway to its destination, in the middle of the ocean, the boat his family was on sank, killing all aboard.
When Mr. Spaffard received word of the accident, he immediately chartered another boat and went directly to the place the other boat had sunk. As he leaned against the railing, staring at the spot he lost his wife and children, with as much grief as a man can bear, words began to come into his mind. With tears flooding his eyes and sobs making it impossible to talk, he went to his cabin and began to put those words down on paper.
Those words are found in the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul.” Now, Mr. Spaffard was not happy that he lost his family, but knowing they were all Christians gave him peace in his heart, and made his soul feel peace. That was a defining moment for Mr. Spaffard. History shows from that point on, Mr. Spaffard included the Lord in ever aspect of his life, more than he had ever done before. What a divine moment! What a personal testimony!
Francis Havergal wrote many hymns in her life. She said she got most of her inspiration from small moments – defining moments. She said one of the strongest things she had ever seen was a painting of Jesus, wearing a crown of thorns with blood dripping down from the wounds. He is facing Pilate, and the caption of that painting was; ‘This, I have done for thee - - what hast thou done for me?’
When she got home, she wrote a poem about what that painting meant to her, but was so emotional when she read it; she threw it in the fireplace. Have you ever noticed that God intervenes in the most miraculous of ways? As she walked by the fireplace, she threw the poem in, but like most sheets of paper, it flew out and landed on the floor without her seeing it. Her father picked it up, read it, and encouraged her to put music to it. She did, and the result was the hymn, “Take My Life, and Let It Be.”
How about you? Can you look back through your life and see moments where God tested you and that test became a defining moment? These moments abound in our lives. But it isn’t just people that have defining moments. Sometimes, churches have them, too. Things that happen to bring the church back to a full focus on Jesus. What we find is that whatever happened was actually a test for the church. This is when some churches begin to fail. They start looking at the problem in the test, and forget that faith is the answer.
I want you to turn with me to the book of GENESIS, chapter 22. We are going to look at a major defining moment in Abraham’s life. This would prove to be a major test in the man’s life.
Please follow me as I read GENESIS 22:1-14
Some time later, God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And Abraham replied, “Here I am.”
Then god said, “Take your son - your only son, Isaac – whom you love and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Early the next morning, Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”