Summary: A sermon about God calling us, no matter our situation in life.
"God Calling: Abraham and Sarah"
It can be terribly difficult to make decisions in this life.
Some of us have a difficult time deciding what to wear in the morning.
Others of us may have a hard time trying to decide what to order from a menu.
And as far as major life decisions...
Ask an average teenager what they want to be when they grow up, and your are liable to get at least two or three vague answers, with very little thought having gone into the "how" of how they would go about getting there.
Ask the same person a week later and the answers might change.
Some people never figure it out.
I've known lots of folks, well into their years, say something to the effect of: "I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up."
Many of us go through several different career changes before we settle on the one that seems to "fit."
As to where to go, how to get there, how are we gonna spend our time--there are just so many choices these days.
How can we know we are making the right decisions?
How can we know what the right move is?
One thing that the Bible is pretty clear about is that we aren't down here to just twiddle our thumbs and watch Judge Judy.
Neither are we down here to try and make a name for ourselves, build our own separate kingdoms, see who can die with the most stuff and so forth.
But what exactly are we here for?
That's a big question.
I don't know if there are a lot of people who expect to find the answer to that question.
Neither do I know whether or not most people expect God to show up in their lives in order to give them some help or hints along the way, although I believe God does this for all of us all the time.
How in the world does God do this?
I think that the call of God on Abraham and Sarah's life is a good place to start looking.
"The Lord said to Abram, 'Leave your land, your family and your father's household for the land that I will show you.
I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing'...Abram left just as the Lord told him."
This call and these promises to Abraham form the basis for what will later be called the Abrahamic Covenant.
And in receiving this call, these promises, and doing as the Lord told him Abraham became the father of our faith.
Do you know that, aside from Moses, no Old Testament person is mentioned more in the New Testament than Abraham?
God used Abraham to play a pivotal role in working out the history of redemption, culminating in the birth of Jesus.
The Book of Matthew starts with this: "A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."
James, the brother of Jesus refers to Abraham as "God's friend," a title that is used nowhere else in Scripture.
Believers of all generations are called "the children of Abraham."
You and I, as followers of Christ are "spiritual children" of Abraham or "Abraham's seed and heirs to the promise."
In Romans Chapter 4 Paul calls Abraham "the father of all who believe" in Christ.
So, we are talking here about a BIG time guy.
But how did he get so BIG?
What was he doing to deserve such a calling?
Why did God call Him in order to start the Judeo-Christian faith?
What was he doing when God called him?
Where was he?
Was he praying?
Was he fasting?
How did he deserve such a privilege?
What were the requirements that God gave Abram before he was called?
Did he have to give up worshiping other gods?
Because, before God called Abram, he was a polytheist--a pagan.
Did God say to Abram, "I want you to stop worshiping other gods, stop smoking marijuana, stop stealing car stereos, and selling drugs?
I want you studying your Bible and praying every day, and going to church.
I am going away for a few months and then I'll come back.
If I find you have done all these things, then be ready.
I will call you?"
Abram's call had no preconditions.
God does not call Abram because he is a righteous person.
All we know is that God calls Abram out of his problems, right when everything is the darkest.
And wait; suddenly, Abram starts sounding a lot like us, does he not?
Abram and Sarai were up against a wall.
They were facing a crisis.
Sarai was barren.
She couldn't give birth.
This was a cause for great shame in those days.