Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This message looks at the faith of a man who was willing to walk on faith alone...

In Hebrews 11 we have this great list of people who lived by faith. They were just normal people, but because they trusted God with everything they had they became extraordinary! It wasn’t that they were special...it was that their faith was special. What I love about looking at their stories is that they do more than just inspire - they remind me that if I am willing to trust God with everything I have that I can be like them...

This morning I want us to look at verses 8-10 and a man named Abraham. (Read Hebrews 11:8-10)

Abraham’s story is pretty amazing. (Genesis 12:1-7) The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

The life story of Abraham pretty much follows that pattern. He is told to do something by God, and he rises to the challenge, and God fulfills his promise. But along the way there were many detours. If you read through the story of Abraham you find that he didn’t always make the best choices. There were many detours and valleys - along with some pretty amazing mountaintops...

What would he say to us? This is just my guess of course - but I think he’d probably start with...

With God - anything is possible!

One of the most interesting parts of the life story of Abraham is the fact that he is given this huge promise from God - but it seems as if God chose the wrong guy. The promise is that his descendants would number more than the grains of sand...but his wife Sarah was barren.

In fact, when God tells Abraham that he’ll have a son, he laughs to himself. Sarah later hears the prophesy too, and this is her reply (Genesis 18:10-12) Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!” Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”

You know most of us feel that same way... If we are honest, when we are told that God wants to use us, we laugh a little bit on the inside - or we say - not me... God can’t use me - and we give our laundry list of reasons... But with God - anything is possible!

Part of faith - and living a life of faith is to begin to believe that God is bigger than you. God is bigger than your weaknesses. God is bigger than your wallet. God is bigger than you age. God is able to do amazing things - God is able to do the impossible - the question is, do we believe?

Life is one step after another, but always remember - God goes with you...

In Abraham’s life, we see a series of trials - some small, some very large. We also see detours that God didn’t plan - For instance, when Abraham and Sarah have this promise but have no way to have a child, they take matters into their own hands and Abraham has a son with a maidservant. Abraham also twice goes into a foreign land and tries to pretend that Sarah is his sister not his wife ...both times that doesn’t work out as planned! ...but throughout it all one of the things you also see is that with every step that Abraham takes, God goes with him!

I find that very comforting! How do we know that the decision before us is the way that we are supposed to go? ...or what about when we step out there and it becomes clear its the wrong move. If we are not careful, we can get so worried about “God’s will” that we get stuck. We get paralyzed...

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