Summary: how there are striking similarities and differences between ourselves and ABram

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February 24, 2002 Genesis 12:1-8

The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.

2 “I will make you into a great nation

and I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,

and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth

will be blessed through you.”

4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.

During the winter, a father once walked through the snow with his son lagging behind - trying to follow in his father’s steps. But the steps were so big and so wide, that the son found himself facing an impossible task. He just couldn’t do it. His feet were too small and his legs weren’t wide enough. The term they use for that is “he’s got big shoes to fill.” It happens in the work place, on the sports team, and within the home - where we are compared with those who have gone before us. Sometimes we always have to live in the shadow of some perceivably great person, and when we don’t compare it makes us angry. Instead, we say, we should just be the best WE can be and not worry about comparisons.

Yet when Paul was collecting an offering for some poor Jews in Jerusalem, he told the Corinthians that the Macedonians gave even MORE than they were able. And then he went on to say, I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. He told Timothy that he was to be an EXAMPLE to the believers in speech, in life, in love and in purity. They were to COMPARE themself with him when it came to their lives. So comparisons can be good. God does this so he can make his principles and concepts alive and kicking in our lives by seeing a living and acting example. Today, God paints the portrait of Abraham - the Father of all believers’ - life. What I want to do today sounds daunting - a little scary - but -

I Dare You to Compare Yourself to Abram

I. The background

Several weeks ago the Lydia Society shared with each other the different ways that they had met their spouses. It was really interesting to me to hear the background of the relationships that each of them had. Some met on a blind date while others met in church. When you compare backgrounds of people - especially in today’s society - you will get a wide variety of them.

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