Summary: Living in God’s World, God’s Way
Sermon Series: 2007 - Releasing Your Drive and Passion for God
Today’s Message: Living in God’s World & God’s Way (pt.2)
Text: Colossians 3:23; Gen. 17:15-27
Dr. Ken Squires, Jr. January 07, 2006
Edited by Dale Weaver
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. (Colossians 3:23 - NIV)
Abraham fell face down; he laughed and said to himself,
“Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old?” Will Sarah bear a child at age ninety? (Genesis 17:17 - NIV)
It has been said that the Old Testament tends toward ILLUSTRATION and the New Testament more toward INSTRUCTION. If this is the case (and we believe it is) we can use Abraham as an illustration to more fully receive instruction on what it means to live in the power and performance of Colossians 3:23 during 2007. When we look closely at the life of Abraham, we cannot help but notice that he was a pioneer of the faith. But we mustn’t limit his pioneering spirit to faith alone!
Like Americans who move every five years in a rootless society, we find Abraham on the move in Genesis 12;
(1) The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your Father’s household and go to the place I will show you…(4) So Abram left, as the Lord has told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran (Genesis 12 - NIV).
Abraham had the spirit of a pioneer. He was willing to move – in every sense of the word - from the known to the unknown. Life can be really bland if played strictly between the forty-yard lines. As each tent peg was unearthed, Abraham was undoubtedly surprised by our God of surprises.
· Abraham was an idol worshipper? What could God possibly want from him? Can God really use me, in spite of my past?
· Why was God’s plan so slow in unfolding? Fully thirteen years passed between chapters 16 and chapter 17.
· How in the world were Isaac’s aged parents to keep with him in their old age? “Look, Sarah -- the stork just landed at our senior retirement community!”
Pioneers are in a class all their own. They are people who swim upstream against the ethical current of the day (like Noah). They are individuals who take on the Goliath of the day with no fear of defeat (such as David). As servants of God living grace filled values they accept injustice in a spirit of humility (example: Joseph).
Take the founders of space travel, for example. Three innovative men, each unaware of the others, launched our world into the unexpected new era of space travel: (1)
In 1903, Russian Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky first speculated that a rocket could travel beyond the earth’s atmosphere.
In 1923, Hermon Oberth, a Transylvanian-German developed the first mathematical formula for space travel.
In 1926, Robert H. Goddard launched the first liquid-propellant rocket from a farm near Auburn, Massachusetts.
Each man was different, yet each fulfilled the love and passion of a lifetime. Although worlds apart, the impact of their discoveries would not be fully understood until years later. Others would build on each person’s contribution, and mankind would move inexorably toward flight into space. The individual endeavors of these pioneers would combine to eventually landing a man on the moon.
Abraham was a pioneer; not in space flight but in the spiritual flight of faith. A study of his life takes us into uncharted territory -- allowing us to experience a relationship with God that spans the ages. In addition to being the father of faith, Abraham is also the father of mentorship, apprenticeship and discipleship. Entire nations trace their roots back to Abraham. Today three world religions claim Abraham as their founder -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Do you remember these insights from our last message?
So what is a disciple? It is a person willing to be mentored by another person; who learns what that individual is and does. The nice thing about this definition… is that you can do it! It is learning from Jesus how to live your life, your whole life, your real life.
You are not learning from Jesus how to live his life. His life was supernatural and without sin. It has been lived. Nobody will live that life again, not even Jesus. So what is it we are trying to do? I love what Dallas Willard says we should be doing-
“I need to be able to live my life as he would live it, if He were I.
-Dallas Willard (2)