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Summary: When Abraham was tested, he knew what it took to "Make the Grade"...Do you?

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*all scriptures taken from NIV unless otherwise noted*

MAKING THE GRADE

INTRODUCTION

• “You’re wife, Sarah, will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.” Genesis 17:19 (NIV)

• It’s been said that “the difference between school and life is: In school you are taught a lesson and then given a test; in life, you are given a test which teaches a lesson.”

• We all remember taking tests in school. Why does the teacher give you a test?

o It’s not to harm you, but to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

• Life is full of tests; especially in our spiritual walk.

• We want to pass these tests with faith like that of Abraham, David, or even Jesus.

• How do you get that kind of faith?

o God builds your faith and my faith by testing it. Faith is like a muscle, when it’s stretched and pulled, it will develop.

• By being tested, one strengthens their faith and realization of what they’re capable of.

• God tests us for our benefit!

o He wants us to know what we are capable of achieving!

• Abraham teaches us that by passing God's tests, we can become Spiritual Giants.

• In Genesis 22, we find a major test of faith in the life of Abraham

THE TEXT

• Read Genesis 22:1-18

• We don’t question as much when God asks us to give up the bad, but what about when He asks us to give up a blessing?

o For Abraham (100 yrs old), it was a test between two loves: Isaac and God.

• God wanted to test Abraham so the he would see what God saw in Him. God wanted Abraham to see that he had what it took to make the grade.

• God still tests us today so that we can know what our faith is capable of.

• By being tested, we can see our strengths and weaknesses.

• God is rooting for us, but we must understand how to make the grade so that we can pass the biggest exams of our lives.

HOW TO MAKE THE GRADE:

I. HEAR YOUR TEACHER

• Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. (v. 1)

• God’s voice was familiar to Abraham.

• Today, we have many different “voices” telling us what to do and it can be hard to “hear” the voice of our Lord.

o Between calendars, schedules, ball games, work, and school; it can feel like thousands of voices are telling us what to do.

• In the midst of all these voices, how do we discern the voice of God?

• How do we know if it is truly a test of faith by the voice of God?

• The first and primary way to begin discerning the voice of God is by studying His Word.

Transition: Abraham shows us that, in order to discern the voice of God, one must KNOW GOD.

• So, we learn that we must also know our teacher.

II. KNOW YOUR TEACHER

• Every student will learns the value of knowing their teacher when they enter college.

• In fact, I spent much of my college career and even now my days in Graduate school getting to know the teachers.

o What does he want, what does he look for, what interests him, what does he like to test you on, and what format does he use. Much of the time in and out of a classroom is spent trying to figure this information out so that one can pass whatever test comes his way.

• It's the same with God; and, Abraham understood this.

• Time and time again we see Abraham talking with God and getting to know Him!

• We see Abraham and God in consistent dialogue, getting to know the way each other works and thinks.

• Abraham understands the importance of knowing his Teacher!

• In fact, it is this reason that Abraham was able to tell Isaac, his son, "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering" (Genesis 22:7-8) when inquired to its whereabouts by Isaac.

• It was because Abraham KNEW God and that He is faithful to His word.

• In the same way, if we intend on overcoming our tests in life, or making the grade, we must know God, who is our greatest Teacher

• While study is God’s Word helps us to hear Him, a consistent prayer life will help us to get to know Him.

• The more time you spend with God, the better you'll be able to discern His voice.

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