Summary: This is a sermon for anyone who's followed God half-heartedly or been partially obedient. It's a message of hope from the life of Abram/Abraham. He made so many mistakes but God brought him into every promise He had ever made.
Please stand for the reading of the Word
1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
I’d like to entitle today’s message . . .
My Story’s Not Over
Shall we pray
You may be seated
Our reading reveals the beginning of a remarkable journey . . . one that lasted over 100 years.
Abram was around 75 years old when he was called to leave all he knew and follow a God he had JUST MET. And Abram followed Him until he died at 175-years-old.
God met him right where he was - in an idol-making, idol worshiping family - and called him out of the ORDINARY into the EXTRAORDINARY.
God called Abram to a HIGHER way of living - to GREATNESS and BLESSING.
Listen to verses 2 and 3:
"2 ‘I will make you a GREAT nation; I will BLESS you and make your name GREAT; and you shall be a BLESSING. 3 I will BLESS those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be BLESSED.’”
Abram did NOT know how this would all work out - but he did know he had to follow. This was his moment!
Now this walking with God was all NEW to Abram and he would make PLENTY of mistakes. This became obvious from the very start.
God said, "Leave your land AND your father’s household." Abram left his land - yes - but he dragged his father and his father’s household along with him - he brought Terah, Haran and Lot. This was PARTIAL OBEDIENCE.
I’ve heard it said, “Partial obedience is DISOBEDIENCE!" And I get it. We push people to obey FULLY.
But notice what Hebrews 11:8 says, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
Terah, Haran, Lot . . . they’re not even mentioned. “PARTIAL” is not even in the sentence. It just says, “By faith Abraham obeyed!”
His OBEDIENCE - the PART about leaving his land - is the PART that God focused on - it was the part that COUNTED at the time!
Now don’t think it did NOT matter. Abram’s will learn that God had predicated the promises on Abram’s faithful and COMPLETE obedience.
Notice verse 1: “. . . get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you” - AND THEN - "I WILL BLESS HIM AND MAKE YOUR NAME GREAT."
But in his new-found faith, God did not SLAM Abram for the part he got WRONG! Rather, He CELEBRATED Abram for the part he got right!
I’m gonna tell you something, God will NOT write you off because of the part of the Word that you’ve YET TO OBEY! Rather, He will REJOICE with you over the part you HAVE OBEYED!
God looks at the part you HAVE DONE RIGHT!
God looks at the part you HAVE SURRENDERED!
And He says, “That’s good! I can work with that! You keep walking!”
Don’t get so high and mighty that you think God writes off people who have not all-the-way OBEYED! If He did that, NONE OF US COULD STAND HERE TODAY!
Lamentations 3:22 – 23 says, “22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."
Abram was NEW AT THIS! He was aNEW CONVERT! He had NEVER followed the Lord before! God was changing his heart from a heart of IDOLATRY to a heart that worshiped the true and living God!
His heart had been a field of weeds and God was re-cultivating it - repurposing it - turning it into a field of beautiful roses and wheat and fruitfulness.
It was as if the areas in which he WAS OBEDIENT were the weedkiller and fertilizer PREPARING THE WAY for more and more obedience in his future.
Now, to be sure, Terah, Haran and Lot SLOWED ABRAM DOWN. As a matter of fact, he got STUCK FOR YEARS halfway between Ur and Canaan.
He had still not even arrived to the land where God had called him . . .
He still had no kid . . . no NATION . . .