What comes to mind when you hear the name Abram? Ok, how about Abraham? They are the same person, only his name is Abram at the beginning of God’s work in his life. So, what comes to mind when you hear that name? “Father Abraham, had many sons, had many sons had father Abraham….” Did you ever sing that? I hope so. If not I feel fairly stupid right now. “Right arm, left arm, right foot, left foot…”
We have now gone through the first eleven chapters of Genesis. We are entering into the next major part of this book of beginnings in chapter twelve. It is interesting that the first eleven chapters covers some 2000 years of history. Remember, we have looked at creation, the fall, the flood, the tower, and finally today we begin to see the start of God’s people. These next fourteen chapters of Genesis deal with Abraham. Besides the Lord Jesus Christ, Abraham is the most important figure in the Bible. He is dear to the Jew, the Muslim, and Christians alike. Abraham means “a father of many peoples.” We are going to spend the next weeks, I’m not sure how many, at least February, looking at Abraham’s life and what we can learn from it. There is much to be learned from this man and what God did in his life. I hope you will plan to be here for the next few weeks, all 48 to be precise.
I believe the best place to start with Abraham is where we all started out at time or another, with God’s call on our life.
What does that mean? All of us have a calling in our life. God is calling all of us to something.
1. God is calling us into a right relationship with Him.
2. God is calling us to be His witnesses here on earth.
3. God is calling us to be ministers of the Gospel, ambassadors, ministers of reconciliation.
4. God is calling us to be godly men and women.
Some are having a hard time today with God’s call on their lives because they feel God must be making a mistake. “Me? No way. I’ve done this and that. I can’t do this or that. I’m not good at this or that.”
I. Is Not About Who You Are. Vs. 27
A. Who was Abram?
B. He was the son of Terah.
1. Part of an idol worshipping family.
2. Possible that Abram worshipped idols.
3. Joshua 24:2 “And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River (Euphrates), namely Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods.”
C. That does not sound like someone who would become the father of many peoples.
D. That is how God works. He does not call us based on who or what we are, but rather on who He is going to make us into.
E. There was nothing about Abram that made him stand out. Nothing good about him that made God choose him.
F. Same is true for us today. There is nothing good in us that causes God to love us. There is nothing in us that makes us worthy of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
G. There is nothing about me that I should be here today preaching. There is nothing within me that is good, except that which God has done in me.
H. God’s call on our life means that He desires to call us, as we are, where we are and begin to lead us to the place He desires us to be and to become all that He wants to make us.
I. Look in verse 12:1 “Go forth from……to the land I will show you.”
J. God wants to take you and I from someplace to someplace. He wants to take you from where you are, to a place in life He will show you.
K. He won’t include all the details, but the call comes. Details aren’t needed in God’s call because remember, it’s not about you, but all about God and His calling on your life.
Right now there are men and women serving our country over seas and at home. They are making many sacrifices to be doing what they are doing. Some people would argue that they volunteered to do it. They chose to serve. Praise God they did. Never the less, they are making sacrifices in answer to the commander in chief’s call.
One reason so many people today don’t hear clearly God’s call or are not fulfilling the call of God on their life is because they are not willing to make sacrifices. And God’s call….
II. Requires Sacrifice. 12:1
A. Anytime we are going to follow the will of God, it will require a separation from something. In Abram’s case, it was a separation from his past. This was no easy thing to do.
B. Abram did not fully answer the call the first time.
C. Let me show you what I’m talking about.
D. Acts 7:2-4 “And he said, “Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3and said to him, ‘LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR RELATIVES, AND COME INTO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.’ 4“Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living.”
E. When they left the first time, from Ur, they settled in Haran. We see again the word “settled”. From last week we know that we can’t settle for less than God’s will.
F. Haran had something in common with Ur. There was familiarity there. Both Ur and Haran practiced idol worship with a moon god.
G. When God calls Abram a second time, there is a command to leave all that is familiar. “Go forth from your country.” “Go forth from your relatives.” “Go forth from your father’s household.”
H. I believe you can see the sacrifice Abram was about to make.
1. We are seeing God remove Abram from his comfort zones.
2. We are seeing God remove Abram from his idolatrous surroundings.
3. God will take Abram away from all that would be a hindrance to him becoming the father of a great nation.
I. If you and I are going to truly pursue the call of God on our lives, we must be willing to give up those things that will not move us toward fulfilling that call.
J. Abram was hung up with family, clinging to his roots. Had to have a funeral and then was able to pick up and follow the call of God.
K. Some of us today need to have a funeral. We need to bury some of those things that hold us back from answering God’s call. Jesus said we must deny our self, pick up our cross and follow him.
L. You may be feeling like you have blown it. You have stopped short of what God has called you to do and you feel it is too late. No it’s not. If God has called you to do something, press on with it. How many of us honestly have a hard time separating from our past in pursuit of God’s call on our life?
1. We get hung up somewhere along the way.
2. We begin to cling to our roots, the problem being that our roots are usually what God is calling us away from.
3. We want to remain in our environment, the very thing God is calling us out of.
M. There is good news in the second calling of Abram. God does not give up on a person He is calling.
N. That is the only way I can explain how I am here today. He did not give up on me and He won’t give up on you. “He who began a good work in you….” Phil 1:6.
Now, let me say this: Following the call of God, fulfilling the call of God on your life, does require sacrifice. Yes, you will give up certain aspects of life as your knew it when you lived a life separated from God, but, God’s call also comes with certain promises for those who will answer the call. God’s call…..
III. Comes With Promises
A. Here they are:
1. Make you a great nation. Abraham had to leave his country, God is going to make a nation out of him.
2. I will bless you. I will do more for you than the gods you served before me.
3. I will make your name great. God took Abram from his family, took that identity away, only to give him a greater one.
4. Make you a blessing. God would make Abram into a person who would bless others.
5. Blessings and curses on those who bless or curse Abram (Israel), a promise of protection. Check your history to verify this.
6. Abram would be a blessing to all the families of the earth. Jews did nothing to inherit God’s favor, all in keeping His word to Abram. You and I did nothing to deserve a Savior in Jesus, all in keeping His Word to Abram.
B. God will bless those who answer His call in their lives.
C. Abram could have said
1. “What if ….I get out of your will or misunderstand you?” I will make you a great nation.
2. What if my descendants worship idols? I will make you a great nation.
3. What if I find myself in a famine and go to Egypt for food? I will bless you.
D. You could say the same things today.
1. What if I mess up after I start following God? God says “I have saved you.
2. What if I lack faith sometimes? I have saved you.
E. Remember, it is all based on who God is, not who we are. I can’t hold my own salvation. I’d lose it. God holds my salvation secure. God maintains the calling on my life. My responsibility is to follow Him with a child like faith. Blind faith.
IV. Requires Blind Faith.
A. Did not know where he was going. “A land that I will show you.”
B. Illustrations from growing up. Get in the car, we are leaving, find out when we get there. Good preparation for the Army.
C. Abram was going to be a great nation. How so? Had no children. Wife was barren. Look in verse 30. Why is that there? Just kinda sticks out. There to illustrate the faith it took for Abram to get up and go.
D. Abram was just beginning his journey of following God. There would be mistakes made and we are going to look at them. The point is, verse 4 “So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken…”
E. Abram went forth on blind faith. Trusting God just because God said.
F. God is calling some of you today.
1. God is calling you to serve.
2. God is calling some of you out of a life of sin today.
3. God is calling some of you out of addiction, could be any kind, drug, alcohol, sexual, pornography. God is calling you out of something today because there is something better He is desire to lead you into.
4. will you step out on faith today and answer God’s call. Quit trying to figure out why God would call you, it’s not about who you are, but Who He is. Are you willing to sacrifice those things God may require in order to answer the call today? Are you ready to receive the blessings God promises to all who respond in blind faith?