Summary: Being saved by grace is good, but is that all God expects from you?

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May 18, 2003

Morning Service

Text: Genesis 11:31; 12:1-3; Hebrews 5: 12-14

Subject: Part 1 in a Series on Spiritual Growth

Title: Stuck in Haran / Moving Forward with God

Do any of you remember any of the silly things you did as a young person? Mistakes are a part of life but I’m talking about something that was just really stupid. So stupid that when you look back at it you can’t believe you did it. I think we have all done something like that in our lives, some of us more than others. And some of us are still doing those things.

A man went into the gas station to pay for his gas. As he was signing the credit card receipt the clerk noticed that he had never signed the back of his credit card and without the signature she couldn’t complete the transaction. So the man signed it. The clerk then took the card and compared the signature with the signature on the receipt that he had just signed. As luck would have it, they matched.

When you were a new Christian did you ever do anything stupid? God gives us grace to move forward in our faith, so we don’t have to stop and check the signature to see if it was really God who is speaking to us.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:11, When I was a child, I spoke as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. God expects us to mature in our Christian walk and to continually move forward. It is the process we know as sanctification. The problem is that some folks are just satisfied to have their foot inside the door to heaven so they can just get in.

Our passage today deals with a man that God called out to show him a better place. Abram and his family were called out of Ur to get away form idolatry. God wanted to show them a better place. They went by way of Haran and instead of moving on to the good place that God had prepared for them, they stayed there.

What is the proper Christian response to God’s expectations for your life? Today we will see that

God is calling you to a better place.

God doesn’t want you to be happy with "good enough".

God gives us the ability to achieve spiritual maturity.

"And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there."

I. God called His people out of Ur. Ur - Known as Ur of the Chaldeans. Identified by archaeologists as Tell el - Muqayyar located nine miles west of the present Nasiriyeh in southern Iraq. The city existed from about 4000 BC to 300 BC. The capital city of the third dynasty of Ur. If it was such a great city why did God call this family to leave? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for them to stay where they could proclaim God’s goodness? There was a conflict. The moon-God Nannar was worshiped in Ur. God wants to be pre - eminent in the lives of people everywhere.

Galatians 1:6, "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you ?" 2 Corinthians 6:17-18, "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

Abram and his family left Ur so what’s the problem?

First of all, God wanted to take them to the land that He would show them. (Genesis 12:1) The call was made to Abram. He let his father lead him instead of God.

They went to Haran. They got out of their comfort zone for a while but then as soon as they got to Haran they found something familiar that made it seem like a good place to stay. Who do you think was waiting for them when they got to Haran? Nannar the moon - God. Yep, they worshipped him in Haran too. God wasn’t asking them to move for the sake of moving. He wasn’t concerned with a change of location. He wanted a change of heart. When you are put right back with the same old crowd you are asking for trouble. 1 Peter 4:3-4, " For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles - when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you." Those you left behind when you were called into God’s kingdom want you to come back and party. And they will put as much pressure on you as they can.

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