Summary: If we want to follow in the footsteps of Abraham, and enjoy God's blessings on Abraham on ourselves and the generations that follow us, we must be willing to be obedient when God tests us Sacrifice our best to God See God's Provision befor He gives it
A man by the name of Steve Winger told of his last college exam. It was a final in a class in Logic. The professor was known for giving difficult exams. Steve noted that the professor did make one concession:
"To help us on our test, the professor told us we could bring as much information as we could fit on a piece of notebook paper.
Most students scrammed as many facts as possible on their 8 and 1/2 by 11" sheet of paper.
But one student walked into class, put a piece of paper on the floor, and had an advanced Logic student stand on the paper. The advanced Logic student told him everything he needed to know. And he was the only student to receive an "A"
-Jeff Strite, Sermoncentral.com
Read together Genesis 22:1-17
God Tests our faith (Faith demands obedience)
When you go the pharmacy, and purchase prescription drugs you do so believing that drug has been tested. You trust that the manufacturer has done clinical trials and has proven it is safe.
When you buy a car, you believe it’s safe because car companies are required to test them.
An army going through basic training is not ready for battle. It’s not until soldiers have faced the enemy fire that they consider themselves proven, hardened, worthy.
A ship can’t prove that it’s well built as long as it stays in dry dock. Its hull has to get wet; it must face the waves and storms of the sea to prove it’s genuinely seaworthy.
We expect EVERYTHING that has value to be tested. And the MORE important something is -- the more we rely upon its being safe/valuable - the more rigorous that test is going to be.
. . . .
The key to Abraham’s kind of faith is the willingness to take the test. A willingness to look at the question, and put God and His faithfulness down as my answer.
At 3:00 a.m. one cold morning a missionary candidate walked into an office for a scheduled interview with the examiner of a mission board. He waited until 8 a.m. when the examiner arrived. The examiner said, “Let us begin. First, please spell baker.” “B-a-k-e-r,” the young man spelled. “Very good. Now, let’s see what you know about figures. How much is twice two?” “Four,” replied the applicant. “Very good,” the examiner said. “I’ll recommend to the board tomorrow that you be appointed. You have passed the test.”
At the board meeting the examiner spoke highly of the applicant and said. “He has all the qualifications of a missionary. Let me explain. First, I tested him on self-denial. I told him to be at my house at three in the morning. He left a warm bed and came out in the cold without a word of complaint. Second, I tried him out on punctuality. He appeared on time. Third, I examined him on patience. I made him wait five hours to see me, after telling him to come at three. Fourth, I tested him on temper. He failed to show any sign of it; he didn’t even question my delay. Fifth, I tried his humility. I asked him questions that a small child could answer and he showed no offense. He meets the requirements and will make the missionary we need.” (7,700 Illustrations # 3461) -Victor Yap sermoncentral.com
God Tests our faith (Faith demands obedience)
God Demands our Best (Faith demands devotion in difficulty)
. . . . Abraham was not the father of all who believe (Rom 4:11), the father of the circumcised (Rom 4:12) and the father of many nations (Rom 4:17) for nothing. Since he clearly knew that God had promised him offspring through Isaac (Gen 21:12), so why did he plan to sacrifice his own son? Abraham knew that God was perfect and nothing was impossible to Him. He could give Abraham his son back unharmed, in one piece, as if nothing had happened. God could even present Isaac to his father better than ever, as good as new and in the best shape possible. –Victor Yap sermoncentral.com
“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” Hebrews 11:17-19
Bertoldo de Giovanni is a name even the most enthusiastic lover of art is unlikely to recognize. He was the pupil of Donatello, the greatest sculptor of his time, and he was the teacher of Michelangelo, the greatest sculptor of all time. Michelangelo was only 14 years old when he came to Bertoldo, but it was already obvious that he was enormously gifted. Bertoldo was wise enough to realize that gifted people are often tempted to coast rather than grow, and therefore he kept trying to pressure his young prodigy to work seriously at his art. One day he came into the studio to find Michelangelo toying with a piece of sculpture far beneath his abilities. Bertoldo grabbed a hammer, stomped across the room, and smashed the work into tiny pieces, shouting this unforgettable message, “Michelangelo, talent is cheap; dedication is costly!” (Gary Inrig, A Call to Excellence) from a message on sermoncentral.com