Summary: God wants to reveal Himself to you so that He can reveal Himself through you.
[Use children’s sermon as introduction for this sermon.]
I have a reward for one of you this morning, but you’re going to have to trust me to get it. Here’s the challenge: Somewhere in this room I have hidden a candy bar and you have to find it while blindfolded. I will tell you that it is in the back of the room, so you’ll have to put on the blindfold, walk to the back, locate it, and then return to this spot. Who thinks that they’re up for this challenge?
What if told you that I’d give you directions on how to find the prize, could you do it then? What if I told you that I’d walk right beside you so that you wouldn’t hurt yourself and I wouldn’t allow you to bump into anything or fall in case you’re worried about being laughed at, would you take the challenge?
[Recruit a volunteer, child or adult, and lead them through the process.]
Congratulations you did it! You get the prize. You also learned you can do the impossible with a little help from someone who can see what’s really going on. Did you learn anything about me? Did I let you bump into anything? Did I let you get hurt? Did I lead you to the prize that I promised? Yes! You learned that you can trust me. Now let’s try driving a car while blindfolded …
This is a demonstration of faith. In our age faith has been distilled into a set of doctrines that you agree with. We often evaluate a person’s faith based on whether or not they believe in certain statements: Do you believe in God? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Do you believe He died to save you from your sins?
While this is certainly a part of faith it’s not the whole story. There is a living aspect to it. Faith is the experience of a relationship with a God who still walks among us. As we live out His commands and calling on our lives we “see” more of who God really is. Why does He do this? God wants to reveal Himself to you so that He can reveal Himself through you. The more you know God, though His word and experience, the more you will make Him known to others.
We live in a nation where people seem to have lost knowledge of the true God. In modern America we tend to create God in our own image rather than bow before the real thing. I bet you have friends or family members who do not know the Lord either. Let me ask you, “Is Jesus Christ being revealed to them through you?” If you’re answer is an honest “no” or even a maybe, perhaps the reason is that you haven’t yet enrolled in His school of faith. Yes, you may know correct doctrine. You may be able to pass a theological multiple choice test with flying colors, but that’s only have the story. Are you walking with God? Is the Lord leading you to places where you can only manage with Him? Is your life more characterized by risk that comfort? That’s the school of faith. God send all of His children to be instructed there. Why? God wants to reveal Himself to you so that He can reveal Himself through you.
This morning we’re entering into a new phase in the book of Genesis. We begin our initial look into the ultimate man of faith, Abraham, or Abram as he was called at first. We’ll walk with him through 15 chapters of Genesis and learn from him as he walks with God. You’re going to be encouraged as you see Abraham stumble through these stories. Although he was enrolled in the school of faith, he was not what you’d consider a star performer. Abraham had just as many doubts, fears, and failures as we do yet he never gave up on God because God never gave up on him. In it all God had the same purpose as with us: God wanted to reveal Himself to Abram so that He could reveal Himself through Abram.
Let’s learn the same lessons from the Master Teacher.
Lessons from the Master Teacher
1. The Lord calls the class into session.
There was nothing about Abram or his family that gave him an advantage with God. Although they were descended from the blessed line of Noah’s son Shem, Abram and his family were most likely devotees of the moon-god, Sin. The world of Abram’s day had largely lost knowledge of the true God and settled for idols that they thought they could manipulate. Because of this the Lord God, who needs nothing from men, broke into Abram’s life and called him into relationship where he’d have to trust and follow.