Summary: Love is not something that we would think would compete with God, but it can.
• SLIDE #1
• Take a moment and think about something you love dearly, it could be (SHOULD BE) your spouse, children, a possession, maybe you are in a relationship with someone. Just think about the thing you love the most.
• No Sunday school answers think of something other than Jesus on this question.
• Keep the person or object in the back of your mind as we take on the final titan of our series, the Clash of The Titan, the battle between God and the gods we serve.
• When we think of the titan of love, I am not sure too many of us would put love in the same arena as the other titans we have investigated.
• Isn’t love a good thing? Shouldn’t we love others, and on a different level love the things we are blessed with?
• I am supposed to love my spouse, my children, parents, grandchildren, friends, etc...?
• Well the answer is a resounding YES, but remember what we have said about the other Titans we looked at, what was wrong with them? The position we give them in our hearts.
• The great theologian Augustine described false gods as “disordered loves.”
• Basically the point he was making is that often times legitimate loves that are out of order in our lives is the root of the problem.
• Just like pleasure and success, love becomes a problem when what or who we love sits on the top of the heart. When what we love pushes God to a lower level, we have a problem.
• How do we know if we have our love for something else ahead of God?
• Well when we start to compromise what we KNOW is RIGHT and PLEASING to God in order to obtain, maintain, said object. When we would compromise our faith for an object we know our love is out of order.
• How can we tell if our love for another person has been put ahead of God?
• Well when we start to compromise what we KNOW is RIGHT and PLEASING to God in order to obtain, maintain, or please said PERSON. When we would compromise our faith for another PERSON we know our love is out of order.
• I will hammer this more in the second service but if you have to compromise what you know is God’s will for your life to keep a person you are dating, you better watch out!
• SLIDE #2
• 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (HCSB) For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality,
• Today we will be turning to Genesis 22. This is the story of Abraham and his beloved son Isaac.
• We will see that Abraham will be forced to make a choice as to who was going to occupy first place in his heart, the Lord or his beloved son Isaac.
• Let’s start in Genesis 22:1-2
• SLIDE #3
• Genesis 22:1–2 (HCSB) 1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he answered. 2 “Take your son,” He said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
• SLIDE #4
I. Abraham’s challenge from God.
• Wow! This does not seem right on ANY level when we look at it from our perspective.
• Verse 1 says God tested Abraham. Oh my, what a test!
• Now this passage is the last time we have recorded that God spoke to Abraham.
• Before we call God a monster for what He is asking Abraham to do we need to understand that in the historical context the other gods people worshipped and that Abraham himself may have worshipped at one time sometimes required child sacrifices.
• In a sense God was asking Abraham to show the same level of devotion that those who followed the false gods would give to their god.
• We also need to see that Abraham had a tendency as we all do at times to struggle with using human schemes to see that God fulfilled his promises. Lot going with him when God said to leave everything, Sarah’s plan with Hagar, twice lying about Sara being his wife, etc…
• So here is God, here is Abraham, and as usual three is a crowd, Isaac.
• God is going to put Abraham to the test, by the way, God’s testing of Abraham was not meant for him to fail, but rather to grow in his faith in God.
• God wanted to see if Abraham had succumbed to the titan of love through his son Isaac. Isaac was special to Abraham. Isaac was the son that Abraham and Sara had waited MANY years for, (Sara was 90 and Abraham was 100, Talk about a mid-life surprise!).