Summary: Abram was called to travel with God. It was a step of faith. God wanted to reveal to Abram that he was a God of love. God had a plan to bring about our Salvation through Abram. God still calls us to travel with him because he has a plan to help us expe
In Jesus Holy Name June 22, 2008
Series: O.T. Challenges Redeemer
“Why Does God Waste Time with Sinners”
Today we have returned to our series of messages: O.T. Challenges. In our text God is inviting Abram on a journey. It’s an invitation to travel with God. Abram, that was his name before God changed it to Abraham, but that’s later. I must admit that I have been intrigued by this invitation to Abram. He doesn’t’ know that once he begins this journey it will be a difficult an uncomfortable journey at times.
Abram has a wife, a nephew and all their servants who travel with him. He is 75 years old. He’s gone his entire life without children. He has enough servants that he can field an army of 300 men…plus their wives and children. He is responsible for hundreds of people, their clothing and food needs. This is no simple shepherd with a few head of sheep.
God promises that Abram will possess:
1) A land in a different place, God does not tell Abram the destination. It is unknown to Abram. (v1)
2) He will be blessed. That means he will experience God’s goodness.
3) His descendants will become a great nation. He will be famous.
4) Anybody Abram chooses to bless, they will be blessed by God.
5) All families on earth will be blessed.
God is going to transform Abram. If you have been in church a long time then you know the rest of the story. Through Abram God was creating a new people called Israelites, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, through whom a Savior for the world would be born to Mary and Joseph. This Savior was named Jesus. He never sinned.
He worked miracles in fulfillment of O.T. prophecies. Healed the blind, cured the lame, and restored the out cast to society and worship. He raised the dead. He was arrested by Jewish religious leaders who could not and would not believe that Jesus was the visible presence of the invisible God.
That’s the end of the story….today we must begin where God began with Abram. (read Joshua 24:2-4) Abram did not know the God of creation. So why would God waste time with a sinner like Abram who worshiped false gods? Why does God waste time with sinners, who do not know him today?
Look at the list. Abram, Jacob, a liar and cheat, Moses, David, Solomon, Samson, Matthew a tax collector, Paul who persecuted Christians and stood by watching the stoning of Stephen the first Christian martyr.
Why does God waste time with sinners? This may sound familiar. He loves you and me. He created each of us. We are the apple of his eye. He is fulfilling a promise he made a long time ago to two people who had to leave the Garden of Eden.
Since the fall of Adam and Eve, human beings are selfish by nature, they want their own way. Sinful behavior always separates and alienates us from one another and our Creator. When Jesus walked the paved Roman roads of Palestine his message was simple: “Repent, the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” God has arrived, in person. In Jesus God seeks to restore lost friendship, forgive evil behavior and restore harmony and peace.
God wants people who are spiritually lost to be found. He wants people to experience His love and be secure in their knowledge of his offer of eternal life beyond the life we know on this spinning blue marble, suspended in space.
God “wastes” his time and effort on sinners like Abram, because he had a plan to save you and me. His plan is to restore those who are spiritually lost and empty.
One of the human realities is that human beings are always tempted to believe that we can cure our own alienation from God by a little effort of our own. God “wastes” his time with sinners because he is “merciful” and we can not find him on our own!
Abram brought nothing to God. God chose Him. God was at work. Abram heard the voice of God and believed. He gathered up his family. They moved. I want to point out that he did not know the final destination.
This week two of our members answered God’s call. God invited them to travel to the Ukraine. They have never been there. They don’t know how God will use them. They walked onto an airplane and trusted that God would “bless people through their presence.”
Henry Blackaby in his book “Experiencing God” writes: “Find out where God is already working and join him. Answering the call to travel with God does not always mean launching some new ministry no one has done before. “Recognize what God is doing and then join him.”