Summary: Obeying God is an act of worship. This sermon explores how we become more authentic worshipers by obeying God's will.
When you think of the word: “Worship”, what comes to mind? What other words come to mind? [Church, singing, Sunday, peaceful, holy, love etc]. When you think of the word: “Obedience”, what other words come to mind? [Submission, doing what you’re told, ‘oppressive’, punishment]
We don’t necessarily think of those two words together most of the time, but there is a vital connection between them.
Let me ask you another question: If God asked you to leave everything familiar, what would you say? If God asked you to leave Toronto, leave your friends and leave what you know as home, and to go some place you didn’t know what might your response be?
What questions might cross your mind? Some questions that might cross your mind could be: “Uh…what now?”, or “How Can I know for sure it’s God?” Or “Who…me?”
Let’s read our first passage today from Genesis Chapter 12:1-4.
This is really our introduction to Abram, or Abraham as he comes to be known in the Bible. Abraham is one of the most important people in human history. We don’t know much about him at this point, so after a brief introduction to his family, and after learning that he starts out this story as an older man – 75 to be precise - we’re let in on a one-way conversation between God and Abram.
How would you express the tone of what God says to Abram? Did He give Abram a suggestion, a recommendation?...Or a command. It is, of course, a command. “Do this!” And attached to this command is a promise, one that is to touch Abram but also ALL peoples of the earth.
The end of this promise is that the Saviour, the Messiah, would come through Abraham’s line, and that…what is it…a few people would as a result be blessed? A few nations?
No…all peoples on earth would be blessed through Abraham. Early, early on, we discover that God is for all people, that God is not a national God or a tribal deity. He is the one true God for all nations.
That of course is hugely important. It’s ultimately why you and I are here today, having heard the gospel and responded in faith to the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
But it all began back here in Genesis chapter 12. God spoke. God spoke not easy, comfortable words but He spoke nonetheless.
And Abram, as it says in verse 4, left his country as the Lord had told him to go toward the land that God would show him. One act of obedience on the part of one man led to world altering events.
You know, we don’t know what Abram had been doing the 75 years before God called. But somehow, someway, he was being prepared to say ‘yes’ to God. Something is being cultivated in Abram.
At this point, when God reveals Himself to Abram, Abram didn’t, as far as we know, recite the list of questions and rebuttals that we imagine he might have.
He simply did as God commanded. It’s easy to just say that, but what, really, is involved in doing what God commands. What, really, is involved in obeying God?