4/30/23 Faith of Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-19)
It’s clear to see how faithful God has been to our lives and our church. Let’s realize the significance of our church in his covenant, and see our church from God’s point of view. God has called us to be evangelists and missionaries.
What do believers lack today? Faith. They think faith is the bridge that connects us to God, and that’s it. The rest of our walk of faith is by our strength, and only take faith out when we need help. However, the bible tells us we live our lives entirely by faith. Faith is not optional or supplemental, just as water is not an option. Just as water is essential to our survival, so is faith. Abraham faces the most difficult test of his life: offer his son Issac as a sacrifice. This test was not for a score, but to strengthen Abraham’s faith. In that same way, our faith needs to be strengthened. There is nothing more we need to live in and save this world.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:16-17)
How did Abraham overcome God’s test? By faith.
1. Abraham Had the Promise of God
Abraham had the same promise we have: Genesis 3:15, the promise of the offspring of the woman. To have the promise of God means we have the heart of God. We have the true answer and solution to our lives. The world is covered in darkness and spiritual problems. Satan has established his kingdom and his influence all over the world and our hearts. However, we have the answer that everyone is looking for: the covenant of Christ.
In Genesis 12, God called Abraham to the land of Canaan: the promised land of the messiah. He promised Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as grains of Sand. Abraham lived with strength from having the covenant. We, however, try to live by our own strength. When Adam and Eve became sinners, God made clothes of animal skin for them. God accepted Abel’s offering because he gave it with faith in God’s covenant. God did not accept Cain’s offering because he gave it with his own strength: the religious life. Abraham had faith that believed that Christ would come and finish all of man’s spiritual problems and resolve our past, present and future.
2. Abraham Had the Commands of God
God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Issac. In the scriptures, Abraham built his altar neatly, holding on to God’s commands and promises. Faith comes from hearing God’s word. God’s word breaks down Satan’s strongholds in our life and the disbelief that plagues our hearts. God’s word must take over our lives, but we don’t want to give up control. We are afraid of losing out on the seemingly better things in the world. People love to indulge in vanity. They dedicate so much of their time and money to be recognized and admired by people. Let’s turn to Jesus everyday, not just when we need him, because faith is not an option for our survival.
3. Abraham Had the Presence of God
Out of the many answers Abraham received, the greatest answer he enjoyed was God’s presence. In that same way, our greatest answer is that God is with each and every one of us. When Isaac asked where the sacrificial lamb was, Abraham responded, “God will provide.” Faith in God’s promises and assurance in God’s presence is enough for us to overcome any crisis. Just like Enoch, do we walk with God? Or do we just keep God on a bookshelf to take out when we need him? We have a unique answer that no one else in this world has: the guaranteed presence of God. He will always be with us and will never leave us, but we don’t acknowledge it.
4. Abraham Had the Power of God
Abraham believed that when he sacrificed Isaac, God had the power to resurrect him. The same power that raised Christ is within us. The world, our church and ourselves may seem impossible to change, but we have the almighty power of God. We are in this constant cycle of getting up and falling, but God has guaranteed us victory. Let’s be connected to God’s power everyday through the word of God. How? By receiving God’s grace from his word.
We are co-heirs of Abraham. We have God’s covenant, command, presence and power of God. We don’t know when God will call us to return to heaven. Let’s realize the urgency of sharing the gospel, and that God has prepared disciples for us. Let’s challenge three things in our lives this week:
Receive the greatest grace by praying first thing in the morning, holding onto God’s word (Sunday Pulpit message, Prayer Journal).
Relay the blessings we have to the people around us.
Set up a time to reflect upon God’s answers in your life.