Tuesday, November 7, 2017

All in the Family- Jacob | Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on November 5th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

We’ve been going through the key people in the Old Testament, we looked at Abraham, Isaac and the subject for today is Jacob.

In Gen 12 God appears to Abraham. He gives him a promise. Abraham heard God and followed God. We need to do the same. And it was not all rosy. We see the struggles that Abraham goes through. At the time he received the promise, he had no children. But Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Finally they had one child, Isaac. God was working through Abraham and he blessed all the families

Genesis 25

This is the family tree of Isaac son of Abraham: Abraham had Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan Aram. She was the sister of Laban the Aramean.”

It’s very important who we marry.

Isaac prayed hard to God for his wife because she was barren.
There are things that challenge our faith even after we receive the promise. Isaac prayed. The time gap between Isaac praying and Rebekah becoming pregnant was 20 years. We need to persevere in Prayer and in due time it will happen.

God answered his prayer and Rebekah became pregnant. But the children tumbled and kicked inside her so much that she said, “If this is the way it’s going to be, why go on living?” She went to God to find out what was going on. God told her, Two nations are in your womb,two peoples butting heads while still in your body.One people will overpower the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

Rebekah had twins in her womb. This is an amazing verse. Before the children were born, God’s prophetic word about the children is this- the older will serve the younger.

When her time to give birth came, sure enough, there were twins in her womb. The first came out reddish, as if snugly wrapped in a hairy blanket; they named him Esau (Hairy). His brother followed, his fist clutched tight to Esau’s heel; they named him Jacob (Heel). Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.”

Jacob means he takes by the heel, or he cheats. We see the amazing birth of Jacob. Before the twins were born, God decides to choose one and not the other.

Q. Does God love you? Why do you say he loves you?

Malachi 1: 2-5God said, “I love you.” You replied, “Really? How have you loved us?” “Look at history” (this is God’s answer). “Look at how differently I’ve treated you, Jacob, from Esau: I loved Jacob and hated Esau. I reduced pretentious Esau to a molehill, turned his whole country into a ghost town.”

The way that he loved us is that he has chosen us above everything else. God chose Jacob and rejected Esau. It is not because of anything Jacob has done. It is just his amazing grace in choosing people.  The promises are coming to you through Jacob.

The boys grew up. Esau became an expert hunter, an outdoorsman. Jacob was a quiet man preferring life indoors among the tents. Isaac loved Esau because he loved his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”

We see a bit of a dysfunctional family. The father loved one son and the mother the other.

One day Jacob was cooking a stew. Esau came in from the field, starved. Esau said to Jacob, “Give me some of that red stew—I’m starved!” That’s how he came to be called Edom (Red).  Jacob said, “Make me a trade: my stew for your rights as the firstborn.” Esau said, “I’m starving! What good is a birthright if I’m dead?” Jacob said, “First, swear to me.” And he did it. On oath Esau traded away his rights as the firstborn. Jacob gave him bread and the stew of lentils. He ate and drank, got up and left. That’s how Esau shrugged off his rights as the firstborn.”

A birthright is a spiritual blessing. It is very important in those days. This is was rightfully Esau’s but he despised it. His heart was not on spiritual things, but on his physical needs.

“When Isaac had become an old man and was nearly blind, he called his eldest son, Esau, and said, “My son.”“Yes, Father?” “I’m an old man,” he said; “I might die any day now. Do me a favor: Get your quiver of arrows and your bow and go out in the country and hunt me some game. Then fix me a hearty meal, the kind that you know I like, and bring it to me to eat so that I can give you my personal blessing before I die.”

Isaac began well, but in his old age he lost it. He disregarded the prophecy of God. He wanted to give the blessing to Jacob, but he wanted to give it to Esau because he liked him better.

Rebekah was eavesdropping as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. As soon as Esau had gone off to the country to hunt game for his father, Rebekah spoke to her son Jacob. “I just overheard your father talking with your brother, Esau. He said, ‘Bring me some game and fix me a hearty meal so that I can eat and bless you with God’s blessing before I die.’ “Now, my son, listen to me. Do what I tell you. Go to the flock and get me two young goats. Pick the best; I’ll prepare them into a hearty meal, the kind that your father loves. Then you’ll take it to your father, he’ll eat and bless you before he dies.””
“But Mother,” Jacob said, “my brother Esau is a hairy man and I have smooth skin. What happens if my father touches me? He’ll think I’m playing games with him. I’ll bring down a curse on myself instead of a blessing.” “If it comes to that,” said his mother, “I’ll take the curse on myself. Now, just do what I say. Go and get the goats.”
So his mother cooks the meal, and then covered Jacob with the goat’s skin. Jacob is lying through his teeth. Is Jacob a good person? NO!  
Jacob answered his father, “I’m your firstborn son Esau. I did what you told me. Come now; sit up and eat of my game so you can give me your personal blessing.” Isaac said, “So soon? How did you get it so quickly?” “Because your God cleared the way for me.” Isaac said, “Come close, son; let me touch you—are you really my son Esau?” So Jacob moved close to his father Isaac. Isaac felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice but the hands are the hands of Esau.” He didn’t recognize him because his hands were hairy, like his brother Esau’s. But as he was about to bless him he pressed him, “You’re sure? You are my son Esau?” “Yes. I am.” Isaac said, “Bring the food so I can eat of my son’s game and give you my personal blessing.” Jacob brought it to him and he ate. He also brought him wine and he drank. Then Isaac said, “Come close, son, and kiss me.” He came close and kissed him and Isaac smelled the smell of his clothes. Finally, he blessed him, Ahhh. The smell of my son is like the smell of the open country blessed by God. May God give you of Heaven’s dew and Earth’s bounty of grain and wine. May peoples serve you and nations honor you. You will master your brothers, and your mother’s sons will honor you. Those who curse you will be cursed, those who bless you will be blessed. And then right after Isaac had blessed Jacob and Jacob had left, Esau showed up from the hunt. He also had prepared a hearty meal. He came to his father and said, “Let my father get up and eat of his son’s game, that he may give me his personal blessing.” His father Isaac said, “And who are you?” “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” Isaac started to tremble, shaking violently. He said, “Then who hunted game and brought it to me? I finished the meal just now, before you walked in. And I blessed him—he’s blessed for good!” Esau, hearing his father’s words, sobbed violently and most bitterly, and cried to his father, “My father! Can’t you also bless me?” “Your brother,” he said, “came here falsely and took your blessing.” Esau said, “Not for nothing was he named Jacob, the Heel. Twice now he’s tricked me: first he took my birthright and now he’s taken my blessing.” He begged, “Haven’t you kept back any blessing for me?”Isaac said to him,You’ll live far from Earth’s bounty, remote from Heaven’s dew. You’ll live by your sword, hand-to-mouth, and you’ll serve your brother. But when you can’t take it any more you’ll break loose and run free. Esau seethed in anger against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him; he brooded, “The time for mourning my father’s death is close. And then I’ll kill my brother Jacob.” When these words of her older son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she called her younger son Jacob and said, “Your brother Esau is plotting vengeance against you. He’s going to kill you. Son, listen to me. Get out of here. Run for your life to Haran, to my brother Laban. Live with him for a while until your brother cools down, until his anger subsides and he forgets what you did to him. I’ll then send for you and bring you back. Why should I lose both of you the same day?”Rebekah spoke to Isaac, “I’m sick to death of these Hittite women. If Jacob also marries a native Hittite woman, why live?””

1.      We’ve been chosen by God: God chose Jacob- Jacob is not a good person to be chosen. God chooses us because he is a sovereign God who rules over the Universe and he does as He pleases. Romans 9:10-13 When she became pregnant by our one-of-a-kind ancestor, Isaac, and her babies were still innocent in the womb—incapable of good or bad—she received a special assurance from God. What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative. God told Rebecca, “The firstborn of your twins will take second place.” Later that was turned into a stark epigram: “I loved Jacob; I hated Esau.”This is the doctrine of Election. If you are a believer in Jesus, you’ve got to prize that above everything else.

Q. Is that unjust?

By no means- because he says, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. We saw it operating in the life of Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau... God chose the younger. God is sovereign.

2.      We’ve been placed into Christ: We see the picture of Salvation- Isaac is the father and Jacob is trying to get the blessing of Esau, so he covers himself to be like Esau. We go into the Father’s presence clothed with the righteousness. There is a great blessing given to Jacob because he was in Esau’s clothes. That is the same with us. But Jacob is deceiving the Father, but we have been placed there by the righteousness of Jesus. He is for us and is going to bless us. 2 Cor 5:21 “In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.”

May our eyes open to the great plan and promise of God. All the promises of the Old Testament have come down from the Nation of Israel, to us. We are like one of those patriarchs. Will those promises end with us or will it be passed on to generations. It is not just through Physical children. Esau was a profane man and didn’t care about the things of God. He went and married where their parents didn’t want him marry. The promise of God passes on spiritually and physically.

Q. When we leave this earth, what are we leaving behind?

We hear about Timothy’s ancestry.

Q. Can we say that at the end of our lives that we have passed on the spiritual things in our life to others?

Let’s pray. 

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

All in the Family- Job | Chris B

This message was preached  by Chris B at Word of Grace Church on October 29th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

We are going through the Genealogy of Jesus. We have gone through Abraham and Isaac. But today we are going to look at Job. The foundations of our faith are learned through these patriarchs. On Tuesday, we will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We need to let the Word of God reign in our lives. All scripture is God breathed and useful. So we are going to go through these books of the scripture that we might not to as familiar with it.

John Rogers- was born in England in 1500 and he was educated in Cambridge and entered the priesthood. He started to come to know that some of the positions of the church, like indulgences was not in keeping with the scripture. So he quit the priesthood and went to Holland where he was studying and learning more. There he came to know William Tindale. Tindale translated Old and New Testaments to modern day English. People didn’t understand latin and the truth was not accessible to them. But he gets arrested. He gives the books from Joshua to Chronicles to John rogers and he gets them published. He sneaks it into England and asked Henry VIII if he would authorise this English bible. So people could know God truly.

Catholics believed that Jesus 99% of the work, and we do 1% in our salvation. But the reformers said that this would take away from the work of Jesus on the cross. They treasured the word of God and gave their lives for the truths that we now enjoy. When John Rogers studied the word, He came to know the truth and that’s how the change took place.

This morning we are going to go through the story of Job having seen how significant the word of God is for us. But we will do it in story form to help those who are not literate.

After Adam and Eve were banished from the garden, they had children. They were all living under the curse. Many generations down the line, there was Job. Job was wealthy, godly, and blessed. Because Job always tried to do the right thing, he offered sacrifices in the place of his children.

One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came with them.  The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.  But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish[b] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. Then they started to have a conversation. One of the friends said, you must have done something wrong.

They insisted that he needs to turn away from whatever sin he was in. But Job kept saying that he was innocent. He asked God to answer him and say why he was suffering. Finally God answered. He said, “Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much! Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that! Who came up with the blueprints and measurements? How was its foundation poured, and who set the cornerstone, While the morning stars sang in chorus and all the angels shouted praise? And who took charge of the ocean when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?” Then Job replied, “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

He was finally comforted. In the second half of Job’s life, God gave him twice as much as he had lost.

So, look in your groups and discuss these three questions:

1. What did you like about this story?

God was confident in Job. Everything was restored to Job. Job was honest. Job was willing to take both good and bad things from God. Have faith in times of trouble.

2. Why do you think Job was punished? What was God’s response?

Job was suffering to be a testimony to others. God is sovereign even in our suffering. God brought up Job in the first place. God had some divine purpose in this. God’s response was to ask who Job was to question him. He contrasted himself with Job.

3.  From where did Job find comfort?

Job found comfort from meeting with God. God does not even explain why all this is happening. In distress it is far more comforting to know God than to know why. In Philippians Paul talks about this contentment that comes from knowing the Lord. Faith comes from hearing the word of Christ.

This reminds me of the song written by Martin Luther during the reformation- the mighty fortress is my Lord. In German it literally meant this- that they can take away my body, my goods, my wife and my children, let them go away, they will have no profit, the kingdom must remain for us. The comfort and hope of the gospel is that we still have an everlasting Father. Even when we have nothing, we have everything. So lets pray and thank God for this blessing. 

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Choices | Donald D

This message was preached  by Donald D'costa at Word of Grace Church on October 22nd, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

I’ve been going through the book of Genesis for the last two years. I want to speak this morning on choices. We will look at Chapter 3 where Satan comes to speak with eve and the choices she makes. We can learn a lot from that conversation.

1. God made us special, made in His image and likeness. We need to remember that. Secondly, God alone planned it all, initiates all creation, above all creation and he is sovereign. His will is free and no one can cross it. He alone can decide the purpose for His creation and we cannot question it. He alone can choose the destiny and future of all creation. By virtue of being our creator, we can rest in the assurance that he loves us. He created everything good and only good can be expected from him, not evil. Therefore, God’s choices are good and meant to bless- not harm or curse. In Jeremiah he says, I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil.

 2. By being made in the image of God, we can choose to love back too. The purpose of love is to be loved. He does not look at us as slaves who do not have a choice. He gives us a choice to reciprocate. In Gen 2:18- 20 he let man name every animal and have dominion. We see here a freedom that no slave is given.

Further we see God’s heart to work out love in a covenant relationship. So he makes woman who is a suitable helper. If God has made us as a regent here to ensure the reign of man, he has to give us a choice. Love must always find a free and willing responder.
God knew the risks of creating a being who had the choice to love him, because that means that being could also reject him. So this being can cause God much pain. Love endures pain and continues to love. God has not given up on mankind. This is a good relational tool for us as well.

All our relationship must reflect the Kingdom of God. the very garden still exists on earth, but the environment has gone and so Eden is gone. We now bring Eden in the boundaries we exist in. The boundaries are physical, but there is a relational, work and spiritual boundaries. Gen 3:1- 7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Adam and eve were created by God in His image, without sin as beings of choice give freewill to reciprocate to his love. This freewill also meant they could choose to obey God
As Christians, we have the same choice. Therefore, the Bible talks about a time of accounting. You choose to love him by obeying him or choose to disobey him. in his intention we want to obey God but they have made the wrong choices. They fall into temptation and then into sin. This is nothing new.

There are threats to the choices we make for God. the threat comes in the form of temptation. In this story, something comes to Eve outside of herself, but our own inner desires and longings give in to them.

If you think you can recognise the devil, you need to think again. Paul says, He can appear as an angel of light. Jesus said while addressing Peter “Get behind me Satan”. It is what the person says that is from Satan. Eve is having a conversation with someone who is cool, crafty and sensible. What the person is saying to her is not cool. He is getting her to question her choices. Anyone who brings into question the choices you have made in God is unhealthy.

Some of the examples:
1.      angry people are loving people
2.      money makes the world go round
3.      Sex is clean and normal and natural
4.      I never forget an injury and I never forgive an insult
5.      God helps those who helps themselves
6.      Do not judge me dude, you don’t know what the **** I’ve been through

Q. What are these phrases doing to your thinking? 

They are subtle. People are so gullible that they believe anything the media says. Today the church has become a Mimosa plant- Touch-me-nots. We are not called to be a touch-me-not and curl up as soon as the world touches us, but to touch the world and take to the world what we have.  

2 things the voice of evil will do:

1.      Call into question what God has said. When we are not sure, go back to God’s word. Hosea 4:6- “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” However personal your leadings of God are with you, they will never contradict the scripture. God will not ask you to commit sin no matter what the circumstances are.

2.      Satan addresses desire- He speaks to Eve about something she desires, something she wants to do- to eat. Our needs are valid and need to be discussed with God and not with Satan. All the evil one needs to know is that God knows what we need and He will provide.
Eve responds to the temptation with her own understanding. Her response shows that she wasn’t relying on God’s word. The tree had a name- the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil. And she adds- neither shall you touch it. This attitude leads to making rules that are not called for. When we do this, we go beyond the realm of what is permissible. Some Christians make rules about wearing only white clothes and no make-up or jewellery. The word of God only calls for modest dressing and not all of this. Many men and women in these Christian groups have fallen despite these rules. So, Eve is not thinking straight.

The temptation from the outside manipulates the desires that are inside. We need to base our choices and decision on what God says.

Gen 3: 4-6-

·        “You will not surely die”- once we enter into the discussion with Satan, there is a clear negation of the Word of God. He made God seem like a spiteful person who wants to withhold power from us. Secondly, to overlook an offence, we use this line- that God will understand.

·        Your eyes will be opened”-  We tempt God with evil. We are called to relate with unbelievers, not to give them company. We are like God but we will never be God. So, what are we trying to achieve? We want to be something- only if certain desires are fulfilled we will serve God. Don’t test God. If you know good, you don’t need to know the evil.

Our acts of disobedience to God only lead us astray and the many who follow us. We make wrong choices, and the wrong choices don’t take away the value God has placed in us. God has not given up on us. Our wrong choices give us a chance to change and repent. God will say, get up. He has a plan and destiny for our lives.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

All in the Family- Abraham | Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on October 8th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

We just finished the series on Jonah, so when a couple of people asked me what I was preaching on next, I said, Matthew 1: 1-16. It’s the genealogy of Jesus. How many of us skip a list of names in the Bible? Most of us do that! But behind each name is a story of amazing grace. Most of these names are from the Old Testament. But we tend to ignore it. Old testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. So we are going to preach on each of these characters mentioned in this genealogy of Jesus. So, today we are going to talk about Abraham

Abraham is known as the friend of God. He started as an idolater, but then earned this distinction. He is the Father of the Jews and also the Father of believers. He is an important character who has been mentioned a lot in the New Testament.

In Gen 11 he is first mentioned. Before Abraham, 4 big incidents took place- Creation, the Fall, the Flood and Tower of Babel. Gen 11: 27- 3227 This is the account of Terah’s family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.”

Gen 12: 1- 9The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev”   

God has great plans for Abraham Josh 24:2 talks about Abraham and says “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him IsaacGod chooses people not because of anything good in them, but says, You did not choose me but I chose you. God chose one man and encountered him and met with him.

In Acts 7 when Stephen was being stoned, he spoke about the history of the Israelite nation. “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. 3 ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’ “So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living.” So we see that Abraham moved whereas his brother stayed back. Mesopotamia was a grand civilisation. So God is calling Abraham to go from this comfortable city and went to Harran. Then God is asking him to move without his family.
Abraham is revered by Jews, Muslims and Christians. So his name did become great. The purpose of God exalting Abraham was for a greater purpose. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing. A pot can only hold some water as per the capacity of the pot. But a pipe can take thousands of litres. We are called to be pipes.

We see the promises of God unfolding in Abraham’s life.

1.      Abraham was saved by faith- Genesis 15:6 “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” God saves the same way whether its Old Testament or New Testament. We have the Word of God today. As we give people the Word of God, salvation comes to them by faith. It sounds so easy! But it is by believing in Jesus at his word. Abraham was saved by faith. God called Abraham to leave his family because the idolatrous environment was probably hindering him from living a life of faith. This morning, is God calling you to leave something that is hindering you? It can be a physical move, or a move by cutting off things etc.

2.       Abraham lived by faith: he heard the voice of God and he obeyed him. 7 times God appeared to him and he obeyed immediately. Hebrews 11: 8-19 in the great hall of faith Abraham is mentioned- “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 
It means hear the voice of God and just obey. He obeyed God at every stage. There is sacrifice involved. In Gen 17 God changes his name from Abram to Abraham. Abram means exalted father, but Abraham means Father of a multitude. Imagine a person who has no hair changing his name to ‘O hairy one’. Can you imagine what the neighbours think of it? That is exactly what it was. The next year, Sarah was blessed with a child. So they declared and believed what God has said to them. We have been doing that through our daily declarations.

3.      His obedience was the evidence of his faith: Genesis 22 after his promised son, Isaac was born, God says, “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”” This was the son through whom he was promised nations. But this was Abraham’s response “Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.” So he was going to kill him and God asks him to stop. Genesis 22: 6-13Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.” Then God makes this amazing blessing in verse 15- 18 “The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.””  This is a wonderful picture of the gospel, because the Ram provided was Jesus himself.
Jesus says, if you love me, obey my commands. Nothing we do or not do can un-save us, but our faith must follow works. Augustine says, “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” Let us be eager to do works of faith. What can we do today in obedience to God? It begins with faith and ends with faith, so in the end it is all about faith. We are the spiritual descendants of Abraham.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.