Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Lessons From Stephen's Speech | Abraham & Lot - Live By Faith And Not By Sight


This message was preached by  Asha Matthew via zoom  Word of Grace Church, on August  30th 2020. For the audio please click here.  

We are looking at the life of Abram. 

Today what we are going to see is Abram is tested again and how he is going to respond to that. 

-Two roads diverged in a wood...Poem
These are words by Robert Frost in his poem The Road Less Traveled.

- In Genesis 13,  we have two men and a fork in the road. Where before these two men had travelled together and they now choose to take separate and different paths. One ends up losing his possessions and family. The other gains blessing and honour. The two men are Abram and his nephew Lot.

- Context:  Abram and Lot are returning with their families from Egypt to the land of Canaan.  In chapter 12 we can see an Abram who  cares about himself and who is willing to send his wife to Pharoh to save himself, but in chapter 13 we see him as a person who cares about others more than anything. How did Abram get his priorities right?

1)Worship realigns our priorities :

-This chapter begins and ends with Abram praying at an altar he built.
-  The location of Abram’s altar in Bethel is later the location where Jacob met the Lord in a dream (Gen. 28:10-22), and later built an altar to the Lord (Gen. 35:1).

- Abram goes back to where he last left off his worship. In a land of idol worshippers, he is worshipping a true and living God.
-Alter means a place of surrender. In spite of his mistakes, God is treating him well. He blessed Abram even in Egypt. And at the beginning of 13, Abram is seeking God's presence and is worshipping him. 
-God is faithful and his grace is always there for us. We must always go back to the altar, we have to seek his presence. Worship restores our relationship with the Lord.
- Abram makes better decisions when his worship is right with the Lord. It is never how bad or how often you fall in your life, but it is all about but how fast you return to the Lord.

- A good sign of how you know you are growing in grace is how fast you return to the Lord. When we worship, rather than focusing on our faults we need to focus on His goodness. Worship puts life back in order!

We need to seek his presence daily. When the first things are put first, the priorities align and the rest will fall into place. Worship is to say that God is first. 
-  Worship is being in his presence abiding in him. In the GYM groups we are learning about Abiding in his presence and last week we learned that Being in his presence is more important than doing. And our fruitfulness in life is all about the degree to which we are abiding.

-When we set our priorities right we start making the right choices. 
2)Our  Choices reveal our Character:

-Verse 5-14 Their possessions were soo much that the land could not support them.  There is a strife between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. Abram is taking the initiative to resolve this issue. 
- How Abram responded when conflict and disagreement arose in his family. Abram lets  Lot take the decision. 
-Abraham is elder and the Lord promised the land to Abraham, not to Lot.
-  Abram is a peacemaker.  Being a peacemaker means you have to place others’ interests above our own.

 -Lot lifted up his eyes and selects the Jordan valley.  And for his physical eyes, that was satisfying. On the other hand, Abram saw the promised land and he makes a choice to go there.

- Lot looked in self-sufficiency; Abram looked in perfect trust. Both of them make their choices and separates them from each other. 
-Lot's choices had a lot of consequences. His choice would prove disastrous because over time it would draw him into Sodom’s ways. 
-In verse 12 we see that Lot pitched his tent near Sodom and in Chapter 14: 12 we can see that Lot is a resident of Sodom. 
- Lot saw things with his natural eyes and disregarded the fact that his choice is dangerous. 

 All choices have implications beyond the moment.
- Sin always begins with compromise and ends up costing us way more than we wanted to pay and take us further way far than we ever expected to go and keep us way longer than we expected to stay. 

In Genesis chapter 19 we can see that Lot is a businessman in Sodom.
- Learning from  Lot's Life -  Life is full of choices and the decision we make decides our destiny. We must learn to make wise choices. 

- We have choices to make in life may be regarding our career, or regarding our job or about marriage, or about our children. Some choices may look good but they may be spirituality bad. Especially about marriage-  we need to choose the person according to the  Word not according to the World. ( 2 Corinthians 6:14)

Lot's story gives us a warning about the choices we make. 
- Be separated from anyone or anything that hinders our being right with Jesus, especially we need to be separated from Sin.2 Corin7:1.
- God will bless a separated life.
- Abram and Lot now choose to take separate and different paths.

3) Rest in God's promises and in  his provision

Verse 14-18

-The Lord’s restate his promises. He is not only reassuring Abram about his promises He is expanding his promises.  

- Hebrews 11:10.Abram was looking at the Promise-giver more than the promises.
-  Lord is saying to Abram,   lift up your eyes, arise, walk through the land and Abram obeys the voice of the Lord. The look of faith leads to the walk of faith.
- The Lord’s restatement of the Promise in chapter 13 indicates that despite Abram’s failure in chapter 12, God’s grace continues through His Covenant.

- Abram pitched his tent near Mamre close to Hebron. Mamre means "Fatness" and Hebron means "Fellowship". There again he builds an altar to the Lord. Abram has settled down in a place of blessing and closeness to the Lord. He is living a life of close fellowship.

- God has promised us a life of glory through his son Jesus. Joy unspeakable and peace that passes human understanding.The supply of all your needs.Wisdom and guidance of His Spirit. (Philippines 4:7, Philippines 4:19, Ephesians 1: 13-14, Ephesians 3:12, 1Peter 1: 8)
- God’s promises for his children aren’t yours until you personally possess them, apply them to your life.
 -  We are called to worship Him, and to choose what is right and reveal his nature to others and to rest in his promises and provision.

-   Do we trust God as our provider?  Where are we in our relationship and walk with God this morning? Are we as close as we should be?  Is worship the number one priority in y
our life? Do we trust his promises over our life? 

- Examine our heart and pray that like Abram, our life and choices will be characterized by our faith and by our obedience to the voice of God. Let's decide that from today like Abram, above everything and every circumstance we will walk and live by faith not by sight.

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 has 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.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto 

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