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A Generous Faith Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2022 1:00 am

A Generous Faith Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 10, 2022 1:00 am

The decisions we make—even about money—have eternal consequences. After an unusual victory, Abraham is given a choice between selfish dealings and generosity. In this message, we are introduced to two kings at Abraham’s point of decision. Are we living like God owns everything or do our decisions and bank accounts say otherwise?

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Morris looking to Jesus from the book of Genesis knows the beginning of creation, fall, and of God's intent to send the Redeemer nation of his choosing today will see Abraham victorious in battle and generous when facing another man of God from the church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Sir, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line.

Our series is called strength for the journey after loser. I think a lot of our listeners wonder woman named Melchizedek what you know as soon as you mention that when it comes to my mind is this back when my mother was alive. I used to call her every Saturday night and of course she assured me of her prayers.

So one day I told her that the next day, Sunday, I would be preaching on Melchizedek and she said, is he not a pre-incarnation of Jesus Christ had. I was amazed at that because probably in some sense he is in this message will clarify that you know I've written a book entitled the cross in the shadow of the crescent and at the end of this program. I'm going to be giving you some lessons that we can learn from history regarding Islam and the church very critical for us to understand what is happening. What is happened in the past for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and be sure to listen. After this message because I'm going to be giving you one or two lessons that we must learn about Islam.

So how loyal you think you would be to somebody who made a decision to make you poor to enrich himself. Maybe I could put the question a little differently.

To what extent would you be willing to take a risk for someone who only you know would never take a risk for you. That was the decision that Abraham faced the story of the 14th chapter of Genesis can be summarized in this way and take your Bibles and turn to Genesis 14 because were going to be doing some digging in the Scriptures today as we look at this passage. Bottom line, there were five kings along the Jordan Valley all the way to Sodom and Gomorrah next to the Dead Sea. These five kings were in subjection to four kings who lived in the north west and a five kings decided to revolt.

So the four kings came down to the Jordan Valley in the area of Sodom and they said were going to fight against you, and they plundered to cities such as Sodom, mind you, the king of Sodom somehow escaped.

He probably went to some of the hills. But the city was plundered along with the other cities in that coalition and people were taken captive as well as goods, so we open the story here in chapter 14 of Genesis verse 13. Then, when one who had escaped came and told Abraham the Hebrew who is living by the Oaks of memory that goes on to say, the specific Area in which he was living and who owned the trees but that Abraham was there.

And lo and behold somebody comes and tells him that lot who is living in Sodom, his nephew was taken captive.

This is the first time in all the Bible that the word Hebrew occurs Abraham. The Hebrew were not sure of the derivation of the word, but it may refer to someone who is crossed over. Maybe somebody who crossed over the river, but it shows you the extent to which Abraham had become a big man with lots of livestock and lots of people under his direction.

So what's been taken captive. So Abraham begins to wonder what do I do with this nephew of mine chose the best pastureland. Abraham made a decision and the decision was to help a lot and that decision would lead to another, even bigger decision and the reason that it is important that we listen to God's word today is because we are going to be talking about the kinds of decisions we can make that have eternal consequences. If you're facing a decision this week. Listen, especially carefully so Abraham decides to get 318 of his men together and he pursues them. It says in verse 14. As far as Dan 100 miles. Imagine the supply lines.

All of the things that they needed for 318 men, and then he catches up any surprises them by a sneak attack at night. He divides his forces and overcomes these kings that have just been rejoicing in their own victory in their own strength and so he overtakes them. He rescues lot and then he continues to pursue them for another 100 miles all the way to Damascus and then he returns he a lot. I'm sure had some very interesting conversations on the way back I can imagine Abraham saying a lot.

Is it really wise for you to live in Sodom I know that you took the best pastureland and that was okay with me but Sodom is a dangerous place to raise a family. If they had that discussion. It's not recorded, and if they had it. It didn't do any good, but Abraham is coming back now and if you can visualize the land of Israel. He's coming from the north and so he's going to go to the South and he is bringing back people and the goods that had been plundered and he ends up right next to where Jerusalem is today. In fact, when it talks about the Valley of shave that is the Kings Valley in verse 17 it most probably is referring to what we call today the Kidron Valley. If your event Israel. You know that on one side is the Mount of olives with the garden of Gethsemane and on the other side is the great city of Jerusalem and it is there that he encounters to kings to kings. And that's the essence of our message today, we pick it up in verse 17, after his return from the defeat of Catalonia and the kings who were with him. The king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of shave that is the Kings Valley and Melchizedek king of Salem brought out wine and bread. He was priest of God most high, and he brings out bread and wine to refresh Abraham after his victory and he blessed them and said blessed the Abraham by God most high possessor of heaven and earth and blessed be God most high, who has delivered your enemies into your hand, and Abraham gave him 1/10 of everything who in this world is Melchizedek. Well that name Melchizedek means king of righteousness smell like an Hebrew meaning king ascetic righteousness king of righteousness, king of Salem, Salem, shalom Salim piece king of peace. This Took Pl. in Jerusalem very ancient Jerusalem city of peace here shalom in Hebrew, city of peace and apparently this set Melchizedek was king of the small area there in the city of Jerusalem, or where Jerusalem is today, so he was a king but notice he wasn't just a king. He was also a priest. He was the priest of the most high God. Think about it. Abraham receives a revelation from God to go into the land. Abraham is a friend of God. Abraham loves God. God talks to Abraham directly and here Abraham meets someone who is superior to him spiritually speaking, Abraham has in himself the entire hope of the world, the hope of redemption because of the blessing to Abraham and to his seed. Jesus Christ is wrapped up in that blessing. And here Abraham with all of the hope of the world, wrapped in himself meets someone who is nearer to God and superior to him. That must've been a surprise in a pagan culture. So Abraham evidently if we interpret the text this way is we must initially at least, Abraham is met by someone who has a closer relationship and more revelation from God than he is, has an Abraham takes any any pays him attempts of all showing the superiority of Melchizedek to Abraham mysterious man this Melchizedek know what we make of it, many centuries past and David is beginning to write the songs and he writes in Psalm 110 verse four he says regarding the coming of Jesus is says he is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.after the order of Aaron, not after the order of Levi. But a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek now in the seventh chapter of Hebrews, we find an entire chapter are devoted to this argument and I want you to follow it carefully. If you're listening on the radio. This is the time to pull off to the side of the road. Don't hit a curb, but just pull off a little bit if you're listening on the Internet it's time to tell the children to be quiet for the next few moments.

And if you're here at the Moody Church. Nudge your neighbor and say just listen to this.

Here's the entire argument of Hebrews chapter 7 and I'm summarizing it for you. The author says that Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek, who is superior to Aaron for this reason. Here's Abraham paying tithes to Melchizedek, admitting that he is priest of the most high God. And where was Erin and Levi. When this was happening, but of course they weren't even born to use the King James version of the Bible. They were in those low liens of their father Abraham.

So the author's argument is this. When you have the father of Levi and Aaron, when you have the father bowing down and in effect if not bowing down at least giving a legion to Melchizedek. Clearly Melchizedek is a superior priesthood. In fact, because he does not have any genealogies. It says in the book of Hebrews. We don't know where in the world, he came from. He really is a better picture of Jesus than even Erin and Levi because that priesthood has been passed away. It no longer applies. Now that Jesus has come, and so we know now that Melchizedek is a king. He is a priest and he blesses Abraham and this is what he says.

Blessed be Abraham by God most high possessor of heaven and earth and blessed be God most high, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. Possessor. Some translations say creator it can be translated that way. Probably better to translate it possessor of heaven and earth, and he blesses Abraham why this here. Why does Melchizedek come out of nowhere and bestow this blessing upon Abraham because Abraham is about to face a great test and the test is going to come from another king whose name is Vera, who is King of Sodom were lot lived and so what God wants to do here in this situation is to prepare Abraham to remind him that God is the possessor of heaven and earth. God is not up for God is not a confused deity is not a week deity is not a deity whose hands are tied in terms of blessing because he is possessor.

He is creator of heaven and earth remember that Abraham, when your test, as it's coming right now and before we get to the second king.

Notice that Abraham paid him 1/10 of all he paid tithes. Some people think the tithing came about as the result of the Mosaic law, but here hundreds of years before Moses you have Abraham paying tithes. Jacob tithed it was a principle that God obviously revealed very early. Now here at the Moody church. We do not require tithing because the New Testament does not require it. We encourage it. We think it's a good benchmark for people. It's a good way to begin the giving process and did you know that if all of our members and all the people who attended it. Moody church were to tie we would never need a capital campaign to raise funds. Our missionaries would never lack for money. If only we gave the 10th of all. So here you have the story of Abraham's generosity in the presence of this mysterious man milk has a deck king and priest prefiguring Jesus.

Now we have a second king that enters into the picture. You'll notice it says in verse 21 and the king of Sodom said to Abraham give me the persons but take the goods for yourself as you recovered the spoil you can keep the spoil that you recovered but of course you return the person sandlot. Of course, would be among that group that had been taken captive and that Abraham was able to return. Now think about that for a moment that was a reasonable deal. Abraham could say that the spoils that I received from this incursion into the territory of these four kings is legitimate payment for my risk. I took a risk and the spoils. Therefore, should be mine. Obviously, the king of Sodom would not get anything if I had not gone so y'all keep it.

Notice that what Abraham says.

Verse 22 but Abraham said to the king of Sodom. I am lifted up my hand to the Lord God most high possessor of heaven and earth using the same language of the blessing given to him by Melchizedek that I would not take a Fred or a sandal strap or anything that is yours last you should say I have made Abraham rich. Some of the young men who are here what they ate and and what they want to take that's their business. But as for me, we would translated I will not take one red cent less. The king of Sodom say well yes, Abraham is rich, but I just want you to know I contributed to that riches.

He has some of our goods. He had it coming to him, but we decided to be generous and to give them whatever it is that he captured Abraham says I don't want to hear one word along that line because if the king of Sodom were to speak that way I'd be robbing God of his glory is not the God that I serve the possessor of heaven and earth didn't he bring everything into existence. Does it not say in the Old Testament and Abraham wouldn't have known this, but we do that all the gold is mine the silver is mine the cattle on a thousand hills, is mine says the Lord, even that which people grab for themselves belongs to God. The possessor of heaven and earth, and Abraham says I want to make a clear distinction here. I will receive God's blessing, but I am refusing the manipulation and the deals of the world so that God gets all the glory you amazed when you study the Scriptures and you discover so much relevance to our situation today.

Abraham had his faults, but also he's a marvelous example to us.

Obedience of faith and a willingness to give God all the glory back in 2009.

It was my privilege to visit the seven churches of Revelation we discovered when we were there that there are no churches. There are only mosques.

This troubled me because it made Jesus look weak as a result of that, I asked myself the question, how do we justify the sovereignty of Jesus over the world and what are the lessons that Islam has to teach us. Historically applied to America today. I've written a book entitled the cross in the shadow of the crescent.

Some of these lessons are things like, we cannot take the existence of our own churches for granted. Nobody would have thought that Islam would sweep over northern Africa, which was a stronghold of Christianity or other countries in the Middle East could happen here. Yes it could, here's another lesson I'm just choosing these arbitrarily even when the churches in the devils hands it is still in the hands of God. I prove that from the church in Smyrna. And what a story that is one more. The crescent cannot destroy the cross when we were in the church of holy wisdom or Muslim guide pointed out that every single cross because it had been a church was chiseled out.

He said no Muslim can ever pray in the presence of a cross. These are the kinds of lessons that I detail in the book entitled the cross in the shadow of the crescent for gift of any amount.

It can be yours.

Here's what you do go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 I'm going to be giving you that info again. The title of the book the cross in the shadow of the crescent go to RTW or you can pick up your phone and call right now 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 it's time again for you to ask Mr. lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

When marriages break up the damage is extensive. Patrick listens to running to win and has this question. My wife had an affair last year and now we are divorced. Am I permitted to remarry. Well, this is a question I wish I could sit down and discuss with you because I've got all kinds of questions that I'd like to ask you a you seem to imply that you would like to remarry and perhaps you even have someone in mind and I need to confess that that is a bit troubling. For one thing, as long as your ex-wife is still unmarried. There's also the possibility of reconciliation and I think that you should keep the door open as long as possible. Now, if she has remarried. That of course closes off the marriage, but sometimes I've even known situations in which a wife or husband kind of wishes that their partner were to have an affair so that they would have quote permission to divorce and marry someone else so I need to understand something about your motives. And finally, let me say this that second marriages in your context often and very badly.

I could tell you many stories of people who been divorced and they remarried and her second marriage wasn't happy either.

All that to say you need to discuss this with your pastor.

Somehow I'm troubled by the question that you are asking me yes I do believe that there are times when someone who's been divorced can remarry, but the motives, the circumstances, the situation all of that has to enter into the equation. Sorry I couldn't help you more than that, except I hope that it causes you to do some deep thinking about the decision that you are about to make Patrick, thank you for bringing the question to us.

Thank you Pastor Luther for your counsel if you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our website. RTW and click on ask Pastor answer or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Lot chose to ally with the king of Sodom to his eventual his uncle Abraham paid homage to the king of Salem, Melchizedek priesthood of God most high choice is flowed listening to the entire world. Next time I'm running to win. What will your choice be.

Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody church

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