Now, let's go back in Genesis 22 for just a very quick review of the events of this chapter. Here we go, verse 1. We'll show you a map so that you understand Abraham was living in Beersheba.
Mount Moriah was a three days walk to the north where modern day Jerusalem is. So Abraham did what God told him. He took Isaac and two servants and went to the mountain. Verse 5, and Abraham said to his servants, stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there.
We will worship and then, say the next word, we will come back to you. So Abraham went up the mountain to obey God, built an altar, put Isaac on it. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven saying, do not lay a hand on the boy.
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. Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time and said, I swear by myself declares the Lord that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, thank you, from me, I will surely bless you and I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore and through your offspring all nation on earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me.
Now you say, well, Lon, I see the first two principles there. I see absolute surrender to the will of God on Abraham's part. I see full obedience to God's command on Abraham's part. But what I don't see is this third principle about utter trust in God's promises. Well, let me show it to you.
Stay with me now. OK, God has made Abraham four massive promises in the book of Genesis up to this point. Here they are in Genesis 12, verse two. God promised Abraham and I quote, I will make you into a great nation and by the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, who will be your descendant.
I will bless all the families of the earth through you. Second promise. Genesis 15 for God promised Abraham, you will have a son from your own body. And through this son, your descendants will be as numerous as the stars and will possess the promised land from the Nile to the Euphrates.
Third promise. Genesis 17, verse six. God said that through this same son quoting, I will make you exceedingly fruitful and I will make nations of you and kings will come from you. And then the fourth promise comes in Genesis 21. You may remember there that Hagar, Sarah's handmaiden, had borne Ishmael to Abraham and Sarah now bears Isaac to Abraham.
Now watch. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar, Ishmael, mocking Isaac. And she said to Abraham, drive out this handmaiden and her son.
And this distressed Abraham greatly. And God said to Abraham, listen to what Sarah tells you for, say the next two words, in Isaac, say them again. In Isaac, your seed shall be called.
Here's promise number four. In Isaac, your seed shall be called. Folks, this is one of the most important verses in all the Bible, because here in this verse, God reveals to Abraham and to us which son God is going to use to fulfill all these promises that he's made to Abraham. And he tells Abraham, it will not be Ishmael, it will be Isaac. Now you may already know that in Genesis 25, Abraham remarries after the death of Sarah, and he has six more sons at 125 years old. Yeah, well, that's another message. But yeah, whoa.
All right. So that means all together, Abraham had eight sons and God said, Yeah, but in Isaac is where your seed will be called. And this is so important for us to understand.
This is so critical for us to understand. This is why God three times in Genesis 22 called Isaac your son, your only son. He wasn't Abraham's only son physically, but as far as the covenants of God were concerned with Abraham, as far as the promises of God were concerned with Abraham, Isaac was Abraham's only son that mattered. It would be Isaac's descendants that would go on to possess the promised land.
It would be Isaac's descendants through whom the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ would come and it would be through Isaac's descendants that all the families on the earth would be blessed. This is God's fourth and final promise regarding this son. And this is the promise here in Genesis 21 in Isaac your seed shall be called that Abraham is holding on to in chapter 22 when he goes up that mountain with Isaac. And this is why Abraham said to his servants, he said, Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there.
We will worship and we will come back to you. You say, Yeah, Lon, how can Abraham say that knowing that he's going up that mountain to kill his son? Well, that's the whole point. Abraham knew that because of the promise of God given to him in chapter 21 through Isaac and his descendants, all of these things will come true. Abraham knew Isaac couldn't die.
Isaac had no children yet. And if Isaac died childless, then God's promises would all fail. But God's promises can't fail. God's faithfulness forbids it.
God's character prohibits it. And Abraham knew that. So friends, as Abraham walked up that hill with his boy, he was calm as a cucumber friends, because he had such utter trust in the promises of God that he knew somehow some way he was coming back down that mountain with Isaac. Do you guys see that?
Everybody with me? Okay, and you know, it's interesting that the Bible tells us a little bit about Abraham's thought process about how he had reasoned all of this out. We don't know when he did this, whether it was on the three day walk to Moriah or that night after God had commanded him to sacrifice his son. And before he set out in the morning, but look what the Hebrews chapter 11 says. It says by faith, Abraham, when God tested him, offered up Isaac, even though God had promised him in Isaac, your seed shall be called. Watch now, Abraham reasoned, I love this, that God was able to raise him that is Isaac up, even from the dead.
Do you understand how Abraham had put this together in his mind? He had said, Okay, I so utterly trust God's promise that I'm going to go up that hill, I'm going to kill my son. And then God is going to raise him from the dead, because that boy has got to get married and have children for the promises of God to come through. And if God wants to, he can even raise my son from the dead. And when Abraham lifted that knife up to plunge it in his son, I don't think he was nervous at all, because he said, if I kill him, God will just raise him up. Look at that confidence in the promise of God. He knew that even if God had to raise somebody from the dead, God was not about to let his promises fail. And so let's summarize. This is principle number three, for having a massive spiritual life, we may not know how God's going to do it. Every obstacle in the world may be stacked against God doing it.
But regardless of that, we expect God to keep every one of his promises and we live every day, as the old hymn says, standing on the promises of God. Now, that's as far as we're going to go in our chapter, because we want to ask our most important question right now. So everybody at Tysons, y'all ready?
All right, Loudon, Bethesda, Prince William on the internet, you ready? Here we go. One, two, three.
One, two, three. Thank you much better. Thank you.
Sorry, Lon. It's a great passage, you know, but again, I don't see what this has to do with me. Well, it has a lot to do with you and me. The Bible says as followers of Christ, second Corinthians five, seven, that we are to walk by faith and not by sight by biblical faith and not by sight. And what is biblical faith? Well, friends, the starting point for biblical faith is always the promises of God. Biblical faith means, follow me now, God makes a promise.
We believe that promise, and then we live with the utter expectation that that promise must come true. That is biblical faith. This is how you get into heaven with this kind of faith. Salvation. God makes us a promise. God says if we trust what Jesus did for us on the cross, shedding his blood to pay for our sin, that he will take us to heaven. That's the promise of God.
Remember the Philippian jailer asked in Acts chapter 16. He said, What must I do to be saved? And the apostle Paul said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. That is God's promise. And what is saving faith?
Friends, saving faith simply means that we believe that promise of God and we rest our entire eternal destiny on that promise of God because we utterly, utterly, utterly expect it to come true. That when we close our eyes here on earth, the next time we blink them will be on the shores of heaven. We are expecting that to happen. Why? Because that's what God promised would happen.
Got it? That's how we get saved. Amen.
All right, you can clap for that. That's good. But you know what? That kind of faith is not just for getting saved. That kind of faith is meant to go on every day in our Christian experience, in our everyday Christian life. Friends, God has given us as followers of Christ. Second Peter one for his exceeding great and precious promises that cover every detail of life, provision, protection, guidance, wisdom, strength, peace, sufficient grace for every trial. A temptation is limited to what we're able to bear, cleansing for our sin when we confess it.
And you know what? If you got a trial and you go into the Bible and you can't find an exact promise for your trial, we've got a generic promise that covers them all. Romans 8 28 says that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.
That'll work for any circumstance. And these promises are impregnable. My friends, these promises are inviolable. And the reason for that is because Titus chapter one verse two says God cannot lie. And that's why Hebrews 6 19 says we have these promises as an anchor for our souls, just like a physical anchor keeps the ship from being tossed around by the winds and the waves of the sea.
Even so, God's promises are a spiritual anchor that keep our lives from being tossed around by the winds and the waves of this world. And when I think of this, I think of Peter. Matthew chapter 14. Remember the disciples had gotten in the boat to go the other side of the Sea of Galilee.
It was night. And the Bible says that in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them walking on the water. And when the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. But immediately Jesus said to them, Don't be afraid.
It is I. Then Peter said, Lord, if it is you, what's the next word? Command me to come to you on the water. And Jesus said, Come, folks. This was not a suggestion from Jesus. What did Peter call it?
A command from Jesus. This was a promise from Jesus that Peter, if you get out of that boat, I'm going to give you the power to walk on the water. Then Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came towards Jesus.
But oh, oh, that's a bad place for but but when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he became afraid and began to sink. He cried out to the Lord said, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus reached out his hand and took hold of Peter and said to him, Oh, ye of little faith.
Why did you doubt? What happened to Peter? Well, Peter, it's very simple, friends. Peter did exactly what Hudson Taylor said not to do. Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, off of God's promises and put his eyes on the obstacles around him. The obstacles don't matter.
What matters is what God promised. God promised Peter he could walk on the water. When people say to you, only one person in history has ever walked on water. That's not true.
Two people have walked on water. Peter's done it. And yet he was doing fine as long as he was expecting the promise of God to come true.
But when he took his eyes off the promise of God and began looking at all the reasons why he couldn't do this, all the obstacles. Hey, people aren't supposed to do this. People drown doing this. Look at the wind.
Look at the waves. I shouldn't even be out here. What am I doing?
I don't even have a lifeline to the boat. Blom, down he went. And folks, this is just what happens to you and me when we do the very same thing. When we take our eyes off of God's promises, we're doing fine. We got problems. We got troubles.
The winds are blowing all around us. But we're walking on top of them because we're depending on God's promises. And then all of a sudden, for whatever reason, we take our eyes off of what God has promised us and we put it on all the obstacles and circumstances around us and we start to sink spiritually.
Which the same thing has happened to Peter. This is principle number three, for having a massive spiritual life, keeping our eyes on Jesus and his promises to us. Listen, and never doubting that they're coming true no matter how boisterous the winds get around us. This is how you have a massive spiritual life. And it's challenging. And it's not always easy.
But folks, this is how Peter could have kept walking on the water. And this is how you and I can keep walking on top of our problems. You know, a while back, a magazine, I've never read it, called True Woman asked my wife Brenda to write an article about her experiences with Jill. Brenda brought me the article and said, hey, would you proofread this for me?
And I said, sure, I'd be happy to. And I read this article that my wife had written. And I just sat there and started to weep. I just thought, oh, my gosh, A, what an amazing woman I married. And B, it reminded me of all the amazing pain that God has sustained us through just with his promises. Let me read you part of her letter.
She said, and I quote, when I was pregnant with Jill, God gave me his promise from Isaiah 41 10. Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Brenda goes on to say Jill was a seemingly perfect and healthy three month old. But over time, just seizures ravaged Jill's brain, wiping out the milestones she had met, including all of her speech, and left her unable to mature intellectually past toddlerhood.
As friends, daughters, Brenda said, head off to college and get married. I am reminded that Jill will never do these things, that Lon will never walk Jill down the aisle. But I have to go back and remember God's faithfulness to his promise with all Jill's seizures and constant calls to 911 and the sleepless nights just like God promised we made it. Praise God, huh?
Amen. But listen to how she concluded. She said Jill is a picture of complete trust.
She never worries about food or clothing. We have promised to take care of all these things, and she never doubts that we will. Brenda said in closing, and I want to live like Jill, never fearing, never dismayed, just relying 100% on my divine caretaker to keep his promises to me just as he always has.
End of quote. You know, a lot of people have come up and asked Brenda and me if we would write a book about our experiences with Jill and about explaining our journey with Jill. And I've often thought if we ever sat down to write that book that really it wouldn't take us very long because the book would only have four words in it, and those four words would be God kept his promises. That's our story.
God kept his promises. Now I know everybody here doesn't have a child with disabilities. I understand that. But everybody here has problems. Many of us here have loved ones with cancer or maybe we have cancer. Many of us here have marriages that are in trouble, and it looks like only God can keep them together. Many of us here have problems with our children or our parents that look hopeless and insurmountable. Many of us here have deep financial problems or we have relationship problems of one kind or another.
I don't know, folks. There are enough problems in the world to cover every one of us here. But here's the point. The point is that the way to make it through these problems and the way to walk on top of these problems and the way not to drown in these problems is the same for every single one of us, the same for Brenda and me as it was for you. It's by knowing the promises of God. It's by believing the promises of God. And it's about expecting God to keep the promises of God no matter how boisterous the winds around us get. We understand that?
We got that? And it's hard sometimes because sometimes you can't see how God could ever keep His promise. Well, trust me. Abraham figured out that if God had to raise His Son from the dead, He was going to keep His promise. And, folks, I don't care what God has to do for you no matter what it is. If He has to break the natural laws of the universe to keep His promise to you, He'll do it. You know why? Because if He fails to keep a promise to you, He stops being God.
And that's not going to happen. And so when you get to heaven one day and somebody in heaven maybe says to you, hey, could you explain your life down on earth to me? I hope you'll be able to say, oh, yeah, it's really easy. I can explain my life on earth to you in four words. God kept His promises. That's why I'm in heaven today. God kept His promise.
That's why I made it through the world. God kept His promises. Amen?
Amen? And, friends, if we can go out every day and say, Lord Jesus, no matter what comes to me today, I'm standing on the promises of God. I'm believing the promises of God. I don't care what the odds look like.
I don't care about odds. I care about the promises of God. And, Lord, when I start to sink, help me not to doubt. Lord, help me to say if you promised it, I believe it.
That settles it. And I'm expecting it to happen. And you'll pop right back on top of that water again. May God help us all live that way. Let's pray. Dear Lord Jesus, we live in a really tough world.
And many of us here face really tough problems. But just like you invited Peter to get out of that boat and told him if he would, he could walk on top of that water. Lord, I pray that you would remind us that all of your promises say to us, oh, yes, you can. Oh, yes, you can make it.
Yes, you can. Because I've promised you you can make it. I've promised you I wouldn't send anything into your life you couldn't endure, 1 Corinthians 10, 13. I promised you, 2 Corinthians chapter 12, that my grace will be sufficient. I have promised you that you will not be shaken if you'll just trust me. Lord, help us to live life, not standing on the circumstances but standing on the promises. And for people here today facing really tough situations, God, restore hope to them today, I pray.
Restore equilibrium to them and lift them up and put them on top of the water again and hold their hand and walk with us, Lord. You have promised you will never leave us nor will you ever forsake us. Therefore, we may say with confidence, the Lord is my helper. Whom shall I fear?
What can man or Satan or this world do to me? Nothing as we walk on the promises of God. Lord Jesus, more than anything else in this world, we need peace. We need peace of mind and peace of heart and peace of soul. We need peace with God and we need the peace of God. And I'm so thankful, Lord Jesus, that you said, my peace I leave with you, not like the world gives peace. But I leave you my peace for I have overcome the world. And so, Lord Jesus, give us that peace as we stand on your promises.
That's where it comes from. We stand on the promises of God. God gives us the peace of God. Now dismiss your people, I pray. Father, with the great blessing you gave Aaron to pray over the people of Israel, you told him to pray for them like this. May the Lord bless you. May he keep and preserve you. May the Lord cause his face to shine upon you. Dear Jesus, amen. And may you be gracious to us, Lord. May the Lord turn his face towards us and may he give us peace. We pray these things in the name of our living Savior, the Messiah of Israel, the Prince of Peace. And God's people said, amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-21 19:15:19 / 2023-03-21 19:24:49 / 10