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Conflict Reveals Character

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
March 11, 2021 7:00 am

Conflict Reveals Character

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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March 11, 2021 7:00 am

An overview of the life of Abraham.

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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ like mad. I just got really turn out well for you to be like when the conflict was so much for joining up today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie when Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word meets the holiday suggest around and according to a research project led by Hillary's. She said that 68% of you will have conflict with your extended families in the days to come.

Ken Duckworth, medical director of the national alliance on mental illness, says this he says there's this idea the holiday gatherings with family are supposed to be joyful and stress-free because that's not the case. Family relationships are complicated. The holidays offer plenty of reasons to be stressed out and anxious. The gifts you have unwrapped a pile of cookie exchange invites the office parties, but for many, the biggest source of holiday stress is family. Family dinner. Family obligations, the burden of family tradition. Happy holidays.

We'll need to holidays that have conflict.

Conflict is part of life. It's inevitable you find conflict at work.

Conflict in the schools conflict in the neighborhood conflict in the family, but complex, not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes conflict brings resolution. That's a good thing and sometimes conflict clears up misunderstanding and that's a good thing. But there is something that conflict always always dies conflict reveals character, open your Bibles to Genesis chapter 13 the last time we begin a series on Abraham, the friend of God. In chapter 12 when we were introduced to Abram at that time. He taught us an extremely valuable lesson. He is a model of faith because he response to God as a moon worshiper in the Chaldeans, and then goes to the promised land that God had promised him, but he taught us something else. It's not too far of a drop to go from faith to fear, and then the failure in his case, by the way it was costly and now in chapter 13 is going to teach us something else and that is that conflict reveals character to the circumstances of this conflict. He says Moses writes so Abram went up from Egypt to the negative. He and his wife and all that belonged to him.

A lot was with him now. Abram was very rich in livestock and silver and gold anyone on his journeys from the negative. As far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been in the beginning, between Bethel and AI to the place of the altar which he had made there formally and there Abram called on the name of the Lord right in the middle of Abram and his worship of God is the reason for the conflict. It's about to come. The circumstance of this conflict is the circumstance of prosperity that's going to be a problem.

Notice first to not Abram was very rich in livestock and silver and gold doesn't really say rich in Hebrew, it says, but, in Hebrew, and that means heavy he saying.

So Abram was very heavy in livestock and silver and gold that we don't use that term. Today we once a summons heavy, but when we say something similar when we say he or she is loaded when we say that it's the same idea.

He has accumulated a great deal of wealth seek in chapter 12 Abram had not responded well to adversity.

If you remember there was a drought in the land and instead of really trusting God. Abram decided that Egypt would be the answer and so he goes to Egypt only to go to Egypt, even compromised his wife Sarah. I when he went to Egypt. It was really really a bad decision on his part. He went from faith to fear failure, but now in chapter 13 we find them in a different place.

In fact in verse three it said he went on his journey from Megabus bars Bethel the place where his tent was at the beginning. He's right back where he started. He was worshiping God in that area then adversity came. Then he fell God and always back by the way, that's a picture of your spiritual life and mine is one of the great things about God. He did do overs you get to start over.

You see we call repentance, you got an opportunity again to make it right, God's infinitely patient so that's what you see happening here, but the issue this time is the issue of prosperity.

Thomas Carlisle, the Scottish essayist and historian, writes this adversity is sometimes hard upon a man, but the one man who can stand prosperity. There are 100 that would be able to stand up to adversity. He said most of us rise to meet adversity with our best character.

However, our true character comes out when things go really well. It's easy to become arrogant, self-sustaining, conceited, greedy and condescending at such times. That's the problem that's the problem of prosperity. Now we see the other half of the conflict in the same circumstances. Verse five Malott. He says who went with Abram also had flocks and herds and tents now become a port a little later in the chapter and the land could not sustain them while dwelling together for their possessions were so great that they were not able to remain together and then it says that there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of lots, livestock, and in an unusual sentence and now the Canaanite in the parasite were dwelling than in land. So now we run into a lot and what we see from law is just like Abram. He's wealthy doesn't say's wealthy and silver and gold, but he's wealthy and livestock intense. He has many tents there trying to stay together and if you remember in chapter 12 verse one when Abram was called out of the Chaldees, God told him to leave his relatives behind. He took his father and his father died before he got into the promised land. And he took lot. No matter the point of use only understand how he felt responsible for what.

Lots father had died Abram's brother and so Abram felt responsible for like a took him with them, but it was a bad idea and it plays out to be a pretty bad idea. But notice what's happening. There's a conflict in verse seven there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock in the herdsmen of lots, livestock that word strife is the word Reba. It means real contention. In other words there fighting. There's no question that they were added, there was probably a certain amount of trash talking going on in the pastors in a insulting each other trying to get to the water first. All those kind of things.

It is a serious stop.

There's livestock. It's a steak there's also reputations at stake here you see what they had is they had a lot of assets but limited resources, and boy, if you have that you have a real opportunity for some strife.

For example, if you were one of many children, your family, there's a lot of kids in your family or your parent have a lot of kids in your family you can really see how this happens, we have lots of assets children and limited resources.

What happens when there's only three cookies left on the counter. See what happens when you go on a road trip and then you find out there's only two seats by the Windows whenever you have those, limitation joined up with strife and that's exactly what happens in this case but are something else. Another factor notice that last sentence of verse seven.

Now the Canaanite in the parasite were dwelling in the land. I believe that Moses added that because of a few reasons but one is this.

That's the real enemy. There should not be any kind of strife between Abram a lot. The real enemy here is going to be the Canaanite parasite. The Canaanites are the most infamous people in the Old Testament there may have never been a more despicable group of people that ever lived, from God's point of view than Canaanites and so these Canaanites got into the land and the Scripture says they practiced abominable customs and detestable things. We know that they were the worshipers of bail. Not only they were to build a warship a start date who they called the Queen of heaven and their warship was the worst kind of pagan worship, even to the point of offering to their gods their own children by burning them to death, and so these were the Canaanites, and they really kind of control the land. The parasites are more like a subgroup of the Canaanites and site means belonging to the village, but they were really they, the shepherds, they were better when type of moving shepherds out.

Obviously that means is a limitation on what Abram and Lot can really do, and it may be another even 1/3 factor here and that is that perhaps it be means to say this while there, fighting in the family here. The unbelievers are watching that sort of mixup in the even in the New Testament Peter writes about exactly the same kind of thing and says we have to be careful of our conduct in the presence of the lost and so those are the circumstances that they face the circumstances that really has an effect on them. Now let's move to the conflict reveals character.

Verse eight so Abram said a lot. Please let there be no strife between you and me between my herdsmen in your herdsmen from your brothers while that's unlikely you handle that. See, I really wonder about that.

Who was the land promised so cool of the rights to the land is a Abram is the uncle lot is the nephew the wealth. A lot has has a lot to do with probably given to him by Abram. So there is this going on in and Abram watch how he tries to defuse this.

The first thing he tries to do is add calming words he tries in a sense of defuse the system in this conflict immediately. He says let there be no strife, but he doesn't use the word Reba which means real contention which is to say what was going on. He uses a completely different word he uses the word. Mirabal in them up against a coral by the way, becomes more famous than reap because we get Exodus 17 the children of Israel as it came out are in the wilderness and their quarreling and complaining about not having enough water. Moses goes to God and says God willing him to his people and what to do and God said just take your staff and strike the rock and given the water, but that place where they did. That is called. Mirabal it becomes a famous place becomes a location, the place where people quarrel but in this case he's not trying to do that. Always trying to defuse it so he uses these really calling words is desirous to take the emotion out of the conflict. The whenever you're in a conflict is that you is that what you desire to do what enter something else.

He gives up his rights, he gives up his rights. Notice what he said in verse nine is not the whole land before you please separate from me.

He said after the left that I will go to the right or after the right. Now go to the left.

Take which one well known only when a conflict. What is the most important thing to you when you're in a conflict your rights.

You see, that's the whole point someone violated my rights and I'm gonna get angry about it, he gives up his right well see I don't think that sounds like you see him as Mrs. sure sounds like me but I know who it sounds like.

In fact, in Luke chapter 6 verse 29 is what Jesus Christ says whoever hit you on the cheek, offer him the other also. And whoever takes away your coat do not withhold your shirt from them either while that's un-American about it is, but it's the Lord. See, it's kind of an interesting thing. And that's exactly what Abram does.

He also follows the words of Paul. Paul says regard one another as more important than yourself. In Philippians 2 and he doesn't were brothers look, you take whatever you want, and yet when you think about it all. What was was a tagalong. It really wasn't his and all conflict reveals character and we learn a lot from Abram about his character. What about lot see how his character is revealed verse 10 Lot lifted up his eyes while he doesn't say anything. He lifts up his eyes and he saw the valley of the Jordan that it was well watered everywhere, and this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah like a garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, that you go to seller and so I chose for himself. All the valley of the Jordan. He didn't say a word. Chuck Swindoll writes this lot selection of the most fertile territory reveals his true character. He should've said uncle Abram I owe you a great great debt of gratitude.

In fact, I owe you everything you brought me on this journey, when you should've let me back in our and today I am wealthy and the wealthy men because of you. And since you've been so gracious to me.

I insist that you take the best land, God will take care of me either way but lot and all rights chose greed over gratitude. He chose wealth over family. He chose to trust himself rather than God. And Swindoll writes this truth be told, most of us are more like lot than we are Abram when it comes to conflict see conflict reveals your character in verse 10, you get the reason why I love the editorial note. He says that the saw the valley of the Jordan Epstein near the Dead Sea that was well watered and he said retailers like this before Sodom and Gomorrah in the Dead Sea and all that he said it was like a garden of the Lord. It was like Eden.

He said it was like the land of Egypt, he said, as you go to Zoar. It was a denial he said it was fertile. It was green. Most of Canaan is not.

He said that's what it was like and that's all that lot had to see and so lot chose it immediately like figures out what it is he wants.

Notice what lot doesn't do. He doesn't talk about Abram. The other thing he does. He doesn't consult the Lord but await me ask you something in the midst of conflicts.

How often do you consult the Lord is the author never you see all that happened to lot was locked is doing what we so often do an ugly thoughts looking out for number one. That's what lots doing any notice… Eyes as John wrote in first John is of the lust of the eyes as well. That's the best place. What was he thinking he might be thinking this, but what a crazy old man you know what a sap. You see in that amazing I can take advantage of the situation.

I come out ahead. I can win. We often think that way, whenever we find yourself in conflict. Proverbs 14 says there is a way that seems right to a man, but it ends in death and destruction. That's exactly what lot he thought poorly of hit it good circumstances lead to conflict. But conflict reveals character. The last point is this, God reassures us when we handle conflict well what happens.

By the way, any pick it up again in verse 12 Abram settled the land of Canaan. While lot settled in the cities of the valley and moved us tense and then we are again as far Sodom only will continue with the story and guess where lot is he's not in a tent outside Sodom ideas here.

He buys a townhouse inside. He sits at the gate with the men of Sodom that's a lot ends up doing in the prints the support of that would be.

Sometimes you can end up in really big sin by taking one bad step in. This was his first bad step. I'm sure once all was hers and said while you talk of you, one that we really lost notice again. The editorial remark 13 now the men of Sodom were wicked, exceedingly, and he says his sinners against the Lord. Those two words wicked, exceedingly or only find a Noah and the flood the ideas while lot made a really terrible choice and it cost them dearly, but he thought he won the conflict all the conflict it was reveals character. Now once the reassurance comes from God. The Lord said Abram.

After a lot of separated from other way. One subpoint God and what lot with Abram from the beginning. And when his father, the reader now neither a with Abram and he says now the Lord said to Abram, after a lot of separated from them now lift up your eyes, nieces, and look from the place where you are northward southward eastward and westward. All he says the land which you see.

I will give it to you and your descendents forever. God reassures him with the Abraham a covenant sizzle by the way, Abram, it's all yours. You see, it's all yours North, South and East all by the way, westward lot went at yours to. It's all yours.

FB Meyer says this, the man who is sure of God can afford to hold very lightly the things of this world God himself as his heritage and having God that man has at all. And that's exactly what God reassures with Abram.

It's all yours.

Abram God's promise is all that really matters.

He then says in 16. I will make your descendents as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth and your descendents can also be numbered. Wait a minute, Abram doesn't have that land but it's all yours. How many descendents as Abram have right now zero cuts. As you can have so many good number. What does it take to relate to God.

That way, faith intersects with. He said, arise, walk about the land he said, through its length and breadth for I will give it to you and then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the Oaks of memory which are in Hebron and there he built an altar to the Lord. That's the third time is built an altar is worshiping God. What does he have so far only God's promise, he has nothing else is a God promised that's enough that causes him to worship that told you so much about Abram's heart is worshiping one more time.

Circumstances always leave the conflict. Conflict reveals character in God reassures us when we handle conflict well know what you think of these two men in that conflict.

Abram, he sought to resolve the conflict. He used soothing and calming words and was tender with his nephew, Abram gave up his rights, which were his rights to any land that he wanted and Abram left in God's hands now lot.

He chose himself over others. He chose his occupation over his family. He chose the immediate over the future and he never once considered God in an amazing one man walks by faith. The other man walks by site when it comes the conflict which ones you when you're in conflict.

Which one is you is he so often as believers in Jesus Christ. It's the one time that we believe were justified in our flesh we just thinking about it made me mad when I get mad I just cannot really that's never been to turn out well for you. You could be like lot and when the conflict loose so much more.

Abram is our example when it comes to conflict me close with forwarders just forwards that I can try to remember the first word is this always look beyond the immediate benefits of winning the conflict second word never, never underestimate the impact of negative consequences based on your selfish choices never don't overlook it. It was the worst thing that lot ever did because it started him in a direction which ended them up in a destination which brought about disaster always never the third word.

Forget this is hard for us. Forget about pleasing yourself, forget about it. Forget about your rights. Fourth word, remember, remember, God evaluates every conflict that we are in from Ace virtual perspective, always, never forget. Remember you don't need a holidays issue conflicts in your future are inevitable.

Abram lot procedures pastoral number on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just take a listen to the message one more time. Remember the little great website called in one that's one and you can listen the fellowship and the word online at that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as had Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make his broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website. FB seen role that that SBC and of LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds. Pastor Bill sermon. You can browse through our sermon archives defined sermon series you're looking for or you can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own.

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