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March 24, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
When I was called to go to some going to minister. I gotta tell you something. I love my job and only love my job and I love my friend and I love my family and they were all right there and my mother had MS in Velma's mother was old and it was a really good logical thing for us to stay there.
We had a responsibility. I love the kids that I coached. I love all buses that go joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of pro-survival church located in Metairie but going pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word meets a young man decided that he wanted to be a missionary. So one of the final steps in order to be a missionary was to be examined by an examiner from the mission board itself and that's where I picked up the story at 3 AM one cold morning a missionary candidate walked into an office for scheduled interview with the examiner of a mission board, he waited until 8 AM when the examiner arrived, the examiner said, let us begin. First, please spell Baker young man said be a KER very good now to see how well you do with math.
How much is to times 24 the young man's very good. The examiner said, I'll recommend to the board tomorrow that you be appointed. You pass the test at the board meeting. The examiner spoke highly of the applicant and said he has all the qualifications to be a fine missionary. Let me explain. First I tested him oneself the Nile.
I told him to be at my house at three in the morning he left a warm bed and came out in the cold without a word of complaint. Second, I'd try him out on punctuality. He appeared one time. Third, I examined his patients.
I made him wait five hours to see me after telling him to come at three fourth. I tested him on temper.
He failed to show any sign of it at all. He didn't even question my delay.
Fifth, I tried his humility. I asked him questions that a small child can answer and he showed no offense. He meets the requirements is the kind of missionary. This board needs see what appeared to be a completely illogical test turns out to be an extremely revealing test. That's what God does one of God's most revealing and yet seemingly illogical test that he gives to people just like you and me is what I call the let go test the let go test is been illustrated over all the years one story that shows up. I think ever since I was a Christian illustrates it so well man's walking along the narrow path and not paying much attention to where he goes and he slips over the edge of a cliff and he begins the fall when he puts his hands on. He grabs a branch on his way over the cliff and he is realizing that is hanging there, but that he couldn't hold on for very long, and so he calls for help and he said, is anybody up there and the voice comes yes I'm here who's that that is the Lord, Lord, help me to do you trust me. He said yes.
I trust you completely Lord good let go of the branch long pause. Is there anybody else out there. Chuck Swindoll insightfully rights after uses that illustration like this dangling cliffhanger. Are you ever afraid that God might ask too much of you consider for a moment what would be too much.
Our daily lives are built around people and things we enjoy as spouse, children, friends, a job, a hobby, possession, future plans. These are the pillars and beams of our earthly support system and if one of them is removed. We sometimes feel as though the framework of our lives is collapsing around us, but there are times when God says let go and the nuts and bolts that hold the world together suddenly snap if you've ever been in that situation you know the pressure a test like that can exert on your faith, the let go test seems counterintuitive to us.
I mean it's things I love the things I treasure my possessions, my vocation, my dreams, my relationships using the key to understanding the let go test is not the words possession, vocation, dreams, relationship, it's the word my mine AW toes are in the pursuit of God says there is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess always to possess it covets things with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns my and mine look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant.
They express the real nature of our old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The root of our hearts have grown down into things and he says we dare not pull one route would up, lest we think we die. There is no more difficult test than the let go test and there is no greater example of the let go test and you'll find in Genesis chapter 22. Open your Bibles to Genesis 22. There is so much emotion in these 18 verses in this first two thirds of this chapter that all of us can identify with it, but I think so often we identify with it and sort of the wrong way there to great points that Moses is making when he writes of this let go test in the first two verses we see that God tests the faithfulness of believers by asking asked to let go of the best we have God tests the faithfulness of believers by asking us to let go of the best we have is is now it came about after these things that God tested Abraham by the way, Abraham did know was a test. He didn't have a lot of scripture look back on and see the way God operates hidden others that Moses is the one God reveals to that this was a test that so often happens to us is sort of just comes out of the woodwork. It comes out of nowhere he is testing Abraham. Please understand a framework.
God is on this.
It is very important understand God understands, he knows the future as clearly as he knows the past. He knows the future as clearly as he knows the moment and so when you think of a test like this.
Please understand it. Also, from God's perspective. He knows exactly how this is going to turn out. And then it's almost like you're in a classroom attendance is going to be asked Abraham.
Here I am present and accounted for great statement. I can imagine this all of a sudden you hear your name spoken by God and Abraham's responses. Here I am and what he wants while he said take your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, of which I would tell you while your son, not our community young boy, there's a lot of debate as to the age of Isaac year but he somewhere.
Most people feel somewhere between eight and 30 but most likely he's around 15 or 16 Abraham's 115 or 16 she have a very old man and a very young, vibrant boy, but can you read the pain here.
It's almost as God goes out of his way to let them know how painful this sounds. He says don't take your son and then he says, your only son, Israel is no longer there but God never recognize them that way. He says this is the son of the covenant. He knows it. Abraham knows that your only son, there's a good reason God uses that term by the way, and then he says, whom you love is shock, laughter.
I could even imagine the joy he has had with his son watching him grow into a young man in God's is taken where my going to take him Lord, you have taken the Moriah, about 50 miles away yeah and you're going to offer him see what's happened so often as we put our self exactly in that place and we keep thinking wait a minute. I remember when I've actually taught this and people were upset in a Bible study because what kind of God would do that.
She's girl writes this, he said the question is often asked at this point in the text is how could be a God of love command Abraham to offer up his only son as a sacrifice. He says this then for family devotions. Martin Luther once read this account and his wife Katie. She said I don't believe it. God would not of treated his son like that.
Luther said, but Katie did is is. Thus, we are forced to the conclusion that the sacrifice of Isaac could not of been wrong here, whether only attempted or accomplished. Because God is incapable of evil, much more than Mrs. Luther recognize that could not be wrong. This is a sacrifice of his only son, because that's actually what God did with his only begotten son, God tests the faithfulness believers by asking the let go of the best that we have never been tested like never been asked of that with its an amazing thing. You see, because it's not necessary to this degree, that's a very rare unusual situation.
But God does this kind of thing all the time I can remember when I was called to go to seminary going to ministry. I gotta tell you something I love my job and only love my job but I love my friends and I love my family and they were all right there and my mother had MS in Velma's mother was old and it was a really good logical thing for us to stay there. We had a responsibility. I love the kids that I coached. I love all of it because as the go.
She just let go and I can tell you that that's not without a lot of consternation. See I knew what I wanted. That's the way God operates Brown something else or them and that is simply this, that faithful believers are willing to let go of the best they have because they trust God to provide.
That's the great lesson here. God tests the faithfulness of believers by asking us to let go of the best that we have, but faithful believers are willing to let go. The best they have because they trust that God will provide. I'm amazed there was no dialogue. There's almost no dialogue in this whole episode and I don't know about you and me, but I want to talk this to death. I would want it. We got one clarification here what you mean burnt offering, you see to be a lot of things I want to say none of it and you know why this is a friend of God. This is the father of faith. He is our model.
That's what makes Abraham so special so Abraham rose early in the morning and he saddled his donkey and he took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son any split wood for the burnt offering and he rose and he went to the place where God told him as I said it was about 50 miles.
He's 115 this is a long way to go. It says on the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance you see there's no talk. I don't know what but I know this, there had to be a lot of thinking. If your Abraham, what are you thinking for three days for three days. You're just thinking about this see from our point of view. We think that the problem is with the request but that's not Abraham's point of view to Abraham. The problem is probably with the deed because is not too bothered by the request.
So how could you ever say something like that were first in verse five. Look what happens. Abraham said to the young men stay here with the donkey and I am the lad will go over there and we will worship and return to you see that it's on the pronoun to see that we are going over there and we will worship and we will return to you while. How do you say we have to trust God. You see, that's what is the father of faith. He trusts God hold you place and go with me to the book of Hebrews chapter 11, the Hall of Fame of faith Abraham gets mentioned more than once in verse eight he gets mentioned that when he was called the Abbe by going out of the place to receive his inheritance when he left the Chaldees but look at verse 17 of Hebrews 11, by faith Abraham, when he was tested to see even the writer of Hebrews knows this.
The test when he was tested with the great let go test by faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son for was he to whom it was said in Isaac your descendents shall be called and then this reason, he considered, he reckoned he believed he trusted that God is able to raise people even from the dead from which he also received him back is a type what did Abraham believe, even if I take his life. We go back to Genesis. Even if I take his life. God will raise him from the dead. Because God told me he's the child of promise, what does it take to do that tremendous faith tremendous faith is only begotten willing to give up his only begotten son is just like the father doesn't willing to give up his only begotten willing to sacrifice him.
By the way, on the same Hills in the same place. Mariah is of the hills around Jerusalem.
The same I would be surprised if it was the very place why because the writer of Hebrews says this type see God was willing to do that Abraham didn't have the same kind of consternation you and I would've had. And the reason is he had an a from the beginning because this test, the let go test is always the same. Do you trust me and Abraham is emphatically yes how much will you let go of.
He says the best I have everything.
My son, you see, we read the story of a completely different perspective. This is the triumphant story. This is a story that's filled with all the fear and trepidation that we read into it because Abraham wasn't feeling that and Abraham took the wood of the burn off on any later on Isaac his son, probably because he was much stronger. He took in his hand. The fire and the knife and so the two of them walk together this two perspectives. I like to see this from actually 31 is the perspective of Abraham. I will trust God. But if the writer of Hebrews is correct and is Abraham believes that he is going to slit the throat of the zones and that God would reason but just imagine if you were Abraham walking with your son what he's thinking.
Then there's the point of view of Isaac. Isaac is been with Abraham when they made offerings before and is going to see in a moment Isaac site will look it's all here. We got the wood.
We got the 19th. There's something missing here.
You see, that seems oddly always have a ramrod go, I will only have a sheep we have something where is it there's another perspective.
The look at this. Don't underestimate the feelings of God. How do you think God felt when he watched this man old man walked with this young what kind of sequences. This man is walking son. I had to believe it's them overwhelmingly emotional.
Just forgot any knows it's a type it's a picture of what's going to transpire in the future pastor broke apart on the radio ministry fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just like the sum of the method one more time. Remember that you can do a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as well have Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible.
We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous forecast on this radio station by supporting a monthly fourth 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, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC 10 oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds possible 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 listening and remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt, unseasoned heart. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order