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The Testing of Your Faith | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
March 17, 2022 8:00 am

The Testing of Your Faith | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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March 17, 2022 8:00 am

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Have you experienced the testing of your faith? Listen to it. I want to talk to you today about the testing tested cannot be trusted.

For example, how would you like that also? We want people to have a faith that can be trusted, so therefore it has to be a faith that can be tested. Now, look, if you will, please, here in verse 17. By faith Abraham, when he was tried.

Do you see that? That word tried means when he was tested, when he was put to the test, offered up Isaac. And he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said that in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, he's the hope of all your descendancy.

Your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are going to come through Isaac. That in Isaac thy seed shall be called. And the Bible says that Abraham offered him up. That means he gave him as a sacrifice.

Now, how could he do that? Well, look in verse 19. According that God was able to raise him up even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a figure, in a type he received him. Now, friend, God is going to give you some trials, some tests to see if your faith is real. Now, in the Old Testament, as we're going to see in a moment, the King James says God did tempt Abraham and said offer up Isaac.

Well, the word tempt does not mean a solicitation to do evil there. It means attesting, a trial. Now, tests and trials come in two kinds. The devil tempts us to do evil, to cause us to stumble. God tests us to do good in order to cause us to stand.

Now, this is one of those testings that we have. What God wants to do is to make our faith strong and pure. Put in your margin this ancillary verse, 1 Peter 1 verse 7, that the trial, that is the testing of your faith, being more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tested or tried with fire, might be found unto the praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus. When Jesus comes, don't you want to have a pure faith, like purified gold? Then God's going to put your faith in the fire.

Some of you right now probably have faith in the fire. Some of you are going through a test, an ordeal. God means you no harm. God wants you to understand whether or not you have the real thing. Now, temptation from Satan, these are pretty well standardized, but the trials that come from God, these are tailor made.

God knows where you are, God knows your circumstances, and God may put you through a test. Now, this is the New Testament commentary on the Old Testament story. To understand what the writer of Hebrews is talking about here in Hebrews chapter 11, you have to go back to the Old Testament. So let's just put a bookmark in Hebrews 11 and go back to Genesis 22.

Let's get the story. Let's find out what happened here when the Bible says that God put Abraham to the test. I'm going to read 14 verses in a row, so just open your Bible and look along with me and hang on.

Genesis 22, 1 through 14. And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham. Now, remember, God's not trying to get Abraham to sin but to stand.

The Bible says God tempteth no man with evil, neither can he be tempted. God is testing Abraham and said unto him, Abraham. And he said, behold, here I am. And he, God said, take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest. By the way, this is the first time the word love is found in the Bible, right here. Whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him therefore a burnt offering upon one of the mountains, which I will tell thee of.

Can you imagine? Take your son and offer him as a burnt sacrifice. Verse 3, And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went into the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, now watch this, and come again unto you.

God just said, put him to death. And he said, we're going to go up there and worship God, make a sacrifice, and both of us are coming back again. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son, and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, my father?

And he said, here am I my son? And he said, behold the fire and the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, my son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering. So they went both of them together, and they came to the place which God had told him of. And Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham.

And he said, here am I. And he said, lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him, for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead, in the place of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place, Jehovah Jireh. As it is said to this day, in the mount of the Lord, it shall be seen.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is an incredible story. God had never before commanded human sacrifice, and now He has commanded Abraham to take the son of promise, the beloved son, and put him to death. Now the liberal theologians try to explain this away, but you cannot believe the inerrant infallible word of God and say this never happened.

You cannot explain it away. Others who doubt that God is sovereign say God couldn't do this. God is sovereign God, and God can do anything He pleases.

He doesn't have to get your permission or mine, either one. The command is given, take your son. Now remember, this son, Isaac, was the son of miracle birth. He is the son of promise.

He is the beloved son. And the Bible says that Abraham, with no hesitation whatsoever, sets out for Mount Moriah. If you look in verse 3, and Abraham rose up early in the morning. That is, he begins now with no hesitation to do exactly what God told him to do.

Use your imagination. Can you imagine, can you imagine before starting up that mountain that Abraham and Isaac are sitting there around the campfire? Can you imagine what Abraham must have felt as he looks into the face of his dear son, wondering how will I say this to him?

How will I explain it? The memories that he had raising this little boy, all of these things. What will Isaac say?

What will his last look at me be like? Put yourself in Abraham's place. Now, God is going to test your faith by asking you to do something that may surprise you. Not by giving up the wrong things and the bad things, but by giving up the good things. It would be relatively easy if God asked us to give up the bad things, give up lying and stealing and cheating and pride to show that we love Him.

But that's not what God is asking. God had given to Abraham a possession, a wonderful son. God had given to Abraham a program.

I'll make of you a great nation and a great nation. You're going to bless the whole world and that program is going to come through that possession. God had given to Abraham a promise.

I will do it. Now, God just seems to be asking for all of it back. God is just saying, now, Abraham, give all of this back to me. Now, there's some things we give up for the Lord, but the test of faith that Abraham is facing is not what he's giving up for the Lord, but what he is giving back to the Lord.

Now, here's the question that I'm going to ask you and that I've had to wrestle with before I preached this message. Are you able to give your blessings back to God? Not only are you willing to give up your sins for God. Are you willing to give your blessings back to God?

That's what Abraham was asked to do. I want to lay three questions on your heart today and let's see if your faith can pass the test. Question one, can I trust God with the possessions he has given to me?

Can I trust God with the possessions he has given to me? Now, back to Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 17, by faith Abraham when he was tested offered up Isaac and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Now, the test was the gift that God had given to him.

Why the test? Could it be that Abraham is coming to love Isaac more than he is loving God? Could it be that he is coming to love the gift more than the giver? Could it be that God now is moving into second place?

The angel said the test was to find out whether that is true or not. Listen to me, let me tell you something about our God. God will never take second place in your life to anything or to anyone. Now, many of us want to give God a place in our lives.

May I say it clearly? God does not want a place in your life. You say, then I'll give him prominence in my life. God does not want prominence in your life. God desires, deserves, and demands preeminence in your life.

He will not be a part-time God with a duplex for a throne. Now, many of us like to have God in our lives, but how many of us say, God, I love you supremely? You see, we have to be very careful that our blessings don't become curses. Let me give you a significant verse.

Put it in your margin. Malachi chapter 2 and verse 2. But if ye will not hear and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name... Listen, to give glory unto my name saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you. Now, listen to this next phrase, and I will curse your blessings.

Did you hear that? I will curse your blessings. Blessings can become a curse. God goes on to say, yea, I have cursed them already because you do not lay it to heart.

You will not listen. May I tell you what is wrong in God blessed America today? God is beginning to curse our blessings. We have been blessed like no other nation on the face of the earth, and we spit in the face of God. More vileness, more immorality, more slaughter of the unborn, more disregard for God, more arrogance, strutting through the earth. America has been blessed like no other nation, but we put God aside and have concentrated on our blessings. America has been blessed, but I'm just afraid that God is going to turn our blessings to curses unless we turn back to Almighty God. Does that frighten you?

It frightens me. Friend, God says, I will not take second place to anybody anything. Now, it was not wrong for Abraham to love Isaac. I love my children with all of my heart. As a matter of fact, no one can truly love his son until he loves God as he ought. God is not asking Abraham, do you love Isaac?

He knew he loved Isaac. What God wants to know is Abraham, do you love me more than you love Isaac? After the resurrection, Jesus asks Simon Peter, Simon Peter, loveth thou me more than these? Now some people think that means do you love me more than all these other disciples love me?

But I don't think that's what He meant. I think He's standing there by the seashore and He's saying, Simon, do you love me more than you love these, your brothers? Do you love me more than you love these fish and these nets and these boats and this way of life? Do you love me more than these things?

Simon Peter, I will not take second place in your life. Are you listening? The test of faith is not primarily between love and hate but between two loves. Those things we love dearly and that which we must love supremely. Here's the question I had to ask myself before I could preach this message. Adrian, do you have in your heart any love that is greater than your love for Jesus Christ? I challenge you to ask yourself that question.

Now if there is in your heart in your life or if you consider there may be a love greater than the love you have for God, God's message to you from this passage of scripture is get thee up to Moriah and put it on the altar and sacrifice it as a bread offering. You have to ask yourself this question. Is there anything?

What could it be? I have to ask myself that question. As a matter of fact I do this from time to time when I find that perhaps my heart is getting cold or perhaps I'm getting perfunctory or professional in the ministry. I get alone and I don't make a list of my sins.

Those are relatively easy to deal with. But I list my blessings, my life, my health, my family, my darling precious wife, my children, my incredible grandchildren, my knowledge of the Word of God, my ability to preach the Word, the gift of being the pastor of this church, my house, my clothes, any retirement income I may have laid by, just give it to Him. It's yours. With an open hand, God, they and these are thine.

That's not easy to do. And you know when you've done it and you know when you've just said it and didn't mean it. May I ask you a question? Is there anything you would not give back to God that God has already given to you if He asks you for it?

That's a big question. You say, God, you gave it to me. Why would you ask it back? That's none of your business. Is there anything God has given to you that you would not willingly give back to Him if He asks you for it?

Now listen to me carefully. Anything God has given you, you can trust Him with. And anything God has not given to you, you don't need.

Does that make sense? Anything God has given to you, you can trust Him with. Anything God has not given to you, you don't need. Yes, I gave you Isaac. Now take him up to the mountain and sacrifice him to me. We're talking about the testing of your faith.

Second question I want to ask you. Can I trust God with the purpose He has for me? We've talked about the possessions He's given to us. What about the purpose He has for us?

Again, Hebrews 11, verses 17 through 18, By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, that's the possession, and he that had received the promises, offered up his only begotten Son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Now here's the plan, here's the purpose. God had given Abraham a purpose, and Abraham said, Okay, I'm tracking along. Now I know what's going to happen.

I'm going to have a son, and this son's going to have sons and sons, and I'm going to have a great descendancy, people of faith. And now God says, Put it to death. You know, that didn't make sense.

That did not make sense. Faith is not primarily believing God in spite of the evidence. It is obeying God in spite of the consequences, in spite of the consequences, not knowing why, not having to know why. Obedience is the great proof of our trust and our faith. When we know that we know that we know we have a word from God, we don't pass it past the judgment bar of our understanding.

We just simply obey. And coming up tomorrow, we'll hear part two of this important lesson. But maybe today you have questions regarding your faith in Jesus, how to fully follow him. We'd love to offer an insightful resource on our website.

It's the Find Answers page. There you'll find resources and materials that will answer questions you may have about beginning a relationship with God. We also want to invite you to check out our Grow Your Faith page. You can get grounded and dig deeper in your faith right there. Simply go to lwf.org slash radio and click on the tab that says Grow Your Faith or Find Answers.

Again, lwf.org slash radio. We can't wait to hear from you today. Now, if you'd like a copy of today's message, you can call 1-877-LOVE-GOD to order The Testing of Your Faith. This lesson is also part of the insightful series, Champions of Faith, for that complete 18-lesson collection. Call 1-877-LOVE-GOD or go to lwf.org slash radio to order.

Or you can write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee, 38183. You can also purchase our new Bible studies, much like this message, in our online store. For information on that, go to lwf.org slash radio. Thanks for studying in God's Word with us today. If you'd like to start receiving daily devotions and links to the program, sign up for our daily heartbeat emails.

Again, go to lwf.org slash radio. And join us tomorrow for the conclusion of The Testing of Your Faith, right here on Love Worth Finding. We received a note from a listener who donated through our Love Worth Finding app that said, Thanks so much for all you do. I love growing in my walk with the Lord, and Love Worth Finding is a big part of that, from radio sermons to his books.

God bless you. Well, at Love Worth Finding, our hope is to continue Adrian Rogers' work in sharing what it means to follow Jesus. That's why when you donate to the ministry right now, we'd love to send you a copy of this new book, Discover Jesus. Though written for new believers, Discover Jesus is also a resource that pastors, teachers, soul winners, and encouragers of the faith can use to motivate others to grow and mature in Christ. Request a copy of Discover Jesus, the book, when you call with a gift right now at 1-877- LOVE-GOD, or you can go online at lwf.org-slash-radio. And again, thank you for your generous support of Love Worth Finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-21 11:44:28 / 2023-05-21 11:52:48 / 8

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