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Trust Me and Multiply, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
December 1, 2023 9:00 am

Trust Me and Multiply, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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December 1, 2023 9:00 am

See how serious God is about teaching us to live by faith. Before God can do something through us, he’s got to do something in us. Discover the path you must walk for God to multiply your life.

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Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. Courage is a consideration of God's commitment to us shown at Calvary. You want to know where you have courage? You want to have courage where you have faith? It doesn't come because you're an awesome person of faith or because you're just a person of great courage. It comes from understanding the commitment that God showed to you in his irrevocable covenant that he gave you at Calvary. Happy Friday and welcome back to Summit Life with Pastor J.D.

Greer. I'm your host, Molly Vidovich. Today we're once again looking at the life of one of the most important figures in human history, Abraham. Talk about a man whose life had eternal significance. Isn't that what you want for your life?

How can your life matter in a significant way like that? If you joined us last time, you heard the first part of today's teaching, and we'll cover some of that same ground today for those who may have missed the beginning, but there's lots more in store. Pastor J.D. is teaching us the importance of trust as we ask God to multiply our lives. Grab your Bible and a pen and let's rejoin Pastor J.D.

in Genesis 15. You want to have a life that matters for eternity. You want to have a life of eternal significance.

You can only follow Jesus with total abandon, and you have got to live, whether it's your time, your treasures, and your talents. You've got to do so in a way that just says, God, here is the seed, and you're going to have to multiply it and take care of me and bless the world at the same time. You cannot walk forward and multiply if you're going to hedge your bets.

You have to run and jump with total abandon. So that leads us to a question. Where in the world do you get that kind of confidence? Where do you get the courage to plant the seed that you have?

Where do you get the courage to jump? Question number three or statement number three, confidence to risk for God comes only from comprehending the commitment of God. Abraham shows us that confidence to risk for God comes from comprehending the commitment of God. We know that Abraham eventually got this.

How do we know that? Well, Genesis chapter 22, after he gave him the son, he asked Abraham when Isaac was about 15 years old, he asked Abraham to offer this son up as a sacrifice. Now we're going to go more into depth than this later, but Isaac was not only what Abraham most loved in the world. It was not only his most treasured person, possession, whatever. Isaac was Abraham's only hope for the future of his family and his nation. He doesn't just represent what he treasures most.

It represents all his hopes for the future. And God says, offer it as a sacrifice. And Abraham in Genesis 22 does it. God doesn't actually let him go through with it.

We'll get into that later. He stops him before he does it, but Abraham is willing to put that thing he loves the most and that thing he trusts the most on the altar after failing failing again and again and again, after being the kind of guy who would throw his wife under the bus, not once, but twice. How does Abraham finally get the confidence to do that? I think I know Genesis 15, if you got your Bible, go there. Genesis 15, verse three, Abraham is in one of his doubting moods. God reappears to him and says this, Genesis 15, three, three, fear not Abram. I am your shield and I am your exceeding great reward. And Abraham says, verse four, woo, thanks God. That's awesome. You taught me a new worship chorus.

I'll be happy to sing to you. No, it's not what he said. It's actually kind of rude. After God reveals this to him, Abram says, behold, you ain't given me no son. That's all he says.

Where's my son? So God takes him outside and he shows him the stars and says, as many as these stars are, that's how your offspring is going to be, Abram. And then occurs that famous verse where the apostle Paul says, shows us how we get saved. Abram, Genesis 15, six, Abram believed the Lord and it was credited to him as righteousness. By the way, people say, well, how are people saved in the Old Testament? Same way they were in the New Testament. They were saved by believing on the Messiah.

Abram believed that the Messiah would come. We believe that the Messiah has come. They believe forward. We believe backward.

The direction is different, but the object is the same. Abraham believed God's promise that God would keep his word and God credited it to him as righteousness. Just like God credits us as righteousness when we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead.

All right. Abraham believed what God said. So at this point, Genesis 15, six, we're like, woo, way to go, Abraham. But then after the most famous verse on faith and the whole Bible, Genesis 15, six, Abram said, verse eight, but Lord God, how will I know? In other words, he doubts again. Now he's doubting two different things here. And these two components always form the substance of your doubts. The first part of the doubt is God, how do I know I can trust you?

It's been like two decades. God, are you really going to keep your word? The second component is how can I trust me? God, you know, I've proven to be pretty unreliable.

What if I screw this up too? Those are the two pieces of what causes a doubt in you. God, how do I know I can trust you?

How do I know I can trust me? You want to know what God's answer is? It's pretty awesome.

It's probably not what you're expecting. Verse nine, chapter 15, and I'll summarize it instead of reading it. God says, you want to know how you can trust you and how you can trust me? Okay. Go get five animals, a cow, a goat, a ram, a turtle dove, and a pigeon. I want you to find a ditch and I want you to cut them in half. And I want you to put either half of them on either side of the ditch so that their blood flows down into the ditch and makes a river of blood.

You're like, what? Okay. We live in a written age. So when we want to guarantee, we ask for a written contract. So when a contractor, for example, quotes you a price to work on your house, if you are smart, you ask for it in writing.

So when he comes back to you, or if he comes back to you and says, actually, I've decided to charge you this amount instead, then you say, ah, here's your name on the contract, guaranteeing this other price. Well, in those days, instead of signing a contract, they cut a few animals open and walk through the river of blood so that the blood splashed up on their robes saying, if I don't keep up my end of the covenant, may this, this blood, may it happen to me. The Hebrew word for covenant literally means to cut. They would say, you cut a covenant.

We say, sign a contract. They say, cut a covenant. Well, they're supposed to make this covenant at sundown. So verse 12, as the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. A dreadful and great darkness fell upon him and a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch. By the way, exact same words to use to describe the presence of God in Exodus when God came down at Mount Sinai.

The fire of his holiness and the light of his presence passes between those pieces. On that day, watch this, the Lord made a covenant with Abram. The Lord made a covenant with Abraham, but who didn't walk through that river of blood?

Abram didn't. You know, in those days, if a king made a covenant with a servant, it was customary for the servant to walk through the river of blood alone because it was assumed that the king would keep up his end. This is the only covenant in recorded history where the king goes through and the servant does not.

The meaning is very clear. God is saying, if I fail to keep up my side of the bargain, I will pay with my blood. But if you fail to keep up your side of the bargain, I also will pay with my blood. I'm going to be responsible for both sides of the covenant. I want you to really think about that. God made himself responsible for God's part and God made himself responsible for Abram's part.

I'll pay the penalty if I don't keep up my end, and I'll pay it if you don't keep up your end either. That, of course, is going to give us one of the clearest pictures of Christ in the Old Testament. Just like Abram fell into a deep sleep, we were in the deep, dreadful sleep of sin. The gospels tell us that when Christ died, a dreadful darkness descended upon the whole earth, and Jesus' blood flowed out of his side like a river. Was God's son dying because God had not kept up his end of the bargain?

No, he was dying because we had not kept up ours. That's why we sing things like, he took my sins and my sorrow and made them his very own. He bore my burden to Calvary, and he suffered and died alone.

I was supposed to be there. I was supposed to be the one dying, but he died in my place because he made himself a guarantor, not just for his part, he put his life on the line for my part. So what else do I have to say but how marvelous, how wonderful, and my song shall ever be? How marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior's love for me? That is exactly where Abraham got the faith that he showed in Genesis 22, when the offer was called on the offer of Isaac. That scene assured him, that scene assured him of what God would do, and it assured him of how committed God was to seeing this promise through to the end, even after Abraham had faltered and fallen again and again and again.

Abraham would fall, Abraham was unfaithful, but God would always be, and God would cover both parts of that covenant. Y'all, it is true, even after this scene, Abraham's going to struggle with doubt, but throughout Abraham's life, you see this conviction beginning to settle in, and you're going to hear him in Genesis 22. You're going to hear him quote, basically saying, God is going to take care of this, even where I mess it up.

See, listen, write this down. True confidence does not come from within us. True confidence comes from what was done for us. Courage is not a character quality. Courage is a consideration of God's commitment to us shown at Calvary. You want to know where you have courage? You want to have courage where you have faith? It doesn't come because you're an awesome person of faith, or because you're just a person of great courage. It comes from understanding the commitment that God showed to you in his irrevocable covenant that he gave you at Calvary. In the cross, we see God's commitment to see it through, and that becomes our anchor to boldly go forward with him, because not only will he keep up his end, he's going to make up for whatever I mess up.

Would you just reflect for a minute on how comforting that is? God's commitment to my family is greater than mine. You know what that means for me as a dad?

It means that I am not worried about where, if I only fight, get everything right. God is going to make up for what I mess up that where I falter, he stays committed. God's commitment to this church is greater than mine. I love this church. My wife and I depend on this church. God's commitment to you is greater than my commitment to you, because God purchased you with his blood.

I never done that for you. God's got more invested in this church than I do, so I'm not having to persuade God to bless the church that I'm a part of. It's his church.

I just got to say, God, do in your church what you want to do. God's commitment to my growth in Christ's likeness, y'all, it's greater than mine. God's got more invested in my life than I have invested in my life, because God purchased me with his blood, which is why, by the way, I don't obsess about discovering his will. I used to, back when I was just obsessed about it, because I felt like the will of God was like this thing for me that he kept in a lock box, and this is sort of his posture toward me. I'd be like, God, what's your will? He's like, I ain't going to tell you.

You're going to have to figure it out, and I hope you get the combination right, because if not, you're just going to screw up, and I'm going to laugh. And I'd be like, oh, God, please tell me your will. Please tell me your will. Oh, God, was that feeling your will?

I'd be obsessed about all these things. And then I finally realized it was like the greatest burden that came off my back. I'm like, you know what? God has more invested in my life. God is not up in heaven going like, I hope he doesn't discover his will. I'm going to make it hard for him. God says, man, I want you to know my will more than you want to know it, so you can just rest in me, because my commitment to you exceeds your commitment to you.

You know what that means, y'all? It means no matter where you are, how badly you've stumbled, you can get up, and you can go onward in faith, because God's commitment to you has never subsided. You took your hands off of God, and you fell flat on your face, but guess who didn't give up?

God didn't give up. Thanks for joining us on Summit Life with Pastor JD Greer. Well, it is now officially peak Christmas season, and this time of year, I think about how important my friends and family are to me.

One of Pastor JD's biggest lessons from our recent teaching series is that we can't outgive God, and our loved ones are one of the biggest pieces of evidence of his grace to us. This holiday season, we want to help you let the people that God has placed in your life know how thankful you are for them. And to do that, we are offering a set of 20 Christmas cards exclusively for our Summit Life listeners as this month's premium resource. These cards encapsulate the true meaning of Christmas with a gospel-inspired message on each one, and there's plenty of space for you to write heartfelt, handwritten messages inside. We'll send you this brand new set of Christmas cards to share with your friends and family when you give $35 or more to this ministry.

To give, call 866-335-5220 or head over to jdgreer.com. Now, let's get back to today's teaching. Proverbs 24 16 says it this way. Listen to this. The righteous man falls seven times and gets back up again every single time. I think I've asked you this before.

You know how strange it would be? Think about walking behind somebody who fails seven times. The first time they fall, what do you do?

They fail, right? The second time they fall, you slowly pull out your phone and you film it. The third time, you shoot it to some friends because this is going to be the fourth time you post it on YouTube. The fifth time they fall, you feel bad.

I should not be filming this guy because he clearly has got a problem. The sixth time, you call 911. The seventh time, you're trying to give the guy mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Seven times. The righteous man spiritually and morally and in his faith falls seven times. By the way, seven in the Bible is the number of completion in Hebrew, which means this is all that fool does is he falls. That's all his whole life is just one fall after another. Abraham fell five times. He didn't show his righteousness by never falling. He showed his righteousness by what he did when he fell. Every single time he got back up after he fell because righteousness is a declaration. Listen, righteousness is a declaration that even when you falter, God will remain faithful and God will complete the work that he has started and what he has purposed for you. You know what that means? That means no matter where you are or how you fall and you can get up, you can get up because God has never subsided.

He still has a plan. I know some of you have messed up badly. Get up. Getting up is a declaration of faith that God has not given up on you. Getting up is saying, I understand what he proved in Jesus Christ.

Getting up is your faith declaration that he still has a plan to bless and multiply your life and use it for good. Did you mess up your marriage? Did you fall back into porn?

Did you make a really bad mistake? Get up. Get up. He walked through Calvary alone and he will never give up on you. And so you reflect on what he did for you at the cross and you like Abraham, you fall and you get up and say, I messed it up.

He's still got a plan. And that's the path to righteousness and it's the path to multiply blessing. Number four, you see from Abraham's life that multiplying power comes through faith.

Watch what happens here. Go flip over to Genesis 17 real quick. Genesis 17, God appears again. Now at this point, Abraham is 99 years old, no kid.

God appears, chipper. Abraham, no longer should your name be called Abram, daddy. Your name shall be Abraham, big daddy. For I made you the father of many nations. Abraham's like, I ain't got no kids.

It's an interesting picture here. In changing his name, all God added was one little Hebrew letter. In Hebrew, it's called a hay, H. It's the same way we would pronounce an H in English. It's just an aspirate.

That's pretty much all it is. Just a breath he added to Abraham's name. It's like he put breath into Abram. Abram went to Abraham.

This might be pushing it too far, but I'm pretty confident it's not. It's like God is putting his spirit into Abraham. The Hebrew word for breath, that sound is ruach, which also is translated spirit.

Abraham, God puts his spirit into Abram and immediately after this, immediately Sarah got pregnant. God put the multiplying power of his spirit in Abraham when he persisted through in believing. I don't know about you, but I want the breath of God in everything that I do. But I want the breath of God in everything that I do. I want the breath of God in me as a parent. I want the breath of God in my Christian life. I want the breath of God as your pastor.

Maybe you can call me Jay D. Maybe that could be my new name, right? If you want that multiplying power, it only comes through bold, reckless, audacious faith. God will only multiply that for which you wait for him in faith.

Are you single? Are you finding it hard to wait for marriage? Well, can you trust God and let him grow you during this season?

Because what he will do is he will breathe his breath into your character and he will multiply your character and multiply your joy in this season if you'll trust him. I know of people in our church who've gotten pregnant at the wrong time. They weren't even married. And now they find themselves in a difficult situation and they're thinking about an abortion. Here's my question for you. Would you trust God to provide for you and the baby? But I messed up. I know, but God ain't giving up on you. And if you will trust God in this, he will breathe his breath into that.

And who knows what multiplying power God is going to bring forth through that child that you let live and you trust God to help you take care of. Maybe God's called you to go overseas. He's called you to go overseas and you're asking a question, but I got kids. How's this going to work? How are my kids going to be taken care of?

What's going to happen with my retirement? What if you just obey God and just let him multiply you in faith and say, God, what you've called me to, you'll put your breath in and you'll take care of. You see, in this season, God is asking our church to take some huge steps. Both you individually and us together as a church. And in order for us to achieve this multiplying power, we are going to have to put ourselves in a place where we respond with faith and say, God, we want the pouring of the spirit, but it comes through bold, obedient faith. It just says, yes, I'll go and you'll take care of it. That's why I keep repeating C.S.

Lewis's line. The only safe rule when it comes to generosity, whether of your time, your talent, or your treasures, is that you do it in a way that scares you. Because only when you obey in faith will God multiply in the power of the spirit. He can only multiply what you give to him in faith. Listen, because Abraham trusted God, because Abraham trusted God, God filled him with the spirit. And Sarah had a baby who would have a baby who would have a baby who would have a baby that would give birth to Jesus Christ.

And because of that, you and I are here today. Literally, we are sitting in this church because Abraham trusted God and multiplied. Here is my question for you to consider. Who is going to point backwards to you from eternity and say, because he or she trusted God, because they were bold and daring and extravagant, God multiplied them. And now I'm in the kingdom because of what they planted, because of how they jumped, because they took what God gave them and they obeyed and just said, I'll go and I'll just go with abandon. And I'll say, yes, Lord, it all belongs to you. And this is the seed you've given me.

Here it is to be multiplied. Some at church, God is serious about teaching us to live by faith because it's the only way that he multiplies the power of the ministry through us. You see, before God can do something through us, he's got to do something in us. He has to multiply faith deep within us before he can multiply the ministry wide through us. So where is it right now this weekend that you need to trust and wait on God?

Where is it? Is it in a personal situation? Is it in a relationship? Is it in your career? Is it in what you're doing with your time, your talent, and your treasures?

Are you living by daring faith in those things? So see, you ask, you're like, why are we doing this multiply stuff again? And I'll tell you what I told you last week. There's two reasons. Number one, we've got a bunch of new people at this church, like 3,000, give or take, new people since the last time we did something like this. And the last time we did this, there were 3,400 families who began to give to the kingdom of God for the first time. And so for those of you that are already in, you're already engaged, don't you want those people to join us? Don't you want those people to join us?

Don't you want to give them an invitation to live by faith? Of course you do. That's why we do this. But here's the second reason, and it's probably even more important. The second reason we do this is because I feel like I need to be challenged again to live by faith. I'm that car that's severely out of alignment, that always goes to self-sufficiency and self-centeredness.

And you know what? You are too. If you're the kind of person, honestly, who doesn't need to be challenged again and again to live by faith and to live with sacrifice, then you are fundamentally different than me. And by the way, congratulations, you're fundamentally different than Abraham because Abraham fell five times, that we know of.

This is like every chapter of his life. If you're the kind of person who says, God was challenged once, five years ago, and I've done it ever since, then congratulations, you're awesome. The rest of us are not. So if you will just condescend for a little while in your weakness and let us, who are sinners and know it, deal with this, then it would be a big help to us. We do this because we know that we naturally gravitate towards self-centeredness and self-sufficiency.

So I would make no apology for saying from time to time, we got to come back and ask the question. Are we trusting God? Are we living by faith? Are we living with sacrifice? Are we living for His kingdom and not our own? I told you the dilemma of a living sacrifice that God calls us to be. Sacrifices are usually dead.

When you got a living one, they keep trying to get up off the altar. So we continually say, God, have I said yes, Lord, and am I doing it with faith? What barriers are there to you living all out for God by faith? What barriers are there to you giving extravagantly by faith? Is God calling you to a new level of obedience? Is there something keeping you from feeling the true joy of the season?

Name it and ask God not only to help you overcome it, but to build your faith in the process. As we turn the corner into the final month of the year, I want to take some time to thank each of you who are invested in this ministry and especially our gospel partners who give generously to financially support us each month. Recently, we received some incredible encouragement from one of our listeners named Steven, and I wanted to share that with all of you. He writes, This ministry has encouraged me in so many ways, including my faith, family, and even change in vocation. It has challenged me to examine my life on a daily basis and strengthened my desire to let the gospel change me into the man that God has called me to be. I was a North Carolina state trooper for seven years before recently answering a call to vocational ministry. This ministry had a major influence on my spiritual growth and later decision to leave a secular career for ministry.

Wow, what a powerful encouragement. Steven's story is one of so many that we've heard about how God is transforming lives through this ministry, and we couldn't do what we do without you. To join us on this journey, give us a call right now at 866-335-5220.

That's 866-335-5220. Or you can always give online at jdgrier.com. While you're on the website, you'll want to subscribe to Pastor JD's blog to help you enjoy God's grace to us throughout the week. Sign up online at jdgrier.com. I'm Molly Vidovitch reminding you to join us Monday for more teaching in our series through the life of Abraham called Multiply. We'll see you next time for Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-01 12:58:09 / 2023-12-01 13:09:16 / 11

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