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March 22, 2021 12:00 am
Abraham I'm going to make you a father of nations that Abraham comprehend that no Abraham all the world will be blessed by your see duty fully comprehend the gospel of the coming Messiah. No, maybe the reason there are more Christians imitating Abraham in faith and obedience is because too many of us are waiting for more information. Church of Jesus Christ just might be filled with mediocre Christians because we will not surrender our lives to God unless he explains what he plans to do is to describe the similarities people have with their parents. There's a man in the Bible, we refer to as father Abraham since there's a sense in which Abraham is our father.
That means that there are some ways we should resemble a moment ago Stephen commented on Abraham's faith even though Jesus had not yet come, and there was much about the gospel. Abraham couldn't understand his faith in God was absolute. That's one of the ways we should resemble him there's more and Stephen Daly will explore that right now here on wisdom for the heart. After observing the American culture for a number of years. One author wrote these rather piercing convicting words he wrote I am confused as to why so many people live so badly. There is little to admire and less to imitate in the people who are prominent in our culture we have celebrities we do not have the same. Neither the adventure of goodness nor the pursuit of righteousness gets headlines. If on the other hand, we look around for what it means to be a mature person we don't find much. Holy people are easy to pick out the journalist will ever interview them. No talkshow will ever feature them. They're not admired or not looked up to.
They do not set trends.
There isn't any cash value in them. At the end of the year when magazines are compiling the list for the 10 best dressed celebrities. The 10 most beautiful women. The 10 most eligible men at years and no one ever compiles a list of the 10 best lived lives. The truth is, our society is devoid of model. The pedestals are empty his right you look around on the campus. You look among the faculty. You look throughout the corporate hallways. You look through the stands at a game or in the local grocery store and it is true you will find little to admire and even less to imitate. Is there anything about our actions or our words that are worth imitating that are worth repeating. Jesus Christ commanded his disciples be a light and shine before men that they may see your good works, you could say that they may see your holy lives and glorify my father who is in heaven like the way Paul Gilbert put it in his famous little poem. He said you are writing a gospel, a chapter every day by the deeds that you do by the words that you say men read what you write, whether faithless or true say what is the gospel according to you, another anonymous poet put the same idea little differently when he wrote I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day obviously wasn't a preacher. I'd rather one would walk with me than merely show the way the eye is a better pupil and much sharper than the year fine counsel might confuse me, but examples always clear the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true, but I'd rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
We have been observing father Abraham now through several studies in Romans chapter 4 and for the first time work specifically told it what was written for him was written for us to imitate this. We have watched father Abraham through the video lens of Scripture, we have seen so many things well. I want to give you as we just remember together seven thing that I hope will encourage you seven things that were not only to learn but to imitate and believe the first lesson learned from father Abraham. Is this salvation does not depend on who you are. It depends on who you know we are not only to be like Abraham, we are to believe like Abraham where to follow his example and perhaps the most important issue of all, the issue of personal redemption and we have been taught very clearly by the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 4. This salvation is not based on who you are is based on who you know that is Jesus Christ. It is not based upon what you do is based upon what that one has done for you, would you go back to the latter part of this chapter, but start with verse 22. Therefore, Paul writes also.
It was reckoned to Abraham's righteousness now not for his sake only was it written that it was reckoned or credited to him, but for our sake. Also, to whom it will be reckoned as those who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He who was delivered up because of our transgression, and was raised because of our justification. In other words, salvation is not based on who you are. It is based on who you know this living Lord who was delivered up for our transgression was raised from the dead for our justification to go back in the same chapter diverse five he speaks even clear to that point, but to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness is credited as righteousness, not by works then but by what you believe.
Just as verse six. David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works salvation is based upon belief in this one we know is are living Lord I came across an illustration delivered by Gary Tober, the pastor told the story about a boy could come with his parents to see the sites and monuments of Washington DC, and it made me remember doing the same with our family you've ever been there. You've seen the sites the memorials it's a incredible visit. Well, when they were there the little boy was taken at all in and they got to the Washington Monument and he just stood there gazing at this magnificent architectural reminder of our great history and that for father George Washington. He was just mesmerizing look at a long time. Then he noticed a guard standing down to the base of it and he walked up to the garden. He said rather confidently to the guard. I like to buy that and the guard leaned that he said excuse me and little boy about this just that. He said, motioning toward the Washington Monument. I like to buy that. The guard said why much money do you have a boy was ready for this little negotiator pulled out 1/4 and he said $0.25 guard said I'm sorry son is not enough. The boy said I thought you'd say that, and he reached into his other pocket and he pulled at nine pennies and it was all that he owns $0.34 and he held it up to the guard and the guard wisely squatted down, look a little boy in the eyes and he said son there are some things you need to understand first of all you don't have enough money to buy this thing $0.34 $34 million wouldn't be enough to buy the Washington Monument, but you need also know son. The monument is not for sale. Anyway, but you also need to know that if you're a citizen of the United States of America son the Washington Monument already belongs to you. You know what we can learn from father Abraham justification forgiveness eternal life with God in heaven cannot be purchased but when you come to faith in the one who is perfect. You discover by placing your faith in him that these things are yards all so the first lesson, arguably the most important lesson we can learn from Romans four in the life of Abraham was salvation doesn't depend upon who you are on who you know.
Lesson number two you can believe God's promises even if they seem to good to be true. I imagine heading for the Arabian desert heading southwest to his new home worried never been never seen it just just the word of God. He must've scratched his head in the middle of the desert thinking what in the world is God up to the point was then and the point is still today, God happens to know what he is up to. Lesson number three you should obey God's commands even without a good explanation, Abraham, God said in Genesis chapter 12, I'm gonna make you a father of nation that Abraham comprehend that no Abraham, all of the world will be blessed by your seed did he fully comprehend the gospel of the coming Messiah. No, maybe the reason there are more Christians imitating Abraham in faith and obedience is because too many of us are waiting for more information were waiting for better explanation summer waiting perhaps for little better condition for following in the church of Jesus Christ just might be filled with mediocre Christians because we will not surrender our lives to God unless he explains what he plans to do. That's why think we ought to learn the lesson again. We obey God's commands even without a good explanation. Not only does the Lord I give as much of an explanation about what is doing the lives of others, so also God doesn't fully explain his plans regarding our lives either. He says to simply you follow me, there's another lesson people of great faith aren't perfect.
Aren't you glad we've never been told. Imitate perfection. Even the great apostle Paul and we would say without hesitation that this was a man of faith. Even Paul once wrote to believers. These encouraging words in Philippians 3.
Not that I have arrived or have already become perfect, but I press on. I love that. Not that I've arrived. Don't ever come up to that conclusion that wrong conclusion.
Not that I am perfect. Evidently the rumor lies the pole arrived, the Paul is perfect but nobody could ever experience intimacy with God like Paul could because Paul arrived he was there so Paul in an attempt to squelch the rumor says Alyssa don't think I've arrived. I'm not perfect, but I'm pressing on. I'm progressing being a man, a woman faces on-the-job training tomorrow.
The goal that it is a destination you will learn obedience tucked away in a classroom you don't learn faith in an auditorium you learned by living it out there want you to know that learning to walk physically is a lot easier than walking spiritually is an why do you think the apostle Paul and Peter, John and James and all of the Jews all stressed keeping on. Paul would urge walk in the spirit. Why because they weren't because it's easy not to walk in the spirit and not according to the flesh, what believer ever learn to walk in the spirit by staying down after the hundredth try and say this thing about walking in the spirit given three more times and I'm I don't get it. Those who get up and go get by the grace of God or are learning that wonderful truth by their gracious and patient spirit teacher but failure in the Christian life is never fatal.
Lesson number five and I got a for this one in stepping out in faith will probably mean the start of real problem. We just have to be realistic here today okay you want to live a life of faith.
I want to tell you it's good to be the start a real problem while submitting to the sovereignty of God is the only life were true fulfillment is found at the same time you step out in faith and where you be prepared for the challenges of life like never before. The Christian life is this challenge of deep and low in Long Valley is and there are periodic, joyful, exhilarating mountaintops and sometimes the toucan can be distanced by only a matter of minutes.
Consider the account of Jesus Christ his following the will of his father is being announced in his public ministry and is being baptized by the Old Testament prophet John is an act of allegiance to the Old Testament message of John and as he is being immersed in the water by John the baptizer.
Remember the story tells us that the dog came from heaven.
It was the Holy Spirit in the form of a dive and then there was this voice, and it was heard it was the father's voice saying this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. The amazing thing is that right after that incredible description of the triune God working in the same scene at the same time in human history. Jesus is immediately led from their where into the wilderness for a time of celebration. No, for time of testing. You would think that I would do that if I heard a voice from heaven. It was the father saying I'm really proud of you and I love you that. That would mean life got a little easier. It meant for him wife got a lot harder. Abraham obeyed God and left his home and everything related to it and you would think that God because he was faithful do that would smooth it all out but plan famine in the land we learn from watching Abraham that initial obedience to God is the starting point.
It is not the final destination.
We have the misconception that deciding to live for Christ is the beginning and the ending of the truth is, want your audit, you discover the path of faith is certainly not a descending hill upon which you can coast.
That's not faith that's fantasy.
It is an ascending hill and it is a struggle and a challenge where God works in the character of the believer's life. The muscle and the ligament of faith, you need to be ready when you say Lord I want you to develop in my life patients that is not the end of it. Irritating things begin to happen and God says I'm going to answer your prayer and develop in your life. Patients so you say Lord I want to be a matter of faith, what you think that mean difficult situations will be used. To develop those muscles of faith in your life. I have been reading the New Testament epistles of Paul from the paraphrase by Eugene Peterson called the message I've been reading along the letters to two young pastors Timothy and Titus. I came to one particular text this week and it just jarred my thinking and I wanted to insert it here in second Timothy chapter 3 he paraphrases this verse very vividly. He paraphrases it this way. Anybody who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble and that great. There is no getting around. By the way this is inaccurate paraphrase of the original text and second Timothy 312. Anybody wants a little guy. Life will suffer. Anybody who lives all out for Jesus Christ is in for a lot of trouble during a fine adverse on a poster with eagles flying over snowcapped mountains on somebody's office for motivation. It versus not hanging in anybody's kitchen. Anybody who lives all out for Christ is in fraud trouble, but you're probably like me, your thing and that's my theme verse.
I like that person isn't it encouraging that when you do live all out for Jesus Christ. He discovered that he promised trouble challenge difficult stretching time to grade verse like Abraham, when you live for God.
Just know that may be the start of some real problem. Lesson number six life of faithfulness is not one decision, but many times closely on the heels of what we've already talked about living a life of faith for God would be easy and all of us would do it in all of us would live that way if it was just related to one decision we make it today when we but it isn't the kind of decision you make every day you live for you to walk with you. Please whose life we limit site.
Who will you emulate Fred Craddick told the story of insightful parable on the Christian life and I shared a number of years ago and came across it again as I was studying this week I thought it applied here to this particular lesson he wrote these interesting words to give our life for Christ appears glorious to pour ourselves out for others to pay the ultimate price of sacrifice, I'll do it. I'm ready Lord to go out in a blaze of glory problem is we think that giving her all of the Lord is like taking a $10,000 bill laying on the offer and say okay Lord. Here's everything I God take it all and use it with the Lord hands us back the $10,000 bill and he says I want to go to the bank and I want you to exchange it for quarters. And therein lies the faithfulness of the Christian life as you walk with God you put out $0.25 here and $0.25. There sharing the gospel for giving an enemy giving food to someone hungry pulling some weeds painting the house of the widow parking cars. On Sunday I added those words in these greeting newcomers listening to teenagers putting out chairs teaching children stories and songs rocking little ones in the nursery making phone calls for ministry stuffing insert to the communiqués manning the lights during the services and on and on.
Stop my working directives, usually giving our life to Christ is not a glorious thing it is done in glorious acts $0.25 at a time. The life of faithfulness is not summed up in one her like act, but by many simple ordinary, maybe even Monday next of obedience and character faith lesson number seven. The last thing I have observed from the life of father Abraham. Is this being remembered as a person of faith, obedience, and courage will require moments of faith, obedience, and courage. How many of us would love to be listed in the hall of faith.
Hebrews 11 we would all love the guy is faithful men and women will we live as faithful men and women.
Here's what the writer of Hebrews 11 verse eight says, by faith Abraham, when he was called.
He obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance and he went out, not knowing where he was going. That's how you become known as Abraham was not willing to risk and change in being willing to serve. Being willing to follow after God and don't forget, according to his biography in the book of Genesis, Abraham was asked to leave the society.
He was asked to leave his stability.
He was asked to leave his security any left at all. How could he do that by sheer faith in the promise of God's word that God would provide.
You have the same problems to their remind you that you've actually done something similar to Abraham many times over. You exercise faith in somebody's word.
When you purchase that car you exercise faith in the word of the salesman that it would get you out of the parking lot at home when you purchase that home you exercise courage and faith in the word of those that everything worked from the electrical outlets to the fact the roof was sealed in wasn't anything strange in the basement you placed faith in their promise.
You know that's what Abraham did he altered his life around.
The promise of God, sheer faith you want to be known as a person of faith, obedience, encourage you want to imitate Abraham. You want people to say you remind me of Abraham a great like father like son.
You want to be a person of faith, obedience, encourage, you have to at some point in your life exhibit faith and exhibit courage and exhibit obedience. He went out, not knowing where he was going, but God was leading that was enough for Sam to Melson who is the vice president of the missions organization told the story of a 70-year-old lady could come to faith in Christ new believer 70 years of age have been reached by the church in her community. She'd started coming. Trust in Christ, she came up to her new pastor one day and she said pastor I believe God's calling me into the ministry. I believe he has something for me to do what should I do about it and he said well I think you want to go home and pray about it which is what pastor say when I don't know an answer they go home and you pray about, see what happens is actually good advice she did she went home and began to pray seen the guy was impressing on her heart to do a particular thing. She would down to the drugstore. She bought a batch of 3 x 5 cards and she wrote on every one of those cards.
These words homesick. Come to my home for tea at four. She lived in Melbourne near the University of Melbourne and then she took those cards after she'd written on all of them and she went around the University posting them on bulletin boards and in dormitory hallways on bulletin boards all over she finished, she went home. Those cards were all over that campus homesick come to my home for tea for the next day. 4 o'clock rolled around. Nobody can. She had prepared tea. The second day nobody can. The third no one came.
She prepared tea. The fifth day the seventh, the 10th, 11th, 12, no one came the 14th day she prepared to the 15th day in Indonesian student was standing on her porch. She invited them in.
He was ready to talk. She was ready to listen and she served today.
Afterward he went back to the campus and he told everybody knows that I've met somebody just like my grandmother. He got a severe got open the ministry door for her, where she shared the gospel and many of them trusted Christ as Savior overtake for 10 years. She did that in the Lord took her home and this pastor tells the story that when she died. There were no less than 70 pallbearers, Indonesian, Malaysian, Indian, Pakistani international students would come to her home and found the Lord she serve them tea and told them the gospel, there was a lady who was willing to live like Abraham imitating his face being willing to be used, and in that particular chapter of her life.
All she could do really and that's what God holds us accountable to what can you do all she could do was make some tea and listen and point people to Jesus Christ. She replicated his obedience. She shared passion for the one that Paul concludes this great chapter with saying this is the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
This is the one who was delivered up so we could be forgiven of our transgressions. This was the one who was raised from the dead, so we could be saved. We could be redeemed. We could be forgiven. We could be justified so that we could be sons and daughters not just of Abraham, but sons and daughters of God through faith in this one was all worthy to be obeyed, to be followed to be loved.
That was Stephen Davey with today's Bible message here on wisdom from the heart.
This message is called like father like son and it comes from the series entitled father Abraham. This was actually the ninth and final lesson in the series and if you missed any of the previous eight messages we have them available for you to listen to free of charge on our website go to wisdom online.org the wisdom international app is also free of charge and Stevens Bible teaching archive is there as well.
If you'd like the father Abraham series is a set of compact discs we've packaged it together in one binder and we be happy to make it available to you. Call us at 86 648 Bible, we can give you the information that you need. Take your order over the phone and get that set out to you that number once again is 86 648 Bible or 866-482-4253. You can write to us. If you address your card or letter to wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627 on tomorrow's broadcast.
Stephen begins a series called unwrapping the perfect gifts learn about the gifts God gives you tomorrow here on wisdom