The Call of God (Gen 11:26-12:9)

The Call of God  

Big Idea:  The Call of God on a person’s life is always a call to draw closer and go deeper in a relationship with Him.

I.  God’s call comes to us where we’re at (not where He’ll take us) and as we are (not who He’ll make us).

27 Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. 28 And Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
29 And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 And Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there.
32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.

II.  God’s call comes with clear instruction for today and great promises for the future.

12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

III.  God’s call is an invitation to a life of Witness, Worship, and Walking with God. 

4 So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. 6 And Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him. 8 Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. 9 And Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the Negev.

Conclusion:  Our question need not be, “Will God call me?”, but, “How will I respond to the invitation I have already received to follow God?”  

 

Matthew 15:21-28 How much faith?

Big Question: How much faith will save me?

I.  “Into the District of Tyre and Sidon” 21

21 And Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon.

A.  Why Jesus withdrew: to escape His enemies and the crowds.

B.  Where Jesus withdrew to: …into the district of Tyre and Sidon.

II.  A woman was crying out for help for her daughter.  22

22 And behold, a Canaanite woman came out from that region, and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demonpossessed.”

A.  The Woman 22a

1.  She was a Canaanite

2.  She was a woman

3.  She was loudly, continuously crying out, “Have mercy, Son of        David!”

B.  The daughter: cruelly tortured by demons 22b

III.  She was met with Silence, Indifference, and a Theological Roadblock 23-24

23 But He did not answer her a word.  And His disciples came to Him and kept asking Him, saying, “Send her away, for she is shouting out after us.” 24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

A.  The silence: Jesus didn’t answer her. 23a

B.  The Indifference: The disciples were annoyed by her. 23b

C.  The Theological Roadblock: Jesus stated that He wasn’t sent to minister to non-Jews! 24

1.  The Messiah must first be offered to God’s people Israel.

  • Mat 10  5 These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying, “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

2.  An obedient nation of Israel will draw the nations to God.

  • Isaiah 62:1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. 2 And the nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.

3.  But…Israel was in the process of REJECTING her Messiah!

IV.  The mother refused to give up 25-27

25 But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”  26 And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”  27 But she said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.”

A.  She bowed low and begged for help 25

B.  She believed there must be room for Non-Jews to be blessed by the Jewish King 25-27

V.  Jesus did as she wished—her daughter was healed at once 28

28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish.”  And her daughter was healed at once.

 

Conclusion: What can disciples of Jesus, and seekers of Jesus learn from this story?

For followers of Jesus…

  1. Opportunities to care about other people will often seem very inconvenient.
  2. If you don’t care about the pains, heartaches, and troubles that people are carrying, you simply will have nothing to say to them.
  3. The present time is a time of welcoming all people to Jesus, not keeping them from Him.

For those who seek the salvation Jesus offers…

You are not saved by having a great amount of faith, but by having ANY amount of faith that is in the right Person—Jesus!

Our Big Question today is, “How much faith does it take to save a person?”

The Answer is this: It is not a matter of the amount of your faith that saves you, but Who your faith is placed in.  Any faith in Jesus—saves!

Such as these… Mark 10:13-16

Such as these…  Mark 10:13-16

I.  The Disciples scolded parents for bring their children to be blessed by Jesus 13

13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them.

II.  Jesus intervened on behalf of the children and their parents  14-16

A.  To His disciples:  indignation, commandment, and warning.    14-15

14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

B.  To the children: Affection and Blessing  16

16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

CONCLUSION: How does this apply to us today who have gathered at Grace Bible Church?

1.  The Church is responsible to welcome ALL people TO Jesus, all the time, no matter what problems they bring with them.

2.  Parents are responsible to bring their children to Jesus.

3.  Children are particularly loved by Jesus, independent of their parents, their friends, or even their church.

4.  All people may enter the kingdom of God simply be trusting in Jesus to receive them, as they are.

Traditional understanding: “like a child” = admirable, “innocent” traits of a child, such as teachability, honesty, humility, obedience, etc….  But the problem with this understanding of the term is that we all know that children are more complex than that, and they certainly demonstrate the opposite of these positive traits!  Besides, it doesn’t make any sense at all that Jesus would teach that we can gain entrance into His kingdom based on our moral qualifications!

Question: What qualities can we find in these children, so that we might become “such as these”, and enter into the kingdom of God?

Answer:  The children in this story demonstrated both a DESIRE for and a TRUST in Jesus.  Indeed, all who trust in Jesus will be saved, blessed, and forever a member of His kingdom!