What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

"WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO SACRIFICE?"

Rev. Lon Lorton

October 15, 2017

Genesis 22:1-19

Finally, God has worked the impossible promise for Abraham and Sarah, but God tests Abraham’s faith.

“…we will come back to you.”  Genesis 22:5

Abraham passes the test.

  • He is finally at a place where God’s agenda seems to be his true focus.

The promise of God is repeated – two-fold (both stars and sand).

Abraham’s potential sacrifice of his son was more than matched by God truly sacrificing His only Son, Jesus Christ.

So then, what might we be willing to sacrifice for Him?  Jesus has a suggestion:

  • “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  And love your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 22:37-39

Are we, like Abraham, willing to say, “Here I am, Lord,” and mean it?

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

"IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME"

Rev. Lon Lorton

October 8, 2017

Genesis 16:1-16

Have you ever had an issue with getting ahead of God?

God’s Covenant:

  • a promise of land and descendants

Sarai’s Reality:

  • She was barren.

Sarai’s Plan:

  • Hagar the surrogate

Abram’s Attitude:

  • “This was your good idea, Sarai.  You handle it.”

God sends an angel-advisor to Hagar, “You, too, will have many descendants, but this boy is going to be trouble.”

Have you ever had what seemed to be a good idea at the time?

  • Have you ever acted like Sarai, “I’ll take this into my own hands, God.”
  • Have you ever acted like Hagar, “I am better than you.”
  • Have you ever acted like Abram, “I’ve got to look out for #1.”

If you’ve ever acted like God’s promises have an expiration date, consider Isaiah 55:8-9.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Reverse the Curse

"REVERSE THE CURSE"

Rev. Lon Lorton

September 24, 2017

Various Scriptures

Not to sound like a travel agent receiving a commission, but you really need to experience the Ark Encounter.

Humanity's downward spiral through Genesis continues, yet God always presents us with a potential for hope.

Hope for humanity arrives in Noah who reveals God's potential reverse of the curse.

The flood comes as divine justice, not so much a judgement as a cure.

God's grace is always active!

Noah builds the ark.

Genesis 7:11 shows us a view of God's reverse creation.

God remembers Noah, who "did all that God commanded."

God commissions a dove.

God repeats the blessing offered to Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply."

God Calls a Family

"GOD CALLS A FAMILY"

Rev. Lon Lorton

October 1, 2017

Genesis 12:1-20

God's calling (short of great faith in Him) sometimes seems questionable.

  • Are we to always accept and believe God's promises?
  • Are we to accept and believe God has chosen the right people for His tasks?

Abram and Sarai have one function in the plan of God:

  • To be a blessing to ALL the families of the ground (adam-ah), and so participate in God's attempt to recreate the harmony of the Garden.

With what Abram and Sarai perceive to be crises, they deter from God's plan.

  • Instead of moving into the land promised, they go to Haran, then on to Egypt.
  • Abram decides, without God's approval, on a deceptive plan to serve his own purposes.

Where Abram seems to have forgotten the promise, God has not.

God gets a bad rap for "choosing the wrong people."

  • There must have been people more obedient to God.
  • There must have been a couple out there who could conceive at least one baby.

A better question to ask might be, "Why would God choose someone like me...

  • to leave my own stuff behind?"
  • to get up and go someplace I've never been?"
  • to do something I've never done?"

God does not choose righteous people.

  • By the way, there are none.

God's grace brings righteousness.

  • God desires us to participate in His plans for all people.

How glad are you for God's grace and love and forgiveness in your life?  Glad enough to share them with others (all the others) who may need them as much as you?

Christlike in a Crisis

"CHRISTLIKE IN A CRISIS"

Rev. Lon Lorton

September 10, 2017

Daniel 3:13-18

“Not again!  Where is God?!”

  • Have you ever wanted to fire God?

Three options when faced with your fiery furnace circumstances (from Tim Keller):

  1. Try to get around it.
  2. Try to run through it as fast as you can.
  3. Just lie down in the middle of it, and give in.

A fourth option is offered by God:

  • “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.”  Isaiah 43:2

We keep walking – one step at a time.

Tragedy reminds us that the future is known only to God.

  • Is our trust then, in the only One who knows, or do we try to maneuver our own way, or do we give up?

If it truly is a “we thing” (a Christian community living together),

  • There are ways God has designed for us to get through trials stronger together.
  • Tragedy has the potential to bring our hearts together in Christ’s love.

PRAY.....GIVE.....SERVE