Sermon Notes

Series – Ancestry of Faith

Ancestry of Faith Series 3-14-21

Part 9: “A Different Style of Walk”

Intro: Last week we considered what it is to know someone and to know/be known by God.

This week we’re considering our general approach to life. In other words, if people were interviewed around you and asked this question, “How would you describe his/her general approach to life?”, what would they say?

Scripture Readings: Genesis 20:1-18

I. An Example of Walking in Fear

A. One that operates in a fleshly mindset

         (“Old habits” with Abraham v.13)

B. One that views situations as beyond God’s scope

         (Not normally where He operates v.11)

C. One the causes needless difficulties

(on self and others)

READ 21:22-34

II. An Example of Walking in Faith

A. One with a settled spirit

B. One with a confidence of position in the Lord

C. One with a willingness to speak (v.25)

D. One with a consistency of prayer (v.33)

III. Walking in Faith Looks Forward to the Results

READ: II Corinthians 5:5-8

A. It’s knowing the difference between points I & II

         (a learned eternal perspective)

B. It’s influencing others to do the same

         (“planting a tree” v.33)

IV. Conclusion

Questions: What is your general approach?

________________________

Ancestry of Faith Series 3-7-21

Part 8: “To be Known by God”

Intro: What is it to really know someone?

         – relationship/understanding

         – access/information/insight

Jesus described a relationship with Him this way:

         John 15:14-15

And He described not knowing Him this way:

         Matthew 7:23

Scripture Readings: Genesis 18:16-22

I. To Know God is to Recognize His Position of Overwatch

Which means…

A. His original position of authority

(Creator of all things)

B. His current position of authority

(Definer of reality)

C. His future position of authority

(Judge of all people)

II. To Know God is to Take on His Values

(v.19 To keep the way of the Lord)

Which means…

A. To value people’s intrinsic worth

(as individuals, not by other associations)

B. To value relationships with people

C. To value righteousness and justice

– as defined by God

– a worldview that interprets the world

III. To Know God is to do what He Says

(to do righteous and justice)

READ: John 15:14-17

How…

A. First, ensure that motives are right

B. Second, follow Jesus’ rule for treating others

C. Third, speak truth in love

D. Fourth, advocate for both righteousness and justice

E. Fifth, do everything as to the Lord (Col. 3:23)

Conclusion

Questions: Are you known by God?

He invites all to be…”For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)

May you be known by Him through His grace today…

___________________________

Ancestry of Faith Series 2-28-21

Part 7: “The Meaning of a Name”

Intro: In ancient times, names carried significant meaning such as “son of” or “memorializing an event”. Today, we give names for various reasons, and it’s up to us to define what that name represents with our character, reputation, integrity, etc. over time.

Today will see three new names and consider what they mean in context of the setting and for us today.

 Scripture Readings: Genesis 17:1-6

I. El Shaddai – God-Almighty

         A God-centric focus

A. The reality of Who we serve

(ALL POWERFUL)

B. The authority of Who we serve

(walk-v.1a)

C. The call of Who we serve

(be blameless-v.1b)

D. The ability of Who we serve

(I will-v.2)

II. Abraham-Exalted Father”-“Father of a Multitude”

A God-Powered life

A. A heart of worship

B. A relational faith

– His faith was real, raw, and honest

– His faith involved talking & listening to God

– His faith was tested

C. A default to trust

– His end-of-the-day response was to trust God (Hebrews 11)

III. Sarah-Princess

A God-blessed life

 READ: 17:15-16, 18:1-15

A. A recipient of physical blessing (v.16a)

B. A recipient of generational blessing (v.16b)

C. An example of God’s grace

– God’s choice of her (and Abram)

– Imperfect recipient (laughter then denial)

BTW, Isaac means “Laughter”

– God’s plan “Is anything too hard for Me?”

– EL SHADDAI

IV. Conclusion

Questions: What does your name “mean?”

When people hear your name, what do they think?      

__________________________________

Ancestry of Faith Series 2-21-21

Part 6: “The Challenge of Waiting”

Intro: Last week we finished with looking at Abraham’s waiting on the Lord to address the sacrifice

Today, we’re picking up on the subject of waiting, but first let’s consider a story from the gospels:

“Lazarus” John 11

– Lazarus was sick and word sent to Jesus

– Jesus said, “He won’t die, but it’ll be for God’s glory and the Son’s”

– Jesus waited two more days

– When He arrived Lazarus was dead

– Martha blamed Jesus

– Mary blamed Jesus

– Jesus identified with their reality and wept

– then WOW

– The waiting can be difficult (even excruciating), but there is purpose in the waiting

Scripture Readings: Genesis 15:1-3

In the Waiting…

I. We Are Tempted to Form Our Own Solutions

A. Sarah rationalized that God meant to use Hagar (v.2)

         – (no indication of God implying that)

B. Abraham heeded her advice (v.2)

         – no record of prayer or seeking the Lord

C. Sarah took the initiative (v.3)

         – It was legal

         – It was culturally acceptable

However,

         – It wasn’t God’s plan

II. We Often Resist Owning Our Choices

READ: 4-6

A. Sarah-blamed Abraham for her scheme that backfired

B. Abraham-wimped out when the pressure came

         – demoted Hagar back to servant

         -let Sarah mistreat Hagar

C. Hagar-failed to admit contempt and ran away

But thankfully, even in our resistance…

III. God Sees Us in Our Struggles

READ: 7-15

A. He is aware of the details

B. He deals in raw reality

         (Choices have consequences – v.12)

C. He shows grace to the humble

         – Proverbs 3:34

IV. Conclusion

Questions: Are you waiting on God regarding a situation, an answer, or provision?

Remember Lazarus, it was for God’s glory and their faith.

– Don’t give in to self-designed solutions

         – He is completely aware:

         “THE GOD WHO SEES”

________________________

Ancestry of Faith Series 2-14-21

Part 5: “The Placement of Faith”

Intro: Story of Opie and Mr. McBeevee

“I believe in Opie”

Let’s begin with:

Scripture Readings: Genesis 15:1-21

I. The Word of the Lord

A. The encounter with God

– Abram was overwhelmed (“Do not fear”)

B. The reassurance ( “I am…” v.1 & v.7)

C. The redirection (v.5)

– He needed to see past the tent walls

– Sometimes it’s hard to see past the moment

II. The Leaning on the Lord

(v.6 the original picture was a leaning on a staff)

What did that “leaning” look like?

A. Abraham didn’t understand the “How?”

B. Abraham did not hesitate

– Rom. 4:20 tells us Abram “did not waver”

C. Abraham walked in faith

– Rom. 4:12 “we walk in the steps of Abraham”

– 2 Cor. 5:7 “We walk by faith not by sight”

(We Lean…)

III. The Wait for the Lord

A. The instruction

– The ancient ritual – “Cutting of the Covenant”

– The ones passing through make a vow

– Breaking the vow means being cut in two

B. The plan (v. 13-21)

– Even if not shared, it still was His plan

– He promised a child

– He promised a nation

– He promised deliverance (in/out of Egypt)

– He promised a land

C. The grace in the meantime

– 500 years of patience

IV. Conclusion

Questions: Are you leaning?

________________________

Ancestry of Faith Series 2-7-21

Part 4: “Faith in Motion”

Intro: Practical teachings…

Let’s begin with:

Scripture Readings: Genesis 14:1-17

In the years after Lot separated to the plains:

I. Abraham Practiced Routine Diligence

A. He built alliances with others

– v.13 “Hebrew” (wanderer, foreigner)

– v.13-Mamre, Aner, Eshcol (Amorites)

– A reputation was being built

B. He prepared for trouble without seeking it

– v.14 300 “trained” servants

– A realistic physical view of the world

– active understanding

– A realistic spiritual view of the world

– active armoring (Eph.6 & Phil. 4)

C. He showed restraint toward nearby events

– there was knowledge of the politics/tribute

– he let events play out

– choices have consequences

II. Abraham Took Action When it was Needed

A. He had a single purpose (retrieve Lot)

– There was no desire for gold, etc.

– There was no desire for glory

B. He was fiercely committed to the task

– 120 miles to the attack (real combat event)

– 100 miles of pursuit (follow-through)

C. Many others benefitted from his single purpose

         (people of the plains)

READ: 18-24

III. Abraham was a Godly Victor

A. He worshipped with Melchizedek

– Acknowledgment of God Most High

– “Possessor of heaven and earth”

– Known as the servant of God Most High

 – Gave a tithe to the work of God’s priest

B. He rejected the earthly benefits

         (wealth that he could have rightfully taken)

C. He spoke of His commitment to God

 

D. He didn’t attempt to force that on the Amorites                    

IV. Conclusion

Questions: What does faith in motion look like for you?

______________________________

Ancestry of Faith Series 1-31-21

Part 3: “A Difference of Friendship”

Intro: Friendliness is a great trait (it’s always nice to be around people that are friendly of course). However, in a spiritual sense, our friendships reflect the inclinations of our heart. I’ll explain in just a moment, but first…

Let’s begin with:

Scripture Readings: Genesis 13:1-18

Consider a contrast:

James 2:23 – describes the “Friend of God” – (Abraham)

James 4:4 describes the “Friend of the World” – (Lot)

Now consider the practical differences:

I. Their Attitudes Toward God

A. Abraham

– He was intentional (built altars in several places)

– He called on the name of the LORD

– He responded when God spoke

B. Lot

– No mention EVER of an altar

– No mention EVER of prayer

– No mention EVER of a spiritual response

II. Their Attitudes Toward Life

A. Abraham

– Took the initiative to be a peacemaker

– Made an open offer to Lot (even as the patriarch)

– Was keenly aware of the two differing choices

– Trusted God with the outcome either way

B. Lot

– Considered his own interest first

– Took little time to decide

– Desired the lifestyle of the plains/city (v.12)

III. Their Attitudes Toward the Future

A. Abraham

– God lifted Abraham’s eyes to envision newness

– God lifted Abraham’s eyes to envision possibilities

– God lifted Abraham’s eyes to envision eternity

– things beyond his lifetime

– things he could not do on his own

– things that sounded crazy to tell of

B. Lot

– He lifted his own eyes to see “the world”

– He lifted his own eyes to see himself in it

– He lifted his own eyes to see the temporary

– I John 2:17 “the world is passing away”

– In God’s eyes, Sodom was already gone  

IV. Conclusion

Questions: Are you a friend of God?

…or a friend of the world?

________________________________________

Ancestry of Faith Series 1-24-21

Part 2: “Origins of the Faith”

Intro: In the world, there are many different religious systems and beliefs. Even within Christianity, there are also denominations and subgroups which can be confusing. However, there is one common ancestry of true faith across the ages that began with Abraham.

Let’s begin with:

Scripture Readings: Genesis 12:1-9

I. Abraham the Patriarch

A. The call of Abraham

– God chose someone for something new

– It was an act of grace (pagan living in Ur)

– He responded by going with little information

B. The covenant (a binding pledge)

– It was before the Law, system or circumcision (Rom. 4:9-12)

– The covenant was with Abraham personally

– The covenant was for a nation of people

– The covenant was for all believers  (v.11)

We know him as a patriarch, but he was also as a man…

II. Abraham the Man

READ: 12:10-2o

A. A person just like us

– Many questions of practical nature

(for example, he reasoned about Isaac)

– Same fears that we may have

B. They seemed unlikely and ill-suited

C. He was a man of worship (built an altar like Noah)

D. He failed by trying to develop his own solutions

– but forgiveness came

– Quote – “The victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings” – George Morrison

E. He ultimately trusted God – Romans 4:13-25

– Quote – “We are not saved by making promises to God, we are saved by believing God’s promises to us” – Warren Wiersbe

III. Conclusion

Question: Do you trust God?

         Sounds simple, but…

____________________________

Ancestry of Faith Series 1-17-21

Part 1: “Origins of the World We Live In”

Intro: In recent years, there has been many companies offering to research ancestry and DNA linkages. In the spiritual sense, there is also a “DNA” to our ancestry of faith. We’re going to explore the origins of it, the post-flood world it started in, and how that applies to us today.

We’ll begin with:

Scripture Readings: Genesis 9:1-17

I. The Flood

A. Sin brought God’s judgement (Ch. 6-8)

– There were years of warning

– It was cataclysmic, violent and world-altering

B. Noah found favor with God (6:9)

– He was simply living a life honoring God

– His faith/obedience was known to God

C. God made a covenant with mankind after the flood

– A covenant of grace-before (6:18) / after (9:8-10)

– The rainbow is a symbol of His grace

II. The Response of Humanity

READ: 11:1-9

A. The discussion

– History was known, Noah and sons still alive

(Noah lived another 350 years, Abram born 292)

– God had given a mandate to spread out (9:1)

– The people rejected the premise of God’s order

B. The decision

– The choice was to reject God’s mandate

– Motive was to “make a name for themselves”

– They never considered God’s intervention

C. The result

– He accomplished His purpose with a simple act

– Babel remains as a monument to rebellion

(and will continue to be until the end-Revelation)

– “Tower building” is still the goal of humanity

Consider…

Currently there are several “towers” under construction such as climate change initiatives, the redefining of gender and personal rights, and various global treaties. For the most part, you can describe it in a word-humanism. It all sounds “cutting edge” but is actually rooted in ancient attitudes. As a matter of fact, you can even hear the echoes of the serpent’s voice in Genesis 3:5 “you will be like God”. 

With the Enlightenment and Greek philosophy as a resource, Roy Wood Sellars wrote the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933. It stated core beliefs through 15 affirmations. Some of the points; the universe is “self-exiting and not created”, a “continuous process” is man’s origin (evolution), “old attitudes of prayer and worship” are to be replaced with a “heightened sense of personal life”, a “cooperative effort to promote social well-being” should be established, and a “socialized and cooperative economic order” needs to replace the inadequate “profit motivated society” (capitalism).

Consider how they’ve shown up in various institutions like education, politics, law, entertainment, news, and social platforms. It’s not a conspiracy so-to-speak, but something larger, deeper, and fundamentally rebellious…it’s the “call of the tower”.

III. The History of Faith

A. The call of Abram (12:4)

– God had a plan

– God chose to use Abram   

B. Abram responded

– He was not prefect

– He had minimal information

– His life was a blessing to the whole earth

IV. Conclusion

Question: Does the faith of one person make a difference? Yes, if it is faith in the One who makes all the difference.

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