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Bound

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By the blood of our Sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ, God calls us to faithfulness. May we be faithful worshippers who hold nothing back, but obediently give to God whatever he asks, trusting that “the Lord will provide.”

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Genesis 22:1–19 ESV
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.

Introduction

My own journey to faith in Jesus Christ created in me a passion about the Gospel message of reconciliation lived out practice among those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In our lives, God gives us these moments, these events that stand out because of the impact that it had on us. In my own life one of those events was a conversation that I had with a college classmate named Brian. Brian was a good friend of minee, and we traveled in similar circles as undergraduates. And, not surprisingly, we pretty much shared the same worldview. One difference between us though, was our organizational affiliation. While I was a member of a group called the Sons of Africa, Brian was a committed member of one of the major Black fraternities. His fraternity was precious to him. He couldn’t do without it. As I recall, he would use his influence over those who were pledging by having them read and discuss books on afrocentricity.
Brian graduated before I did, and we lost contact for a little while. Unbeknownst to me, in the time that we were apart, Brian became a Christian. Some of his fraternity brothers, who were Christians, had convinced him that since he had been an English major it would be beneficial to him, for literary purposes, to read the Bible. So he did, and in so doing was convicted by the Holy Spirit of God’s holiness, his sinfulness and his need to repent and turn to Jesus Christ. I had no knowledge of this story when I called him on the phone to come up to his place in the Bronx and try to sell him life insurance… But for three hours I sat in his little basement apartment as he talked to me about the impact God’s Word had upon his life, about its truth, and my need for Jesus. As he shared his testimony with me I noticed that there was no fraternity paraphernalia around. He told me that when he became a Christian his life had changed. Things he used to desire he didn’t desire anymore. Places he used to go he easily gave up to follow Jesus. But there was one thing that he would never give up, and that was his fraternity. He said, though, that it was the main thing that God wanted him to give up. It was his idol. It had become his god. He said to me, “Irwyn, it was like tearing off my right arm. But I had to do it. I called up my closest fraternity brothers and told them that I was disassociating myself with the fraternity. I was still their friend, but don’t call me by any of those fraternity names because I will not respond.” Then he said, “I cried like a baby. I cried and cried and cried.” His sacrifice was painful.
I left there as a non-believer, as one who was not a follower of Jesus thinking to myself, “Brian has gone crazy. He’s gone off the deep end.” I remember telling that to mutual friends on campus. It didn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t reconcile in my mind the radical sacrifice he was willing to make in obedience to this Jesus he had come to trust and believe in. And as we come to this text in , “The Binding of Isaac,” we’re confronted with one of the most difficult passages in the OT. What is God doing is asking for this type of unreasonable obedience from someone he has committed himself to? God had committed himself to Abraham. If you want to read about God’s commitment to Abraham, start at the end of and the beginning of and keep on reading.
What Brian was expressing in his testimony to me is the same thing underlying this passage. Not only had he committed himself to the Lord by faith, but our God is a God who commits himself to his people. In other words, we’re bound to him and we are bound to one another. And the desire to worship and serve him trumps everything else because there is nothing and no one more worthy of our trust and worship.
If you’re here this morning and not a follower of Jesus Christ, this text might seem strange to you, just like Brian’s testimony was to me. But here I am before you, following the same Jesus who Brian follows. So, I say to you at the outset that the foolishness of God is wiser than people, and that the weakness of God is stronger than people. And God saves those who believe through the folly of what we preach.
Our three points this morning are marked by the three sections of this text. The three sections are delineated by Abraham’s repetition of these three words, “Here I am” (vv.1-6, 7-10, and 11-18). Abraham’s simple response to God in v.1, to his son Isaac in v.7, and to the Angel of the Lord in v.11 convey to us Abraham’s attentive and receptive response to God’s word and command, his trust in God’s provision, and God’s blessing. God is bound to his people. He is Bound in Cloudiness, Bound in Crisis, and Bound in Comfort. (This is not a do better or work harder sermon. It’s a trust wholly and completely sermon.)

Bound in Cloudiness

The first, “Here am I,” comes in v.1… (rd. vv.1-6)
Genesis 22:1–6 ESV
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.
Genesis 1:1–6 ESV
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
After these things… after the events of chapter 21, the birth of Isaac, the sending away of Ishmael, the making of a treaty with the Philistines… God puts Abraham to the test. As the readers, we have insight that Abraham doesn’t have. We know that God is testing Abraham, but Abraham doesn’t know that it’s a test. We know that Isaac is going to be alright, but Abraham doesn’t. Because he is bound to his Lord, he simply responds to God’s call in a way that says, “I’m attentive and receptive to your word God.”
This response is in spite of the cloudiness. Abraham can’t see into the future. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen on that mountain. All he knows is what God has said. This seems utterly unreasonable to us because we need evidence. But can I tell you something? Everybody has to live by faith because we’re not God. That means we’ll never have all the information and all the facts. We will never be able to remove all of the cloudiness when it comes to life in this world.
Understand this. We are not like Abraham in the sense that God’s direct interaction with him is a key part of God’s plan to reclaim, redeem, remake, and renew this world through the Lord Jesus Christ. This text points us forward to Jesus Christ. God isn’t going to come to any parents and make this kind of request. This is a one off in the history of redemption.
But we are like Abraham in that he was a real man with real fears and the need for a real faith. And faith in the Lord is always put to the test. And the testing of faith in the Lord and his promises is regularly undesirable. When the test comes, it’s not normally something you desire. Because, while God’s command might be clear, the outcome is always cloudy. Christians might quote to themselves passages like
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
But we quickly realize that “all things working together for good” doesn’t mean that all things “feel good,” or “are good.” There’s often pain in the testing. This reality leads the apostle James to say in 1:12 of his letter,
James 1:12 ESV
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
This reality leads the apostle Peter to say in 4:12 of his first letter,
1 Peter 4:12 ESV
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
You don’t get to be a Christian without having to embrace the cloudiness that comes with faith in the Lord.
However, Abraham’s response gives us hope. Why is that? Because, from ch.12 to this passage in ch.22 Abraham’s faith has been on a roller coaster. It ebbs and flows. It’s up and down. But here’s what I want you to realize. Abraham’s life or journey of faith is framed by God’s call in 12:1-9 and God’s test in 22:1-19. In between you see successes and failures when it comes to his faith What’s the point? Two things. First, in 12:1 God says
Genesis 12:1 ESV
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
In 22:1 God says
Genesis 22:1 ESV
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
… and in 22:1 God says… In both instances Abraham responds with faithful obedience. He does what the Lord says without a hint of doubt. By bookmarking or framing Abraham’s journey of faith with these two significant narratives, Moses wants us to understand the overall character of Abraham’s faith. His was a true faith that expressed itself in a willingness to radically obey God’s word and commands even when it made absolutely no sense to him. He wasn’t just offering up lip service when he said that he trusted the Lord. Abraham is called the father of the faithful, not because he was perfect, but because his faith was real and you can see it worked out in his life. He had ups and downs, times of strength and weakness, but when you look at the overall character of his life you say, “that man trusted the Lord.”
In both instances Abraham responds with faithful obedience. He does what the Lord says without a hint of doubt. By bookmarking or framing Abraham’s journey of faith with these two significant narratives, Moses wants us to understand the overall character of Abraham’s faith. His was a true faith that expressed itself in a willingness to obey God’s word and commands even when it made absolutely no sense to him. He wasn’t just offering up lip service when he said that he trusted the Lord. Abraham is called the father of the faithful, not because he was perfect, but because his faith was real and you can see it worked out in his life. He had ups and downs, times of strength and weakness, but when you look at the overall character of his life you say, “that man trusted the Lord.”
In his book, The Reason for God; Belief in an Age of Skepticism, Tim Keller in responding to the critique by non-Christians of the character flaws in Christians says the following:
Growth in character and changes in behavior occur in a gradual process after a person becomes a Christian. The mistaken belief that a person must “clean up” his or her own life in order to merit God’s presence is not Christianity. This means, though, that the church will be filled with immature and broken people who still have a long way to go emotionally, morally, and spiritually. As the saying has it: “The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.”
Don’t revel in or excuse your failures by saying, “I’m not perfect, I’m only human.” But know that the same God who graciously preserved Abraham through all of the ups and downs in his faith such that the characterization of his life is as the father of the faithful; this same God is at work in the same way in the life of every person who has been graciously given the gift of faith in Christ. If you are bound to him by faith, you will never be described as perfect in this life, but know for certain that your faith will stand out. It can be no other way because the Lord of glory is at work in you. Jesus says in that he is the true vine and his Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in him that bears fruit the Father prunes so that it will bear more fruit.
Secondly, the testing of our faith can seem like a lonely journey. One of the ways we know that Abraham’s life is framed by and 22 is because of a phrase that appears in 12:1 and 22:2, but nowhere else in Genesis. When God commands Abraham in 12:1, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you,” and in 22:2, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah,” the word translate “Go” is a phrase in Hebrew that iterally means, “go by yourself”. Abraham wasn’t going by himself in either case. He took Sarah, his possessions, and his nephew Lot with him in ch.12. Here in ch.22 he takes two servants, Isaac, his donkey with him. The point is that at times faith can be a lonely pilgrimage. This is heightened by the painstaking detail with which the story is told. In stark contrast to the birth of Isaac in 21, which was simply and mater-of-factly stated... But when it comes to the test, it’s given in agonizing detail. God says, take your son…, we’re told he rises early in the morning, saddles the donkey, cuts the wood, takes the servants and Isaac. Then on the third day he lifts his eyes and he sees the place from afar. The blow by blow detail takes us into the agony of Abraham’s test.
We’re supposed to feel the loneliness of Abraham’s pilgrimage. We’re to know that his faith is not wavering in the midst of his dark night. His entire hope, his entire life, all of God’s promises to him rest in Isaac. The laughter surrounding Isaac’s birth is gone. There is just faith and pain. For three days they’re traveling and Abraham has to play this over and over again in his mind. No one else but he and God know why they’re going to there. Yet when they get there, Abraham can say to his servants, “You stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go up to worship, and we will come again to you.” The writer to the Hebrews tells us in
Hebrews 11:10 ESV
For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
that Abraham had resurrection faith. When he spoke to his servants, when he took the fire in one hand and the knife in the other, when set the wood for the offering on Isaac and they traveled up the mountain together, in Abraham’s mind was the fact that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead.
that Abraham had resurrection faith. When he spoke to his servants, when he took the fire in one hand and the knife in the other, when set the wood for the offering on Isaac and they traveled up the mountain together, in Abraham’s mind was the fact that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead.

Bound in Crisis

The story intensifies in vv. 7-10. It’s one thing to be wrestling with God in your own head. It’s another thing to have to open your mouth and say something about it to someone else. We move from cloudiness to crisis in the second “Here I am.” As Abraham and Isaac travel up the mountain together, Isaac - who has to be at least old enough to carry a load of wood up the mountain - notices that something is missing. He calls out, “My father.” “Here I am, my son.” “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” What’s Abraham going to say? It’s one thing to tell the servants that they’d be back, but now your son is asking you what’s going on here? Is he going to tell Isaac what God commanded him to do when they were still in Beersheba? The question must have pierced Abraham’s heart.
“God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”
That sounds like a cop-out. That sounds like deception. Abraham has lied before to get out of a jam, and it sounds like he might be trying to skirt the truth again because he really doesn’t want to give Isaac the nasty details. But this isn’t a deceptive answer. Because in this crisis Abraham refers his son to the only one who can answer the question. Donald Grey Barnhouse:
As Abraham and Isaac had walked for three days through country growing more and more desolate, and at the slow, measured pace of the burdened mule, his mind went around and around the matter, and he ultimately came to the calm conclusion that he was going to see a miracle. The method of his thought was as follows. God is not a liar. He cannot be mistaken. He told me, beyond question, that I should have a son, and there he walks before me… Therefore, the son must live or God would be found false. Here, humanly speaking is a contradiction. But there is no contradiction in God. That is the foundation fact. There is power in God; there is wisdom in God; there is majesty and glory in God; but there is no contradiction in God.
Are you there family? Is that a foundation truth for you? When the crisis comes, when the testing of your faith comes, when you don’t have the answers, and you are seemingly stuck in the valley of the shadow of death, is the foundation for your lfie the reality that there is power in God, there is wisdom in God, there is truth in God, there majesty and glory in God, but there is no contradiction in God. He says what he means and he means what he says. That even in the most difficult of tests and times, you know that God will provide because there’s no contradiction in him? It’s contrary to his nature. There’s all kind of contradiction in us, but no kind of contradiction in God.
That truth allowed Abraham to come to the turning point in the test. The old man builds an altar in v. 9.
Genesis 22:9 ESV
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
He arranges the wood on the altar. He binds his strong young son, who obviously submits to being bound by his father. And he lifts Isaac up and places him on top of the wood. Then we’re pushed to the moment of truth in v.10 as Abraham stretches out his hand to slaughter his beloved son and we move from crisis to comfort.
He arranges the wood on the altar. He binds his strong young son, who obviously submits to being bound by his father. And he lifts Isaac up and places him on top of the wood. Then we’re pushed to the moment of truth in v.10 as Abraham stretches out his hand to slaughter his beloved son and we move from crisis to comfort.
Genesis 22:10 ESV
Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.

Bound in Comfort

At that very moment the Angel of the Lord urgently calls out, “Abraham, Abraham!” For the third time in our narrative Abraham responds, “Here I am.” I would imagine that his tone in this third response is the sound of relief, the exhaling and the releasing of the tension of the moment. The Lord’s command comes again.
Genesis 22:12–14 ESV
He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
GEN
12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”
God says, now I know that you fear me. Fearing God doesn’t simply mean here that Abraham is trembling in fear. As Bruce Waltke says,
The “fear of God” entails an obedience to God’s revelation of his moral will, whether through conscience or Scripture, out of recognition that he holds in his hands life for the obedient and death for the disobedient. Abraham is credited with obedience, … “an obedience which does not protect even what is most precious, but trusts God with the future.”
Bruce K. Waltke and Cathi J. Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 308.
K. Waltke and Cathi J. Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 308.
Bruce K. Waltke and Cathi J. Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 308.
Faith is tied to this aspect of the fear of God. tells us,
Proverbs 1:7 ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The fear of God always entails an obedience to God that does not protect even what is most precious to us. It entails an obedience to God that trust God with the future.
This is what Jesus is getting at in ,
Matthew 10:37–39 ESV
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
There is a line straight from God’s testing of Abraham to Jesus’ words to his disciples. Being bound to God always means that his word, his will, his way, has first place above everything else. And here’s the rub. The Lord says in , “now I know that you fear God.” Isn’t God omniscient, all knowing? Doesn’t he know everything beforehand? Is he gaining some new information here? No.
The narrator does not wrestle with God’s omniscience, which entails that he knew Abraham’s faith commitment beforehand. Instead, he focuses on the reality that God does not experience the quality of Abraham’s faith until played out on the stage of history.
The rub is that God experiences the quality of our faith in time and space. The genuineness of our faith is more precious than gold (). We see this test result in praise and honor and glory to God as Abraham lifts his eyes again, and God shows himself to be the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our affliction. There’s a ram caught by the horns in the thicket. Isaac can be taken down off of the altar, and Abraham can sacrifice this ram instead of his son. God did indeed provide a lamb for the burnt offering so that Isaac could live.
1 Peter 1:6–7 ESV
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1PET1.6-7
We see this test result in praise and honor and glory to God as Abraham lifts his eyes again, and there’s a ram caught by the horns in the thicket. Isaac can be taken down off of the altar, and Abraham can sacrifice this ram instead of his son. God did indeed provide a lamb for the burnt offering so that Isaac could live.
The slaughter of the ram in prefigures the slaughter of the Lamb of God on the cross at Calvary, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world that we might live. On the cross God did not hold back his hand from striking like he held back Abraham’s hand. He went through with the slaughter. Jesus said that he came to give his life as a ransom for many. When God offered up his only Son there was no cry from heaven, “stop, don’t harm him!” No, the hand that was poised above Jesus fell, and we say Hallelujah! Praise God, because that death is the death that brought us life.
You see, the Angel of the Lord speaks a second time to Abraham in v.15. This is the last recorded time in Scripture of God speaking to Abraham (read vv.15-18).
Genesis 22:15–18 ESV
And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
GEN22.
He reaffirms the blessings and promises of the covenant first made to Abraham in chapter 12. Because he is bound to his covenant Lord by faith, and that faith is put to the test in time and space, the Lord reaffirms the blessings of the covenant. The apostle Paul has this in mind when he says in ,
  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:31–32 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
And a primary question for the church is, “As people who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, are we striving to be faithful worshipers who hold nothing back, but obediently give to God whatever he asks, trusting in his provision and blessing?” What are those things that are precious to us, that we want to control and keep, but the Lord says, “No, that belongs to me.” What are those things that the forsaking of may be agonizing and may even bring tears like it did with my friend Brian? We’re bound to him by faith, by a faith that is still put to the test. Not so that we might fail and fall, but so that we might grow in grace and dependence upon our Lord. We are not our own. We have be bought with a price, and God owns it all. Paul asks the church at Corinth in
1 Corinthians 4:7 ESV
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
We’re a young, newly organized church. And a primary question for us is, “As people who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, are we striving to be faithful worshipers who hold nothing back, but obediently give to God whatever he asks, trusting in his provision and blessing?” What are those things that are precious to us, that we want to control and keep, but the Lord says, “No, that belongs to me.” What are those things that the forsaking of may be agonizing and may even bring tears like it did with my friend Brian? We’re bound to him by faith, by a faith that is still put to the test. Not so that we might fail and fall, but so that we might grow in grace and dependence upon our Lord. We are not our own. We have be bought with a price, and God owns it all. Paul asks the church at Corinth in , “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, what do you boast as if you did not receive it?” God owns our finances. God owns our worship. God owns our mission and outreach. Because of that he, by his word, is the one who determines what we do with what he’s given us. More than that, we can have full assurance that God will be glorified and that we will be blessed because he never fails to keep his word.
God owns our finances. God owns our worship. God owns our mission and outreach. God owns our identity, our ethnic identity, our gender identity, our sexual identity, our political identity. God owns it all. Because of that he, by his word, is the one who determines what we do with what he’s given us. More than that, we can have full assurance that God will be glorified and that we will be blessed because he never fails to keep his word.
This type of faithful commitment is radical and will make us stand out, but not because we’re fanatics. Faithfulness does not equal fanaticism. We stand out because of a humble yet unwavering commitment to this God who binds us to himself and accepts us by sheer grace.
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