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God Will Provide

The Urgency of Evanglism  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Paul went through amazing hardship to share the gospel. How can we have the same zeal?

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It is said that Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire, once had captured a prince and his family. When they came before him, the monarch asked the prisoner, "What will you give me if I release you?" "The half of my wealth," was his reply. "And if I release your children?" "Everything I possess." "And if I release your wife?" "Your Majesty, I will give myself." Cyrus was so moved by his devotion that he freed them all.
What a sacrifice
Jesus loves sacrifice
Sacrifice OPPOSITE Selfishness
selfishness
experience of world today
Thomas C. Reeves:
Christianity in modern America is, in large part, innocuous. It tends to be easy, upbeat, convenient, and compatible. It does not require self-sacrifice, discipline, humility, an otherworldly outlook, a zeal for souls, [nor] a fear as well as love of God.”
As I think about sacrifice
I think about Jesus
Also:
One story
great sacrifice
other than Jesus
Abraham
He had already:
left Ur (70 yrs old)
lied twice about Sarah
Sodom and Gomorrah
Eliazar (75)
Ishmael (85-6)
finally Isaac (100)
Genesis 22:1–2 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.”
Imagine
all those years of wait
all the hardship
finally the son
Now,
God says
kill him!?!
If I were Abraham
I would immediately question...
Is this God?
10 commandments
thou shalt not kill
God said
Your seed
like stars and sand
God said,
this is promised son
How could he die?
Prayed like never prayed before
Patriarchs and Prophets Chapter 13—The Test of Faith

Abraham was tempted to believe that he might be under a delusion. In his doubt and anguish he bowed upon the earth, and prayed, as he had never prayed before, for some confirmation of the command if he must perform this terrible duty. He remembered the angels sent to reveal to him God’s purpose to destroy Sodom, and who bore to him the promise of this same son Isaac, and he went to the place where he had several times met the heavenly messengers, hoping to meet them again, and receive some further direction; but none came to his relief. Darkness seemed to shut him in; but the command of God was sounding in his ears, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest.”

He agonizes in prayer
like never before
He looked for excuses
reason why not
Yet, he knew
the voice of God.
Morning was approaching
back in tent
Sees Isaac
parent watches child at night
Sees Sarah
should he wake her?
how to explain...
She would say...
Genesis 22:3 ESV
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.
3 day journey
days of fear
night of prayer
Satan’s confusion
Finally,
Submission...
Patriarchs and Prophets Chapter 13—The Test of Faith

This son had been unexpectedly given; and had not He who bestowed the precious gift a right to recall His own?

On the 3rd day
Genesis 22:5 ESV
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.”
Notice his words
Faith:
“and come again to you”
He was convinced,
God was speaking.
He was convinced
Isaac child of promise.
He concluded:
Hebrews 11:19 ESV
He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
Finally,
he had to reveal plan
to Isaac.
Genesis 22:7 ESV
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?”
What fear
what pain
what to say???
What faith...
Genesis 22:8 ESV
Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
They get there.
Abraham must explain.
trembling voice
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.
Isaac could have escaped
willing submission
shared father’s faith
Patriarchs and Prophets Chapter 13—The Test of Faith

He tenderly seeks to lighten the father’s grief, and encourages his nerveless hands to bind the cords that confine him to the altar.

Father and son
say good-bye.
Genesis 22:10 ESV
Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
God waits
very last moment
to stop him
Genesis 22:11–12 ESV
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.”
Named the place
“Jehovah-jireh,”
“the Lord will provide.”
Great story
great example
Patriarchs and Prophets Chapter 13—The Test of Faith

Abraham’s great act of faith stands like a pillar of light, illuminating the pathway of God’s servants in all succeeding ages. Abraham did not seek to excuse himself from doing the will of God.

Now,
I return to
original question
How can we
make sacrifices
get motivated
and love
like this?
This story is poignant
Because
Abraham loves 2 people
Isaac
God
forced to choose
Sacrifice is not
giving up something
don’t like that much
for something better
Giving up something
you love
for something else
you love more!
That is what Jesus did
gave up heaven
for us.
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