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Its in the DNA

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The ancestry business has been booming the past few years. As science and biology becomes more accessible to the general public more and more people are starting to research their family lineage. Most people are quite surprised when they take a look back at their linage- the problem is that not all of the surprises are good. After all, for every person that finds out they are a descendant of a King or a famous actor there is another person that finds out their grandmother had an affair, or their ancestry has a murderer or thief in it. Sometimes our ancestors bring us joy, and sometimes they bring us shame.
In today’s passage we read about our primary spiritual ancestors- Abraham and Sarah. We drop into their story here in Ch 17 when God makes the promise with Abe that he and Sarah will have a son. Now, we must remember that we coming into this story in the middle- a lot has happened for Abe and Sarah up until this point. In fact, this is the third time God has made a HUGE promise to Abe!
: 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. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
: After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
So this is the third time that God has approached Abraham with a covenant. Now, let’s not have selective memory about Abe’s story up to this point, because it is not all good....
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
First, remember the story from ? There is a famine in the land so A and S head to Egypt and A is afraid that the Egyptians will see Sarah’s beauty and kill him to get to her; so he comes up with a solution. Tell them you’re my sister- that is what A says, quite the solution indeed. Remember God has already promised A that he will have many descendants and that God will be with him, but yet A still does not trust the promise of God, but instead lies....
Or how about the birth of Ishmael in ? Remember, God has promised Abraham children, so what does he do? Instead of trusting the promise of God to be bigger than his wife’s barren womb- he gets a stand in- Hagar.
And we can trace some more of Abraham’s story and find more of the same if we had time. This back and forth battle between trusting and doubt.
But yet, we find these verses in :
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore
Or how about ?
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), .

13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification

Did you catch it, church? Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness- not his lack of faith as punishment. Let’s face it, we are all really good at dwelling on our short comings for the cause of Christ. We are good at remembering these things…but God is not so good at that.
Don’t get it twisted church- God is much more interested in your successes, your victories, your moments of faith than your shortcomings and failings. We dwell on the past, center on our failures, and acts as though God is holding them over our heads…but remember:

12  as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13  As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

14  For he knows our frame;

he remembers that we are dust

God remembers that we are dust- another reference to our ancestry- Adam, our first father. God knows you, friend- He knows all about you.
But Jon, you say, you do not know me. No, I don’t; but God does and He loves you
But Jon, you say, you do not know how many times I have messed up. No, I don’t; but God does and he forgives you.
But Jon, you say, you do not know my past. No I don’t; but God does, and he called to you before you called to him.
Here’s the thing, church the longer Satan can keep you focused on your failures and short comings, the more useless you will be for the KOG
God’s description of Abraham was not based on his failures, but his faith! God does not stand over his creation and speak their faults, but their beauty.
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