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Standing on the Promises

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Text:  Genesis 24

Title:Standing on the Promises

Theme:  God keeps his promise by giving a wife to Rebekah

Goal:  to encourage the people that God kept his promise of giving a wife to Rebekah

Need:  The people at the time may have wondered if God was really going to keep his promises to them.

Sermon Theme:  God keeps his promises to us today

Goal:  to encourage everyone that God keeps his promises to us.

Need:  We often think of God as being someone who is really far off, not concerned about making a keeping promises to us.

Outline:

  1. Introduction about “Making” Promises
  2. God Makes real promises
  3. God Made a real promise to Isaac and kept it
  4. God Makes real promises for us and keeps them
  5. Conclusion

Sermon in Oral Style:

          Well friends, its really nice to have you all back here again for our Friendship Group church service.  Have you had a good time singing the songs with us?  We really like having you all sing with us.  Some of you will be helping with the offering.  And then we are going to hear all of you sing for us at the end of the service, right? 

          We also had some people who did a real nice job reading the Bible passage for us this morning too.  There was a lot to read, but you did a real nice job. 

          The story that they read for us was all about Abraham and Isaac.  But remember that the Bible isn’t just stories like you might read in other books.  The Bible is stories about God and about how he takes care of the people he loves.

          The story that we read for today wonders something about God.  That’s what you have been studying this year in friendship.  You have been finding out new things about who God the Father is. 

Do you think God is good?  A good person always keeps their promises don’t they?  A good dad or a good mom keeps their promises, don’t they?  If God is good all the time, he better keep his promises too?

          God shows in the way he takes care of Abraham and Isaac in this story that he keeps his promises.

          Can you imagine though, how Abraham might have been feeling?  Have you ever had it where you were disappointed because someone promised something very important to you, but then they didn’t keep their promise?  I know I had it happen to me a couple of times.

          One good movie that came out about ten years ago was the movie Liar, Liar.  Jim Carrey played a dad in the movie who was so obsessed with himself that he would break promises all the time.  One time he went to far.  He promised his son he would definitely come to his sons birthday party.  He promised no matter what he would be there.  But he didn’t show up.  He broke his promise.  And how do you think the boy felt.  His dad broke the promise about being their for his birthday.  The boy was devastated.  In fact, when he blew out his candle he wished that his dad would only be allowed to tell the truth, that way he would never break a promise again.

          Some times we might wonder whether God really keeps his promises.  Sometimes things happen in our life that make us feel like God is trying to hurt us.  Like he is going back on everything he said about loving us.  You can probably think of some time when you have felt like God is just not fair.

          The passage that we hear in the Bible is one that can give us more confidence that God doesn’t break his promises, and he doesn’t need a silly birthday wish for us to be sure that he is telling the truth. 

          The passage we heard from starts with Abraham talking to his servant, but it is all about making sure God fulfills his promise to Abraham.  What did God promise.  In verse 8: ‘To your offspringb I will give this land’”  God promised Abraham lots of children and grand children and great grand children.  And the whole area they lived in would belong to them.

          And God had lived up to the promise so far, he had at least given Abraham a son named Isaac.  But if I promised you a thousand dollars and gave you a penny, you might not be too impressed.  So Abraham trusts that God has more in store for him.  He knows that for God to do what he promised, Isaac, his son needs to get married and carry on the family line.

          A lot of times when we feel like God isn’t giving us what we deserve, its because we expect the whole million dollars, when God is going to give a penny first.  Then more and more as time goes on.  Maybe, if we aren’t relying on God’s promises, we need to just wait and watch with confidence that God will do it.

          That’s what’s at stake.  Is God going to be good.  Or is God going to be a liar?  If God is a liar, we shouldn’t be worshiping him.  If he is Good.  Then we ought to follow him with everything we do.

          So Abraham sends out his servant to find a wife for Isaac.  This servant asks God help him by a sign.  If a girl at the well helps him to get water for his animals, he will know that’s the one God has chosen.  That’s a pretty daring prayer, but before he even looks up from his prayer to God, there is a woman.  Amazing.  You say God is amazing.  Prayer to God is just as powerful today as it was in the days of the Bible.  But don’t expect the whole million dollars when he’s starting with pennies right now.

          Here this woman stands, right after the servant prays.  Talk about living up to your promises and an answer to prayer.  Abraham asks God for a wife for his son.  This servant asks God to give him a sign.  It all happens according to God’s plan and the Abraham and the servant have faith that it is going to happen that way. 

We don’t have a liar, liar God.  He didn’t break his promise.

          And God has a perfect track record of keeping his promises.  Including the most important one.  To Abraham he said all people will be blessed by you descendants.  And that happened when God brought Jesus Christ into the world.  Jesus was the great great great great grandson of Abraham.  When Jesus died on the cross, the promise of living for ever in heaven was something all people could have.  That’s the way God fulfilled his promise to Abraham.  Isaac was just a penny, when God had an infinitely more valuable blessing.  Jesus Christ.

          Since God fulfilled that promise to save us by the blood of Jesus Christ, its important that we acknowledge that our God is a good God.  He loves us.  He cares for us.  He might not give us what we think is important all the time, but he definitely gives us what he promises all the time.  That is his love.  That is the promise that we will be saved through Jesus Christ.  And that is that we will spend eternity in the new creation with him.  That’s what it is all about.

          What about you?  Accept that God is good all the time.  Accept that he hasn’t broken his promises.  And then accept that despite anything wrong you have done in your life, God will forgive you and welcome you with his love.  Then we will say right along with the servant from the story, ““Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness.[1]


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b Or seed

[1] The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Ge 24:27

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