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Now That’s A Promise!

Genesis 12:1-9

Input from Derek



Candidate’s first public statement

Standing in a small town – I’m for middle class America

Standing in front of a small business – I’m for small businesses

Standing in DC – we need to change this

How to view this CALL from God

How we view Abram’s CALL can help us view characteristics in all of God’s Word

The call contains command & promise

At least four characteristics we see in the call of Abram

I.  The Call is Gracious

·     Gen. 3-11 – it’s coming to an end

·     Gen. 1-2, 3:15 promise, family line

·     Terah is the end of the line, pagan family

·     Barren, yet the Word comes thundering

·     Not just some encouraging words in the barrenness

·     A covenant, words that both call and command

·     Words that can be trusted cuz God is trustworthy

·     God’s Word to Abram is gracious by CREATING THE FAITH

·     Examples from Gen. 3:15, Gen. 12, Eph. 2:1-3


IT IS ABSOLUTELY gracious of God to call us

II. The Call Is Vital

Without it we are nothing

Personal applied

·     It came to Abram PERSONALLY

·     Not to Lot, not to Terah, not to any other person in the family

·     It was NECESSARY for Abram to personally trust God as an individual





·     Has it PERSONALLY BEEN APPLIED in your life? 

o      Has God’s Word, His promises, disturbed you, challenged you, called you, commanded you? 

o      OR do you think you are ok just being part of a Christian family???


o      Has God’s Word come to you individually and been applied???

o      OR are you comfortably seeking haven that you are part of a good Church? 

·     It’s the call that qualifies us & makes us distinct!!

·     Mosques, synagogue & Christian Churches

Immediately obeyed

·     Obedience is the main expression of our trust in God

·     Abram’s obedience immediately made him separated and distinct!!

·     Your country – Haran in all it’s glitz and promise – Polytheism to monotheism

·     Your kindred – your closest relationships, those you have built with

·     Your father’s house – your family trade, the security that comes from passing down traditions  

Heb 11:8 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.

·     Abram DID NOT negotiate with God and attempt to put his agenda in the mix


IT IS ABSOLUTELY vital to be personally called us and our response be immediate obedience

III. The Call Is Powerful

(to change us – to create people who . . . )

Walk by faith (verse 1a)

·     That I will show you . . .

·     Jeremy & Justin examples

·     Abram’s example – V. 4 & Heb. 11:8

·     Our example

·     Can I live a life of faith in God’s Words and still have  . . . .

·     Can I live a life of faith and only do  . . . .

·     Question – Why wouldn’t I want to fully trust God

·     Teen trusting their parents, wife trusting her husband OR member trusting their pastor – ultimately it’s about trusting God!

·     Come in asking questions – Can I be a Christian and still have sex with my girlfriend? Pursue all my materialism?  Pursue all my selfish desires?

·     If you try to respond to the CALL OF God  and want to fit your agenda into God’s call – it will never work

·     God’s agenda for your life must be your primary concern

Live for mission (v. 2)

·     You no longer live for self

·     God’s Word comes to radically change you at the core

·     You don’t live to be blessed but to bless others

·     A life of leaving the familiar, the comfortable, the secure

·     A life of surrendering your conditions to obey God

·     A life of faith that lives for God’s agenda, His mission


·     There are people right now in our relational circles that need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ

·     We are scared, we crave our safety zone

·     We don’t want people to criticize us – we have our reputations to keep

·     Abram could have said – God, the guys originally wanted to go to Canaan but this is as far as they got, what’s wrong with doing all this in Haran?

·     God says to go from your safety zone, take a risk

·     Then we actually begin to draw our comfort form obedience to God

·     Not from love of our fears, securities and comforts

·     We live to be on mission for the glory of God!!

IT IS ABSOLUTELY the power of the call  

Change people to walk by faith and live for mission

IV.  The Call is Applicable

·     How does the CALL OF GOD come to us at the street level?

·     What does it look like MONDAY morning?

·     Are we to just kind of sit back and admire Abram’s faith?

·     This Word doesn’t come to us and say “be like Abram!”

·     As we learn to read our Bible’s “Christocentrically” 


·     Abram trusted God for a son – we trust God that He sent His Son

·     Abram models faith but more importantly – HE POINTS TO THE ULTIMATE SON

·     Christ left His heavenly home and His Father’s house for us

·     Christ ultimately is building the great nation

·     Christ is the One who’s name is the name above all names

·     Christ is the One who came to be a ransom blessing for all

·     Christ is the One in whom all the families of the earth are blessed

They change you to the core

They’re not about adding some new aspect to your life

The call of God doesn’t come to enrich your life

IT IS ABSOLUTELY applicable to our lives


The call of God qualifies you

·     The call makes you distinct – called to be in Christ

·     You can be raised a Christian in this Church, without the call coming to you, shaking you, disturbing you, disrupting you – you will be an idolater

·     You are either in or out today – if you are not sure . . .

·     You cry out to God – you don’t grit your teeth and make a commitment

The call of God shapes you

·     Call shapes you – sanctification

·     Living for a career, self, pleasure, etc.

·     God’s agenda is this call


The Body

2 Co 7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

The Blood

2 Co 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.


57 cent story

Coke machine illustration

Tom doing the uncomfortable to be a blessing – it doesn’t make sense

Michelle sharing her ugly display of the flesh in care group

Tim Keller

People who consider themselves as children of Abraham

Mosques, synagogues and Christian churches

World civilizations

Father (Daddy), Father of many (big Daddy)

Stood against family, culture and society

Monotheism vs. polytheism – a man a vision

God’s call made him great – that’s what makes you distinctive and shapes you

All human history is coming to an end – more corrupt, evil, violent, broken

Chapters 1-11 one ray of hope – family of Seth – only Seth’s family had and passed on the true knowledge of God

End of the line – disastrous – last family who knew God, who created the world, who passed on the knowledge of God

Spiritually the last candle has flickered out

Physically Sara is barren – ending physically also

Walter Braggeman quote


Absolutely necessary – without the call of God he is spiritually dead

Absolutely gracious – he’s unqualified – the call doesn’t come cuz you’re qualified, you are qualified cuz you are called

You have to have it or your life is a dead end no matter how nice you are

It will transform you no matter how bad a person you are


What is it?  What is it a call to do?

  1. Personally radical – Old KJV – “get thee out”  “go yourself out” “get out yourself” Called to Canaan but they stopped at Haran.  Abram is saying I’ve come this far with the guys, they like it here but God is saying COME YOURSELF.  It’s not good enough to be a part of a church, denomination or environment even if you feel good about it.   HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED GOD YOURESELF.  HAVE YOU MADE THE COMMITMENT OR COATTAILS
  2. Volitionally radical – at the heart the call of God is a surrender of the will.  GO TO THE LAND ‘I will show you’ I’m not going to tell you where you want to go.  Can I be a Christian and not give up my sex life, materialism, stop this and start this.  DON’T ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS – If you will show me exactly you aren’t surrendering your will – you want the throne, driver seat.  I’ll be happy to go if you show me exactly.  JUST GO.  I’LL GIVE YOU A SON BUT LATER, PUT HIM TO DEATH, WHY, I’LL SHOW YOU LATER – an adventure (The Hobbit) vs. a quest (Lord of the Rings) QUEST – IT COMES TO YOU, THERE ARE REQUIREMENTS – YOU EITHER DIE OR YOU COME BACK SO RADICALLY YOU AREN’T THE SAME.

Don’t ask me What I’m about to do won’t fit into your agenda

It’s not an adventure to enrich your life

It’s a whole new agenda – a

What does it mean to answer the call – it means to get out

Heb. 11:8 – Whatever I discern your will I will do it

I will obey if . . . you’re not there if you are putting conditions on it

3.  Missionally radical

A Christian is to be changed so that decisions aren’t about what’s most comfortable for me, my safety, status, etc.  Where can I most be a blessing?  If you seek to be blessed you will be empty, if you seek to be a blessing to others I will bless you.

If you live to fill others up, I will bless you

God only blesses to bless others

Get out of your security zone, comfort zone, the familiar

Right now there are people who need to hear the truth and you are scared, you don’t want to get out of your safety zone, familiar, taking a risk, getting criticized you don’t want ot get out

To the degree you want to get out, your safety zone, familiar, safe

I will bless you to the degree you get out

4.  Culturally radical – the gospel gives you pat answers?  He left but never arrived.  Abram never receives it cuz he lives his whole life in the middle of promise and reality. Paul in Gal/Rom always refers to Abraham in letters.  Paul arguing that the new believers need to be cultural Jews.  Hearing the call of God means you will be uncomfortable breaking cultural barriers.  Christians depart from their first culture to give allegiance to their

Hard but exciting work – you depart but you haven’t arrived. 

One foot in your culture but get out yet you don’t arrive somewhere else.

How do I bring this into my life?  How could I surrender like that?

One promise that was key to all the other ones.  He had to have an offspring.

Land, nation, etc. had to have a son. 

Abram you must live by faith in the son.  Live on the basis of that and all will come true.

We are in the same position.

Jesus GOT OUT – He left His Father’s throne above

He left the ultimate security – He went out and was homeless and fatherless

Son of promise

Do you see it?  Do you grasp it?  The key to Abram is the key to us

Jesus already responded to the call and lost His father – he went out so we can go out – He left the comfort and security so we could go out

Hear it, surrender it, it will qualify you!!

What He did, who He was, a visual acting out of Jesus acting out this promise

Cuz He did this we can do it.  Teach us how to live big and live for you and for those around us.

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