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13 1-18 Generosity, A Demonstration Of Faith

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                                                  liberty bible church          4/1/07 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“Generosity: A demonstration of faith”

Genesis 13:1-18

introduction

Illus. of “The Lord’s Share” A story is told about a farmer who went into the house one day to tell his wife and family some good news. “The cow just gave birth to twin calves, one red and one white,” he said. He continued, “We must dedicate one of these calves to the Lord. We will bring them up together, and when the time comes, we will sell one and keep the proceeds and we will sell the other and give the proceeds to the Lord’s work.” His wife asked him which he was going to dedicate to the Lord. “There’s no need to bother about that now,” he replied, “we’ll treat them both in the same way, and when the time comes, we’ll do as I say.” A few days later, he entered the kitchen looking unhappy. “What happened?” his wife asked. “I have bad news,” he replied. “The Lord’s calf is dead.”

Many of us are like this farmer; generous as long as it doesn’t affect our own comfort level. But, is that true generosity? Is it possible that how generous we are could reveal how much faith we have in God? Tonight, we are going to see that generosity can be an accurate measure of our faith.

OPEN to passage.                                       

                

Prop. In this passage, we see faith demonstrated through generosity.  

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. Last time, we saw a rare stumble in the life of Abram; a crinkle in his armor of faith. Cf. 12:10-20 But, Abram learns from that lesson and in the very next account demonstrates that his faith is growing. It’s not perfect, but it is making strides. Interestingly, his faith is challenged in the area of financial blessings and the challenge of providing for his household. How does he do? First…

  i. a family’s growing problem vs. 1-7

Illus. of when Jess was born, we bought a few diapers, but other than that, there wasn’t much financial strain, but as she grew and as the family grew, so did the expenses. As families grow, so do the economic stresses. That’s what Abram discovered here. This first section sets the stage for the issue here.   

a. a return to god’s will

V 1      1. The south refers to the lower part of the promised land, Negev.

V 2      2. Abram had been blessed a great deal in both Haran and in Egypt.

V 3-4   3. Abram returned to where he had worshipped the Lord earlier. Cf. 12:8

V 5      4. Lot, Abram’s nephew and Haran’s son, too had been blessed and it is mentioned here that he had tents. Everything was great…or was it?

b. the family feud

V 6      1. The Canaanites and Perizzites were all around them and they had the best of the land. V 7b With so many flocks and herds, it became difficult for Abram and Lot to dwell together. There was not enough food and water to sustain them all. The result was…

V 7      2. The Hebrew word for “strife” came to be used later to refer to a legal dispute. In this small region, there was not enough to go around, so the herdsmen of both Abram and Lot had problems.

Trans. So, the stage is set; A FAMILY’S GROWING PROBLEM was the result basically of a growing family. So, what was Abram, the one to whom all this land was promised by God, what was he to do? Next, we see…

           

 ii. Abram’s Generous proposal vs. 8-13

Illus. of when the thug comes and wants to make you an offer you can’t refuse, that usually means bad things, not to mention the fact that the offer will probably benefit him more. Not so with Abram. His offer to Lot was magnanimous.

a. “can’t we all just get along” takes sacrifice

V 8      1. Abram felt some family responsibility to Lot. He was his brothers’ son. He did not want to dishonor his brother, nor his father by being at odds with this close relative. In order to keep the peace, there had to be some separation. The question was, where would they go?

V 9      2. Abram could have taken first choice himself as the elder and as the one who received the promise of God for the land. But, rather than be selfish, Abraham gave Lot first choice. He demonstrated great faith and trust in God by allowing Lot to choose what he wanted first. He was willing to sacrifice and believe God for the results. What about Lot

b. lot’s selfish choice

V 10    1. Lot scouted out the land and saw the best was down toward Sodom. It had not yet been destroyed and it was lush and beautiful. It was the best to be had; it was fit for the Lord. Zoar was the town in the plain that Lot escaped to when Sodom was destroyed by God.

V 11    2. Lot selfishly chose the best for himself. Not only did he separate from Abraham, but he may have separated himself from the Lord. His family would pay a hefty price for this choice. Illus. of those that choose to separate from God’s people to follow the ways of the world eventually pay a hefty price as well.

V 12    3. Abram stayed where God wanted him, and Lot moved among the wicked. All those tents he had, all those people who followed him, were now exposed to wickedness.

V 13    4. He would love out 1 Cor. 15:33. This selfish move would prove to be the biggest mistake of his life. Chapter 19 makes clear how bad this mistake was.

Trans. Abram’s FAMILY’S GROWING PROBLEM leads to ABRAM’S GENEROUS PROPOSAL. He is able to do so because of his faith in…

           

iii. god’s glorious Promise vs. 14-18

Illus. of Martin Luther said, “I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.” Abram had learned that the person who has the promise of God’s provision need not cling to stuff. He could let Lot take the best of the land because it was his to be had anyway, eventually. Hence, his faith was proven by his generosity.

a. A contrast between faith and works   

V 14    1. Abram was told to lift his eyes and look, whereas Lot did this on his own. Cf. v 10a

V 15    2. Abram was patiently waiting for the land, fulfillment of God’s promises whereas Lot took the land for himself. Lot eventually would lose it, whereas Abram would get it forever.

V 16    3. Abram’s descendants would be as the dust of the earth whereas Lot’s wife would be turned to a pillar of salt and his daughters would have to get him drunk and procreate with their father. Lot chose surface things based on selfishness and self-gratification. That proved to be short-sighted and dangerous. Abram, by faith, let Lot choose first. He unselfishly trusted God. He acted generously. One who believes that God will provide is not greedy, anxious, or covetous, but rather they can afford to be generous.     

b. the results of true faith

V 17    1. A vision for the future. God invites Abram to walk throughout the land and see what his ancestors will have.

V 18    2. The chapter closes as it started with Abram settling down and worshiping the Lord. This is 22 south of Jerusalem.

conclusion

Abram’s FAMILY’S GROWING PROBLEM leads to ABRAM’S GENEROUS PROPOSAL and ultimately to the fulfillment of GOD GLORIOUS PROMISE. What promises do we have? Give me the promise and a verse.

1.      Eternal Life. GOSPEL John 3:16

2.      A home in Heaven. John 14:1-3

3.      Victory over temptation. 1 Cor. 10:13

4.      Material needs provided. Matthew 6:33

There are many more…

This is why true believers can afford to give generously.  

Illus. of Brian Kluth, Dimensions, Vol. 20, Fall, 1997, pp. 1-2, reprint by permission: Christian Stewardship Magazine

Why Give 10% or More of Your Income to the Lord's Work

In stewardship speaking engagements across America and on five continents, I have discovered two things:

First: Christians of all income levels have experienced spiritual joy, supernatural grace and divine help through the practice of making a specific commitment to GIVE 10% OR MORE of their resources to the Lord's work.

Second: The vast majority of pastors are reluctant to teach their congregations about money matters and Christian giving.

This list of 10 reasons to give 10% or more to the Lord's work was written to encourage laity and clergy that this subject can be biblically and practically taught and caught! When believers are taught to make it a priority to give to God first, it will ultimately bring greater financial freedom and blessing into their personal lives and to the ministries they support.

1. It is a tried and proven pattern of giving by godly people throughout the ages (regardless of cultures and income levels). Genesis 14:17-20, 28:16-22; Leviticus 27:30; Proverbs 3:9, 10; Malachi 3:7-15; Matthew 23:23

2. It will help you revere God more in your life. Deuteronomy 14:23

3. It will bring God's wisdom and order to your finances and will help you harness the dragon of materialism. Matthew 6:19-21, 24-34; Luke 12:16-21; 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19; Ecclesiastes 5:10

4. It will serve as a practical reminder that God is the Owner of everything you have. 1 Chronicles 29:11-18; Psalm 24; 1,2; Psalm 59:10-12; Haggai 2:8

5. It will allow you to experience God's creative care and provisions in ways you would not otherwise experience. 1 Kings 17; Proverbs 3:9,10; Malachi 3:7-15; Haggai 1:4-11, 2:15-10; Luke 6:38; Deuteronomy 14:23; Proverbs 3:5,6; Malachi 3:8-10; Haggai 1:4-11, 2:15-19; 2 Corinthians 8:5

6. It will encourage your spiritual growth and trust in God. Deuteronomy 14:23; Proverbs 3:5,6; Malachi 3:8-10; Haggai 1:4-11, 2:15-19; 2 Corinthians 8:5

7. It will ensure you of treasure in heaven. 1 Timothy 6:18, 19; Matthew 6:19-21; Hebrews 6:10; 3 John 8; 1 Samuel 30:22

8. It will strengthen the ministry, outreach, and stability of your local church. Acts 2:42-27, 4:32; 2 Corinthians 9:12,13

9. It will help provide the means to keep your pastor and missionaries in full-time Christian service. 1 Corinthians 9:9-11,14; 1 Timothy 5:17,18; 3 John 5-8; Philippians 4:15-19; Galatians 6:6; Luke 8:3; 2 Kings 4:8-10

10. It will help accomplish needed building projects and renovations. 2 Chronicles 24:4-14; Exodus 35, 36; 2 Kings 12:2-16; 1 Chronicles 29:2-10; Ezekiel 1:4-6

We can all demonstrate our faith by giving generously to the Lord.

pray    

                                               

                                                     liberty bible church                 4/1/07 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“Generosity: A demonstration of faith”

Genesis 13:1-18

introduction

Many of us are generous as long as it doesn’t affect our…

  i. a family’s growing problem vs. 1-7

a. a return to ____________________ ____________________________

b. the family feud

           

 ii. Abram’s _____________________________________________________________ vs. 8-13

a. “can’t we all just get along” takes ___________________________________

b. lot’s ________________________________ choice

      

           

iii. god’s                                                                                                                                       vs. 14-18

a. A contrast between faith and works   

           

 

 

 

            One who believes that God will provide is not ___________, ___________, or _______________________, but rather they can afford to be generous. 

  

b. the results of true faith

conclusion

What promises do we have? 

1.       

2.       

3.       

4.       


 

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