The world in which we dwell focuses on the negative. Weather forecasters speak of a 30 per cent chance of rain. Why not a 70 per cent chance of sunshine? Movies and television delight in exposing the dirty, disgusting underbelly of society. Why not use media to paint a hopeful picture of how the world could be?
Our earthly lives revolve around the people we love and the things we enjoy. However, someday the Lord may step into our contented, predictable lives and say, “Let go!” As we’ll discover in this message, that day came for Abraham…and then some.
When God forgives, He casts our sins as far as the east is from the west. He remembers them no more! However, Abraham’s life reveals another sobering truth: God’s merciful decision to not hold our wrongs against us doesn’t mean we won’t suffer physical, social, and emotional consequences in the present world.
For a quarter century, Abraham and Sarah occupied God’s waiting room. When Abraham was 75 and his wife 65, God promised they would have a son. At just the right time in God’s providential plan, Abraham and Sarah laid eyes on the promised child and heard the words they had dreamed of all their lives.
Abraham’s life presents a realistic picture of a saint instantly saved by grace but constantly struggling with repeat offences and carnal thinking, but the Lord was always merciful, gracious, and willing to pick up Abraham, brush him off, and help him learn through his experiences. The same loving God will do the same for us.
The account of Lot’s dysfunctional family affair teaches us that the tragic effects of sin have been with us since the beginning. This embarrassing scene in Genesis 19 reminds us of just how deeply an immoral culture can affect our sense of right and wrong, prompting us to remember our weaknesses and God’s unwavering standard.
The total annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah reminds us that God’s gracious patience and merciful long-suffering have their limits. Though He delays judgment for the sake of the salvation of those who will believe and repent, He never dismisses His wrath against unrepentant wickedness.
Paul went from a Judaistic terrorist to a chosen instrument of God. How could that be? Because God is in the process of cutting down a tall poppy, bringing him to his knees.
In this message we look at Jonah's story as we see how God can bend a stubborn will.
Throughout the history of the Church, there have been those who stirred up trouble and caused dissension. Unfortunately, there are always a few who refuse to repent even when confronted. Admittedly, these situations represent one of the more difficult and unpleasant aspects of ministry and the Christian life.