Say AMEN! • God is Good – 10/30/22

Are you a believer? What does that mean? Many think it’s about believing in God; however, the Bible says that even the demons believe. You can believe in God without being a “believer.” Believing is more than an intellectual exercise. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Our faith should impact how we live. If your actions don’t sync up with what you believe your faith is dead. This raises several questions. What does it mean to be a true believer? How do you know if your faith is the real deal?

Scriptures – James 2:26; Hebrews 11:8-9, 11-12, 17-19; Genesis 18:14-15; Mark 9:23-24

Verse – By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. (He 11:8-9)

Thought – Abraham is known as “the father of faith.” This is true for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Abraham is listed in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Faith. Abraham faced the same tests you and I face. By looking at his tests and response in those situations, we can learn a great deal about what it means to be a true believer. Abraham faced the “where” test. At age 75 God called Abraham to move to a land that God would show him. Abraham was a man of great wealth and status in the modern city of Ur. Without even knowing where he was going, he packed up his family and belongings and obeyed. He, no doubt, had questions, but he trusted God’s plan and was obedient heading to a place he did not know. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and that he and his offspring would inherit the “promised” land. The question here is “when?” At 99 years of age Abraham and his wife Sarah still had no children. She was well past the age for childbearing, yet God had promised Abraham heirs. Abraham wondered “how” this could be possible. It seemed an impossible situation in the natural realm. They were too old. Yet, messengers came to visit and promised that within the year Sarah would give birth. Laughable! Yes, Sarah thought so. But a year later, she cradled their new baby boy Isaac in her arms, the child of the promise. The most difficult test for Abraham came when God told him to take Isaac, a boy of 12-13 years of age by this time, and sacrifice him. “WHY?” Why would God ask such a thing? This child was to be the fulfillment of God’s promise, the first heir to a generational promise that would result in the birth of many nations. It is incomprehensible what Abraham must have endured in the hours leading up to the time of sacrifice. Abraham didn’t know that God would stop him from taking Isaac’s life, he only knew that God had the right to make any demand, whether he understood it or not, and that God who gave the miracle son could also raise him from the dead. A true believer trusts in God’s faithfulness, God’s truth and God’s Word, even when they don’t know the where, when, how and why of life’s tests. 

Questions – Why doesn’t God give us the full plan when he asks us to do something? How well do your actions line up with what you say you believe? When have you followed by faith God’s direction without any answers? How did it turn out? How is living for God an adventure? Describe this in relation to your own life.

Response – Reflect on times you have followed God’s direction in faith. Think of times when you felt God leading you, but you didn’t follow his direction. How do those outcomes compare? 

Prayer  Lyrics from I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp.

Dear Lord, “I still believe in your faithfulness, I still believe in your truth, I still believe in your holy word. Even when I don’t see, I still believe.” In Jesus Name I pray, amen.

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