Sunday, September 25, 2016

Wesleyan College Sermon Notes...Molded By Moments

Scriptural Text...New Living Translation
Genesis 11:27-32 27 This is the account of Terah’s family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. 28 But Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, the land of his birth, while his father, Terah, was still living. 29 Meanwhile, Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah. (Milcah and her sister Iscah were daughters of Nahor’s brother Haran.) 30 But Sarai was unable to become pregnant and had no children. 31 One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there. 32 Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran.

Genesis 12:1-9 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.
Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. 9 Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev.

Introduction: Our life experiences are responsible for shaping our attitudes and actions. Positive experiences shape our optimism and our will to be victorious. Negative experiences shape our faith and our decision to allow life to destroy us or develop us.

Transition: The story of our text is interesting, because everyone is relatively familiar with the end story of Abram, but not with the moments that molded him to be Abraham. Coincidently, most people know your glory but not your story!

Exposition: There are at least four movements of this passage, that allows us to know what moments matter the most in our lives...

1) Connections
Abram's father Terah, was ambitious but without steady focus. His name means wanderer; loiterer.

2) Challenges
After Terah's death, God approaches 75 year old Abram and tells him that he can be lifted if he leaves.

3) Covenants
Beware of relationships where you're chief of the sacrifices. God offers Abram a deal that he couldn't refuse.

4) Consecration
Our response to God's investment in us, should be total devoted diligence.

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