Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Real Christmas Gift

One night up in heaven, God started to plan
To send down a gift, for every woman and man
He looked down to earth, to decide what to give
And He couldn't believe, how we'd chosen to live.

Murder and hatred, and greed did abound
Though churches all over, His word scarcely found
It's not what He wanted, it's not how He planned
How were we so far, from where He began?

He had an idea, but He'd have to be swift
For there wasn't much time, to send this great gift
So He reached in His heart, and gathered His love
Then He chose Him a box, as He peered from above.

The box was a woman, highly favored of God
And the bow that He picked, to many seemed odd
The bow was a manger, the packing was hay
God wrapped His great gift, in a miraculous was.

So when you go shopping, with a present to buy
Consider God's present, a gift from on high
For what this world needs, not a scarf or a glove
But the real Christmas gift, which is only God's love

By Rev. Eric Evans

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What About Isaac?

Genesis 22:10 "And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son."
 Often times we read from this text and immediately reflect on the awesome faith of Abraham to be obedient to God's command and take the son of promise up on Mt. Moriah to offer him as a sacrifice.  And what a measure of faith that was. As I'm sitting here typing this blog, I look over at my beautiful 8 year old daughter Breanna as she watches cartoons, and I realize that my faith is not that strong. I couldn't do it! Abraham was truly the Father of Faith.

But turn your attention from Abraham for a moment, and think to yourself..."What about Isaac?"  Here this young man that carried the wood that would be used for his own sacrifice, followed his father up on that mount, and without attempt of fight or flight, allowed his daddy to bind his hands and put him up on that altar. Can you imagine the view from his eyes as the father he loved and trusted leaned over him with dagger drawn and tears flowing..prepared without hesitation to take his life. My goodness what a faith Isaac had; not as much in God, but in his father.

There is something powerful I believe we can learn from Isaac:

1) If we have faith to follow....
Do you have faith to follow Jesus? We easily follow our parents, our friends, political leaders, even    celebrities, but even us who are of the faith, sometimes and to some places find it hard to follow Christ. Our walk with Christ will not always lead us to places of prominence or down roads of riches. Sometimes He leads down paths of pain, loneliness, and obscurity, though ultimately for our good, still hard nonetheless. Will you follow him still? To follow Him, you have to trust Him.

2)..and, we are willing to obey...
Will you obey God? Not can you obey Him (because we can), but will you obey Him? The Lord told Saul that to obey is better than sacrifice. We will give our money, our time, and our talents, but will we obey Him without question or hesitation? He says love those that hate you, will you obey? He says love thy neighbor as thyself, will you obey? He says take up thy cross and follow me,  will you obey? You see, our problem is not knowing what to do, but doing what we know. Will you obey Him?

3) ...then, God will provide.
Verse 13 says, "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son."  On that day, God tested the faith of both Abraham and Isaac. And because they both had faith to follow, and were willing to obey, they were able to witness the Lord provide in an unexpected and miraculous way. It was then that Abraham called the Lord, Jehovahjireh, which means "the Lord will provide". Not He can, or He might, but He will provide.

Has the Lord brought you to a place in your life where you are finding it hard to follow? Are you facing trouble, turmoil or temptation, and it is just hard to trust Him. Just think about Isaac and remember that if you have faith to follow, and you are willing to obey, then God will provide.

Try Jesus!