May 23, 2021
“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.” Genesis 12:1-9
The BIG IDEA
- How would tomorrow look different for me if I truly believed in the promises of God?
- How could we as a church move forward together if we truly believe in those promises?
What does it mean to be God’s people? What does it mean to be God’s church? What does it mean to be God’s church in our three communities of Rockford, Northview and Ensley?
- As image bearers we are creative and relational and called to develop and utilize the creation around us and to be fruitful and multiply. The problem is that we chose rebellion to that call by sinning and falling from our rightful place. This caused great separation from God, each other and ourselves. How has this separation played out personally and twisted the image of God in you?
- God made Abraham a great promise. Abraham is lauded as a man of faith and his faith is credited to him as righteousness. Faith must have action manifested or it is not faith. Abraham showed his faith by hearing the call to be sent and then leaving for the land of Canaan. What promise has God made to you personally? How has your faith moved into action in response to His promise and call? Where has God called you to be sent?
- God reinvigorated the promise of Abraham to Moses. God is the promise maker and the promise keeper and the only truly trustworthy person. He promises to be a family to the fatherless, a land and a home to the sojourner, and a protector that allows the widow to flourish. How have you benefited from our Father’s promises? How have you blessed others as an agent of these promises?
NOTES AND QUOTES
Today is Pentecost Sunday and the anniversary of the birth of the Church! This is the day the Holy Spirit was poured out on all flesh in fulfillment of the Prophet Joel:
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” Acts 2:17-18
Jesus gave us a wonderful promise through two heavenly witnesses:
“And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:10-11
If we are clinging to God’s promises we will have unity in the Body. Our greatest obstacle to the Body is disunity.
Jesus is our Living Water foreshadowed at the Rock of Horeb:
“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.” Exodus 17:6
This promise fulfilled on the cross and discussed with the Samaritan woman:
So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:5-14
We have been given the ministry of restoration:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
When we string multiple days of faithfulness together we will be surprised at the beauty that will result.
Jesus gave us a final promise:
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. 6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” Revelation 22:1-6
You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: 4 ‘I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations.’” 5 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!” Psalm 89:3-5