Sermon Summary. This sermon is the first on a series of biblical stewardship. A steward is someone who “carefully manages things that have been entrusted to his or her care.” When we fully realize that all that we have is a gift from God (Psalm 24:1, Gen 1:1), we recognize that we must take care of what God has provided to us. God has entrusted us with the care and stewardship of our gifts, talents, time, resources, and abilities. What do we do with that trust? In this sermon, we see that Abraham was profoundly blessed. God has blessed us too. What was God’s purpose in blessing Abraham? He was “blessed to be a blessing.” God blesses us that we may be a blessing to others and thereby glorify God’s name. We find this principle from Genesis to Revelation. We must use what the Lord has given us to bless others. Mighty Man of God. Read Matthew 1:1-2 and 17 . . . also Hebrews 11:8-12 to see the significance of Abraham to our faith. Matthew lists Abraham as the earliest in the lineage that would bring our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Hebrews shows Abraham as the mighty man of Old Testament faith. Abraham, and his seed, and his name were richly blessed. And yet, Abraham had some humble beginnings like all of us.
- What if Abraham had failed – through fear, indifference, or selfishness – to follow God’s direction? Think of that when we cower from God’s call.
Sacrificing to Follow God (v1). In Verse 1 we see God operate as he often does – calling someone to a task in the midst of the routine of their lives. The call on Abraham, however, is far from routine. God calls Abraham to leave his familiar place and go into an uncertain and unfamiliar place. He calls him to leave the familiarity of family and friends and go into the unknown. He even calls Abraham – in leaving his father’s household – to leave his father’s inheritance…his economic security. For Abraham to answer this call would surely be a move of faith.
- Reflect on the things God might call us or has called us to do. What are some of the challenges we feel when we are called from the familiar to the unfamiliar?
- Are any of them (leaving familiar places, familiar people, financial comfort and security) more challenging for you than the others?
- Consider that not only was Abraham called to move himself but he had to uproot his entire family and their way of life. How do we experience that challenge today in following God?
God Will (v2). Often when we are called to follow God’s direction we get caught up on what “we” have to do. Our sacrifice and our hurdles become our central point of focus. Somehow, we forget that God is the great “I am.” God does the heavy lifting. God does the miraculous. We plant. We water. God does the growing (1 Cor 3:6-7).
- What does God say that HE will do in Verse 2 (4 promises)? Did He do all that He promised?
- How have you experienced God doing this for you in your life?
- Do we sometimes need to be reminded about who God is and what God has promised for us as his children? How does that reminder help us on the journey?
- Are there blessings that we sometimes take for granted?
Blessed to be a blessing (v2). Remember the beginning verses in Matthew and Hebrews – we looked at the marvelous blessing that came through Abraham. He was father of a powerful nation and more importantly Christ came through his lineage. But, that began humbly here in Genesis Chapter 12 when he heard the voice and call of God … and the promises of God … and was used of God to be a blessing to others. We cannot separate the blessings that God has for us from the blessing that God will do through us.
- After God tells Abraham and us what he will do for us in Verse 2 what does he say he will do through us?
- How do we think about the blessings that God has provided for us as things that we are to steward?
- Reflect on what it means to be a blessing to others. Reflect on your personal circle of influence. Are there people for whom you can be a blessing?
- Do you believe there are those that you are uniquely positioned to bless?
Remember, as we reflect on being good stewards . . . taking good care of what has been entrusted to us by God . . . that we are a blessed people. Remember that God is a provider. Remember to let our lights shine and remember to be a blessing to others.