By: Holly Green
Phillip preached a three-part series on Abraham and how we can be a friend of God. I wanted to post some of the points he made in the first lesson, since I was so inspired by them.
Normally, we do not think of God as a friend. We might think of Jesus as a friend because He said He is our friend. Abraham was called “a friend of God”. Can we be a friend of God? If so, how? What do we have to do?
What is a friend? A person you choose to be with when you get to choose who you want to be with. Do we want to be with God? We should want to.
In Genesis 12:1-3 God made 3 promises to Abraham.
I. The Life of Abraham and his role in God’s plan.
1st promise-a great nation
In verse 5, God takes Abraham outside and tells him to count the stars if he is able and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars.
2nd promise-land-Canaan to his descendants
In chapter 13:14-15, God tells Abraham, “look where you are, North, South, East and West. As far as you can see, I will give it to you and your descendants forever.”
3rd promise-All nations of the earth will be blessed through His seed.
In Acts 3:25-26, Peter repeats God’s promise-“saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ To you first, God having raised up Jesus…”
God called Abraham to a nomadic life in Canaan. He was wealthy but did not buy land. He ended up dividing the land with Lot, his nephew. He answered the call of duty by rescuing Lot from death in Sodom and Gomorrah. Finally, the miraculous son of promise was born when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old.
This man was a model of faith. In Romans 4:1-3, Paul says of Abraham, “…our father, justified by works, believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
II. Test of friendship-Gen. 11:27-12:5
In Acts 7:2-5, Stephen recounts the history of the Jews, “God appeared to our father, Abraham…Then he left Ur and settled in Haran…to the land in which you stand.”
Ur is located in present day Iraq and back then, it was a technologically advanced civilization. Abraham had the best of everything and God asked him to leave it all for a obscure, underdeveloped Canaan. Friendship with God involved going and not knowing where he was going. Heb. 11:8-10 states this.
Walking with God as his friend also means leaving the comfortable, going to strange places and pushing oneself to new things-all to develop faith in Him. Abraham was not the only one who had to do this-Noah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Israel as slaves left the familiar, as well. Paul said the same thing in Acts 20:22-“I go bound to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.” He was not sure if he would make it out alive.
A. Going, not knowing can be about moral decisions. Sin becomes comfortable and it is frightening to leave that behind. It takes a lot of courage. There is only one way we can-trust God to take us to a new place by faith.
B. Going, not knowing can also be about decisions of trust and commitment. People around us need our help-to rebuke and teach. We focus on our career but God wants us to focus on becoming more valuable spiritually. As with Moses and Joseph, sometimes things happen to force us to change.
C. Going, not knowing means living with a degree of uncertainty and being unsettled. The only thing Abraham ever owned was a burial site since he was a sojourner. The apostle Peter says we are the same in I Peter 2:11-” Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and pilgrims to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.”
We like to plan out our lives but if we are a friend of God, we will never be able to plan our lives. Heb.11:13-16-” All these died in faith…having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth…”
D. Going, not knowing means letting God have control. We have to trust Him and remember that He has the best interest in all of us. If we can do this, it fortifies us. Phillip compared God to a pilot of a plane and He is a pilot that can take us faster and higher than any other pilot.
To listen to this lesson online, go to http://www.dulleschurchofchrist.org and click on sermons.