Genesis 18:16-33 -September 28, 2014 am
Prayer one of the mysteries of the faith; it is a simple act and a comfort for believer’s turning with confidence and faith to God.
QUOTATION 59 D.L. Moody
I’d rather be able to pray than to be a great preacher; Jesus Christ never taught his disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.
Illustration: One of the most beautiful aspects of faith was demonstrated by a four year old girl named Karma, she was one that cause me to come to a full stop this past August during S.B.C. It was Thursday, salvation message had been given and as we were between stations there in front of the Cross with her hands clasped together and her head bowed she prayed, not once but twice. A powerful sight, too be seen, not only by us, but also her peers.
The foundation of Old Testament prayer is an expression of a personal relationship and is initiated by God, who is recognized as Creator, Redeemer. The core of the relationship –mutual commitment. Abraham found himself in the presence of the Lord, not questioning why the visit he asks them to wait while he gets some water to wash their feet, to prepare a meal so they may eat, only the best will do. Abraham stands aside and feeds his guests. The Lord asks where is your wife Sarah, behind me in the tent. The Lord remarks I will return about this time next year, by then your wife Sarah will be with child.
Abraham’s response suggests an expectation, a readiness. God graciously visits those who raise the expectation of Him. Abraham immediately was one of respect and honor, only one who has apersonal relationship with the Lord would greet Him in such a manner. He hurried out to welcome them, there was no hesitation, no remarks I’ll be with you momentarily, immediately he welcomes the Lord to His Tent. Secondly he humbles himself as a true servant; he does not look upon his face He shows humility and reverence. Abraham asks the Lord have I found favor in your sight: We approach Him as the Father; we acknowledge and praise Him as the Hallowed One of Heaven. We express our joyful submission to His will.
Abraham welcomes the Lord, is your Heavenly Father welcomed in your home, sanctuary, temple remember we will meet the Lord and I pray he knows your name and welcomes you in by saying “well done my good and faithful servant.”
Secondly, only the best for His Lord! Notice Abraham hand pick the finest calf, he does not order His servant; it’s for the Lord I will choose only the best. As a true servant he does not recline and eat with them; he stand off to the side and displays true humility, demonstrates the love and respect for the Lord.
Abraham walks and talks: Friday night some of us journeyed to Kaladar to listen to Chuck Price an Evangelist who travels the world preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Was our desire to meet Chuck or to meet our Lord God? Chuck mention how patient God had been with him; I have to agree tenfold I am so undeserving of His grace yet God bestows it upon me so lavishly.
The servant (Abraham) walks and talks with the Lord, the Lord is patient, compassionate and caring as they converse together. Abraham loves His people and is not wanting any to be judged or perish, and it is here that the intimacy that God can be approached at any time, any place. Prayer is living; it is a vital expression of your relationship. Thus, prayer is a true matter of the heart.
Jeremiah 29:12-13“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
When we call to the Lord, come it is an invitation, don’t hesitate, time is of the essence, we are living in the last days, I love it, the Lord has been patiently waiting for me to like Abraham to seek his presence and dwell with Him in prayer. Did you hear the promise we find, it is written in God’s Holy Word “he will listen,”He will listen when I call to Him and talk, shout, pray, sing while I commune with my Lord. Verse 13 tells us what is required when we converse with our Heavenly Father, find a place with no distractions, get alone with God, no one else other than the two of you and listen to what is asked of Jeremiah and us “give Him your whole heart.” This is a revelation this morning, how many of us would agree you have not been doing what the scripture is asking, God Himself expects you and me to seek Him out with all of our heart then He will hear us.
Illustration: A personal note: who of you this week, this month, this year are experiencing being overwhelmed, it appears the weight of the world is upon your shoulders, the burdens of life are sucking you dry. I come this morning bearing the Good News.
Philippians 4:13, 19 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength…..And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
As Children of God we are not defeated we are victorious through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Join with me I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This is music to my ears, as your Pastor, as a Husband, as a man of God I have been equipped to do the work, we have been thoroughly equipped to honor the Lord with the tasks at hand. I have to tell you my Lord pour His riches upon us if we are opened, lift up your hearts, declare with your voice I stand today to receive, receive the promises of God our Father.
It’s not about Mark Hudson it’s all about You Lord, this is exactly where Abraham is Lord if you find Fifty righteous will you spare Sodom and its people. 45, 40, 30, 20, 10, I will not destroy it.
We’ve got it all wrong let draw to a close by looking at the last verse 33:
“When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.”
QUOTATION 69 George Muller
The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray.
Come on people when was the last time you allowed the Lord to have the final word. Hold on let’s back up a little more, we pray, God listens but this is the part the needs work, we are required to listen to the Lord God Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth. I believe we reminisce of those powerful prayer meetings of day gone by and that’s great but let us heed the instruction of this verse. When the Lord was finished speaking to Abraham He left, the Abraham went home. Today we are in too much of a hurry that we don’t wait, we say amen and we’re gone. But if we don’t heed God’s Word, He’ll be gone and where does that leave us.
Abraham could teach us a valuable lesson as men and women who seek the Lord:
Genesis 22:9-12 “When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied.12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
God is communing with His servant whose heart is totally open, seeking and totally dependent on His Father Above. God directs Abraham to the place of Sacrifice, The Lord called out to him not to harm the boy, God is pleased because He was willing to hold nothing back willing to give His all.
Our Heavenly Father did exactly that for each of us by loving us:
John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
"Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls." - Mathew 11:28