Faith: God’s Gift to Man

Icebreaker:  What do you consider a great reward?

Text:  Genesis 15:1-6

1)  Even though Lot and Abram parted ways, Abram comes to Lot’s rescue when he and his family are kidnapped.  There was still the covenant of blood between the two.   Q:  Have you ever had to help someone that you’ve decided to back away from?

2)  In doing so, Abram came against several kings and armies, and won.  However, he may have created many enemies for himself.  The king of Sodom expected Abram to keep the spoil from this skirmish, but Abram refuses.  This next chapter begins with God telling Abram not to fear, but that He is Abram’s shield, AND that He is Abram’s reward.  Perhaps Abram was afraid that by protecting Lot, he had opened a can of worms politically for Himself.  Perhaps He was second guessing his decision not to take any of the spoil, but here God tells him that He is his reward.

3)  Abram responds with “What will you give me?”  He understands that God means to bless him.  He sounds like he’s reminding God of His former promise.  Q:  Have you ever had a child remind you of something that you’ve promised them?

4) God decides to give him a point of contact…the stars in heaven, so that whenever he sees these stars, his faith can be encouraged.  I  have a friend whose husband had to go out of the country for three weeks.  His two year old daughter was starting to lose sight of how long it would be before daddy would be home.  So, she made her daughter a chart.

My friend gave her little girl a picture of faith…something that she could look at when she started to believe that Daddy would never come home.  Q:  Has God ever given you a visual so that you were able to keep the faith?

5)  Richard Foster says:  “Faith in the promise itself is also a gift of the Promise Maker.  Even our faith is a gift from God!  We can ask God for more faith.  He will encourage us when we feel weak in faith.

6)  Now, God says that Abraham believed, and He counted it as righteousness to Abraham.  There still was no proof that God would do what He said, but Abraham believed nonetheless.  He trusted God at His Word.  Hebrews 11:1-2 and 6 says, 1Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see. 2God accepted our ancestors because of their faith…6No one can please God without faith. Whoever goes to God must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Here we see again reward and faith spoken of together.  a)  We must believe in God.  b) We must believe that God is a rewarder.

7)  Hebrews 11:8 says, “Faith led Abraham to obey when God called him to go to a place that he would receive as an inheritance. Abraham left his own country without knowing where he was going. ”  Faith causes obedience to God’s instructions.  God’s instructions lead to an inheritance (or reward).  Faith leads you to the unknown.  Q:  Tell of a time faith has led you to the unknown.

8)  By faith Abraham stayed and waited for the promise  according to Hebrews 11:9-10.  I am sure there were many times Abraham looked up at the stars for encouragement.  Q:  What can we look to for encouragement in our faith?  Romans 10:17

9)  Q:  How can we increase our faith?  In Luke 17, the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith.

10)  Jude 20 says that praying builds up our faith.  Let’s pray and ask God to build our faith the way He did for Abram.  Remember:  Faith in the promise itself is also, a gift of the Promise Maker.  Richard Foster

Taking Courage When Leaving the Comfortable – Blogger’s Bible Study

Icebreaker:  Tell about a time that you moved from one place to another.

Read:  Genesis 12:1-8

1.  Abram left his country, and his patriarchal family.  There would be different language, culture, geography and gods.  Everything Abram had known would be left behind.  

2.  God was asking Abram to go to a land he had never been to before.  He could have been moved by the fear of the unknown.

3.  “God cares more about your character than your comfort.”  John Bevere  Q:  How does this relate to Abram’s story?

4.  God promised a blessing with obedience.  Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.  This was definitely an IF/THEN situation.  God didn’t make any promises to Abram in his place of comfort.  Abram would have left a permanent home in order to become a nomad.  Once he got there, other people were occupying this land…and there was a famine.  Q:  Have you ever obeyed a leading God has given you only to have the promise delayed?

5.  Abram built an altar.  As an act of faith and a reminder of God’s promise Abram built an altar in the place God had given him.  Q:   What are some ways that we can build an altar on a promise God has given us?

6.  Share something that you feel God is asking you to do in faith.  Matthew 16: 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

7.  Prayer:

God, thank you for speaking to me about this instruction you are leading me to fulfill.  Give me the faith of my father, Abraham, so that I can please you.  Help me to obey you with willingness.  Make me more interested in the building of my character than in my comfort.

In Jesus’ Name

Amen