Monday, June 16, 2008

Genesis 11: Called to Greatness-How to be a Blessing

[Sermon Preached at Mt Olives Church on 15 June 08]
1. Terah is the Has-been of God: Abraham's father, Terah, was called to leave Ur with his family to go Canaan. But instead, he stopped half-way at Haran and died there and never reached his destination. Possible reason: life was too good at Haran. Terah was called to live the Great Life but he settled for the Good Life. There are many Terah's in the churches who never lived out God's vision of greatness for them because they are distracted by the pursuit of the Good Life. Gen. 12:5 tells us that at Haran, Terah accumulated many possessions and people.
2. Abram Picks up where Terah stops: When God called Abram in Gen. 12:1-3, Abram was already a blessed man with many possessions and servants. However, he was ready to give up the Good Life for the Great Life, for God promises Abram that He will make his name "great" and he will be the father of a great nation. A person's greatness is measured by the legacy of his children.
Example: Jonathan Edwards, the American revivalist and theologian of the 18th century left behind descendants who dominated American society. Of the 1,394 known descendants of Jonathan Edwards, 13 became college presidents, 65 college professors, 3 United States senators, 30 judges, 100 lawyers, 60 physicians, 75 army and navy officers, 100 preachers and missionaries, 60 authors of prominence, one a vice-president of the United States, 80 became public officials in other capacities, 295 college graduates, among whom were governors of states and ministers to foreign countries. Jonathan Edwards fulfilled his call to the Great Life.
3. From Good to Great: The difference between Good and Great Christians is that Good Christians seek to be blessed, but Great Christians seek to be a blessing.
Steps to Greatness (Gen. 12:1-5)
1. Leave your comfort zone (v.1): The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
We must be prepared to leave these comfort zones:
a) Familiar environment: “your country”
b) Familiar lifestyle and habits: “your people”
c) Familiar relationships: “your fathers’ household”
2. Plug into God’s Vision (v.2):
a) Know our Destiny: “I will make you into a great nation”. Be involved in building God's Kingdom, not our private empire. 1 Cor 15:24-25 "Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power."
b) Claim our Blessings: “I will bless you." We are blessed with every spiritual blessings. Eph 1:3 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." God wants to bless us.
c) Become a Blessing: “you will be a blessing” Jesus said in Acts 20:35 that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” We are called to be salt & light—God’s agents of transformation in our society. We have been blessed in order that we may be a blessing to a world that needs to experience God's love and power.
3. Act immediately (v.4-5): Once we’ve heard God, it’s time to act. “So Abram left, as the LORD had told him”
a) Age is no barrier: “Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.” We are never to old to be a blessing, to live the Great Life.
b) Lead your family & church to greatness: “He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran…” Those who are heads of households are called to lead their families and the churches they belong to towards greatness. We want to raise up Great Christians, Great Families, Great Churches and Great Peoples of God who are living out the Great Life governed by the motto: Blessed to be a Blessing.
What is God calling you individually and corporately to do? Will you take the necessary steps to leave your comfort zone so that God can bring you to where He wants you to be? Will you rather fulfill God’s destiny to live the Great Life like Abraham who sought to be a blessing? Or will you become another "Has-been" of God, content with only the Good Life like Terah who sought only to be blessed.

1 comment:

  1. When Abraham is able and strong, God could not work miracle on him. God had to wait for 13 years for Abraham to get past his reproductive age. At the age of 99 years old, Abraham could not rely on his own strength anymore because he had passed his reproductive age of his life. He could not anymore rely on his own strength to fulfill God’s promises. He had to rely on God to fulfill His promises. It was when Abraham is unable, then God could work miracle in his life.

    Johnny Tng


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