Abraham was sovereignly chosen by God. And God blesses him not only individually, but nationally and universally. Are you waiting on a blessing from God, wondering about the delay? We can learn many amazing lessons from the life of Abraham—of faith, obedience, trust, and especially patience.
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Transcript: Welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. I’m so glad that you joined us today as we begin a new series on the life of Abraham. The title is Strength For The Journey.
Now, why Abraham? Well first of all, the New Testament says very clearly that we are all children of Abraham by faith in Jesus Christ, but there’s another reason. Historically it has been said that Abraham actually is the father of three of the world’s great religions. Obviously Judaism. But in addition to that, Christianity; and then Islam. Is it really true that Abraham is the father of Islam? Well, we’re gonna have to look at that in a future episode when we discuss the birth of Ishmael, and all of the implications—some of which continue on even for today.
I hope that you have your Bible, and if you don’t, take time sometime today to read the twelfth chapter of the book of Genesis. I can only summarize. God comes to Abraham. He is there in Ur of Chaldees, a very pagan city. And sovereignly, God chooses him and says, “Get out of here and go to the land that I’m going to show you.” And Abraham leaves. And he does exactly what God asked him to do. Now, the promise that God makes has three different aspects. God says, “I’m gonna bless you individually. You’re gonna have a great name. I’m gonna bless you nationally. You’re going to be the father of a nation. And I am going to bless you universally—in you all the nations of the Earth, all the people of the Earth will be blessed.” And that of course was fulfilled with the coming of Jesus Christ.
What an amazing story we have here. I wanna leave you with some introductory lessons. First of all, all of us live with delayed promises. By that I mean we don’t see the fulfillment of all the promises that God makes to us. God says to Abraham, “Look at this land. This is yours. I’m giving it to you for an everlasting possession.” But Abraham dies without seeing that fulfilled. As a matter of fact, when his wife Sarah dies, he actually has to purchase a plot to bury her.
We have so many promises in the New Testament, but we die without seeing their realization. But they will be fulfilled on the other side. Take, for example, the issue of healing. We have preachers today who say that healing is in the atonement. Absolutely it is. Jesus died for us, body soul and spirit. But we don’t get that healing, do we, in this life? We get it in the life to come. So all of us die with unfulfilled promises, but we believe the promises; but they’ll be fulfilled in the future.
But there’s another very important lesson here that I hope will bless you, and that is that God never shows us all the good that we do. We never see the full effects of our legacy. I mean, imagine this. Let’s suppose that as most scholars believe, Abraham lived maybe 1,800 years before Christ. Nearly 4,000 years later, here we are and we’re talking about him and his legacy. He could have never known that. And you have no idea of the lives that you touch, and the impact of the legacy that you will leave behind—ripples that go all the way to the shore.
But there’s something else I wanna leave with you, and that is that when Abraham goes into the land, wherever he goes, he builds an altar. And he builds this altar in order to worship God. And he not only worships, but he cries unto the Lord. The altar goes with him. I sure hope that you are with us next time, because we’re gonna talk about a time when Abraham didn’t have an altar. Of course, I’m speaking figuratively when I say that we should have an altar. Actually we don’t have an altar, because Jesus came and was our sacrifice. I’m talking about worshiping God. Wherever you are today, make that place your altar, so to speak. You worship Him wherever He has led you. And we’ll see next time what happens when we leave the altar behind.
Thanks so much for joining us today, and please join us next time when I talk about what happens when the wells are dry—what happens when there is no altar. But as for today, just go with God.