Abraham | Worship Through Giving

Rest Sermon SeriesScripture Passage: Genesis 14:17-20

This weekend we continued our focus on the habit of rest. Pastor Ryan reminded us that we can rest as we trust God with everything we have, including money. Money is a measure of the heart—we give back to God out of our love for Him. Genesis 14 gives us a look into the giving spirit of Abraham , which offers three characteristics of giving:

1. Giving is natural: Abraham gave before the law was given, because it is natural to give to the ones we love.

2. Giving is sacrificial: Abraham made the commitment to give a tenth of all he had, it was a planned sacrifice.

3. Giving is the best indicator of the One I worship: By giving to God, Abraham expressed dependence on the True Provider.

Questions and prayer points to guide your reflection:

• In what ways has God shown generosity towards you? Thank Him for His good and perfect gifts.

• What is the most difficult part of giving for you? Ask Him to give you grace to be obedient to His command to give and the strength to overcome that barrier.

• How is God asking you to respond to this message? Pray that you would be quick to follow Him in His leading.

As you go throughout the week, remember that you can trust God with everything you have.

Abraham | Lessons of Faith

Rest Sermon SeriesPassage: Genesis 12:1-2:

Three Lessons of Faith that God Taught Abraham:

1. Faith is Rooted in God’s Revelation
“Now the LORD said to Abram…”

Faith is based on…
• God’s Will — not on our desires
• God’s Grace — not on our merits
• God’s Word — not on our desires

2. Faith Grows in My Obedience
“Go from your country”

Our faith is not a blind faith. God has given us exactly what we need to trust Him. By His Word and His Spirit he speaks what is needed to follow. Don’t live your life off of emotions, when God commands you to act or promises you something, workout your faith by acting on it.

3. Faith Results in My Ministry
“so that you will be a blessing.”

God blesses so that we might be His instruments of blessing.

Think and Talk About It:

• Is your faith based in God’s Will, Grace, and Word or your own desires and merits? What do you act on more often?

• How have you obeyed and trusted God’s commands or promises in the past? Take time to thank God for those opportunities.

• How have you obeyed and trusted God’s commands or promises in your current season of life? Ask God to speak clearly to you in the current season you are in. Ask Him to grow your faith in fresh ways.

• Do you use the spiritual, relational, and material blessings in your life to bring comfort to yourself or do you use those blessings to truly and intentionally bless others?

Extra Nugget:

“Faith is believing that God will do what He said He will do.” (Pastor Ryan’s Plumber)

“No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:20-21)

There is Rest in God’s Calling

Rest Sermon SeriesScripture Passage: Genesis 11:1-9

There is rest in God’s calling, not in my agenda. When we think of rest some people might confuse this with lack of pursuit and settling for what is easy. This would be completely wrong. Rest is about being content in God’s will and purpose for your life, it’s not about being lazy and doing nothing.

The story of the Tower of Babel teaches that there is danger of settling. There is a difference between settling and contentment.

Contentment is satisfaction with God’s best while ignoring man’s best.
Settling is satisfaction with man’s best while ignoring God’s best.

God calls us to be content, but that only comes when we are in the middle of God’s will.
The sin of the people at Babel was disobeying God. God had commanded them to go and fill the earth (see Gen 8:17 and 9:1). The people, however, chose to settle. They settled in one place but, more importantly, they settled for less than God’s best. God had an eternal plan for them, but they chose to stop and build a tower.

Hebrews 12:6-7 lets us know that God disciplines us because He loves us and wants the best for each of us. Discipline isn’t punishment as much as a tool God uses to move us in a different direction. God disciplined the Tower of Babel builders, and He will discipline us to get us where we should be. We will never be truly satisfied if we aren’t heeding God’s calling.

Note three dangers in settling:

1. Settling is an insult to God. God has a perfect plan, and if we don’t follow Him where He leads, we are in essence telling Him our way is better.

2. Settling gives a false promise of rest. When God is telling you to do something, you will be dissatisfied with life if you choose to disobey.

3. Settling is an invitation for hard lessons. When the Tower builders chose their own way, they were declaring their independence from God. God loved them so much that He had to teach them that they were really dependent on Him. God is willing to make us uncomfortable to get us to follow His will.

Discussion points:

• Is there anything God has called you to that you have ignored? What were the results?

• How have you been blessed by obeying God’s call?

• How can you know what God is calling you to do?

• How can you tell when someone is doing exactly what God has called them to do?

Noah | Resting in God’s Favor

Rest Sermon SeriesScripture Passage: Genesis 9:8-17

A. The Bow is Always Set Against the Clouds
Lesson: Mankind is helpless to find rest on his own.

B. The Bow is the Symbol of God’s Might and Power
Lesson: When God saves you, you are no longer at war with Him.

C. The Bow Points Upward
Lesson: The favor of God upon man is based on His power and not ours.

The Heart of the Message:

The saving power of God. When we look at Noah as a man of faith, we need to be careful that the lesson isn’t a false one. We do injustice to the story if we arrive at the conclusion that we need to avoid destruction by building something on our own, or by doing good works. We enjoy the grace of God when we count on Him to save us and when we believe in His love for us.

Extra Nugget:

“My looking to Jesus brings me joy and peace, but it is God’s looking to Jesus which secures my salvation and that of all his elect; for it is impossible for our God to look at Christ, our bleeding Surety, and then to be angry with us for sins already punished in him.” – C.H. Spurgeon

Questions:

• How have you misunderstood God’s mercy?

• How does this mercy-filled view of God inspire you to seek a deeper relationship with Him?

• On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being total acceptance, how would you rate your acceptance with God right now?