As we continued our series, “Name Above All Names,” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, I looked at one of Jesus’ most revered titles: Son of God. With roots in the promises to Abraham and David, Jesus’ identity as the Son of God stretches all the way before Creation and speaks of His unique relationship with God the Father and way of living upon earth.
I want to encourage you to respond to this theme by reflecting on how God has been faithful in your life, and to celebrate that by writing it down or sharing it with someone.
Every follower of Jesus has a story. Some stories appear more dramatic and sudden, while others appear more basic and gradual. Regardless of appearances, the truth is that every one of us has a meaningful and important story of our life with God. That story is uniquely yours, and writing it down or sharing it will affirm the work of God in your life and often lead others to ask questions about God’s Story!
If you have never written down your God Story, take out a piece of paper and organize your story under the three headings: “My Life Before Christ”, “Encountering Christ”, and “My Life Since Meeting Christ.”
You could also share your God Story with others by completing the online form at:www.eastbrook.org/godstory.
- When was a time that you most struggled to be obedient to God in your faith? How did you grow through it?
- We continue the “Faith Life” series at Eastbrook by looking at two episodes in Abraham’s life found in Genesis 12:10-20 and 20:1-18. Ask God to speak to you before reading those two portions of Scripture aloud.
- What is it that leads Abraham to begin traveling in both of these stories?
- As they travel into the land of Egypt (12:10) and the area around Gerar (20:2), what motivates Abraham to tell the half-truth about his relationship to Sarah? How do you think Sarah felt about this?
- Abraham specifically mentions his anxieties that “there is surely no fear of God in this place” (20:11). How does Abimelek actually act in response to God’s words (20:3-16)? How does the character of Abimelek and Abraham compare in this situation?
- Have you ever been surprised to find a God-fearing person, like Abimelek, in an unexpected place like? What happened?
- God protects Abraham and Sarah, even bringing greater blessing upon them (12:16; 20:14-16), despite the failure. Why would God do this?
- In Genesis 12:1-3 God speaks about the promise of a future and in Genesis 21 the child of promise, Isaac, is finally born. There is a lot of distance between God’s promise and actual fulfillment. What did the experience of waiting seem to do to Abraham and Sarah? How have you navigated seasons of waiting for God to act in your life?
This weekend at Eastbrook Church I explored these questions as we looked at two ‘epic fail’ moments in Abraham’s life. This was the second part of our “Faith Life” series, which is a journey around themes of faith from the life of Abraham. The main theme of the message was that God is faithful even when we are failures. The texts we looked at are the parallels in Genesis 12:10-20 and 20:1-18.
The outline and video file for the message are below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here. You can access the entire series of messages from the “Faith Life” series here. You can also visit Eastbrook Church on Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
As a response to my message this past weekend on Abraham’s calling by God, I want to provide a spiritual exercise that we could all put into practice on listening to God. We see in Abraham’s life that his faith journey began when God spoke. So, too, in our lives faith begins by listening to God.
I want to encourage you to take time with the spiritual practice of listening to God sometime this week. Set a specific time this week where you can be in a quiet, undistracted place with God. In that time and place, invite God to speak to you as you begin to meet with Him. Slowly read Abraham’s story in Genesis 12:1-9 three times. Quietly reflect on what is happening in the story. Next, listen for how God is speaking to you about your own journey of faith. You may become distracted. That’s to be expected. Just take those distractions and release them into God’s hands. Listen for God for an extended amount of time. As you conclude this exercises, write down anything you sensed God speaking to you and then thank Him for His presence in your life.
You may also want to take a look at a small series of posts I wrote a few years back on this topic: