Thompsonville Worship Hour


Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pastor John Lomacang


Series Code: TWH

Program Code: TWH000035A

00:32 I'm always extra blessed
00:34 when we come to the time for our communion,
00:38 because to me it's a story
00:40 that never needs to stop being told
00:43 about the prevision of Jesus for our Salvation.
00:47 Can the church say amen? Amen.
00:50 The story about our salvation
00:52 is one that should never stop being told.
00:55 If somebody were to tell
00:57 the story about how they were rescued,
01:01 they would, throughout their entire life,
01:04 repeat the beauty of God's deliverance on their lives.
01:10 The story of our redemption will never stop being told.
01:16 It will be told throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity.
01:20 And I plan on being there to tell my part,
01:22 what about you?
01:23 I want to tell what the Lord did for me,
01:25 how He changed my life, how He redeemed me.
01:30 And so whenever I get ready for communion,
01:32 I don't come with the pretence that,
01:34 "Well, you know, I've been a pastor 30 years,
01:36 and I've been married 34 years,
01:37 and I've been an Adventist X amount of years."
01:39 No, I come to the intersection of who He is and who I am,
01:43 to remember
01:45 that had it not been for His grace
01:46 and His blessing and His prevision,
01:48 I could not even stand up here today.
01:52 We come to the foot of the cross
01:53 and I invite you to take your Bibles this morning
01:55 and open to Genesis 22:8.
02:01 Genesis 22:8,
02:02 one of the most profound stories in the Bible
02:06 that prefigured in us,
02:08 gave us a fore picture
02:13 of the work that Jesus would accomplish
02:16 when He came as the lamb
02:18 that taketh away the sin of the world.
02:22 Genesis 22:8
02:27 and I like you to read this with me.
02:30 I always like to give you a chance to get a reset.
02:32 Let's stand together and read the scripture.
02:34 Kind of something
02:36 I'd like to give you a chance to extend those lungs.
02:38 Let's stand together and read the word of God
02:40 as on the screen.
02:42 And the Bible says, together:
02:44 "And Abraham said,
02:46 "My son,
02:48 God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering."
02:53 So the two of them went together."
02:57 Let's bow our heads.
02:58 Loving Father, now take Your word
03:01 and confirm it and affirm it in our hearts
03:06 that this message of redemption
03:09 will be one that receives in us
03:13 the deepest of appreciation
03:15 for what Jesus has done to redeem each one of us,
03:19 in your precious name I pray, amen.
03:24 You may be seated.
03:27 I want to begin with the statement that really,
03:32 the Lord put on my heart.
03:34 You know, one of the challenges of telling the old, old story
03:38 is try to find new ways to tell an old story.
03:42 Try to find new ways
03:43 to make an old story relevant and exciting.
03:47 The fact that Jesus died for us is a beautiful story.
03:53 It is one that should never stop being told.
03:57 But the focal point this morning,
03:59 the life of Abraham and his son, Isaac,
04:02 the sacrifice, the journey to Mount Moriah.
04:06 It has a great significance that brings us
04:08 to the table of communion today
04:10 because the reality is,
04:12 a Christian that has not been tested
04:14 is a Christian that has not been approved.
04:21 I assume you believe that.
04:25 I could never tell, but I assume you believe that.
04:29 A Christian that has not been tested
04:31 is a Christian that has not been approved.
04:34 And I support that with the following observation:
04:40 Now every one of us drives.
04:42 I'm assuming most of you have a car
04:44 or maybe some of you have a driver's license
04:46 but don't have a car
04:47 or you've driven in a car before.
04:49 One of the things you want to know
04:50 when you get into anyone's car
04:52 is that you're going to be safe.
04:56 Is that, that car has been tested
04:57 before it has been released to be put on the road?
05:02 And with that in mind
05:03 I decided to do some homework and look at
05:05 how car manufacturers think about us
05:08 and what they do to assure that when we begin to drive,
05:13 that we can feel safe and secure
05:16 and to getting into their car.
05:17 By the way the cars are made by people we don't know,
05:20 never met them, don't know where they are,
05:25 don't know if they had a good or bad day
05:27 when they released that car and approved it for road use.
05:30 We don't have any idea of any of those things.
05:33 So I decided with a car manufacturer
05:35 that I thought had pretty high standards
05:38 and I decided to glean from the Jaguar website
05:42 these following words,
05:44 talking about their commitment to quality and I quote:
05:50 "Throughout each stage of design,
05:53 development, and production,
05:55 every component of a Jaguar goes through thousands of tests
06:01 and checks for safety, durability, and quality,
06:07 ensuring that the finished product, the what?
06:11 The finished product is the most reliable,
06:15 dependable, and safest car you can drive.
06:20 How many tests? Thousands of tests.
06:24 How many checks? Thousands of checks.
06:27 And I decided to look at one of their videos
06:29 and I realized
06:30 the same thing is done for the tires on our cars.
06:34 For the windshields...
06:36 For the windshield wipers,
06:37 they simulate thousands of hours of use.
06:41 They would put a car tire on a machine
06:44 that will take that car tire to the suggested speeds
06:47 and they would run that car tire
06:49 simulating the use of a car tire
06:50 for maybe for years,
06:52 but they will shorten the period of time,
06:54 intensify the testing to make sure
06:56 that when that tire is on your vehicle,
06:59 it won't give out, it won't fall apart.
07:02 If they see in that vehicle or in that car,
07:05 or in that manufactured product,
07:07 any sign of weakness,
07:10 they put it back on the assembly line,
07:13 they put it back to the manufacturer,
07:16 they focus on the area where that vehicle is weak,
07:19 where that component is weak, where that tire is weak.
07:23 They make adjustments,
07:24 then they put it back on the testing line
07:26 to make sure that before it's released to us,
07:29 it's been proven for safety,
07:31 durability, quality, reliability, dependability.
07:35 Amen, somebody? Amen.
07:37 Because we don't want to get in the car
07:39 and that thing falls apart
07:41 or the tires give out on the road.
07:43 When we buy it,
07:45 we have the mindset that some deep consideration
07:49 has been taken to ensure quality
07:52 in that individual.
07:53 And the thought came to me...
07:55 You see a Christian that has not been tested
07:58 is a Christian that has not been approved.
08:01 If the car manufacturer
08:03 put their machines through rigorous testing
08:06 before they are considered durable, reliable, dependable,
08:10 and of high quality.
08:13 God will put us through tests
08:16 before we are considered durable, reliable, dependable,
08:19 and of high quality of service to Him.
08:23 And before God provides the blessing,
08:25 God puts us through testing.
08:28 Do you know that? That's a fact.
08:33 That's an evidence.
08:34 God's provision always comes after God's testing.
08:41 God's blessings always come
08:45 after we have been tested and proven.
08:48 God never blesses us before He tests us.
08:53 He always tests us before He provides.
08:57 What His testing reveals that we're in need of Him.
09:01 And for us to appreciate what God provides,
09:03 we must understand what our needs are.
09:08 God always tests us.
09:09 Have you been through a test this week?
09:12 Some of you have. Most of you are just fine.
09:17 Have you been through a test this week?
09:18 Amen.
09:20 A Christian that has not been tested
09:22 is a Christian that is not reliable,
09:26 thus the test.
09:28 But I also discovered something else.
09:30 God never informs us ahead of time
09:33 when the test will come.
09:36 God never says
09:37 you're gonna be tested this week.
09:39 God never forewarns us about the kind of test
09:42 that will come
09:44 but when the test does come,
09:46 be sure that God has allowed the test to come.
09:52 Open your Bibles to Genesis Chapter 22
09:54 and walk with me
09:55 through this very profound story
09:57 that sets the stage and sets the foundation
10:00 for our communion service today.
10:02 Genesis 22:1.
10:08 Last Sabbath my sermon was a silence of the lamb.
10:12 It wasn't the silence of the saints.
10:15 Help me out somebody. Amen.
10:17 You guys are like dormant.
10:20 Breathe, at least let me hear you breathe.
10:23 Clear your throat, do something.
10:26 Thank you, cough,
10:28 whatever you gotta do, let me know you're there.
10:31 Sometimes I think, man,
10:32 do I need to just preach to the chairs.
10:35 Come to church on Sabbath,
10:36 come praising God that we're here.
10:39 Genesis 22:1: Look at the text. Look at how God works.
10:44 And when you walk through this sermon, remember,
10:47 this sermon, this message
10:48 is a prefiguring
10:51 thousand years,
10:54 like fifteen hundred years before Jesus showed up.
10:58 This story is written to remind us
11:01 of how beautiful
11:03 the sacrifice of Jesus would be
11:06 to understand the relationship of the Father to the Son,
11:09 the Son to the Christian and the gravity,
11:13 the gravity of what Jesus contributed,
11:16 what Jesus sacrificed,
11:19 what Jesus gave just to redeem us.
11:23 And the reason I'm just giving the emphasis today because,
11:26 you know, when you're a Christian
11:28 for a length of, or any period of time,
11:30 you can come to the place
11:32 where you lose appreciation for what God has done for you.
11:36 You kind of...
11:38 You know, when you have a good cook like my wife,
11:40 she cooks very well.
11:41 Yesterday she hooked me up.
11:44 You know, as I was out cutting the lawn
11:46 and I came in the house.
11:47 And, you know, how it is when you come in the house
11:48 and your wife cooks
11:50 or if you're the husband that cook,
11:51 vice versa, I don't know.
11:53 But when your favorite meal is being cooked,
11:55 you smell it and you get this different feeling.
11:58 I walked in the house the other day,
12:00 yesterday and I could just smell
12:02 from the aroma coming from the kitchen.
12:06 I said, "this is going to be a really good meal tonight."
12:10 And my wife cooked a vegetarian meatloaf
12:13 and West Indian rice and peas and curried cabbage
12:18 and I had like four plates of food.
12:20 Do I look like it? Come on.
12:22 I had four plates of...
12:24 I enjoyed the meal.
12:27 She provided,
12:29 she provided a meal and I'm excited about that.
12:32 Would, that we would get excited
12:35 that God provided his Son to save us?
12:40 And unless you,
12:41 you see right now in this little quiet,
12:43 you know, this secluded little community,
12:45 you know, drive bys going on right now,
12:48 no hip-hop music
12:49 and nobody outside breaking the windows
12:51 to the house next door.
12:52 You know, we're so secluded.
12:54 Some of you ought to go to New York for a week
12:55 and then come back.
12:57 Go to Detroit. Go to LA. Go to Chicago.
13:02 While you're passing out tracks,
13:03 you're dodging bullets.
13:05 You know, go to the city
13:06 and then you come back to Thompsonville,
13:07 you'll say, "Lord Jesus, thank you for the solitude
13:11 of this quiet little community."
13:13 But some of you ain't been anywhere,
13:15 where you had to just
13:16 kind of go up the steps and look behind yourself.
13:19 You haven't been,
13:20 where the car almost ran you off the road
13:22 and you made it.
13:24 But God was there
13:26 to let you know that He could carry you through.
13:28 But look at the test.
13:30 Look at how God sets the stage for us.
13:32 This beautiful example
13:34 of the Father and the Son relationship,
13:36 not only in reference to Abraham and Isaac
13:39 but in reference to the Father and the Son in our behalf.
13:44 Genesis 22:1, the Bible says,
13:46 "Now it came to pass
13:48 after these things that God" did what?
13:53 "God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham."
13:59 And he said, "Here I am."
14:01 God tested Abraham, "Abraham" and he said, "Here I am."
14:05 A very important point.
14:06 We must be willing to give ourselves to God
14:09 before God gives Himself to us.
14:13 "Here I am."
14:14 If God were to call you this morning,
14:15 would you say, "Here I am."
14:17 Isaiah, when he heard the voice of God he said,
14:18 "Here I am."
14:21 The test of a Christian
14:22 who is connected to God is whenever God calls,
14:25 he or she is willing to say, "Here I am."
14:30 And the blessing comes
14:31 when we make ourselves available to God.
14:33 We don't make ourselves available
14:35 because we're qualified,
14:36 we make ourselves available
14:38 because God is qualified and we're simply vessels,
14:42 we're like the pipes, Jesus is the water.
14:45 We're like the wire, Jesus the electricity.
14:49 He is the one that has all the prevision.
14:53 But when God calls, remember this.
14:55 When He is testing us,
14:57 God will never ask us to surrender something
15:00 that costs us nothing.
15:05 Verse 2 of Genesis Chapter 22.
15:11 "Then He said, that is God said,
15:15 "Take now your son, your only son Isaac,
15:21 whom you love..."
15:22 Let me pause.
15:24 When the Father decided to send his Son,
15:26 He sent the Son that He loved.
15:30 For God so loved the world, that He did what?
15:33 Gave.
15:34 He didn't send "a" son, He sent his "only" son.
15:38 And He sent his son out of a love for us
15:42 but a deep love for his Son.
15:43 And, you know,
15:45 it's gonna take eternity for us to understand
15:48 what will bring the Father match to the place
15:50 where He's sending His son
15:53 with a high possibility that he will not come back.
15:58 With a high probability that Jesus would come
16:01 and could fail the mission
16:03 and we could ever,
16:04 forever be locked in this defeat of sin
16:07 and suffering and death and funerals will be final
16:10 and there will be no more resurrection
16:11 and hell would completely encapsulate
16:15 the earth and Satan, his demons would run unrestrained
16:18 throughout eternity.
16:19 That was the possibility.
16:21 So God gave His only Son knowing
16:24 that in that kind of environment,
16:27 Jesus could have failed in the flesh of humanity.
16:30 But He gave His Son not only out of love for us
16:34 but out of love for His Son.
16:37 The plan of salvation required
16:39 the only one
16:41 that can redeem fallen humanity.
16:45 "Take now your son, your only son Isaac,
16:47 whom you love and go to the land of Moriah
16:52 and offer him
16:54 there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains
16:58 of which I shall tell you."
17:01 This human account is a preproduction
17:03 of the divine account of God and the Son.
17:05 This journey
17:07 that Isaac and Abraham took is synonymous to the journey
17:10 that the Father and the Son took in our behalf.
17:13 And I'm gonna say,
17:15 I know, I've been prefacing things.
17:17 I want to say, I'm not gonna say,
17:19 'I want to say,' I'm going to say,
17:21 "Praise God that the Father and the Son
17:24 was willing to take that journey to save me."
17:26 Amen.
17:35 But before Jesus faced
17:37 any of the earthly temptations and tests,
17:39 He endured the greatest test already
17:42 and that is separation from His Father.
17:49 Just think about the day. It's time to go.
17:53 The Apostle Paul says,
17:55 "When the fullness of time had come,
17:57 when the time had been determined
17:59 for Jesus to come.
18:00 When the fullness of time had come,
18:03 God sent forth his Son.
18:05 When the fullness of time had come,
18:07 God sent forth his Son and the journey began."
18:13 And the Lord told Abraham
18:15 what mountain to go to and Abraham took his servants.
18:19 They took wood, they took fire, they took all the provisions,
18:24 they took everything they could
18:27 and they began this journey,
18:28 this deep-seeded conviction
18:30 that Abraham didn't want to tell his wife about.
18:32 He did not wake up Sarah.
18:37 Because if you waited that long to have a Son,
18:41 and your husband wakes you up in the morning
18:44 at 4 o'clock and says,
18:46 "Isaac and I are going out for a camping trip today."
18:51 And she says, "Where are you going."
18:52 He said, to mount...
18:54 I guess God's gonna tell us where to go."
18:57 And what's the purpose of your journey?
18:58 Well, the Lord told me to sacrifice Isaac."
19:04 I want to tell you, that mother,
19:06 that mother would jump out of that bed
19:08 and question
19:09 the sanity of her husband and the divinity of her God.
19:14 "Is not this the son
19:16 that the Lord promised to bless us with?"
19:17 "Yes."
19:19 "Isn't this the one that,
19:20 He said, 'in his seed all the nations
19:21 of the earth will be blessed?
19:23 Well, how is it that this same God
19:25 who just gave us the son is going to tell us that...
19:29 Are you all right, Abraham?
19:35 You need to go get a check-up.
19:38 I mean, think about it, your only son.
19:42 So when did God tell you this?
19:44 Well, He told me this last night.
19:46 Well, He didn't tell me.
19:48 And since he's half of my son,
19:49 you're not taking my son out of here.
19:52 God gave that impression. So Abraham left.
19:55 Didn't tell his wife.
19:58 But notice what he did. Let's go to verse 6.
20:02 Every action prefigured the actions
20:04 that Jesus would take under the direction of His Father.
20:08 And the Bible says, "So Abraham took the wood."
20:12 He took the what?
20:13 "The wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son,
20:19 and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife,
20:22 and the two of them went together.
20:25 He took the wood and laid it on his son."
20:29 When I read that, I remembered in John 19:17.
20:34 Just look very carefully there.
20:36 Speaking about Jesus on his way to Calvary.
20:39 Look at what Jesus did in the very same setting.
20:43 Look what Jesus did
20:44 in the very same setting, John 19:17.
20:47 The wood is there on Isaac
20:49 but the wood of the cross
20:50 is laid on Jesus and the Bible says,
20:51 "And He, bearing His cross,
20:55 went out to a place called the Place of a Skull,
20:57 which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,"
21:00 the place of a skull.
21:01 So as the wood was laid on the shoulder of Isaac,
21:04 the cross was laid on the shoulder of Jesus,
21:06 prefiguring the very same thing.
21:08 Abraham representing the Father,
21:10 Jesus represented by Isaac,
21:12 the wood on the shoulder of Isaac,
21:14 the cross on the shoulder of Jesus,
21:16 the sacrifice ahead of them,
21:19 the greatest gift, his only Son to be given
21:22 for the redemption.
21:23 The test came to them both.
21:27 But I like the fact that Isaac followed Abraham
21:31 with no knowledge of the plan of the sacrifice.
21:34 He did not know
21:36 and so we ask the words in verse 7 and 8.
21:40 Did not know the plan of the sacrifice.
21:42 There were certain things about that plan
21:44 that Abraham kept aloof from his son.
21:46 And let me also make the application,
21:48 when Jesus was born into the world as a babe,
21:51 He did not know as an infant,
21:52 He did not know until the Lord shows the time
21:55 to reveal to Him the plan of salvation.
21:57 He did not know that there was a cross ahead of him,
22:00 until the day came.
22:01 And He began to gain this knowledge
22:03 when He was in the temple at 12 years old
22:05 and He said to his mother and father,
22:07 I must be about my Father's business.
22:09 The Father began to unfold him
22:11 briefly the plan of salvation...
22:16 Until it became very clear.
22:18 And He said to his disciples,
22:19 "It is for this reason that I've come into the world.
22:21 It is for this hour that I've come into the world.
22:23 This is your hour and the power of darkness.
22:26 He understood at that moment
22:28 that this is the very reason I've come."
22:31 But Isaac did not know his journey to Mount Moriah.
22:34 He asked questions in verse 7 and 8.
22:37 "But Isaac spoke to Abraham
22:38 his father and said, "My father!"
22:40 And he said, "Here I am, my son."
22:42 Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood,
22:45 but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
22:49 And Abraham said,
22:54 "My son, God will provide."
22:58 Let's say that together.
23:00 "God will provide for himself
23:04 the lamb for a burnt offering.
23:07 So the two of them went together."
23:09 The proper way that that is,
23:11 and I remember this so wonderfully,
23:13 our seminary professor,
23:17 who was a, was a...
23:21 I don't want to use the word "Ace" of a teacher
23:23 because that's not the proper terminology.
23:25 A man experienced in the study of Hebrew.
23:33 He said, when you read that passage,
23:35 the way that it's better read is,
23:38 "God will provide himself
23:44 a lamb for the burnt offering."
23:52 That's why when Jesus was introduced they said,
23:57 call His name Emmanuel, God with us.
24:02 God will provide Himself.
24:06 God didn't send a substitute, He provided Himself.
24:12 Well, I wish I could just buy an amen this morning.
24:15 God, the Creator of limitless space and time...
24:25 The one for whom there are no boundaries,
24:30 the one whom the angels adore day and night.
24:32 Worthy, worthy is the lamb.
24:37 God provided Himself
24:40 for this little motley planet
24:43 that He could just thought,
24:44 He could just have thoughtless out of existence.
24:48 But He loved us so much
24:50 in the dust of the constellations
24:54 that are still being estimated
24:56 by scientists with limited capability.
24:59 In their own understanding, there are billions of galaxies
25:02 in which there are billions of suns and stars
25:05 and all types of moving parts, if I could the layman's terms.
25:12 And yet in that little galaxy,
25:13 I was looking the other day the Andromeda Galaxy.
25:16 It is said that
25:18 we're within the same belt of the Andromeda
25:21 and the Milky Way
25:22 and the Andromeda has over one trillion stars
25:25 and the Milky Way, 200 to 400 billion stars.
25:29 They said, we are just two of the billions of galaxies
25:32 that this God created and He took a vacation
25:37 from creating galaxies and came down here to get me.
25:49 And that news sometimes hits us like a sleeping pill.
25:54 You're right, happy He did that,
25:56 don't wake me up.
26:04 But the offer of Isaac was a dual sacrifice.
26:08 The father had to give his only son
26:11 and the son had to submit to the will of the father.
26:14 Amen.
26:16 Verse 9 and 10.
26:20 I'm almost done.
26:23 But I didn't want to give you a...
26:28 I don't want to give you crumbs
26:29 because I wanted us to understand this morning,
26:33 this communion service
26:34 that we have participated in so frequently,
26:36 sometimes could lose its importance,
26:39 become a great ceremony
26:40 that we just have to hurry through,
26:42 get our unfermented wine
26:44 and get our cracker with no yeast and just...
26:49 "Thank You Lord, for the Sabbath."
26:51 But when I read the story
26:53 about what Jesus was willing to go
26:55 through to save us,
27:00 He says now you've got to communicate that,
27:02 I've called you to do that.
27:06 Verse 9 and 10:
27:10 "Then they came to the place of which God had told him."
27:14 I want to add this.
27:15 When Jesus came to Calvary...
27:18 It's important to get this.
27:19 When Jesus came to Calvary
27:22 He was not there without His Father.
27:26 He was there with His Father.
27:31 I told you this a few weeks ago,
27:33 maybe a month or so ago,
27:34 that the reason
27:35 for the darkness on the hill called Golgotha
27:38 is that the glory of the Father had to be veiled,
27:43 so that this perfection of divinity,
27:46 God in his unbridled power
27:51 and divinity and might could not have exposed
27:55 that glory to a Son
27:56 that was wrapped in human flesh,
27:58 lest He consume Him.
28:00 And so over the hours that Jesus hung on the cross,
28:03 there was darkness that covered the hill.
28:06 Yet that signified at that particular moment
28:09 there was a need for a veil
28:11 to be between the Father and the Son,
28:13 lest the Son in his humanity
28:15 would be consumed by the Father's divinity.
28:19 So when you read in verse 9,
28:21 "Then they came to the place of which God had told him,
28:24 they went together."
28:26 The Father was at the cross when His Son was there.
28:30 He was at the tomb when His son came forth
28:34 and He was in the halls of eternity
28:38 when the decision to send forth
28:39 His Son was already made.
28:44 And He created the wood on which His Son would hang.
28:47 "And Abraham built an altar there
28:49 and placed the wood in order,
28:51 and he bound Isaac his son
28:52 and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
28:55 And Abraham stretched out his hand
28:57 and took the knife to slay his son."
29:02 You read that.
29:08 Let's go back to the house.
29:11 Sarah, wow, they've gone for a number of hours.
29:15 I wonder what's taken them so long.
29:18 There is Abraham sweating and crying at the same time.
29:22 God must really mean this. There he is.
29:25 You got to, you got to, you got to go there with him.
29:27 There is Abraham wondering,
29:29 perspiration, in trepidation, shaking.
29:32 When you read, when you read
29:34 the writings of the servant of the Lord,
29:37 we're told that the son had to confirm,
29:41 the son had to comfort his father,
29:42 it's gonna be okay.
29:45 If God told you to do it, do it,
29:47 because Isaac was young enough to break away from the moment.
29:51 His father was old. He could not overpower the son.
29:54 He could have breaking away.
29:55 This is one of the most powerful examples of obedience,
30:00 submitting to the will of the father.
30:01 And when Jesus was in the same position...
30:05 He said in John 5:30.
30:07 "I can of myself do nothing.
30:09 As I hear I judge and my judgment is righteous
30:13 because I do not seek my own will,
30:16 but the will of the Father who sent me."
30:18 In other words, not my will but thine be done.
30:29 And he says in John 10:17:
30:34 "Therefore my Father loves me
30:35 because I lay down my life that I may take it again."
30:39 Very important point.
30:42 Until we are willing to lay down our lives,
30:46 we will not be given
30:47 the privilege of embracing our lives.
30:50 We'll not be given
30:51 the privilege of holding our lives.
30:53 You know, the Lord says that,
30:55 unless a grain of wheat falls on to the ground and dies,
30:57 it abides alone.
30:59 The Lord was testing to see whether or not Abraham
31:02 was worthy of holding on to his son
31:04 and his son was being tested to see
31:06 whether or not his life
31:08 meant more to God than to himself.
31:11 And when your life means more to God than to you,
31:14 he that seeks to save his life will lose it.
31:17 If Isaac chose not to lay down, he would have lost his life.
31:22 But he that is willing to lose his life for my sake
31:25 and the kingdom will find it.
31:27 And I want to tell you today,
31:28 there's no greater blessing
31:29 than to be willing to lay down your agenda, your life,
31:32 your plans for the plans of God,
31:34 so that He can bless it and give it back to you.
31:39 That's what He did.
31:41 God revealed the blessing at the intersection
31:43 of the sacrifice, not a moment before.
31:46 In other words,
31:47 we've got to be willing to go all the way to that moment
31:49 where we're saying, "When will God step in?"
31:53 That where Abraham...
31:54 When will God step in?
31:56 And is this really what he wants me to do?
31:59 When will God step in? And He did in verse 13.
32:02 Abraham, verse 11:
32:04 "But the angel of the Lord called him
32:06 from heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham.
32:09 And so he said, here I am."
32:14 And by the way when it says the angel of the Lord,
32:17 that's the Lord.
32:18 And He said, do not lay your hand on the lad
32:21 or do anything to him,
32:23 for now I know that you fear God
32:25 since you've not withheld your son,
32:28 your only son from me.
32:35 And so as I wind up this morning,
32:36 I like to invite Joel to come
32:37 and play as I'm winding up here.
32:40 The question this morning that I asked you
32:41 as we prepare for communion service,
32:43 as you look at your life in the context of October 2017,
32:48 I have to ask you the question:
32:51 Abraham did not withhold his son,
32:53 Isaac did not withhold his life,
32:55 what have you withheld from God?
32:58 What have you withheld? What are you withholding?
33:01 Your time? Your ability?
33:05 What are you withholding from God?
33:09 Anything that you surrender to God
33:12 will result in blessings that God will give to you.
33:16 But anything you refuse to surrender
33:18 will result in blessings that God will not give.
33:22 Now last two verses.
33:24 Verse 13 and 14.
33:31 "When Abraham lifted his eyes and looked,
33:35 and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket."
33:39 I got to stop and say, that ram wasn't caught,
33:41 God put that ram there.
33:42 Amen, somebody? The Lord provided.
33:44 That ram didn't...
33:46 That ram was not running and got caught.
33:48 The Lord said, "Not my son, but you."
33:52 But when you look at the parallel,
33:54 when Jesus went to the cross,
33:56 the lamb was set free and the Lamb of God
33:59 was the one that gave His life.
34:02 You see, the reality of it is,
34:05 we will test God as Judas did,
34:09 thinking that the lamb would always get away.
34:11 Let me say this clearly.
34:13 We will test God
34:14 in our lack of complete dedication thinking
34:17 that He will always dismiss himself,
34:19 but the day will come
34:21 if we continue testing Him without giving our all that,
34:24 that's the day that He will not get away
34:27 and we will be guilty of crucifying
34:29 the Son of God all over again.
34:34 "Ram caught in the thicket by its horns,
34:37 like the horns of the altar
34:38 on which the blood of the lamb was sprinkled,
34:42 so Abraham went and took the ram
34:44 and offered it up
34:45 for a burnt offering instead of his son.
34:49 And Abraham called the name of the place
34:51 the Lord will Provide."
34:52 Say that with me, the Lord will provide.
34:55 To this very day, when we go to the holy lands,
34:57 later on this year, first time we're gonna go.
35:00 I want to go to Mount Moriah.
35:04 I'm gonna say, show me the place
35:06 as best as you can describe
35:07 where Abraham took his son Isaac
35:11 to be sacrificed.
35:12 And they tell me that Mount Moriah,
35:17 where Abraham was to sacrifice his son,
35:20 on the other side of that was a mountain
35:22 where Moses stood,
35:23 to look over into the promise land.
35:24 You could see them across from each other.
35:26 God has a way of taking those
35:28 who serve Him to the mountain top
35:30 to show them his blessings, to show them His promises.
35:35 The Lord will provide.
35:37 Jesus will provide Himself
35:41 if we are willing to provide ourselves.
35:45 The lesson for us today,
35:46 are you willing to provide yourself?
35:49 If you are,
35:51 He will provide Himself
35:52 because He doesn't, what more we have?
35:55 He wants us.
35:58 I'm with the statements I began with:
36:00 A Christian that has not been tested
36:03 is a Christian that has not been approved,
36:05 is a Christian that's not reliable.
36:08 We must be willing to give ourselves to God
36:10 before He gives Himself to us.
36:12 And the communion service today is evidence
36:16 that He has given Himself to us.
36:18 But today,
36:19 we invite you to once again give yourself to the Lord.
36:25 Today, before the communion service,
36:27 we have the ordinance of humility,
36:30 the foot washing service.
36:31 In John Chapter 13,
36:33 Jesus established the example as He knelt
36:36 before his disciples and washed their feet.
36:39 Today, the ladies will gather
36:42 in JD's classroom right to my left,
36:44 to wash one another's feet.
36:47 The men will gather in the foreyard
36:50 outside of this door to the back
36:52 to wash one another's feet.
36:55 What's the significance of that?
36:58 Jesus says, "I've given you an example
36:59 that you should do as I have done."
37:06 If you know these things
37:07 and you do them, blessed are you.
37:13 If you know these things
37:15 and you do them, you're blessed.
37:21 As we serve each other in preparation
37:23 for the communion service,
37:25 please keep your conversations away
37:28 from things of the world.
37:31 If you want to talk about anything,
37:32 talk about the blessing of Jesus in your life
37:35 and then we will reconvene here
37:38 for the ordinance of the Lord's Supper.
37:41 Let us pray.
37:43 Loving Father in heaven,
37:45 we thank You Lord
37:47 that You were willing to give Your Son,
37:49 Your only Son.
37:51 Jesus, we thank You
37:54 that You were willing to submit and give Your life,
37:57 Your only life
38:00 that we might have life and have it more abundantly.
38:03 So today, Lord, reconfirm in our hearts
38:06 the significance
38:07 and the meaning of this great sacrifice.
38:09 And may we not partake or accept this with complacency
38:14 but with hearts of dedication and sincerity.
38:18 May you be exalted, uplifted, and praised, we ask.
38:21 Bless now our service to one another.
38:25 May we humble our hearts in Jesus' name I pray, amen.


Revised 2017-12-07