Sermon -- Abraham, the Promise of a Nation

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The Book of Beginnings

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-- the beginning of created things -- the beginning of the human race -- the beginning of fellowship with God -- the beginning of sin and separation from God -- the beginning of human conflict -- the beginning of death (murder) -- the beginnings of judgement (Noah and the flood) -- the beginnings of nations and languages (Babel)

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God Promises a Nation

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Genesis 12: 1-3 NIV The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the place I will show you.” “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse.”

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Genesis 12: 4-5 NIV “and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram left, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.”

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Genesis 12: 6-8 NIV Abram travelled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. From there he went on towards the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east.”

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Genesis 12: 8-9 NIV There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Then Abram set out and continued towards the Negev.”

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The steps of the Journey Step I – Leave Ur Step II – Leave Haran Step III – Leave Lot It wasn’t until he was alone with God that the promise was finally fulfilled!

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The Psychology of Significance Self-adequacy – which comes from the same sex parent Self-identity – which comes from the opposite sex parent Self-worth – which comes from both parents

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Significance and the Journey with God Leave your home country Leave your family Go somewhere you have never been before

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The Phenomenon of Obedience Not just outward obedience but heart obedience. It is what marks out the people of God The people of God are characterised by a heart that is obedient to God

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Obstacles to Obedience The issues of security (like family, home, allegiance and identity). Gradually God strips all of these “false securities” away to show Abraham where his real safety and security lie. “the obedience that comes from faith”

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Conclusion

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Genesis is a Book of Beginnings. In this story of Abraham we see the beginnings of the people of God The essential character of the people of God is a this Phenomenon of Obedience In this journey we are called to give up the things we anchor our security in and the things we look to for significance.

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CONCLUSION But the outcome is an encounter with God that transforms us into sons and daughters of God “I will bless you…and you will be a blessing.”

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