Waynedale United Methodist Church
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

October 1, 2017 Sermon

“A Call, A Sacrifice, A Provision” 
Genesis 22:1 – 4 
Ted Jansen  October 1, 2017  Waynedale UMC 
 
1.)The Mission Committee at the Waynedale UMC was getting ready to prepare for a  breakfast to raise funds for some mission needs.  Out in the country a pig and a chicken heard about the mission breakfast and decided they wanted to do their part.   
They were walking down the road, enjoying themselvestalking and feeling good about being a part of something to help others.   
All of a sudden the pig stopped walking and asked the chicken what the menu was for the breakfast.  The chicken said it was going to be an egg and bacon breakfast.   The pig then said, Wooaaah!  Wait a minute!  I have to think about this!   Why,” said the chicken.     
The pig replied, “You see for you this meal only involves a contribution, but for me this meal is going to involve a total commitment!”     
 
2.)There is a difference between a contribution and a commitment.  At least as far as the pig and chicken were concerned.   
There are times in life when we are asked to make contribution and other times we are asked to make a commitment.  As we consider the difference I want us to learn from Abraham.  Listen to Genesis 22:1 – 14. 
 
3.)Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”   
“Here I am,” he replied. 
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” 
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.  On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” 
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” 
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. 
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. 
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” 
“Here I am,” he replied. 
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” 
 4.)When the Lord tested Abraham the Lord called him by name.  Abraham said, “here I am.”    Abraham was listening and close to the Lord.  Listening happens when we are close.   
When you are close to a person, or the Lord you will hear your name.  When you are far away you are not able to hear your name.   
We can draw close to the Lord through prayer, reading scripture, offering our praise in worship, growing as a part of a small group, and allowing God to speak as you serve.   
“Here I am Lord.”        
 
5.)God wanted to test Abraham and see what was the most important thing in Abraham’s life.  What was his number one priority?  Priorities involve choices.   
God asked Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son and Abraham had to make a choice.  Was the top priority for Abraham, God, or his only son?   
We can tell others what our priority is but our choices with time and money give evidence to what is important.  My choices reveal my priorities.   
 
6.)Abraham made plans and then got the provisions that were needed for this three day journey.  He carried wood and fire.  Abraham had time each day to go back on his commitment to sacrifice his son and figure out what else he would do.  Instead Abraham made a decision each day to be obedient, even when he did not understand why God wanted him to sacrifice Isaac.  Commitment is revealed in obedience that is lived daily.  Obedience is a daily decision.           
This is tough partliving out our commitments each and every day.  We make a decision each day to love, to give, to serve, to care, to reach out.   
  
7.)God wanted to test Abraham but God did not want Abraham to kill his son.  The angel spoke to Abraham not to kill his son.  God showed Abraham a ram that was stuck in the bushes.  Abraham took his son down from the altar and went to get the ram and sacrificed it.       
Abraham called that place, “The Lord Will Provide.”  God provided for Abraham after he was willing to make a sacrifice.   
The Lord will provide for us what we need.  This great truth affirms us as we sacrifice.    
As we give to the Lord our commitments may we watch and see how “The Lord Will Provide.”   
 
8.)When we were in Kentucky Tom and Nancy Reuille noticed that the team needed some coffee cups.  They were out running errands and stopped in at a convenience store to buy some but they did not have cups.  Nancy prayed to find some coffee cups and continued doing their errands going to the different sites where team members were working.      
As Tom and Nancy were driving down a road they saw a snake on the road and drove past it.  Another car came and they thought ran over it.  For some reason Tom and Nancy drove down a little bit and then decided to go back to see what had happened to the snake.   As they were driving they saw a package in the middle of the road.  For some reason Tom stopped the car and got out and noticed that it was a package of 65 unopened and undamaged coffee cups. It was a complete package sitting in the middle of the road.      
When they got the cups they both laughed at how God provided.  They shared that story with the team and we were amazed, filled with joy and thankful.    
 
9.)I pray that when God provides for the church we will be thankful, filled with joy and perhaps laughing at how God provided.    
I am sure that Abraham was thankful and filled with joy when he heard and saw a ram stuck in the bushes.