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December 5, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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This past weekend, we kicked off part two of “Origins,” our three-part summer series through the Book of Genesis! In this first study, we discovered the origins of the Messianic promise as Pastor Doug explored the call of Abraham found in Genesis 12. Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
God Makes Audacious Promises (Genesis 12:1–3): The promise of God here is three-fold, referring to the people, the place, and the promised Messiah. This promise came 2,000 years after Adam and 2,000 years before Jesus. It wasn’t given to Abraham specifically because he was worthy, holy, or special. He wasn’t a seeker or a pillar of virtue. He was from a family of idol worshipers and he and his wife were childless. It seems like an odd choice, but God picked him and demonstrated His great power and grace through him.
Receiving the Promises of God Requires Risk (Genesis 12:4–9): God promised the land to a nomad and descendants to a man whose wife was barren. And yet, as soon as Abraham heard the voice of the Lord, he started packing! He obeyed, not knowing where he was going. But that’s the thing about faith . . . it requires risk; otherwise, it’s not really faith. It often requires you to do hard things before you experience the rewards of the promise. There is always a delay between the promise being given and the promise being fulfilled. But God builds faith during that gap—He builds us up, He develops our character, and prepares us to receive the promise.
Have you ever taken a God-directed risk like that? Have you ever stepped out in faith and gone where God has called you?
Our Circumstances Can Make God’s Promises Seem Impossible (Genesis 12:10–20): Sometimes it seems that God’s promises are a million miles away. There was a famine in the land, so they couldn’t even stay in the promised land. Not only that, but Sarai was still barren! What was God doing?
So often, our circumstances cloud our vision, obscure our view of God, and keep us fixed on the what’s happening right in front of us. But God is faithful and He is working, even when we don’t see or hear Him, even when we can’t understand our circumstances. And so, even when it hurts and things are uncomfortable, we can trust that He is doing something. We must remember that He is not interested in our comfort, but our character. Our faith in Him builds our character, and trials are a big part of that.
Quote to Remember: Trials are not electives in God’s school but required courses.—Pastor Doug Sauder
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.
1. Why does God often choose the person you’d least expect to carry out some of the most important works? How have you seen this happen in your life personally?
2. What makes faith risky?
3. Have you ever taken a God-directed risk? A step of faith that doesn’t seem to make sense but you know is what God is calling you to do?
4. Our circumstances can make God’s promises seem impossible. What are some steps you can take to ensure you keep your eyes on Jesus and not on your circumstances in times of trial and testing?
Imagine a city filled with the hope of Jesus . . . Imagine schools, businesses, neighborhoods, families, entire communities walking with Jesus, loving one another, living generously, and radiating the truth of the gospel. Imagine South Florida full of people who are connected to God, one another, and to those in need! That’s what Vision 2023 is all about! It’s a city-changing, five-year vision to make 60,000 new, passionate, fully-devoted disciples by 2023. We believe as God’s people saturate the region with the gospel, generosity grows, stronger families are formed, the elderly are cared for, orphans, addicts, and widows find lasting hope, and true social changes happens. Do you want to see South Florida changed for Christ?
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Join us this Wednesday for the final week of our sanctuary class series on spiritual gifts as Pastor Duane Roberts of our Boynton Beach campus teaches on the journey of developing your gifts. Find out what it practically looks like to put your faith and gifts into action as the Lord uses you to build His kingdom!
This weekend, we’ll continue “Origins, Part Two: The Promise” with a study through Genesis 13 and 14 as Pastor Doug shares a word about choices.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.