By | February 26, 2023
THEME: Some Characters WHO GROW in the LORD’S Grace and KNOWLEDGE
January – June, 2023
Unit One: Spiritual Growth In The Patriarch’s Lives
February 26, 2023
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8).
The gracious God graciously called Abraham and gave him a glorious future. Don’t put the call of God’s grace on hold.
In this division, we see how the grace of God sustained Abraham. As a man, he had his own flaws, yet, God’s grace worked things out for him. The same grace that helped Abraham to come out of that pagan background, also assisted him to make amends when he erred, and sustained him through all his life’s challenges, passing the tests of life. At the end, he received the fulfillment of God’s promises by the grace of God; his love for God paid off eventually, as he became a friend of God and father of nations.
II. GRACE SUSTAINS HIM (Genesis 16:1-17:1,12:1-21; 22:1-19).
Both the saving grace and the serving grace were at work in Abram’s life. That was why he was called and commissioned by God. The same grace that sustains, must be at work to make him endure to the end in his calling and commissioning. Without the sustaining grace, no one make it in God, and to the glory of the Lord. You need the sustaining grace to finish well.
A. GRACE HELPS HIM ON HAGAR’S SAGA (16:1-17:1; 21:1-21)
But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice, for in Isaac your seed shall be called” (21:12).
i. 16:1-3: Custom allowed what Abraham and Sarah did here, but was it part of God’s agenda for them? The only reason one would act contrary to God’s standard is immaturity or spiritual imbalance. Abraham should have understood better.
ii. vv. 1-4: Ishmael was the product of human effort; not of the spirit (cf. Gal. 4:21ff). No wonder God insisted on the son of the promise (17:18-21). Attempting to accomplish God’s purpose by our own means is suicidal, and it vexes God’s grace.
iii. Abraham got ‘consolation’ through the birth of Ishmael, but that never met God’s expectation at all. Grace does not make one settle for less than God’s best.
iv. 16:16-17:1: Notice the 13-year difference. God could have abandoned Abraham permanently, but the grace came to play, taking him from his rest point to God’s vantage point of fulfilment.
v. 21:1-21: God’s grace gave Isaac to Abraham instead of withdrawing Isaac to punish Abraham for his impatience (vv. 1-17). The way God intervened in allowing the child from the bondwoman to be separated from the true heir shows interplay of God’s grace to help Abraham in Hagar’s saga.
iv. Falling from grace is not the end of life. You need God’s grace to rise again, after the fall. God is a God of second chance. Abram fumbled and fell by having Ishmael from Hagar, despite that, he continued his walk with God.
So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him (v. 3).
i. vv 1-2: God tests His own to promote them. The Lord tested Abraham’s faith and commitment to bring out the best in him–Grace in action.
ii. Isaac was the heir through whom the Abrahamic covenant would extend to other generations. But, all of a sudden, God wanted the same Isaac, Abraham’s laughter, to be offered to Him—a serious test of Abraham’s faith. God always wants to know our levels of growth in Him (Heb. 5:12-14).
iii. vv. 3-8: Without hesitation, Abraham rose early in obedience to act in tandem with this arduous instruction. Grace helped him, and over the years, Abraham had grown well in his walk with God.
iv. vv. 5,7: The grace of God upon Abraham helped him to speak by faith and conviction that he would return with Isaac, and so, it happened. Balanced spiritual growth!
v. vv. 9-14: Not that God wanted Isaac’s death but to test Abraham’s level of faith and spiritual maturity. It is clear that Abraham loved God more than anything else, including his Laughter. Grace helped him.
vi. Humanity, no one, Abraham inclusive, could have passed this kind of test of faith, but for the enabling grace of God that was at work in Abraham. He was assisted to surmount the hurdle, and this time, he did not fail God. When you endeavour to grow in the grace of God, success is unlimited.
1. The more spiritually mature we are, the more we wait on, and for God to fulfil His purposes for us, in His own time.
2. Only grace can help us to bring out the best God desires from us when going through trying periods of life.
1. God’s grace calls, commissions and sustains us in Him. Explain.
2. The grace of God helps us in our weaknesses. Discuss.
i. Refers to division I.
ii Just like Abraham, the father of faith, the grace of God calls, commission and sustains anyone, especially, those who are cooperating with this saving, sustaining and enabling grace.
iv. By grace, we are delivered from the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Col. 1:13).
v. The moment we are called by God, we become strangers to the world and pilgrims to heaven, which is our home (commonwealth).
vi. Christians are called and commission to preach the gospel of Christ, and show people the way the Lord. That is our Great Commission, which must be carried out faithfully (Matt. 28:28-20).
vii. Having been called and commissioned by grace, we still need to bank on same grace to finish our race well.
viii. Total obedience in our calling is very crucial to fulfilling His purpose in us.
i. Refer to division II.
ii. We are living by grace in Jesus Christ, not of our works of righteousness, which I best described as filthy rag (Isa. 64:6; Rom. 11:6).
iii. Life is full of challenges. And when any comes our ways, as we rely on God’s grace, we will not lose focus. Even when the ride turns, and we falter, the grace is still available to make us stand again and continue.
iv. For instance, God told Paul not to worry because of his torn, because His grace is sufficient for him, i.e., the grace of God is capable (2 Cor. 12:9).
v. When we face trials and temptations in the Christian journey, the grace of God gives us strength, end eventually, promotion follows as we triumph (Jas. 1:2-4, 12-15).
vi. Sin and temptation can nail us to the cross, but grace gives us resurrection, helping us to maintain our positions in God, no matter what.
vii. Please, endeavour to bank more on God’s grace.
God’s Word never fails, and whatever God purposes, will surely be established. His eternal agenda is that man should not perish. That is why He provided escape route for man to come out of the darkness and doom occasioned by Satan, and join the fellowship of the Light, by the gruesome but sacrificial death of His only begotten Son. This is the grace of God at work in us. Allow this grace to take effect in your today, if you have not come to the knowledge of God’s dear Son, Jesus Christ. Only when you take this step of faith will you escape the sorrow, bitterness, adversity and calamity to come on this world. And God, by His grace, will give you joy, peace and prosperity as you become a member of His eternal family.
We have seen how God’s grace worked wonders in the life of Abraham. It is believed that we also have realised the operation of grace in our lives. It is by His grace we are not consumed. The grace has really sustained us. Therefore, it is worthwhile to continue to count on, and cooperate with the sufficient grace of God to reach the end of our journey here on earth, hitch-free. Rejoice!
Mon.. 20: Grace Fulfils The Promise (Gen. 21:1).
Tue. 21: Grace Begets The Promised Child (Gen. 21:2)
Wed. 22: Grace Brings Laughter (Gen. 21:3-7)
Thur. 23: Grace Grows The Child (Gen. 21:8)
Fri. 24: Grace Establishes The Covenant (Gen. 21:9-10)
Sat. 25: Grace Makes Provision And Protection (Gen. 21:11-20)

Leave a Reply