22 Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” 2 “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” 3 The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.” 6 So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, 7 Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” 8 “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. 9 When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11 At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!” 12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” 13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” 15 Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven. 16 “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that 17 I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants[a] beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. 18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”
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Last week at the pastor’s conference I learned a new twist to the saying that I use often God is good. I know all the time God did because that’s his nature but tried again God is good all the time and all the time. Because that’s. Because that’s who he is he is good all the time Amen. You know I just want to share a little bit about pastors conference so I hope we’ll add a little bit of time for that for a higher long takes right it was a joy to go to pastors conference last week I left work at noon on Thursday and conference was Friday Saturday and Sunday it was an actual way Rhode Island at the first Hopkinton seventh day Baptist Church there there was about fifty pastors there and truly you know I’ll share some more as the weeks go on but one of the highlights for me of the entire weekend was to get to know and build a relationship with some of the other pastors to learn from them and experience you know they hear some of the things that they shared in their life experiences and stories of how God’s worked in their ministries and in their lives really but the journey began I left here like you say at noontime and what should have been about a seven ERA journey was about nine and a half hours because I just went the way Garmin took me I went up ninety five through New York. And I saw Dave said why didn’t he call me out and told him how to get there without the traffic because you know we’re all country folk here and we don’t like city traffic do we so I didn’t like sit in that New York City traffic so he did send directions and so coming back I went the way he advised me to come and it was wonderful I made it in seven hours flat and so when he came down so Monday him in the resenting the kids so he came to the door and whenever give him a great big hug he probably thought he’s lost his mind. But I was so thankful for the directions but it was a wonderful experience to go in to worship with brothers and sisters in Christ and just to be there and experience that. One of the places is another thing I want to share one of the places I got to go and this was Sunday afternoon we went to Newport Rhode Island and at Newport Rhode Island actually this church is attached to are part of the not the historical society there of the Newport Historical Society and it is the very first seven day Baptist Church in the United States of America and it was established there in sixteen seventy two so I’ve had the privilege of being at the First Methodist Church which is what’s the name of it Gary you know than than it down around it Washington all of the way lovely lady and that the first one will. Not is one where the Christmas comes filled with nominees storm K. so I was at one of the first this was the first seven day Baptist Church in America in Newport Rhode Island and it was really beautiful unique place sanctuary it had was small it was probably about the size of this is front portion and it had a balcony on the back but the Pope it had a set of stairs you climb up the stairs in the palm it’s like way up here and. Janet the Warren gate sees a historian’s is a sad caper to story and she loves the research and she found the history of that church and so she had a lot of history there to share views of found you know a pastors were they actually spit split away from another Baptist church there because they just had the conviction to keep the Sabbath so the group of them then began to keep the Sabbath and I mean that caused some friction in the community but in the years to follow she found from the records that. They came back together you know not to worship together but they worked together in a community as a. Church family you know they they were reconciled if you will and His cock was the FIRST ELDER of that church and here’s where I want why I went there when they get there. So you can find through the records that when they they called him Elder instead of Pastor when the elder would go to visit or to minister he would take someone with him. He would always take someone with him it was kind of like an apprenticeship if you will. Because you know they didn’t have the universities or colleges to go to so I’m sure it was someone in the congregation probably the deacon that the pastor knew was going to be someone that would one day maybe follow in his footsteps or maybe be the one to take over the church whenever he passed on so it was really unique to learn this how they how they grew and mentor those within the church and I say that to say this I am honored and bless this morning to have two men in his congregation. That meant toward me as I was growing in my face and if used to man you know your people stand up for me. Pastor Gary trail the pastor Harry Burchill. From the Holy Cross right. Thank you in the Lord just gave because you know these men back in the sixteen hundreds would take and mentor those would follow. And it wasn’t Gary. Gary wasn’t there in the sixteen hundreds but these two men played a vital role in shaping not only my life my life but I know the lives of many others and their congregations. And you know I attribute to you know my my being here today to these men who guided. And help me I know that you know Gary encouraged my wife and myself and many others to become Les speakers and to step out and then under Harry encourage me he said I can see the call God in your life and not try to get emotional but thank you brothers mentors spiritual fathers for what you’ve done in my life and for being there for me I was at their apprentice. I don’t remember going on any you know calls with them to pray for the sick but they mentored me along the way it’s really a heartfelt. Thank you appreciative. So on with the message let’s go to the Lord in prayer Heavenly Father we do thank you and praise you for your presence in our lives and father I know that you have not left us as we’re friends but you’ve sent your speared to be with us to confort us in our time of distress you sent your spirit to encourage us Father to give us strength when we are weak we know that you are there with us Father we know that you love us Father we love you but we know that you first loved us we know that and you demonstrated that by send in your Son Jesus Christ that we might have a life Father I thank you for this church I thank you for the privilege to gather together in your name to gather together to worship you and Father I pray that everything spoken here today would be for your glory and for your honor that your name would be lifted high that you would be exalted in Jesus’ name amen this morning my message out titled How far would you go and you’ll see why I give it this title as I go on this morning of course this morning is Jennifer shared and brought tears to my eyes I didn’t realize when I was preparing this message that it’s been a year I didn’t realize that and I didn’t realize some of the context of this message how it will connect so that’s probably maybe not I might get emotional So if I do I’m just giving you forewarning we’re going to read from Genesis Chapter twenty two verses one through eighteen. Hear the word of the Lord. Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him Abraham and he said Here I am then he said Take Now your son your only son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Mariah and offer him there as a burnt offering or on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you so Abraham rose early in the morning sowed 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 rose and went to the place of which God had told him then on the third day pause there for just a moment it wasn’t just the morning stroll. That he set out on he wasn’t just going out on a morning stroll to some place God was going to show him three days’ journey a journey with his two servants and his son. And Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place of far off and Abraham said to the young men stay here with the donkey the lad and I will go yonder and worship and we will come back to you so Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on the on Isaac his son and he took the fire in his hand and a knife and the two of them went together but I was exposed they were ham his father and said my father and he said Here I am my son then he said look the fire and the wood but where is the lamb for the burnt offering and Abraham said my son. God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering so the two of them went together then they came to the place of which God had told him and Abraham build an altar there in place the wood in order and he bound his Isaac his son and laid him on the altar upon the wood and Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son but the angel the Lord called to him from heaven and said Abraham Abraham so he said Here I am he said Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him for now I know that you fear God sent you have not withheld your son your only son from me the neighbor him lifted his eyes and looked and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns so Abraham went and took the RAM and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son and Abraham called the name of the place the Lord will provide a man. As it is this is said to this day in the mouth of the Lord as shall be provided then the angel Lord called Abraham a second time out of heaven and said by myself I have sworn says the Lord because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son your only son blessing I will bless you multiply I will multiply your descendants as a stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore and your descendants possess the gate of their enemies and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because you have obeyed my voice Amen and they got his blessings to the hear it in the reading of His Holy Word you know at the end of this we see their reward for obeying God he said blessing I will bless you multiply and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the Heavens because he was Faith one obeyed because he was able to go where God willing to go we’re. Calling to go to do what God according to do tempted versus testing Alexander Maclaren in a sermon and titled faith tested and Crown distinguished between being tempted and being tested and tried he said that the former word conveys the idea of appealing to the worst part of man that’s what temptation is it is appealing to the worst of man with the wish that he made yield to it and do wrong the latter means to appeal to the better part of a man with a desire that he should stand temptation says do this pleasant thing do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong just ignore that right decision or that don’t think about it don’t think about it might make you repent it distinct nor that temptation says that. Pleasant thing do not be hindered by a trial or testing says do this right and noble thing do not be hindered by the fact that it might be painful the one is sweet beguiling melody breathing soft indulgence and relaxation over the soul the other is appealing trumpet call to high achievements Satan temps us to bring us out bring out the worst in us but God test us to bring out the best in us the absolute best in us verse one brothers and sisters is very straightforward it’s easy to understand we don’t have to read between the line God is in no way tempting Abraham he’s not trying to bring out the worst in him he states very plainly he is testing Abraham he is testing he is trying to bring out the best he’s trying to see how far Abraham will go in his faith toward God he’s trying to sail for he will go in trusting him will he be obedient. You know years ago it worked in many no I work at the railroad the many years ago they they were doing they were having welding tests or welding sort of the cation test with many of the employees that do welding. Because you know you’ve seen a locomotive right everyone here seen a locomotive OK Right there it is great big huge chunk of metal right and believe it or not they wrecked those things so our guys will repair them and the front polit on the end it’s the very end of the locomotives some of those pilots are like an inch and a half thick so whenever they bring then they’re to repair them they have to cut that damaged part off and repair so they have to make sure that these guys are going to be doing the welding know what they’re doing right I mean they don’t want to go down the road in that piece fall off so they were conducting welding test in a way they would do that is they would to. Have two pieces of metal various sizes but they would be beveled on one side and they’d place them together they’d have to weld them together now there is more to welding then many people may understand or even know you have to have the welder set at just the right temperature that as you strike the arc and use the welding rod it has to burn into the metal it has to penetrate deep into the metal in order to make those two pieces become one. You understand what I’m saying if you don’t have the welder set right it’s not going to burn in deep it’s just going to be on the surface or just barely below the surface and it might look purty it might look like it’s going to hold but here’s how they would find out if it would hold they would take those to Pete Now these guys had to learn to Wiscon it was extra These guys had to learn you know it’s kind of easy to weld when the flat not for me I’m not a welder but for GAZA Well it is kind of easy to weld them flat you know here here it is but they had to weld in the flat they had the world vertical which you know that’s that’s that’s where I really struggled all want to go down they had even weld overhead because you know when they wreck these things you can’t put them upside down so everything’s flat you’ve got to be able to weld overhead to but so here’s back to the here’s how they test the well they had a jig made up that they would put this piece of metal when you had a big huge hydraulic press and they would press down on the metal they would squeeze it in this jig and if it bent and broke the well didn’t hold. It would it should not break if it was going to pass where they could be a certified welder it can’t break it can’t break it to weld it must hold so oh passing weld bends but not breaks you follow me it will bend but not break. I don’t think I could ever pass the welding test I’m not a welder as I said. But that’s how they would tell. If it would bend without breaking it was a satisfactory weld some of you might be saying what in the world is he talking about well for I mean I came here to hear about the Lord here’s what I’m talking about let me get I’m get into it this does apply to faith brothers and sisters the same way the same thing applies to our faith if our faith in our trusting God does not penetrate deep down into our hearts. We’re going to break. We’re going to break when God brings the test the sea puts us in that mold and bends us what’s going to happen. Are we going to trust him or are we going to know that our God is the God of the impossible and he can do all things are we going to break are we going over and on ourself the word has to be penetrated deep into our hearts our trust has to be deep in our hearts to know that our God can do all things we have to be grounded and rooted same way is that well it has to be grounded and rooted in those pieces of metal God’s love his trust his word has to be grounded and rooted in our hearts how else will God know if we will break and as he put us in that press. And test us as he did Abraham. Deuteronomy eight two says and you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness to humble you and test you do you hear that God’s lead them ere to humble them and test them to know what was in your heart were rather you would keep his commandment or not that’s where the test is at the heart to Tass what is in your heart God says if you love me what he say you will be me if you love me he will test us God’s testing of Abraham and I believe this with all my heart is one of the greatest acts of obedience ever recorded in history this act that I just read this morning the testing of will he give his son was he willing to sacrifice his son I don’t know of a greater test in the history of mankind apart from God giving his own son I’m talking about mankind. Take Now your son your only son he reminded him of the son whom you love. Because I didn’t have time he knew that. As we’ve learned in the preceding chapters I’m preaching in Genesis for several weeks we’ve learned it Abraham waited many years for that promise Sun God called him out of his father’s land he was seventy five years old he’s a hundred years old when his son is born he waited many years and now God say and I want you to go and offer him. As a sacrifice to me. Now I have to stand up here and just be as honest as I can with you because I know no other way to be I don’t know how well I would do a net test. I thought well no I have got I’ll just tell you how I do and that test I’d have mud all over my face why because I’d be on the ground before God cried and I’d be in that part of mud from my tears now I’d be saying God sent me to Africa God tell me that mountain climb called WOULD cannot do for you God I’ll do anything up preach I’ll go out in the street I’ll do anything but God not my son not my daughter. I’m just being honest. I guess I don’t have the faith that Abraham had because I’d have mud all over my face. That’s. That’s where I’d be. God anything but that that’s what I’d be crying out anything but that I’ll con the highest mountain for you but not my son. But Abraham does not hesitate. It said he rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey you know gosh he could have dilly dallied around the camp for a while maybe God would change as mine. He could’ve really took his time when that journey said three days Lance make a week give a good maybe God God you change your mind yet. But he didn’t he rose early there was not the slightest hesitation in Abraham’s faith. God said Go yes he went. Abraham had already survived many tests in his life he had been through the school of faith if you will the very first was the family test God said I want you to leave your father’s homeland I want you to go to a land that I will show you he was willing to leave his father is mother is family and go he said yes there was another test the test of the famine. Now he failed that test. There was a famine in the stead of trusting God to provide He went to Egypt. So you see in school sometimes you fail sometimes you pass third test was a fellowship test you know that his his nephew Lot went with him and they were great company neighbors Abraham said the land cannot support both of us so I want you to choose you look out and you choose whichever land you want and that’s the land you can have he says to his nephew Lot will a lot looks out he says this looks like the best pastor ever here I’ll take that Abraham says it’s yours I’ll do this way so he passed that test that test to be humble and generous and give to others. He passed the flight test the fight test rather he defeated the kings that God said to destroy them. He trusted God But then of course we know that at first he failed that test of waiting for God to provide the sun. When Sarah devised this plan to take her made high Gar Abraham gave in so he failed that test but we can see by today’s example of Abraham’s faith that he graduated to school faith with the highest honors anyone could ever receive he was willing to give his own son. Kids Why do we go to school. To learn. To learn. Our walk with God our faith journey. It is a learning. It is a learning I shared Abraham’s Thayer’s to show you that yes we are sometimes going to fail. But hopefully we graduate and we won’t bend. Or we will break when he bends us testis warning will be says that our faith is not really tested in court until God ask us to bear what seems on bearable to do what seems on reasonable and to expect what seems impossible do we expect the impossible to happen Abraham had faith that expected the impossible because when he and Isaac left the servants at the bottom of the mountain what did he tell them he told them in verse five you stay here with the dunky the lad and I will go yonder and worship and we will come back that’s faith. Someone might falsely suggest that Abraham really had no intent to carry this sacrifice out but I can assure you because I believe this word to be one hundred percent truth I can assure you that he had every intent to carry out what God commanded him to do. Because when the angel said unto Abraham he says for now I know that you fear God sent you have not withheld your son your only son from me. Why would they have said that if Abraham was going to go oh I really was going to do this he was going to do it I assure you he was and God says Now I know. That your love for me is greater than for the son. We have to be willing to give up what is our greatest desire in his service for him. And then we will be blessed then we will be blessed we have to give in order to receive he was going to do it he had that much faith in God Abraham was believing in something that had never happened before. He believed that God was going to be able to raise up that son from the dead he believed that because he said we will come back there had never been a resurrection before that but Abraham believed God trusted God to do the impossible he expected the impossible do we expect the impossible how far would we go in our faith expect the impossible. He knew that God had promise that it was through Isaac that his seed would come and that the entire world would be blessed he knew that God would never contradict one of his promises do we have that much trust in God that he would never contradict one of his promises faith that pleases God does not demand an explanation of what He commands us to do. Instead it will rest on the promise of God Faith will act in trust and that which is not seen faith believes that God can and will do the impossible. Do you today believe that God can and will do the impossible. Faith will grow you know I think of faith sometimes I think of exercise and you know we can all we often use athletes and I don’t I’m just going to say athletes not one particular sport but you look at those athletes in any part the any given sport and those that Excel far above the rest. They are the ones that put their bodies to the test Think about that for just a moment they are the ones though though hit the gym at five am in the morning they’ll be lifting weights to be running to be exercising whatever their sport is they will push their bodies to the extreme. And to to where they think their bodies going to break but they don’t give up they get up the next morning they do it again. They put it to the test then they excel faith my friends must be stretched it must be pulled it must be pushed it must be tested how else will God know what’s in here. If he does not test us. First Peter. Chapter one versus six they’re not I’m in this you greatly rejoice though now for a little while. If need be you have been grieved by various trials that the genuineness of your faith be much more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire may be found to praise honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ whom having not seen you love the now you do not see him yet yet be leaving you read Joyce with joy inexpressible and full of glory receiving the end of your faith the salvation of your souls How will you praise God Praise God for the salvation of our souls my friends these touch these trials these tests these things that we go through in this life are but for a little while there but for a little while compared to eternity aren’t they we are so. Focused on the here and now we’re so focused on time. It’s hard for us for us to grasp eternity. Life without end. No clocks to tell us it’s time for the service to be over a life without end. Let’s focus on that. That our faith will grow that the genuineness of your faith may be found to praise honor and glory the one true God and I pray that today I pray that you pray that father may my faith grow May my faith be made stronger Lord help my unbelief we’ve heard people say that in the Bible help my unbelief help my faith to be strong so my question to you today is how far would you go ask yourself that question God called you to go to that mountain whatever that mountain may be it’s not say Mountain is Abraham’s but God calls you to do whatever it is he calls you to do how far would you go. How far would your faith take I can answer that for you already answered to one for the kid given a god be in the mud. But Lord help me help my faith. How far would you go when God calls you how far would you go when God test you because the tests come and they’re going to come. To test a genuine us or our hearts but here is the most wonderful thing and I. Cannot leave this out how did that story end. God provided friends we are that Isaac on the altar. Symbolically that is us we are as equal in the altar because the wages of sin is death. So we deserve to die each and every one of us but just as God provided that ram that he could sacrifice in place of his son on that alter He has provided not a RAM but the Lamb of God to dial not cross in our place that we can have life that’s what our faith in our trust in our hope is built upon Jesus Christ and I hope and praise the Lord of your life today if you’re watching him he’s not please make him the Lord of your life allow him to be the want to pawn that altar in your place that you can have the forgiveness of sins and have Jesus Christ in your heart how far would you go today Amen.