Sunday, August 17, 2014

CCF: Be Free!

August 17, 2014 - Sunday Message by Pastor Jay Jackson

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Genesis chapters 12 to 21 walks us through the covenant of God to Abraham until the fulfillment of His promises. 

Beginning from Abraham's journey when God asked him to leave his country and go to the land He will show him with a promise that God would make him into a great nation and bless him tremendously. So at the age of 75, Abraham moved out in faith. Abraham believed God but reality remains that Sarah was barren. Ten years passed, still his wife remains childless. This time Sarah, in an attempt to help God carry out His promises(as if God needs our help) suggested Abraham to sleep with her servant Hagar and later bore him a son they named Ishmael.
     
When God makes promises, sometimes we don't always see it in accordance to God's plan. Just like Sarah, we often take matters into our hands, trying so hard to make His promises come true through our own efforts that are not in line with His specific directions. But thankfully, no matter how small our faith to Him, God remains true to His words.

Twenty-five years passed since the day God gave his word to Abraham, when He confirmed His covenant. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 when God finally gave them Isaac. A time when its almost impossible for Sarah to conceive and deliver a child because of old age. But the seemingly impossible for us are God's avenue of manifesting His power.  
Our God is a God who makes promises and keeps it. For it is very His nature and character. When God said it, that settles it! When God said it, consider it done! Our freedom in Christ today is the direct result of Abraham's decision to believe in God. 

Galatians 4:21-31 gives us the account of Hagar and Sarah, describing the covenant of the slave and the free woman. 

"His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise." --Galatians 4:23

People are saved because of their faith in Christ, not because of what they do. The author Paul, contrasted those who are enslaved to the law(represented by Hagar, the slave wife) with those who are free from the law(represented by Sarah, the freeborn wife). In the end Sarah triumphed because God kept His promise to give her a son, just as those who worship Christ in faith will also triumph.  

"But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written:
'Be glad, barren woman, you who never bore a child; shout for joy and cry aloud, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.'
Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. " --Galatians 4:26-28

When God made a promise, He is not asking you to fight so that you can be victorious. He is asking you to surrender, so that you can be delivered. Abraham and Sarah made a mistake of trying to fulfill God's promise through themselves and this act altered the course of human history forever. 

There will be moments that God will ask you to do something in line with His promise -- step up in leadership, join a small group, get involved in a ministry, build a family, start your own small group, move to a new place or take that new role at work. He asks, not for you to become dependable but for you to be more dependent to God. Likewise when God plants seed in your heart, He intends for you to nurture it. Hold on to those promises with all the faith that you can muster. Believe Him. Don't live in the fear that you don't have what it takes. Surrender to Almighty God who have what it takes to accomplish it all.

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