Friday, June 17, 2016

CCF: Stopping God in His Tracks

Genesis 18
Pastor Caloy Pena

There is a wide definition of the word friendship or friend today. Social media has somehow associated friendship to the list of people(you may or may not met) who are linked to your account. Merely contacts you get to see updates every now and then.

Genesis 18 gives us an account of Abraham, a friend of God who was able to stop Him in His tracks, this story redefines the meaning of friendship and reinforces the depth of the relationship. But what does it mean to be friends of God?

When we are friends with God...

1. Fellowship with Him becomes more fervent
“He saw... he ran... he welcomed... he bowed low...” (1-2)
“...stop here... rest in the shade... feet washed... let me prepare some food to refresh you...” (3-5)
In term of presents, God gets the best!
“...the best flour... tender and choice calf... he took curds and milk...” (6-8)
In terms of preoccupation, God gets the most!
“he was standing by them” (8)

When we are friends with God, fellowship becomes more eager, more urgent and we lavish God with our gifts.

2. Our unbelief becomes more apparent
When relationship becomes closer our failures becomes more visible
“Is anything too difficult for the LORD? (14)
A real friend will continue to love us in spite of our imperfections. Both Abraham and Sarah doubted about them having a child because of their old age, but God corrected them with love.

3. The LORD Himself becomes more transparent
Commitment to the covenant:
Abraham will become a great nation... all the nations will be blessed through Him (18)
God bound Himself in covenant with Abraham. He is committed to Abraham and revealed His plans about Sodom and Gomorrah
Rule of Righteousness:
He will direct his sons to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just. (19)
Justness of God's justice:
I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. (20-21)
Invitation to Intercede:
God discloses Himself to Abraham so that someone would stand in the gap between a Holy God and a sinful man and intercede for them.
"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." – John 14:21

Divine disclosure is love and obedience, the more we obey God, the more we love God, the more we love God, the more He reveals Himself to us.

You are my friends if you do what I command you, no longer do I call you slaves for the slave does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” --John 15:14-15

Slaves obey out of duty, friends obey out of devotion. God wants a relationship of love.

4. Our prayers become persistent
Audacity of haggling with God(23-32)
The basis of persistent praying is not about our character, or the gravity of our situation but about the character of God Himself. The reason why we can pray persistently to God is because of His nature.
God of justice.
“Should not the judge of all the earth do what is right?” (23-25)
God of mercy.
“...let me speak even though I am but a dustand ashes” (27)
“Please don't be angry” (30, 32)
God of grace.
“But he hesitated.. the men seized his hands, his wife and two daughters, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him” (19:16)

Abraham understood that God is a God of justice, mercy and grace.

All of us who have come to know Christ have access to this great opportunity to be friends with God, but it is up to us to determine how deep, how intimate we want to be friends with Him.

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