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As You Dedicate Yourselves Today Through Fasting - Where Is Your Sacrifice?

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Genesis 22 v 1-2  NIV-  Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

NRSV  After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.”

Title: As you dedicate yourselves today through fasting…where is your sacrifice???

Prayer:

Intro:

We serve a mighty God! Amen! We use certain words to describe and praise Him. He is awesome, breath-taking, wonderful…merciful, compassionate, forgiving, loving All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Ever-Present – this is our God.

But there other words we can use to describe Him which we DO NOT use – our God can be unreasonable, irrational, absurd, outlandish, ludicrous, sometimes He can be ridiculous

Have you read the Bible of late…? sometimes He does not make sense most of the time!

Here is our challenge…it is that we have to trust God and distrust our common sense.

  • We heavily rely on our common sense to us
  • If it doesn’t add up, it does not work
  • If we can’t see it, then it is not there
  • If we can’t see prove it, then it does not exist
  • If we cannot explain it by natural science, it’s hallucination

But do I have a witness that God is mysterious...and sometimes can be ridiculous!

You still don’t believe me –

Naaman (go wash dirtiest muddiest waters – not once but 7 times),

Peter (walked on water..and Peter walked on Jesus’ Word),

Blind man, (takes mud and puts on his eyes and he sees!)

We serve a God who is beyond our senses and beyond our understanding – His thoughts are not our thoughts!

Jesus

His birth is beyond cosmological and astrological explanation – when he was born, there was a star in Bethlehem (never seen a star like that and will never see a star like that again – it cannot be explained!)

His age is beyond numerical explanation – understand this that Jesus was younger and older than His mother at the same time. “Before Abraham was, I AM” which means He pre-existed His mother! What do we have here –

  • Jesus, who was David’s Seed, was also David’s Saviour
  • Jesus, who was David’s Son, was also David’s Father and Lord
  • Jesus, who created flesh, became flesh, when God reversed the beginning, when he took a motherless woman from a body of a man in creation but took a fatherless man from the body of a woman in redemption!

His mind was beyond psychological and theological explanation – at 12, he outwitted the professors of the time

Abraham in Genesis 22 – ridiculous request from God

Cf Gen 17v5 (God told Abraham he would be father of many nations)

Besides asking him to break the law, now He is contradicting that promise! The promise was to come via Isaac

Understand this…it was a miracle that they had this son!

The long awaited son now has to be put on the altar ---as a burnt offering.

Agony between v 2 and 3

Abraham would have willingly given up his riches ….but God wanted more than that! He wanted that which he would not have willingly given up by himself!!

God knew that he would willingly give up his sheep….but what you willingly give of yourself is NOT sacrifice! ******Let’s accept our state

Look at the text…”Take your only son, Isaac…whom you love”….God is saying, I want you to sacrifice what you love the most in this world….so that the whole of heaven knows that you love me above everything else!

He wants you to give that which will make you stay up at night wondering if it was really God who was talking!

God is asking you to sacrifice!

Qn: Maybe you are asking…”Why would God give me something and then ask me to give it back?”

Ans: It could be that you have fallen in love with the gift more than the Giver!

Let me come from another angle: Isaac was the dearest thing in his heart.

Sacrifice is not easy – because God will ask you to sacrifice that which is dearest to your heart!

So, what is it that you need to sacrifice?

  • Relationship (u no longer talking to God who gave you the relationship) –put it on altar and go back to the first love
  • Some of us love our money too much, house, cars

You are not worshipping until what you love the most is on the altar and God is first in your life!!

  • Some of our friendships are very very dear..we respect other people’s opinions more than God!!...Put that on the altar..so you trust God more than people

For it to be a sacrifice…listen now…something has got to die! (Paul says, I die daily – that’s sacrifice!) Paul says “Offer yourselves as living sacrifices”

There can be no sacrifice without DEATH!

Some of us settled for something less than what God intended for us…after the service you may need to call that person and call it off! It will hurt but you need to sacrifice!

We talk about Jacob wrestling…Abraham wrestled….sometimes we need to wrestle too with our flesh! And sacrifice it! (God’s temple vs my flesh ---build me a temple that I may dwell among you!)

NB: No giving out of emotions but from a clear head -

Why Mt Moriah … which was a 3 days’ journey? (When there were many mountains on the way!!)

  • God wanted him to think about the sacrifice
  • Gave him an opportunity to change his mind
  • Wanted him to be clear minded …not out of emotion!!
  • Not one hour after the request (Abraham had 3 days to think it through)

NB: Worship = sacrifice V4: “…..we will worship”

NB: He speaks in faith that BOTH himself and Isaac will return!

He speaks in faith even though there is no evidence to prove what he is saying!

Did you hear what I just read??? God says “Go and sacrifice…” and Abraham says “Both of us will return”

Aahh…Abraham had enough sense and faith to know God’s modus operando..= that you can speak things that are NOT as though they are!

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