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Intentional Acts of Obedience

Hebrews 11:8-22

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“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was going. [9] By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, co-heirs of the same promise. [10] For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. [11] By faith even Sarah herself, when she was barren, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful. [12] And therefore from one man—in fact, from one as good as dead—came offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as innumerable as the grains of sand by the seashore. [13] These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. [14] Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. [15] If they had been remembering that land they came from, they would have had opportunity to return. [16] But they now aspire to a better land—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. [17] By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; he who had received the promises was offering up his unique son, [18] about whom it had been said, In Isaac your seed will be called. [19] He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead, from which he also got him back as an illustration. [20] By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. [21] By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and, he worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. [22] By faith Joseph, as he was nearing the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the sons of Israel and gave instructions concerning his bones.” (HCSB)

 Most ticks of the clock are no different than the others.  Time passes.  We wake up.  More time passes.  We work, play, study, eat, relax and return to bed.  The clock ticks.  We inhale, exhale, and then inhale again.  But then there are those moments when our hearts skip a beat and the clock forgets to tick.  Moments that are frozen in time—defining moments.

 Abraham had two such moments in his life, both of them requiring him to use the kind of faith we studied last week—the kind of faith that allows people to believe in something not seen, and stake their lives on it.  God told Abraham to move to a land that He would show him.  God didn’t give any details, except to say that He would show the land to Abram.  Look at the promise that God made to him in Genesis 12:3 “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” I’d call that a significant promise, wouldn’t you? It was huge. Would Abram follow God even though God didn’t tell him the details?

It is common for us to begin a conversation with strangers by asking, “So where are you from?” Like Abraham, most of us are sojourner. California is primarily comprised of people from somewhere else. At one time, it was people from back East and the South that were moving here. Now it is people from all over the globe. People from the East are likely to be from China or Korea and people from the South are likely to be from Mexico or South America. They are sojourners, and so are we.  Most of us know where we are from, and when we move, we know where we are going.  Abraham didn’t.  All he knew is that he was to leave the comfort and security of his home and move.

The clock stopped ticking.  Abraham faced a defining moment.  He didn’t blink.  He gathered up what he needed for the journey and he left.
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