Tag Archives: Abraham

The little guy

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I was the little guy who couldn’t do anything significant for God. Twenty years later, there’s a church and a Christian private school in Guatemala.

I like the word “hewn.” Look at the rock from which you were HEWN, and the to the quarry your cut out of… Abraham your father… I called him when he was alone and blessed him and increased him. — Isaiah 51:1

The present tense of hewn is “hew.” I’d never heard that before. “Hewn” means to be cut out of.

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This is Ibis and his wife. He was so shy and quiet. Now he is making big decisions for Christ.

God encourages the Israelites (who see Abraham as HUGE) to regard Abraham as SMALL in his beginnings. Indeed, Abraham didn’t have any children until he was 100 years old (and his wife was 90). Yet God had promised to make a nation out of him. Talk about feeling small. And not up for the task.

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With some “little guys” at the Liceo Bilingüe La Puerta.

Despite such an inauspicious beginning, Israel did become a great nation. It still is with Jews scattered over the world.

God is encouraging the Israelites — at a time when they are rebuilding their nation and are small and insignificant — that they will be able to do the impossible, to re-start their nation.

In God, small things lead to big. And you should never flag in faith because you are looking at your circumstances. Look at Abraham.

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It took decades…

patienceIt took decades for Abraham… to finally have a child. He was 100. Sarah was 90.

It took decades for Moses… to deliver the Israelites. He was 40 when he flopped. He didn´t want to have anything to do with it when God came around and offered him the job again when he was 80.

It took decades for Joseph to get out slavery/jail and realize God’s promised destiny.

It took decades for the Temple to be built, decades for the Israelites to be freed from captivity, decades for the Messiah to come, decades for Christianity to come out of persecution.

God never is in a hurry.

I guess I can still wait on His timing.

His biggest blunder

Don't get out of the path.

Don’t get out of the path.

Without a doubt, Abraham blew it when he tried to “help” God. After not seeing the promise of God fulfilled for more than a decade, Abraham slept with Hagar, his wife’s maidservant, to have the descendant through her.

Oops. Talk about a doozy. Now we can’t have peace in the Middle East as a result. The baby, Ishmael, grew up to fight and cause trouble to the true promised child, Isaac. His 1360711691731572240590805063076419_wYkaoZMI_b descendants, the Arabs, want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. If only Abraham and Sarah would have had patience…

Herein lies a great lesson for prayer. Hang in there believing for the miracle, and don’t try to “force” the hand of God with an easy, half-baked “answer.” Continue contending for His best, not your compromise.

You can serve God half way, but you won’t get 71494712804052847_GCszxYOs_bcomplete blessing. In all, Abraham and Sarah had to wait 25 years (give or take a few) to see their child born. Abraham was 100, and Sarah, 90. God was faithful. If they hadn’t fallen into desperation, the world would be a better place today. Your world will be a better place, if you don’t get frantic for the answer.

Slavery success

Since when is slavery a path to riches?

God made the Israelites into slaves for 400 years — and this was His plan to make them rich! After enduring 10 successive plagues, the Egyptians were all to eager to be rid of their slaves and so they sent them off with loaded with gold and bedecked with jewels.

God prophesied to Abraham about this: After (the period of slavery) they will come out with great possessions — Gen. 15:14 NIV.

Well, ministry is not a six-digit career. But God can make the riches gush out of the unlikeliest places. He makes water come out of the rock, gold coins come out of fishes mouths — and wealth out of slavery! Ministry is NOT as bad a slavery, so don’t be afraid to fulfill your call for monetary fears.

And, when you pray for finances, it’s never a problem for God, though we fret needlessly. He can even make slaves into millionaires!

The failure club and ministry

Morgan Spurlock‘s The Failure Club is a stroke of genius. This web-based program features New Yorkers deliberating trying to fail. In repeatedly failing at their biggest unfulfilled dream, they eventually hit success.

If you aim to fail, you lower expectations. You eliminate paralyzing fear of failure. You allow yourself the freedom to experiment and practice. You stop wasting time in distracting ventures and pursue your truest dream. You stop fantasizing success and actually pursue it. You don’t get discouraged because your stated goal is to fail.

The inspiring program is an inverted formula for faith. You should watch it on Yahoo (it appears every Friday at 1 p.m., but you can watch old episodes). It teaches you to have faith (in yourself). We Christians take it step further to have faith in God. Because if you don’t risk, you won’t achieve anything.

What has God called you to do but you aren’t doing because it is too grandiose? It doesn’t have a “secure” future? You could flop hugely and become humiliated?

Do that.

Go ahead. Don’t be afraid to fail. So Gideon attacked the vast enemy army. David took on Goliath. Abraham left his homeland. Moses accepted ministry. Joseph received Mary as his wife. Etc., etc., etc. Passage after passage of the Bible, it’s the same story: people gambled everything, risking utter failure, to do something for God — and in the process became heroes.

Spurlock was $250,000 in debt, sleeping at the office because he lost his home, when he decided to risk yet again and do one more movie. His docudrama Supersize me, unflattering to McDonald’s, of 2004 became a huge success.

Are you praying prayers that are too small? Are you limiting your course of action to a safe and familiar zone?

The king of Sodom loved not money

When Abraham vanquishes with 318 men the entire armies of four kings, he is met by the king of Sodom, a figure of Satan. Revealingly, the king says, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” — Gen. 14:21 NIV.

Sound simple enough? You deserve a reward for bringing back my people. Keep the money. Actually, that is a wrong interpretation.

The true interpretation would be: I don’t give a fig about the money. Give me the souls, because I am leading them to Hell, and only they are valuable. Remember, the king was responsible for promoting all the sin of Sodom.

Can we learn something from the devil?

The devil is not interested in enriching himself. The glisten of gold catches not his eye. He wants only the souls of man.

As you strain under the financial pressures in ministry, buoy yourself with thought of what you’re doing it for: the souls of men. The souls of men are true riches. Satan knows it. Jesus knows it; he bought our salvation with his agony on the cross.

What is at risk are pastors and ministers. Do we know the true value of souls? Every time a pastor cashes in and trades ministry for a secular career, the devil howls with delight.

This blog is about praying with faith for finances. You can see great breakthrough, as I saw in Guatemala. But you also need to maintain the right perspective. Money doesn’t matter, what matters are the souls of men.

Dumb faith

Sarah laughed at Abraham. A generation mocked Noah. No doubt, the other prisons gaped incredulously at Paul and Silas as they sang hymns while their fresh wounds dripped blood. These were all dumb to believe.

Lord, give us dumb faith. Grant us to believe — in the face of scorn.

Of course, there’s a difference between “dumb faith” and just being unwise. Grant us the ability to know the difference. Without balancing this teaching, I want to extol “dumb” faith.

Sarah gave birth at 90 years of age. Her laughter of unbelief turned into laughter of joy. Noah spent 100 years building an ark and telling people the reason why was that it was going to rain and flood the Earth. It had never rained previously. The Earth was watered a mist that covered the land. No wonder they didn’t believe him. He was dumb to believe.

Paul and Silas look out of their minds. Their wounds evidently hurt. And they’re there singing away happily. Did they appear to be drugged up?

Dumb faith is the answer to ministry’s greatest frustrations. It keeps you giving up hope, when any “reasonable” person could see clearly. When finances lack and obligations loom, dumb faith gets the miracle of money. When challenges are staggering, dumb faith keeps you from despair. It is quiet and childlike.

So let others laugh. You are good company — in company of Biblical heroes. They believed when it appeared to be dumb to believe.