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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Less is More"

Date published: 03/05/2018

Genesis 22:12 “‘Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ He said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son.’” (NIV)

   This passage comes out of the story of God commanding Abraham to provide his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. Can you even begin to imagine the incredible sacrifice that Abraham was ready to make? Being willing to obey God – regardless of the cost – even if it was the death of his only child - the child God promised Abraham years before and fulfilled when Abraham was 100 years old. It is an unfathomable scenario, but one that demonstrates the absolute faith in God that Hebrews 11:19 describes: “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” (NIV)

    Abraham could part with his son who was of this world, because he believed in his God. No sacrifice was too great for his God. I heard of a congregation who was put to task in a similarly sacrificing way when they were called upon to pray for and anoint with oil a new homeowner’s home who was in distress over troubling dreams! Only two responded to the extreme sacrifice of praying over another’s home! It is doubtful that any Christians will ever be called to sacrifice as Abraham was asked.  But will you pursue God diligently enough to hear and listen to Him while standing down to your so-called priorities, so that God can stand up in your life? Will you give Him control of the things in your life – time, money, schedule, friends, possessions, and activities? It is often said that possession is 9/10’s of the law, but God exhorts us in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (NIV) God’s possession of you is everything. Once you start excluding God from the things of your life, you block His work in you. The rich young ruler in Luke 18:21-23 demonstrates the devastation of holding back from God, “‘All these I have kept since I was a boy,’ he said. When Jesus heard this, He said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow Me.’ When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.” (NIV) 

   Do not be like the rich young ruler who toyed with God as to what he was willing to give Him. Go all in for God! Pray for a heart that desires all that God has for you. Ask God to reveal to you the things you are withholding from Him. You block God from the riches of the intimacy of His relationship with you and the things He desires for you by withholding anything from Him. Be like Peter in John 13:9 by giving your all, “Not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” (NIV)  Seek God’s strength and peace to trust Him with those things you are withholding from Him. Lock your eyes on Jesus knowing God’s perfect will for you is in His hands. 

Psalm 66:18 “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (NIV)

 
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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Satisfaction” and “Transformation 1.”

 

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