Sermons by Michael Howell (Page 14)
Jacob fled from Esau with nothing. In tonight’s passage we see Jacob, twenty years later, described as exceedingly prosperous (30:43). It’s very obvious that God is the giver of all of Jacob’s prosperity. But how does this passage relate to us? Listen as we consider the connections between Jacob’s prosperity and the God who gives that prosperity. Let us be reminded of how we as Christians, ought to understand our own prosperity in light of what Christ has done.
In our story tonight we find Jacob, desperate, fearful and alone, suffering the consequences of his deceptive ways. He is, in a word, broken. But it is down to this broken man that God, in his grace, reaches. He reveals himself to Jacob and makes some extraordinary promises to him. This is a story all about God’s grace, not only to Jacob, but to us as well. Listen as we are reminded that we belong to a God who has found us in our brokenness, revealed himself to us, and promised to remain with us.
Deception, moral failure and conflict. That pretty much sums up the the story of Jacob and Esau! None of the characters in this story cover themselves in glory. And yet, one again, we see that God continues to work out his purposes despite the sinfulness of his people. Along the way we learn a couple of lessons for ourselves. Our God is a good God. There is nothing more valuable than what he has in store for us.
Thirteen long years after Ishmael is born, God finally speaks to Abram again. He confirms his covenant with Abram, changing his name to Abraham, promising him a son named Isaac through Sarah, and giving him the sign of circumcision. We are people of the new covenant. This new covenant involves a new kind of circumcision, the “circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit” (Rom 2:29).
Tonight we are presented with a stark contrast between mankind and God. Firstly we see Abram and Sarai make a compromise, deciding to do things their way instead of God’s. Their decision results in chaos. But then we see God intervene. On display are God’s immense compassion and his perfect control. How will we respond to a God such as this?
God has a plan to make things right in this world. As we begin our new series, “God’s master plan” we meet the man with whom that plan began, Abram. As we look at Abram’s call, his obedient response and ongoing faith, we are forced to ask ourselves how we will respond to the call of God.
Following on from last week, the writer focuses on the theme of “God’s rest.” He wants us to examine the state of our hearts as we consider the nature of this rest and the way in which we enter into it.
Christ has given us new life and relationships are the primary context in which we live out this new life. As we wrap up our “Reclaiming Love” series, let us consider why it is so important to express, in our relationships, who we are and what we have in Christ. Includes Q&A Panel Session
There are so many different approaches to dating in our world. And with so many opinions and dating “strategies” out there, it can make us wonder how we should approach dating as Christians. Listen as we think about some of the biblical principles for dating as well as some of practical guidelines to help us approach dating in a way that honours God.
We all want to have good quality, loving relationships, but sometimes relationships can just seem like hard work. As we begin our new relationships series tonight, we’re asking the question, “how do we build loving relationships?” Listen as we consider God’s wisdom for answering this question.