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Do You Trust the Lord's Promises?    Gen. 15:1-6; 16:1-3; 17:1-2, 17-19    Jan. 27, 08

Our coins express the motto, "In God We Trust," but in reality many trust in their coins. The Lord promises to bless an obedient giver but too few really believe that. The lesson asks personally, Do You Trust The Lord's Promises?

1. Trust The Lord In Matters Of . . Rewards. 15:1-3

A. The . . Greatness Of Rewards From The Lord. 15:1
15 After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield; your reward will be very great.

B. The . . Giving Of Rewards From The Lord. 15:2-3
2 But Abram said, "Lord God, what can You give me, since I am childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 Abram continued, "Look, You have given me no offspring, so a slave born in my house will be my heir."

    After your salvation experience do you believe the Lord gave you a specific promise for some personal blessing from Him in your life? The Lord may promise great reward to you like He promised to Abram. You must trust Him to give in the manner and time He chooses. Did you notice the straightforward communication Abram expressed to the Lord? If we do that we need to be respectful, and walking in obedient trust.

2. Trust The Lord In Matters Of . . Righteousness. 15:4-6

A. Righteousness According To His . . Plan. 15:4-5
4 Now the word of the Lord came to him: "This one will not be your heir; instead, one who
comes from your own body will be your heir." 5 He took him outside and said, "Look at the sky
and count the stars, if you are able to count them." Then He said to him, "Your offspring will be
that numerous."

B. Righteousness According To His . . Provision. 15:6
6 Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness. HCSB

        It is interesting to notice how many ways mankind tries to gain righteousness. All the names given for the attempts toward righteousness really boil down to only two. They are "works," or "grace." The grace way is God's plan, and all the attempts of mankind are "works" and do not reach their desired goal. The proper plan has been provided by the Lord and we must place our trust in the grace of that plan. The text clearly states, "Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness."

3. Trust The Lord In Matters Of . . Refusals. 16:1-3

A. Refusals Of . . Alternate Plans. 16:1-2
1 Abram's wife Sarai had not borne him children. She owned an Egyptian slave named Hagar.
2 Sarai said to Abram, "Since the Lord has prevented me from bearing children, go to my slave;
perhaps I can have children by her." And Abram agreed to what Sarai said.

B. Refusals Of . . Alienating Plans. 16:3
3 So Abram's wife Sarai took Hagar, her Egyptian slave, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife for him. This happened after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan 10 years. HCSB

1. This Plan Immediately. . Amended God's Plan.
2. This Plan Eventually . . Angered Sarai.
3. This Plan Eventually . . Separated Abram From Hagar.
4. This Plan Eventually . . Alienated Jews From Arabs.

        What would Abram's accomplishments be if he had refused Sarai's plan for an heir? Of course we do not know, but the problems of Israel today might be very different. At times in life we may find it tempting to involve ourselves with an alternate plan than the one God has offered. Trusting God may very well involve some refusals of other alternate plans that may alienate us from the blessing God promised. Sarai's plan amended God's plan, eventually angered Sarai, and separated her and Abram from Hagar. In the following years her plan affected an alienation of the Jews from the Arabs. Trusting God may very well lead to a refusal of plans that alter His plan.

4. Trust The Lord In Matters Of . . Reverence. 17:1-2

A. Reverence Toward The . . Presence Of God. 17:1
1 When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, "I am God Almighty.
Live in My presence and be devout.

B. Reverence Toward The . . Plan Of God. 17:2
2 I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you greatly." HCSB

        Does the Lord give second chances? Yes! God came to Abram and encouraged him to live in His presence, and once again follow the plan to walk before Him with blameless devotion. In several ways Abram became a man with a worthy example, and God promised to multiplied his seed.

5. Trust The Lord In Matters Of . . Revelation. 17:17-19

A. Abraham . . Scorned The Revelation Of God. 17:17-18
17 Abraham fell to the ground, laughed, and thought in his heart, "Can a child be born to a hundred-year-old man? Can Sarah, a ninety-year-old woman, give birth?" 18 So Abraham said
to God, "If only Ishmael could live in Your presence!"

B. God . . Stated Anew His Revelation. 17:19
19 But God said, "No. Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. I will confirm My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. HCSB

        Can you walk close to God and still have moments of unbelief? Yes! Abraham scorned the announcement from God, because it seemed impossible. Abraham questioned an elderly couple producing a male child. We need to learn from this event that if God reveals His will and purposes to His children we must trust Him to do exactly as He stated. The world may ask us, Do You Trust the Lord's Promises? Amen? Amen!