Google+ 05/03/13 Get Your Never-Ending Retirement Benefits Today!

Genesis 17:1-2

 

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. 

I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” 

 

Is God "the Almighty" in your life?  Many of us claim this fact without really thinking about what that means.  Our Scripture today points out the covenant obligation and blessing that we can enter into with God.  We have so often read and heard about Abraham, that we often forget who he was.  Remember that Abraham was really Abram.  Abraham has a very special place in both World and Biblical history, as he is the forefather of both the Jews and the Arabs!  How about that for a combination?!!!  His original name meant "High Father."  Abram left Ur, in ancient Sumeria, to travel to Haran in Syria.  He eventually migrated to Canaan where the promise in our Scripture today is fulfilled.  Notice that Abram is ninety-nine years old before he encounters God, face-to-face.  There is a long sermon in this fact alone, but today we will simply say that it is never too late to see God!  The word covenant somehow gets convoluted in Christian circles.  Simply put, it is a promise between two parties.  God tells Abram who He is.  God looks right at him and says, "I am God the Almighty."  God's instructions are clear and to the point.  "Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life."  Why do we Christians, and the churches we plant, make mission statements and purposes so difficult and confusing?  If we were all to "serve God faithfully and live a blameless life, "we would find that things would work out much better for all of us!  God then announces His promise to Abram.  God promises Abram many descendants, if Abram will do his part.  Normally, we would ignore this promise and simply move on, exclaiming that having many children is no big deal.  Many people have done that.  In Abram's case, it is a huge deal as he and his wife Sarah have no children at this point.  Abram is ninety-nine and Sarah is seventy-nine.  The conventional wisdom might be that the childbearing years for this mature couple have long since past!  Well folks, that is why God is the Almighty.  We all know the rest of this story.  Abram falls on his knees and accepts God's offer.  God changes his name to Abraham (Father of All) and he and Sarah wait twenty years for God to fullfill His promise.  Abraham lives to be 175!  I'm sure it was his high-fiber diet!!!  Before you go out in the world today, stop and listen to the voice of El Shaddai.  Make Him "God the Almighty" in your life.  Listen to the covenant that God wants to make with you.  The resurrection covenant is simple.  Jesus died for us.  We need to live for Him.  Don't make it so complicated.  The eternal life covenant is not a one-sided entitlement program.  It, like the covenant God made with Abraham, requires us to do something.  Our job is to accept Christ as our personal Savior and work for the Kingdom of God.  If we do, Jesus will absolve us from all our sin and we will live with God and Him for all eternity.  We work hard to keep our earthly benefits like 401K's, other pensions, social security, and health insurance.  While the world will tell you that you can't live without these things, I am not at all sold on any of them.  I'm going to accept God's eternal-life covenant promise and enjoy His everlasting and never-ending retirement benefits!!!