Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:1-3 ESV
When we were in elementary and grade school, if someone one “called you out”, they wanted to fight you. BUT when GOD calls us out, He wants us to FIGHT WITH HIM and to stop FIGHTING AGAINST HIM. God calls out those who He wants to USE, He calls out those He knows. Romans 8:29-30 (selective redactions mine) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined …. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. This section of the Bible, Genesis 12:1, is titled, “The CALL of Abram”. He was called to leave everything HE KNEW, everyone HE KNEW and to go to a place HE DIDN’T KNOW. Hebrews 11:8 tells us; By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, without knowing where he was going. By Faith Abraham was justified! And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.(Genesis 15:6)
Leader, WORDs have meaning and God’s WORD has ALL MEANING. Let’s focus on 2 words; Kindred and Church. ‘Kindred’ means to be related by blood or marriage, it has the base of KIN, family. It also means, “people with the same beliefs, attitudes or feelings as oneself”. And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. (Mark 3:13) It takes GREAT FAITH to leave all you know, your comfort zone, and to STEP OUT INTO something foreign and do so alone, unsure and confused. This was Abram’s experience, and this is a SHADOW of what our experience is supposed to be like. He calls those whom He wants. The Greek word that is translated as “church” in the Bible is ekklesia. The prefix is ek or ex, which means “out of” or “from” and the root is a form of the verb kaleo, which means “to call.” Thus, ekklesia means “those who are the called-out ones.” POWERFUL; the invisible church, the true church, is composed of those who are called by God inwardly and outwardly. When Jesus calls someone to discipleship, He is calling that person to Himself, to belong to Him, to follow Him, and to learn from Him and of Him. But He is also calling us to GET OUT of old relationships, GET OUT of old ways of thinking, GET OUT from under the oppression of fear, doubt and looking for others to take care of our needs. We are called to be NEW CREATURES (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) And when we are NEW, we want to put in NEW THINGS. One of those NEW THINGS is FAITH. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17)
Conduit, God is looking for people of GREAT FAITH who have been called out! We are justified by Faith alone, in Christ alone by Grace alone to the GLORY of GOD alone, and it is the BIBLE ALONE that helps us to build this Faith! The only faith by which a person can be justified is his\her own faith. No one can be justified by their spouse’s faith, their parents’ faith, their children’s faith, or church attendance and it’s faith! At the final judgment, everyone will stand before God alone, and judgment will be rendered based on what is in his heart alone, on their FAITH. How many different sentences can you finish that start, “By Faith alone, I….”? Warren Wiersbe said, “Faith is NOT believing in spite of evidence, that is superstition. Faith is obeying God’s word, in spite of circumstances or consequences. We do not live by explanation, we live by promises.” True FAITH calls us to come out of where we were going and GO TO WHERE we need to be! REAL FAITH not only brings us out of something, but it also BRINGS US INTO something else. We CANNOT live in our OLD-WAY of life and think at the same time we can live by Faith. God is giving us a TIME OUT, to come OUT and to GO INTO! God said to Abram, “Come out of UR that I might bring you into something NEW, something UNKNOWN”. Because Abram loved God more than He loved his FAMILY, his comfort zone and his world- God called him, FRIEND and blessed the world through Him. God is making the same PROMISE to us. Galatians 3:29 tells us this; And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. We have been forced to SHELTER IN PLACE, to come out of patterns and busy-ness, to come out of schedules and comfort. The big question is, “What is God calling you IN TO?” Since we are being CALLED OUT, seek God’s wisdom and ask Him, “Lord what are you calling me INTO…TO DO?” When you get the answer, STEP OUT, for God is CALLING YOU to demonstrate GREAT FAITH!