There are times when we are challenged to lay every thing down for the glory of the Lord. Those times most likely come more often than we acknowledge. Sometime the choices laid before us are difficult. Such was the choice Abraham faced in Genesis 22.
In our continuing series on Vintage Faith: Yesterday, Today, Forever the story of Abraham and Isaac was our focus this week. After Isaac, God’s promised son to Abraham through which the promise would be fulfilled, was born and began to grow up, God asked something very difficult of Abraham. He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. Hebrews 11 tell us that Abraham had such faith in God and what God had said, that he proceeded ahead with the belief that God would bring Isaac back to life. Abraham followed through with each step of faith and at the last moment, God stopped Abraham and recognized the deep faith Abraham had. God had to know that Abraham’s faith was total.
There will be times when God asks us to take steps of faith, even odd ones, to affirm and testify to the reality of our faith. Is our focus on preserving the temporary, or on embracing the eternal? Do we recognize that God leads and moves, and that we have to respond in obedience? Are we constantly examining those things in our life that need to be laid on the altar before God…our “isaacs”?
Here’s what we did together…
Our Service Flow:
Call to Worship: A moment to remember that as we gather, we gather as part of the Body of Christ all over the world declaring the greatness of God. Scriptures from Nehemiah 9.
Awesome Is the Lord Most High (Tomlin/Reeves/Pierce/Abel)
10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) (Redman/Myrin)
Prayer/Scripture (John 3:16 & Romans 3:22-25a)
Wonderful, Merciful Savior (Rodgers/Wyse)
I Surrender All (Van deVenter/Weedon)
Close & Commission: James 1:2-4
- This was the first week doing Awesome is the Lord Most High. The congregation had been exposed to it before, but we hadn’t sung it congregationally. Normally, I wouldn’t just pop out a newish song like this, but it just seemed to be the right choice. We sang the first verse and chorus through twice before moving on to the second verse. It seemed that people engage with it. We then moved right into the chorus of 10,000 Reasons.
- During the prayer & Scripture moment, I invited people to shout out any prayer requests they had. We typically take time to pray for the needs of people pastorally, so I thought I would mix it up a little bit. There wasn’t that great of a response. There were only three shared, and two were by people on the worship team.
- For the response time, I had distributed a piece of paper to each person prior to the start of the service. I invited each person to grab the paper and consider what the “Isaac” in their life might be that God was asking them to lay before Him so they could remove any hindrances to a more full faith. It would have been cool to have them bring them forward to an altar like place, but our congregation doesn’t respond well to those types of activity. It’s something we’re working on, but didn’t want to complicated the opportunity to respond.
- There was some good engagement during the first part of the service. There was a decent crowd there, too. The message was challenging in different ways to different people. The response was a bit less than enthusiastic, but that is an area we are growing in.
I hope that your time of corporate gathering this past weekend was a very special time together where God was present, where people were challenged, and where there was an intentional opportunity to celebrate the greatness of God as one.