Kahs In Kol 2023-2024 Printing Version

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Topic:  Greed and Priorities
Text: Genesis 13
Introduction:
Don’t sacrifice your walk with God for money and material
possessions
.
Everywhere we turn, we will find that the world surrounding us is all
about me, myself, and I.  We ask
questions like, this looks good and how can I benefit from it?  There are programs for anything that we want
to be; even there is an app for everything.
We seldom look at things in the now, as they appear to be what they are
not. The world today is full of attractions that will lead us away from our
faith.  What is faith?  Well, faith
is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1)
  We are in the world
but not of the world.  We are just
sojourners. Our home is in heaven. We are surrounded by things the will not
last.  The temporal things will only lead
us away from the will of God.  And to
know the will of God is to know and understand the Absolute Truth.  The Absolute Truth can only be found in the scriptures
where we can also find the riches that only God can give.  God will empower us to walk in His will only
if we allow him to.  Again I say to you, don’t sacrifice your walk with God for money
and material possessions
.
Background:
It is good to start with the story of
the creation to the flood.  The timeline
shows that there were ten generations from Creation (Adam) to the Great Flood
(Noah). God created the heaven and earth in seven days.  On the sixth day after the creation of
humanity, God said, it was very good.  On
the seventh day, God rested.  Everything
in Garden of Eden was given to Adam and Eve to work and take care of it.  There was one exception. They were not to eat
of the tree of knowledge.  In Genesis 3,
the master of deception came to Eve, while she was alone and created doubt in
her by asking, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the
garden’?”  We learned from reading the
Bible that both Adam and Eve were deceived and fell into sin.   Their disobedience brought curse upon
mankind and all creations.  God said in
Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your
offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” From
this point on, both Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of Eden.  This is the beginning of God’s plan for
redemption.
Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel.  We learned that Cain murdered his own brother
because of jealousy.  After the death of
Abel, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.  Wickedness of mankind continued as they
multiplied and filled the earth.  The
Lord saw the increasing of man’s wickedness on earth.  The wickedness and violence had grown out of
control that God was going to wipe out the creations but He found favor in one
man, Noah.  Noah was known as a righteous
man.  God told him to build an ark and
also gave instructions to put animals in pairs before the rain started.  God spared Noah and his three sons with their
wives and the animals in the ark from the great flood.  After the great flood, God made a promise
that never again will He destroy creations with flood.  The sign of the covenant was the rainbow in
the clouds.
The post-flood era, the whole world had
one language.  As mankind continued to
multiply and fill the earth, they came together and decided to build a tower
that would reach the heavens.  God saw what
they were doing and He said, “If as one people speaking the same language they
have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for
them.  Come let us go down and confuse
their language so they will not understand each other.”  God brought division by the way of different
languages.  He scattered them all over
the face of the earth and this is why it was called Babel.

Abram was the tenth generation from
Shem, one of the three sons of Noah.
Abram was married to Sarai when God called them out to go to
Canaan.  There was a great famine in
Egypt where Abram, Sarai and Lot moved.  God
made a promise to Abram that He will make him a great nation and God will bless
those who bless him, and curse whoever curses him.  God blessed them greatly and abundantly,
which lead us into our reading today.

1.
(THE CALL) Abram returns out of Egypt with great riches
(vv1-4)
Coming out of Egypt,
Abram was very rich.  Being rich comes
with its stresses with the fear of keeping them, temptation in using them,
guilt to abuse them, sorrow in losing them, and even to give them up.  The decision made without God’s counsel can
lead to hardship.  [Mark 10:23-24] In
God’s timing, He can make good men to be rich as we learn that God made Abram
so rich without experiencing sorrows.  Abram
learned from his mistakes when he went down to Egypt that he needed to obey God
by waiting on Him. He came out of Egypt as a mature man with riches that God
blessed him with.
2.
(THE SPLIT) Strife between the herdsmen of Abram and
Lot.  Abram give Lot his choice of the
country (vv5-9)
Being rich can bring
the Spirit of dispute by the way of making people proud and covetous.  The struggles that Abram and Lot went through
did not separate them but their riches did.
When we are in the valley or the trenches, we tend to work together in resolving
differences.  When the focus on the
price, there is always togetherness regardless of external forces attempting to
break up the unity.  The problems usually
start when we work our way to the top.
Especially, when there are other people present. They would give in their
opinion on issues that may make things worse, that can ultimately bring divisions.
The presence of the Canaanite and the Perizzite made the disagreement between
the herdsmen worse.  Even though Abram
was older, he learned to submit to make peace.
Whatever other people are for, people of God must always pursue
peace.  It is always a good thing to
submit for the sake of peace.
3.
(THE DECISION) Lot chooses to dwell at Sodom (vv10-13)
Abram
allowed Lot to choose.  Lot looked at the
goodness of the land to be one of the determining factors.  Often times, passion and selfishness make men
to become rude.  They make decisions
based on their emotions, which are guided and governed by the lust of the
flesh, lust of the eye, and pride of life.  Lot did not take in consideration the badness
of the people in the land.  He only
looked and how beautiful and fruitful the land was which he could benefit
from.  He chose Sodom, which we know that
God, later on, destroyed it from the face of the earth because of their
wickedness.  Making selfish decisions, God’s
presence or blessings cannot be expected. How about it for us?  How many times did we make decisions without
God’s counseling because of how beautiful things appear?  We can look at TV commercials.  Human sexuality is used to sell.  Billboards are raised along major freeways
with the nakedness of the world to captivate our minds.  How many times have we contemplate on
purchasing an item with reasoning that it would make us look good, provide what
I need that I am missing, and so forth.  These are all for selfish reasons. I bet you,
that those moments that we made decisions, we never looked to God for
counseling.  And because of that, we face
hardship as consequences of wrong motives. God has plans for us.  Plans to prosper thus bring many
blessings.  Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know
the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you
and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
4.
(THE PROMISE) God renews his promise to Abram, who removes
to Hebron (vv14-18)
Abram waited on God
and God yielded him much more.  After Lot
departed him, God saw Abram’s heart by his willingness to make peace.  The Divine grace came to those with the Spirit
of calm.  Abram showed it by giving away
what appeared to be valuable for the sake of making peace.  In the end, he built an altar to give God
praises for all the blessings.  Altar is
used for worshipping God.  Worshipping at
the altar requires sacrificial offerings.
The altar is now in our hearts.
What have we brought as sacrificial offerings?  God blessed us with time, wealth, and talent.  As our sacrificial offerings, do we give back
God a token of appreciation for what He has blessed us with or are we keeping
everything to ourselves thinking that these are ours to begin with.  Giving back to God what was originally His is
an act of faith and obedience.  Abraham
started the tithing, in the later chapters of Genesis, as God continued
blessing abundantly.  Are we giving back
to God the tenth of our time, wealth, and talent that God may bless the
remaining 90%?  How can we experience the
fullness of God’s blessings if we don’t do our part? God demands our obedience
more than our sacrifice.
Conclusion:
Increase our faith in God.  Like Abram, God called him out of an idol
worshipping community into His presence.
He was not perfect by all measure but his obedience to God made him very
rich; not only in materialism but his faith in God.  God blessed him and through him came the
nation of Israel.  As we know that his
grandson Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Our faithfulness and obedience to
God can also bring blessings to our neighbors and even our posterity.  Again I say to you, don’t sacrifice your walk with God for money and material possessions.