Scripture Reading: Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV)
The Lord had said to Abraham, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
V2- “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
V3- I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Jesus taught us The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; For thine is the Kingdom and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
The phrase that caught my attention is “Thy Kingdom Come.”
What does that mean? It means the power and authority that Christ has disarmed from Satan is now here. The power of God is here.
Luke 10:9 – The Kingdom of God has come near to you.
Luke 10:21 – The kingdom of God is within you.
When Christ died and rose from the dead, He destroys the kingdom of Satan and ushers in the Kingdom of God and today this kingdom of God is manifested through:
- Forgiveness of sin
- The fullness of the Holy Spirit
- Casting out of the devil and healing the sick
- Hope of eternal life
- Righteousness, peace and joy
- Second coming of Christ
- Abrahamic prosperity
So when we pray the Lord’s prayer, “Let thy Kingdom come,” we are petitioning to God to let His power come near to us and within us to break through powerfully into the domain of Satan and releasing the Kingdom forgiveness, the Kingdom anointing, the Kingdom authority, the Kingdom hope, Kingdom life, the Kingdom king and the Kingdom prosperity.
I have touched on the kingdom of Satan last Sunday (1/31/10). I have challenged you to stand up to the devil as a child of God and summon him to return you sevenfold what he has stolen from you. You can summon him because you have the kingdom authority and power.
But today, there is one more aspect of the kingdom of God that many of us have overlooked when we pray the Lord’s prayer and that aspect is the Kingdom Blessing, which I would like to call in my sermon today, ‘THE ABRAHAMIC PROSPERITY.’
1 What Is Abrahamic Prosperity?
Is this the prosperity like those Prosperity Gospel churches are preaching about? That is you can just get unconditional prosperity as long as you just believe and confess?
The Abrahamic Prosperity here is about the generational blessing that has been passed on from Abraham to generations of those who are linked to him. Just as there are generational curses, there are also generational blessings and that blessing here is the Abrahamic Prosperity.
So whether we will get to enjoy this Abrahamic prosperity, will depend on whether we are linked to Abraham or not?
What are those links?
2 The Faith of Abraham
The Bible says that “Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. (Gen 15:6)” Simply put, it means “because of Abraham’s faith God forgave his sin and declared him “not guilty. (Rom 4:22 LB)”
When God promised Abraham an heir, he believed God even though he and his wife were very old. Without all the outward favorable conditions, Abraham believed God and it was counted/reckoned to him as righteousness.
Similarly, we have not seen Christ. Yet do we still have the faith to believe that Christ is the only way, the truth and the life to God the Father and that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus alone? Do you believe even though you have not seen it that Christ has died for you and His blood is enough to forgive you of your past, present and future sins? Do you believe that Christ is preparing a heavenly mansion for you now even though you have not seen it? If so, you are linked to faith of Abraham and you are entitled to his blessing.
As long as we believe in Jesus Christ as our only Lord and Savior, we are carrying the same faith as Abraham and therefore become His spiritual descendants. The Jews are the natural descendants of Abraham, represented by the promise of God to multiply his descendants like the sands of the sea while we are the spiritual descendants of Abraham, represented by God’s promise to multiply his descendants like the stars in the sky.
The Abrahamic prosperity will come to you if you are linked to Abraham’s faith in God:
Romans 4:16 (RSV) – That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants – not only to the adherents of the law but also TO THOSE WHO SHARE THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM, FOR HE IS THE FATHER OF US ALL.
V20-23 (RSV)- No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he ahs promised. That is why his faith was “reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now, the words, “it was reckoned to his”, was written not for his sake alone.”
V24 (LB)- It was for us, too, assuring us that God will accept us in the same way he accepted Abraham – WHEN WE BELIEVE THE PROMISES OF GOD WHO BROUGHT BACK JESUS OUR LORD FROM THE DEAD.
Questions- Do you have Abraham’s faith? Do you believe in the promise of eternal life by Christ even though you do not see heaven?
If so, you are Abraham’s descendants and as such you are entitled to Abrahamic prosperity.
3 The Call of Abraham
The second link that we need to make with Abraham in order for us to experience the Abrahamic Prosperity is our obedience to the call of God.
Genesis 12:1 – The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”
Abraham was from Ur. The social and religious context of Ur was as sophiscated and pagan and claustrophobic as that of any Babylonian or Egyptian dynasty. Ur was desolate and barren of knowledge of the true God. Ur’s intrusive, lunar religion dominated life from birth to the grave.
During the ten generations from Noah through Shem to Abram, the whole family of earth had played out its future and had nowhere to go. The culture of Babel, though dispersed, had triumphed. There was no foreseeable future other than darkness. And there was certainly no human power to invent a future. Mankind during the time of Ur was hopelessly lost, except for the distant promise to Shem that blessing would come through his line (Gen 9:26-27).
So Abram, a descendant of Shem, lived on in dark Ur until God spoke and called him out of Ur. The shocking immensity of God’s command and the agonizing nature of Abram’s decision are indicated by the ascending order of Abram’s personal SACRIFICE: Leave your country – leave your people – and leave your father’s household (nuclear family).
V1a- Leave your country, your people and your father’s household…
By this call, Abram was tested whether he loved God better than he loved his native soil and dearest friends and whether he could willingly leave all to go along with God. His country had become idolatrous, his kindred and his father’s house were a constant temptation to him and he could not continue with them without the danger of being infected by them. Therefore God commanded, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s house.”
Jesus said, “Whoever loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37a) and “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:35). That is we must love them less than Christ; hate them in comparison with Him and whenever any of these come in competition with Him, they must be forsaken and the preference be given to the will and honor of Jesus Christ. Those of you, who are being persecuted today, don’t give in to the demand of your persecutors to denounce your Christ. Stand for your Christ. Choose Christ.
This call from God to leave also means we have to forsake all sin, particularly bad company. We must abandon all the idols of iniquity which have been set up in our hearts, and get out of the way of temptation, plucking out even our right eye that leads us to sin. THOSE THAT RESOLVE TO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD MUST QUIT THE COMPANY OF EVIL DOERS. The world with all its pleasure and enjoyments must be looked upon with holy indifference and contempt. We must no longer look upon them as our country, our home and our people but as our inn, our temporary lodging place, a place for us to pass through.
The Call of Separation Precedes The Blessing Of God.
His agonizing decision was further compounded by the vagueness of God’s order- “go…to the land I will show you.” Abram was not told that Canaan was the land God was talking about until he got there! This uncertainty forced Abram to trust God’s word even more. It is like God saying, “I command you to go forth with closed eyes, and forbid you to inquire where I am about to lead you, until, having renounced your country, you shall have given yourself wholly to me.” Abram was asked to believe and obey the bare word of God – the naked word of the Lord.
It was a call which demanded ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE IN and OBEDIENCE to the word of God. It was a call of SEPARATION from the ties of the natural man. It was a call of SACRIFICE.
The second link to Abraham therefore is our obedience to the call of God. The call of obedience to separation and sacrifice. Are you willing to pay that price like Abraham? If so, you are linked to him.
4 The Promise To Abraham
God’s command always comes with a promise. When we obey God’s call and commands, we will get to enjoy the promise of blessings. When God makes Himself known to us as a Commander, He also makes Himself known as a Rewarder. If we heed the call of God, God will not fail to perform the promise.
Abraham exercised implicit and explicit faith in God; he obeyed the call of God to leave his country, his people and his father’s house, and God granted him seven-fold blessings.
What are these seven-fold Abrahamic blessings/prosperity?
- I will make you into a great nation.
- I will bless you.
- I will make your name great.
- You will become a blessing.
- I will bless those who bless you.
- Whoever curses you, I will curse.
- All people on earth will be blessed through you.
5 The Abrahamic Prosperity
Today, if you have the Abrahamic faith and you have obeyed the call of God like Abraham did, you can pray down this Abrahamic prosperity.
What are they?
1. ‘I Will Make You Into A Great Nation’… A Great Inheritance
For the loss of country, God promised that He would make Abraham a great nation.
His own nation was fast sinking into idolatry, and had he remained in it, he must have caught the contagion of the times and continued ignorant of the true God. When God took Abraham from his own people, He promised to make him the head of another. He cut him off from being the branch of a wild olive in order to make him the root of a good olive.
This promise was a great relief to Abram’s burden for at that time, he had no child.
- In our greatest point of need, God knows how to bestow his favor upon our wants and necessities. He knows how to give us timely word of encouragement and hope. At our lowest point he life, He always shines His ray of hope with His precious promise.
- This promise was also a great trial to Abram’s faith for his wife had long been barren so that if he believed, it must be against hope and his faith must build purely upon the power which “can out of stones raise up children unto Abraham” and make them a great nation.
- The truth of the matter is, God was able. We all know the ending of the story – God did make nation out of a barren Abraham and Sarah. By one man alone, a great nation, Israel, was born. If a great nation is made great in wealth and power, it is God that makes it great. God can raise great nations out of dry ground and can make a little one to be a thousand. Israel is a clear evidence and example of God’s power.
2. ‘I Will Bless You’… A Great Posterity
For the loss of his place of birth, God promised to bless Abraham with a greater posterity. Abraham had much to leave behind – all his prospects of wealth and comfort but God promised, “I will bless thee.” In other words, God promised to bless Abraham with a father’s blessing better than that of his progenitors (natural father). This superior blessing is the blessing of fruitfulness and increase just like He had blessed Adam and Noah —
“I will bless you with all manner of blessings, all prosperity; as much as was needful and sufficient for this life and even in the world to come, life everlasting.”
Brothers and sisters, any obedient believers shall be sure to inherit this blessing too.
3. ‘I Will Make Your Name Great’… A Great Name
For the loss of family distinction, God promised to make Abraham’s name great.
Ironically, this is what the builders of the tower of Babel sought — “let us make a name for ourselves” (11:4). By faith Abram was going to get what never truly comes by self-serving effort. His great name was a gift. By deserting his country, he lost his name there. But God said to him, “Don’t be troubled by that. Trust me and I will make you a greater name than you ever could have had there.” Having no child, Abraham feared he should have no name but God made him a great nation and therefore made him a great name. This endowment with a name is clearly royal language and Abram is viewed here as a regal figure. Later Abram will be promised that “kings” will come from him and Sarah will be called the mother of “kings” (17:6, 16). Still later the Hittites hailed Abram as “prince” (23:6). A millennium later King David would be his royal heir. And of course, there would come the ultimate King to whom God gave “the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Phil 2:9,10).
4. ‘You Will Be A Blessing’… A Great Blessing
In his relation to humanity, God said, “You will be a blessing.” This promise implied something grander and nobler than any personal benefits which Abraham could inherit. Christianity means something more than the selfish enjoyment of spiritual good and he who only considers the interests of his own soul has failed to catch the true spirit of it. Man partakes of the nature of God when he becomes a source of blessings to others. “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Abraham was to be a blessing to mankind in the HIGHEST SENSE. Along his line were to flow all the blessings of salvation and all the precious gifts of the covenant of grace. Many men of the world have blessed the world with useful works and invention, and with the gifts of literature and science, but he who is chosen by God to be an instrument in the world’s salvation is the greatest benefactor to the human race.
5. ‘I Will Bless Those Who Bless You’… A Great Alliance
The cause of Abraham was to be identified with the cause of God. That is God promised to take sides with Abraham in the world, to make common cause with him – share his friendships. He promised to be a Friend to Abraham’s friends. He would take note of every kindness shown to Abraham as if it is done to Himself and to recompense them accordingly. God would make sure that none be losers, in the long run, by any service done for Abraham; even a cup of water shall be rewarded.
6. ‘Whoever Curse You, I Will Curse’… A Great Defense
God promised to be against Abraham’s enemies. There were those who hated and cursed Abram himself. While their causeless curse could not hurt Abram, God’s righteous curse would certainly overtake and ruin them. That is, there will be heightened, disproportionate punishment for merely disdaining Abram. Abram saw this principle worked out in his own life. Melchizedek and Abimelech were blessed for honoring Abram.
But Hagar was cut off from Abram’s family for despising Sarah. The Canaanites who so distressed and persecuted Israel are no more. Today those who aligned themselves against the church will not fare well. The defunct USSR, which oppressed the church, is a case in point. God’s people may suffer slight and discrimination. They may be characterized and despised. But let the despisers aware. Retribution and justice will not be left to the impersonal operation of fate. The Lord himself says, “those who curse you, I will curse.”
Question: Who is your real defender today? When you are being bullied, can you safely claim God to be your defender?
7. ‘All People On Earth Will Be Blessed Through You’… A Great Influence
KJV- and in thee shall all FAMILIES of the earth be blessed.
The ground was cursed in Adam. Now it was to be blessed in Abraham. The buildup of this Abrahamic blessing is explicit: Abram alone is blessed – then Abram’s name is used as a blessing – next Abram’s blessers are blessed – and finally all families find blessing in Abram. The world was to be blessed IN FAMILIES, for the family is the first of all relationships, the most lasting of all institutions and the best representative of the love of God, who is the Father of all mankind.
Sadly Abram’s descendants, the children of Israel, never really did rise to this glorious task. Blessing for the world was a vision fitfully seen at first. It disappears between the Patriarchs and the kings. Later it reappeared in the psalms and prophets and perhaps even at its faintest it always imparted some sense of mission to Israel; yet it never became a programme of concerted action.
It was only with Christ, the ultimate seed of Abram, that the fulfillment came and blessing went out to all people. The Apostle Paul explains, “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith” (Galatians 3:8-9). So, the gospel, our good news, was announced four thousand years ago to Abram in darkest Ur. This gospel announced in advance to Abram and fulfilled in Christ is now the church’s responsibility to proclaim. By virtue of the Sonship of Christ Jesus we are made members of the household of God.
It is God’s design to bless the world by means of a FAMILY. Hence in the fullness of God’s time, He sent His only begotten Son who took the flesh and blood of the children of Abraham, to enter into our human relationship that He might bless all the families of the earth. We are saved with this Abrahamic blessing to bless the families of the world. We are saved in Jesus to influence the people of this world for Christ.
Today Jesus Christ is the greatest Blessing of the world, the greatest that the world was ever blessed with. He is a family blessing. By Him salvation is brought to the house. It is a great honor therefore to be related to Christ. This made Abram’s name great that the Messiah was to descend from his loins. It was Abram’s honor to be Christ’s father by nature but it will be ours to be his brethren by grace.
- A GREAT INHERITANCE
- A GREAT POSTERITY
- A GREAT NAME
- A GREAT BLESSING
- A GREAT ALLIANCE
- A GREAT DEFENCE
- A GREAT INFLUENCE
He will make both of our names great. People will come and call us the priests and the ministers of God. Not only that, the name of Evangel Iloilo will become great. Both of us personally will be a blessing to many people. Our church will also be a blessing to many people. He will bless those who bless us. Those who accept, honor and love us as their pastors will be blessed but those enemies that curse us and oppose us, will be cursed by Him. By Evangel and by the ministries God has given to both of us, many families in Iloilo City will be blessed. Our influence will reach out to the masses of people and bless many families in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
End of sermon