The end of Abraham and Sarah's lives will mark the conclusion to our series in Genesis. In this week's passage, Sarah dies first and Abraham grieves his beloved wife. You might think the message of this passage is how to grieve and cope with death, but it is not. There is a much greater message about the cost and commitment to truly believe God's promises, even when they are not yet fulfilled. Are we truly willing to give our entire lives for something--and someone--we haven't seen?
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Finally. In Genesis 21, the Lord finally fulfills his promise to Abraham and Sarah "at the very time [He] had promised." God keeps his promises! In this week's passage, the sovereign, faithful, loving-kindness of the Lord rings out--but not just for Abraham and Sarah, even for Hagar and Ishmael, too. On Sunday, we'll be encouraged by God's character and examine how can we grow in trusting his promises.
Do you wrestle with a habitual sin? Something you just can't seem to get past? Maybe it's sexual sin, or a short temper, or anxiety over your finances or future. The good news is we're not alone. In this Sunday's passage, the great, faithful patriarch Abraham blows it again. It's déjà vu from chapter 12. Even though he is decades older and has had numerous personal encounters with God, Abraham falls into the same old sins. In God's word this Sunday, we'll find encouragement and hope for overcoming our habitual sins. But most of all: grace.
Do you ever struggle with doubt? Do you sometimes wonder if God really hears us when we pray? Or, even if there really is this all-powerful, all-loving God we see in the Bible? In this week's text, we see clearly Sarah's struggle with her faith, which seems to have deteriorated into cynicism. This Sunday we'll talk about dealing with our doubts and see where can we find reassurance in our faith.