2014 Sermon Series
- April 6, 2014
Tender Compassion Ministers to Compromise in Peril.
Abram’s life is a study in perseverance by grace.
Lot had formerly walked with the Lord, and he knew enough to be convicted of his compromise. Yet he did not act on this conviction or repent in the face of Abram’s merciful ministry.
Abram’s Determined Compassion
When we walk with God and see others who are not, it should make us sorrowful, not angry. We continue to take a right stand with the right, merciful disposition.
- Separated and Safe
Abram was not associated with the worldliness around him, and so was safely away from the kings’ skirmish early in the chapter. God will even physically protect His people who remain separate from known darkness, as can be seen through church history.
Abram wanted to be used for God’s glory. He refused the king of Sodom’s reward because he knew reciprocity would be expected, and he didn’t want any association with the wickedness of Sodom. He testified that God would take care of his needs.
- Merciful and Ministerial
Abram was an example of the burden we should have for souls who don’t walk with God. He didn’t take an attitude that says, “Lot knows better; let him get what he deserves.” Abram felt pity and compassion for Lot, and that compelled him to go do something. He extended himself and even took on the risk of a fight.
Galatians 6 tells believers how to respond to another Christian who is caught or stuck in sin. We are to pursue them with ministry, face to face, keeping a spirit of meekness and gentleness.
Abram showed himself generous by looking after others’ needs – not only Lot, but those Lot had led into danger by his association with darkness. Abram was not known for what he was against, but for his love for God and others.
- Worshipful and Thankful
Abram encountered two very different kings in Genesis 14. The second is Melchizedek, king of Salem or king of peace, who worships God and describes Him as the possessor of Heaven and Earth. As a representative of Christ, Melchizedek is a merciful minister to Abram, brings him refreshing sustenance, and gives spiritual opportunity.
Abram, in response, is strengthened to continue walking with God and demonstrates Who owns all by giving back a tenth of his plunder to Melchizedek. Tithing was not yet law for God’s people. This was simply the response of Abram’s heart to give back to God who provided for him.
As Abram continued to walk with God, He lavished him with righteousness, relationships, and increasing knowledge of God.
- Is there someone in your life who is not walking with God? Check your attitude toward them. Are you more angry or compassionate? Ask God to give you the right heart toward them. Then pray about how you can pursue them in merciful ministry.
- How do you recognize the God who provides for you?
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore:
- 1 Timothy 2:1-2 – Pray for leaders so that God will grant physical safety.
- Galatians 6:1-2 – The proper response to a compromised Christian.
- Romans 12:17 – A generous response to backsliding Christians.
- Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 5-7 – Later biblical mentions of Melchizedek.
- John 4:14, John 6:51 – Jesus is our refreshing sustenance.
- Proverbs 10:3 – God never allows His children to go without daily needs.
A Hymn to Encourage: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Quotes to Ponder:
A right attitude towards God leads to a right attitude towards people.--G. Campbell Morgan.
Tithing is an acknowledgement of God’s ownership in what we give and a challenge to His faithfulness in what we keep.--Evans.