1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We are glad you joined us today.
3. We are in the midst of a series of messages on the life of Abraham
4. We call it “The Journey of Faith”
5. And today I want to begin by saying that quarrels... disputes... arguments and fights... are all often the result of division.
6. the well known name Franklin Roosevelt once said;
7. "There is nothing I love as much as a good fight."
8. Quarreling and fighting comes naturally to all of us.
10. Because each of us are naturally born preferring to go for the jugular... than to give in.
11. This rambunctious nature was seen first between Cain and Able...
12. and has come to us through the law of heredity.
13. People quarrel over all kinds of things;
14. Some quarrel... over ideas and opinions...
15. as it happened between Paul and Barnabas.
16. Some quarrel over jealousy and envy...
17. as it happened with Moses and his sister and brother
18. Moses’ brother Aaron and his sister Miriam quarreled with Moses about his wife.
19. But in reality they were envying his authority.
20. But most quarrels... happen over money.
21. That is... money in all forms and material possessions of all kinds.
22. the Bible gives us example after example of how money and possessions blind the eyes of people
23. even God’s people
24. And the results were often disastrous.
25. Love of money breaks up families.
26. Love of money destroys friendships.
27. Love of money causes wars and fights... domestic and otherwise
28. Abraham and his nephew Lot... who had a relationship that was closer than a father and son... had to part company.
30. Because of Lots greed.
31. In the last message... we saw Abraham, Sarah, and Lot... and their clan... departing Egypt in shame... because Abraham was out of the will of God.
32. But something happened in Egypt.
33. What was it?
34. Genesis 13:2 tells us
35. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. (NIV)
36. Abraham did well in Egypt!
37. In verse 3, Abraham finally returns to Bethel.
38. Literally means the “house of God”.
39. He now had come back from where he had fallen.
40. Now he had returned to where he belonged.
41. Now he had come back from where he had left off... fellowshipping with God.
42. My listening friends,
43. The best thing you can do... when you spiritually fall off... is to go back to the same place where you had fallen.
44. And, there you wait for new instructions.
45. Abraham had to physically come back.
46. Abraham had come back mentally.
47. Abraham had come back spiritually.
48. Abraham had come back seeking the Lords will.
49. Abraham had now returned to the place of obedience...
50. and he bowed before the Lord...
51. and he waits upon the Lord...
52. in that order.
53. It is the mercy of God that He overrules our foolishness when we repent.
54. It is the graciousness of God that He forgives our stupidity when we turn back to Him.
55. Every new day... there is a new beginning for each of us.
56. In verse 4 of Genesis 13,
57. Abraham publicly declares his dependence upon God and calls on the name of the Lord.
58. I don't know what Abraham said when he called upon the name of the Lord.
59. But perhaps he echoed Psalms 51:
60. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
61. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
62. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
(Ps 51:1 3 NIV)
63. As Abraham repents, his heart becomes overwhelmed with the joy of the Lord... and the joy of forgiveness.
64. But something is about to happen to him... that will break his heart.
65. The man whom he loved as a son... and grew closer to him than a brother... was about to be wrenched out of his life.
66. While this was extremely painful... it was a necessary move.
68. Because, Lot was a man whose priorities were radically different from his God-fearing Uncle.
69. Money has now come between Lot and Abraham.
70. We say blood is thicker that water...
71. but money proved to be the most effective blood thinner known to man.
72. I have seen how money creates more conflict, and more division, and more quarrels, and more tension, and more heartache, than anything else in the world.
73. Had Abraham and Lot been struggling to make a living,
74. had they not become rich and prosperous,
75. their focus would have been on surviving.
76. Their priority would have been on cooperating together.
77. Their eyes would have been on the Lord.
78. But now they had money;
79. My listening friends let me tell you something about money and prosperity when it rules supreme.
80. Money and prosperity doesn't only create conflict in families... it also creates conflict in Christian work.
81. Money can divide families and tear them apart.
82. Money can divide Christian brothers and sisters and break their bond of peace.
83. Money can create enemies faster than any other element.
84. Now remember that both Abraham and Lot became rich.
85. But there was a fundamental difference between the two.
86. Abraham possessed the flocks... the flocks did not possess him.
87. Lot... on the other hand, let the flock own him.
88. Lot was an example of a Christian believer who is possessed by his possessions.
89. Lot was an example of a Christian believer who was more concerned about his financial prosperity... than the prosperity of his spiritual life.
90. Lot allowed his success in Egypt to turn his head... from Godly endeavors to worldly pleasures.
91. You never read that... Lot ever built an alter for God.
92. You never read that... Lot ever came back to God.
93. You never read that... Lot ever sought forgiveness from God.
94. The tragedy is that Lot never followed the example of Abraham.
95. And as we shall see in the next message that while Abraham gave 10% of all his possession to Melchizedek... Lot did not give anything.
96. Lot was a mean-minded... close-fisted... money-loving believer.
97. You might ask; “How do you know he was a believer like his uncle?”
98. The Bible tells us that the only reason God saved him from the fire of Sodom was because he was a believer.
99. In verse 7 of chapter 2 of II Peter,
1. “Rescued Lot a righteous man who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men”
2. A dear friend told me once many years ago
3. that the world is made up of two kinds of people...
4. givers and takers.
5. I can find no better example in the scripture than the differences between Lot and his uncle Abraham.
6. Lot was a taker... but Abraham was a giver.
7. Lot never acknowledged God as the provider... Abraham did.
8. Lot's life was filled with heartache... Abraham blessed others with his blessings.
9. And that is why eventually Lot lost everything including his wife and family... while Abraham prospered in every way.
10. Don't ever forget that quarrels between people ... start in the heart.
11. Major explosions... don't often result from minor conflicts.
12. They are like a slow gas leak... that could be leaking for a long time.
13. All it needs is a spark and WHAM... big explosion.
14. Tune in next time, when I will tell you what Jesus said about selfish ambitions.
15. And until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessings.