1. Welcome our listening friends.
2. We are glad you tuned in to listen to this program today.
3. If you were listening to our last broadcast, you will remember that I made you a promise.
4. And that is to tell you what Jesus said about selfish ambition.
5. First, let me remind you that we are in the midst of a series of messages on the life of Abraham.
6. And we saw a contrast between Abram’s contentment and Lot’s greed.
7. Because division and quarreling can begin in the heart.
8. The Bible tells us to guard our hearts from selfish ambition.
9. To guard our hearts from jealousy and envy.
10. To guard our hearts against the desire to dominate or cause division.
11. No wonder Jesus told his disciples that there was a new commandment He was giving to them... and it was to love one another.
12. By this, he said, all men will know you are my disciples.
13. By what?
14. By quarreling with one another?
15. By forcing your opinion on the other?
16. By demanding your own way?
17. By bringing attention to yourself?
18. No, no, no,
19. The world will only know that you are my disciples by loving one another.
20. Unloving behavior turns people off from the Christian faith.
21. It was said of the early church with all of their problems... "see how they love one another."
22. In Lot's heart their had been building of resentment... and selfish ambition.
23. That building up was fueled when his farmers and Abraham's farmers had a dispute...
24. and the explosion took place.
25. No wonder the Apostle Paul tells the Philippians, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,”
26. “but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
27. The Apostle Paul says later on in that same chapter,
28. Do everything without complaining or arguing,
29. And Abraham looks at Lot and says;
30. "Please... let there be no strife between you and me... take whatever land you want!
31. By the world's standards... Abraham would be looked upon as a fool.
32. By the world's standards… Abraham was stupid to be generous with a selfish man like Lot.
33. But wait a minute,
34. God promised the land to Abraham not Lot.
35. That’s exactly right!
36. Please listen carefully.
37. When God promises you something... it is guaranteed.
38. You don't have to stand up for your rights... it is guaranteed.
39. You don't have to quarrel... it is guaranteed.
40. You don't have to fight over it... it is guaranteed.
41. You don't have to fight over appearances... it is guaranteed.
42. You don't have to worry about the results... it is guaranteed;
43. That is why you can afford to be generous.
45. Because God granted you His promises.
46. No selfish Lot would rob Abraham of that which God was going to give him.
47. So what does Lot do with this generous offer?
48. Lot’s eyes became the binoculars of his heart.
49. Let us read verses 10 and 11 of Genesis 13.
50. Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
51. So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company:
(Gen 13:10 11 NIV)
52. In his selfish greed… Lot grabs the well-watered plains of the Jordan.
53. But in his desire to grab the best for himself... it leads to his downfall.
54. Let me tell you something about the eye-gate.
55. Covetousness enters our minds... through the eye-gate.
56. Lust enters our mind... through our eye-gate.
57. Greed enters our mind... through our eye-gate.
58. Eve saw that the fruit of the tree was appealing to the eye... and the rest is history.
59. Achan, the son of Karmi, in the book of Joshua saw... the forbidden gold and mantle... and coveted.
60. He took it and hid in his tent.
61. And, it resulted in his death and his families' death.
62. David saw Bathsheba and she was beautiful in appearance... so he killed to get her.
63. No wonder Jesus tells us:
64. In Matthew 6 verse 22,
65. "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
66. When I was a little boy in Sunday School we use to sing a song that goes something like this;
67. “Oh be careful my little eye what you see... what you see.”
68. “There is a God in Heaven who is watching all the time.”
69. “Oh be careful my little eye what you see.”
70. What enters through your eye-gate... if you gaze at it long enough... it will become your undoing spiritually.
71. Be careful of... what you read.
72. Be careful of... what you watch.
73. Be careful of... what you covet.
74. Be careful of... what you desire.
75. Be careful of... what you long for.
76. Because God may just give it to you!
77. No matter how attractive and pleasing to the eye it may be...
78. if it is inconsistent with the Word of God...
79. you’re better off to close your eyes and get yourself a walking stick.
80. Lot looked over to the well-watered Jordan Valley... and it reminded him of Egypt.
81. Lot may have left Egypt... but Egypt and the glamour of Egypt... never left Lot.
82. So he grabbed for the green spot without showing any responsibility toward his generous uncle.
83. Lot was the type of person who was willing to sacrifice principles... for possessions.
84. He was willing to sacrifice love... for lust.
85. He was willing to sacrifice the Master... for materialism.
86. The Bible tells us in Genesis 13:13:
87. “Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.”
88. But that didn't make any difference to Lot.
89. Lot probably thought it was an opportunity to witness to them about the God of Abraham.
90. My listening friends, here is a principle here that I don't want you to miss.
91. If you select and choose... to become familiar with the wicked environment... thinking that you can change them...
92. most likely you will be changed by your surroundings... rather than you changing it.
93. Let us read verse 14 to 17 of Genesis 13.
94. The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west.
95. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.
96. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.
97. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you."
98. So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD.
(Gen 13:14 18 NIV)
99. Our lives are full of choices…
1. and we often choose what looks good to us.
2. But. . .horror of horrors of what looks good to you and does not look good to God.
3. What God chooses may not look glamorous...
4. it may not appear good to the flesh.
5. But... Oh... you can be sure it will be the more excellent choice.
6. Lot goes into Sodom and stays outside the gate for a while... hesitating to go in... but then he moves right in there.
7. Some of you are living in the tent outside the gates of Sodom and Gomorrah.
8. Some of you are camping so close to the forbidden city.
9. Some of you are sitting at the gates of Sin and what you need to do is run... back to Bethel.
10. Because the odds are that you will enter its city as Lot did.
11. Abraham did the same thing when he left the Promised Land.
12. First, he went to the Negev... and then he went to Egypt.
13. Lot goes in and becomes a success overnight.
14. And the Bible tells us that he was tormenting himself every day in Sodom.
15. He knew he didn't belong there but he stayed there.
16. He knew that this wasn't the place for a man who knew the living God...
17. but he wanted to success at any price and to get ahead in life.
18. Until, a disaster struck and his uncle had to risk his own life... to rescue him.
19. There are a number of principles in this chapter and I want to give them to you as I conclude.
21. always return to the place of your failure to receive the Lord's forgiveness.
23. be magnanimous in disputes... because God keeps His promises to you.
25. let God make the choice for you...
26. because what you see... is not always what you get.
28. don't get friendly with the wicked environments because it can get you before you get it.
29. it is my prayer that you would learn and understand these principles
30. until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessings.