Our pastor is preaching on the life of Abraham, aka Abram still at this point in the series. In Genesis 13, Abram and Lot confront the fact that their herdsmen are arguing because they are all sharing the land. The obvious fix is for the two men to separate their belongings and live near each other, not on the same land. Abram gives Lot the first choice in the land and he chose Sodom, an area that was cultivated and already successful, leaving Abram with Canaan, a dry, dead place that could only remind them of the recent famine. There is more to the story, but the point of the sermon was mostly about this interaction.
Abram had faith in God; he had already been promised the land by God, and he believed in that promise. Our pastor said, “Faith is demonstrated most powerfully through our relationships because our faith in God is proven in our generosity to others.” This is profound because one can speak of great faithfulness, or appear full of faith in the midst of a trial, but the real proof is in how generous one is, because if you are living a life of faith, there is no fear of ending resources or justification of fairness. Generosity doesn’t come only in the form of money, it’s also shown in time, grace, mercy and numerous resources God has provided us with.
Growing up we had a policy to ‘leave it better than you found it’, meaning that as you’re leaving the campsite/classroom/organization, make sure you have improved it in some way. But what about our relationships and interactions with one another? What if we had this same principle with each person we encountered throughout the day? The pastor challenged us to ‘leave more than you take’, making sure that you fill others up instead of sucking them dry, and meeting more needs than creating them. I have been thinking about this and want to leave them better than I found them, investing in those God places before me, and really hearing what is being said and being left unsaid. I want there to be a difference made because of my presence, not for my gain, but for the glory of God. I know this won’t be easy, because my selfishness gets in the way, but I’m really going to try.
Here is yesterday’s sermon: http://relevantcommunity.org/messagepodcast.aspx