Monday, February 18, 2013
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Some of my favorite moments in our kids growing up years have been story-telling time. Now, we did the obligatory Little Engine That Could and Winnie the Pooh, in which I used all of my weird voices. But my best memories are of the Bible stories. Evidently I don't always communicate all the information very clearly. I remember one time after we told the Bible story about the book of Genesis, I said to my daughter, "And Honey, do you remember who the first Mommy and Daddy were?" And she said, "Yep! Eve and Steve." Okay, good, so much for my Bible teaching. I said, "Do you remember who their boys were?" She said, "Yep! Cain and Mable." There we go again.
Well, back to the drawing board for Bible stories. But I do think the Bible is exciting, and I wanted my children to think so. So I tried to make the telling of the stories as exciting as possible. So, each night I would take the story to sort of a cliff-hanger point and I'd leave it there, often to loud protests. But even when they objected, they were ready to listen the next night, believe me. You know, when you don't tell the whole story, you keep folks interested.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Chapter At a Time."
If you are in need of God's guidance today, would you walk with me into the life of Abraham for a minute? God's got a great story line for Abraham's life. He's going to have him leave his home, he's going to have him go to Canaan land, and he's going to eventually promise him that that land will be his. Then he's going to promise that He's eventually going to have a son, and that son's going to become a great nation, and He's going to give that son to him miraculously. But did He tell him that all at once? Oh, no. God only gives Abraham the story a chapter at a time, like I used to tell my kids stories.
Just real quickly, as we march through his life in our word for today from the Word of God, Genesis 12:1-2, "The Lord said to him, 'Leave your country." Well, that isn't much information is it? "Leave your country. Go to a land I will show you. I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you." He sure doesn't give him very many details. He just says, "Leave and go to this land." Well, that's what Abraham does. He goes on what information he has.
Chapter 12, verse 7: He's in Canaan. God appears to Abraham and says, "To your offspring I will give this land." Now he finds out that there's going to perhaps be some children. And then he finds out that it's going to be the land of Canaan that God was talking about. In chapter 15 and verse 4, God goes on to say that it's going to be to a son that will come from your own body. "You're going to have a son!" Then finally, He leads him in Genesis chapter 22, to the offering of that son, willing to sacrifice him. And after he has shown that willingness, God gives him blessings that are unprecedented.
Notice the pattern of God's leading. You might need to know this right now to understand what He's doing in your life. He shows you what you need to know to take the next step. Then, after you do just that next step, He'll show you what you need for the next step. It's an unfolding scroll…a little at a time. It's like me telling that story to my children. Because I didn't give them the whole story, they were eager to get back to my lap the next night.
That's how it is with God. The old hymn writer said, "We cannot see what lies before, and so we cling to Him the more." See, the plan is the easy part for God. He could give you that in one blueprint right now, but you would walk away with that under your arm and not need Him, not depend on Him, and not be back in His lap.
God wants to build trust in Him in a day-to-day relationship. And so He shows us the story a little at a time. Like Abraham, your mission is to take the step He shows you today from His Word; not to worry about the whole big picture. There's another reason He doesn't show it all to us. If He did we might either run from it or run to it and we'd ruin it, like jumping ahead of the book and wondering why the chapter didn't make any sense. It's because we skipped the chapters before it.
But if God's will unfolds a day at a time, then it just seems natural when we get to it. So, act on the chapter the Lord is revealing to you right now, and then return to His lap tomorrow for the next exciting episode.