Archives from August 2021

God Sees Me and Hears Me: Why Am I Afraid?

Sunday Sermon Series God Acts: How Will I Respond?

Genesis 16:1-16; 21:8-21

Today’s story centers on Hagar, a young woman who is a slave of Sarai, Abram’s wife.

God had promised to Abram and Sarai that their descendants would be as numerous as the stars, but ten years have passed since then and now they are really getting up there in age. They begin to question God's promise and take things into their own hands. Sarai tells Abram to sleep with her slave, thinking that maybe that was what God meant in His promise. Hagar became pregnant and Sarai despised her for it. Abram allowed Sarai to do as she wanted to Hagar and she forced Hagar to run away. The angel of the LORD appears to her and speaks. Some scholars believe this isn't just any angel, but a manifestation of God Himself. He tells her the name of her son and that she should return to Abram and Sarai and that her son would also be a great nation. 

Hagar gave a new name to the LORD who spoke to her: He is El Roi, the God who sees me (16:13).... Here's a slave who had gotten pregnant and ran away, but God still saw her and cared for her. God spoke to this outcast woman 

Another name for God is implied in Genesis 21: God is El Ishmai, the God who hears me. The name Ishmael means God hears (21:17)..... It's a few years later and Abraham and Sarah have Isaac, a son of their own who has just been weaned. More turmoil arises and Hagar and Ishmael are sent away. They are refugees now. As they cry while anticipating death, God hears the boy cry and saved them from death in the wilderness. Ishmael would go on to father twelve sons and today's Muslims trace their heritage back to him. 

God sees us. God hears us. Knowing that God both sees and hears us, why should we fear anything?

God Makes a Covenant with Me: Will I Believe?

Sunday Sermon Series God Acts: How Will I Respond?

Genesis 15

God promised Abram that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky (15:1-5)... Abram and his wife were both getting old and had no children. He questioned how God would keep His promise to make Abram into a great nation. God reassured him that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. 

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness (15:6).... This verse is among the most important. It shows us that despite always falling short of perfection, we can have righteousness credited to us because of our faith. Romans 3:21-24 explains this. Then Romans 4 expands on it. 

Abraham illustrates that no one is saved by works (Romans 4:1-3).... Paul uses Abraham as an example to show that people aren't saved by works, but by faith. 

Abraham illustrates that no one is saved by ritual (Romans 4:10).... Again, Paul uses Abraham to show that faith in Jesus is the only way to salvation. No ritual can save you. Even with baptism, if there is no faith, there is no salvation. 

God will credit righteousness to the account of anyone who believes in Jesus (Romans 4:23-24)... Faith in Jesus is the only way to obtain righteousness and salvation. 

God promised Abram the land of Canaan. Abram asked for assurance, so God made a covenant with Abram (15:8-18).... God knows the future and God has a plan. He tells Abraham what's going to happen in 400 years and that his descendants will face trials and suffering, but that God will rescue them. God planned to give specific land to Abraham and his descendants, but first He wanted to give the existing inhabitants a chance to repent of their sin, 400 years to turn from their ways. It shows that God has great patience in waiting for us to repent. 

God is a covenant maker (Jeremiah 31:31, 33; Luke 22:20). Will you accept his covenant and believe?... God created a covenant with Noah and the sign for it was the rainbow. When God made a covenant with Abram, the sign was circumcision. With the covenant in the New Testament, the sign is the blood of Christ.

God Gives to Me: Will I Give Back to Him?

Sunday Sermon Series God Acts: How Will I Respond?

Genesis 13-14

Abram and his nephew Lot split up. Lot chooses to leave the land of Canaan to live near the city of Sodom. War breaks out there, and Lot and his family are taken hostage. Abram rescues him and retrieves all the possessions taken in the war…. This is the first war we see in the Bible. Some Christians are pacifists and won't engage in any kind of violence, but most would agree that war is always terrible, but sometimes necessary. Abraham considered going to battle to save Lot to be necessary. 

What is the activity of God in this story?

God sends Melchizedek to explain his activity. Melchizedek is a king and a priest.

He said God Most High (El Elyon) gave Abram the victory. Every good outcome in your life is a gift of God…. God is the creator of everything and the owner of everything. Every good thing we have is a gift from God. 

How does Abram respond to God’s activity? He gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything (14:20). Are you giving back to God?... This is the first instance of tithing in the Bible. It predates the Old Testament law and is an act of worship. It's an important part of worshiping God. It reminds us that we aren't here just to consume, but also to give back. It is a way of showing that we know everything belongs to God and we are just stewards of what He allows us to have. 

Melchizedek is a symbol of the greatest gift God has given us. Jesus is a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110: 1-4; Hebrews 6:20; 7:1-7)... Melchizedek is pretty unknown; we know that he was a king and a priest, but not much else. We don't even know his genealogy. Jesus, the Son of God, is also king and priest. Jesus, miraculously conceived, in essence has no genealogy. Even with those similarities, Melchizedek was just a man that we know little about, but Jesus is the Savior of the World. 

God Allows Trials in My Life: Will I Be Faithful?

Sunday Sermon Series God Acts: How Will I Respond?

Genesis 12:10-20

“Now there was a famine in the land” (Genesis 12:10). God allows trials in our lives to test and strengthen our faith (James 1:2-4).... You can be in the center of God's plan for your life and still have problems. Job's friends would have you believe otherwise, that problems only arise from sin, but we see in the lives of Job and Abraham that sometimes God allows us to experience troubles to test and grow our faith. 

“Abram went down to Egypt” (Genesis 12:10-13). We can respond to trials with compromise or with faith…. Abraham failed this test, putting his faith in his lies and in man instead of trusting God to take care of him and his family. They went to Egypt and Abraham presented Sarah as his sister instead of as his wife. She was so beautiful that he feared he would be killed so that someone else could take her as their wife. She caught the attention of Pharaoh and Abraham became wealthy because of the gifts. But disease fell upon Pharaoh and his family because of it. God protected Abraham even when Abraham messed up. 

“The LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife” (Genesis 12:17-20). God is faithful, even when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2:11-13).... Despite failing the test, Abraham came out of the test better off. God keeps His promises even when we screw up. 

“Abraham moved on from there . . . For a while he stayed in Gerar” (Genesis 20:1-14). God often repeats exams to see if we have grown…. About 20 years later and they are in a similar situation. Did Abraham learn from the first test? Nope. He messed up again, but God took care of him once again. We also see that this had become a pattern in Abraham's life. He had made a single decision early on that started this pattern and he never was able to break it. This is why it's best just to not make the decision that starts it. Even though Abraham messed up again and didn't deserve God's blessing, God still blessed him because God keeps His promises. 

God Calls: Will I Go?

Sunday Sermon Series God Acts: How Will I Respond?

Genesis 12:1-9

God called Abram to leave the city of Ur and go to a land he would show him (Genesis 12:1). When God calls you, go often comes before show (Hebrews 11:8).... God talks to people. Not always audibly, but He does talk to us and call us to go on missions. Abram was called to leave the city and be a tent dweller. God called him to travel to a place He would show Abram. We would often prefer to be shown where we are going first, but God expects us to obey unconditionally. 

God promised Abram (Genesis 12:2-3): 

  1. I will make you into a great nation… Abram's wife was sterile but God promised that his offspring would become a great nation. 

  2. I will make your name great… Men had tried to make great names for themselves such as when they tried to build the tower of babble, but they failed. God would promise and succeed in making Abram's name great. 

  3. I will bless those who bless you…. This can be seen throughout history. Nations that have supported Israel have been blessed and those who have done evil to Israel have suffered. 

  4. All peoples on earth will be saved through you. (Psalm 147:19-20; Matthew 1:1-2; Galatians 3:7-8).... Abram is one of the ancestors of Jesus. He is in the genealogy of Christ. 

Abram obeyed (Genesis 12:4-9).... God called and Abram obeyed. The first thing he did on each leg of his journey was to set up an alter and worship God. He left behind the false gods that were popular in the city and devoted himself to the LORD. 

Where might God be calling you to go?... First, you are called to leave the darkness and come into the light. Give your life to Christ and experience the salvation He offers to all of us. Second, He calls us to go on mission. Below are some great ways to do this. Look them up and pray about whether God is calling you to be part of any of them. Some are specific to our church or area, but your local church should also have great opportunities to serve locally. Sometimes God calls us to serve groups of people, but other times He tells us to go talk to an individual. When we hear that call or feel that tug, we should respond and obey. That may end up being a life changing moment in that person's life or in ours. 

  • NT365 (


  • 2022 FBC mission trips to Guatemala or Denver


  • Oakley Ministry Center meals (Missions Wall)