Prayer. ďDear God in heaven, please use this study to help my flock grow in faith like Abraham did, so that they will both hear and do your Word and not be hearers only. Help us to obey the things that we believe. In Jesusí name, amen.Ē
Memorize James 1:22.
Learn about faith from Abraham.
∑ Consider that Paul said Abraham is our example of faith, Galatians 3:6-9. Abraham had weaknesses the same as we do, and he made mistakes. However, when God promised to multiply his descendants, as many as the stars in the sky, He believed God. God saw his faith and declared him to be righteous, Genesis 15:1-6. Let us also believe Godís promises and do our part to help thousands of unbelievers to become spiritual sons of Abraham by believing as he did.
Find in GenesisÖ
∑ In 12:2-3 what God promised Abram (before changing his name to Abraham, 17:5).
∑ In 15:1-6 what Abram believed so that God counted him as righteousness.
∑ In 15:7-21 how God affirmed His promise to Abram. Was it only because of Abramís effort in sacrificing and in keeping away the birds? (Answer: God was fully in control.)
∑ In 16:1-16 Abramís attempt by his own effort to fulfil Godís promise.
∑ In 18:1 through 19:29 how Abrahamís faith saved his nephew Lot and Lotís daughters.
∑ In 22:1-18 how God tested Abrahamís faith, and what God promised to all believers because Abraham trusted God.
Please take a moment to remember from how your own faith came to you. From the testimony of friends? The Word? A dream or vision? The quiet assurance of the Holy Spirit? Through prayer? Because of a miraculous healing in the name of Jesus?
If any of the believers are struggling with weak faith, then go, visit them and tell them about Abraham, and tell them your own testimony of why you believe.
Demonstrate your God-given faith by serving needy neighbours in some practical way.
Pray with those who struggle with weak faith.
You could encourage
them by doing in
their homes some of the worship activities under part 3.
Choose activities that fit the believersí needs and local customs.
Tell or dramatize parts of Abrahamís story.
Explain these truths:
∑ God told Abraham to leave his relatives and go into a foreign land. By faith he obeyed. He took his wife and servants, and travelled hundreds of kilometres.
∑ While Abraham was n that land, God spoke again and promised him many descendants. Abraham believed Godís promise, and God considered that faith as righteousness.
∑ God promised that He would bless all nations through one of Abrahamís descendants.
∑ Abraham did not know how these promises would be fulfilled, because he had no child to be his heir.
∑ God then told Abraham to prepare a sacrifice. God always required sacrifices to establish a covenant with humans. Jesus said the Lord's Supper is our covenant in His blood.
∑ Abraham tried to scare the vultures away, but he grew tired and fell into a deep sleep. He saw a vision of God walking through the midst of the sacrifice while Abraham did nothing.
∑ Abraham still did not understand that it was God alone who would fulfil his promise.
∑ Later, Abrahamís wife Sarah suggested that he have a son with her slave girl, Hagar, to beget his heir.
∑ Abrahamís foolish effort has caused much misery. One of Hagarís descendants later introduced Islam.
At age 100, Abraham saw
the promise of a son fulfilled, when Sarah gave birth to Isaac. It was
Abrahamís sacrifice or effort that fulfilled the promise, but Godís
Note: If believers live near Muslims, then explain that Abraham had two sons. His first son was born to Abrahamís wifeís slave girl, Hagar. His name was Ishmael, who became the ancestor of the Arabs. Ishmael was not the heir that God promised to give to Abraham through his wife.
∑ Abrahamís second son was born to his wife, Sarah. His name was Isaac, who became the ancestor of the Jews. God revealed to Abraham that Godís promises would bring blessing to the world through Isaac and the Jews.
∑ When Jesus was born, He was a Jew, a descendent of Isaac. Thus, the promises made to Abraham brings blessing to all those who put their faith in Jesus. Muslims, too, need to believe in Jesus.
Have the children present what they have prepared.
Ask for testimonies.
∑ How has Godís power changed the lives of new believers?
∑ How has God answered prayers or kept his promises?
To introduce the Lordís Supper, briefly recount from Genesis 15 Abrahamís sacrifice and how God showed His presence. Explain that God confirms His promises with a sacrifice. Abraham chased vultures away from the sacrificed meat. Birds in Jesusí parables represented Satanís influences. Sacrifices are very important to God. We respect them, to honour God. We confess our sins before eating the Lordís Supper, to chase away Satanís Ďbirdsí as we partake of Christís body.
Poem: ďThe Enemy of FaithĒ. [If you translate this poem, you do not have to make it rhyme.]
The hungry dragon likes to yell,
ďMost men desire to come to hell!Ē
He wants hellís imps to plainly see
how wicked some men want to be.
He hates the truth but still
Not even men with half our wits
Are fooled in full by our deceit,
unless our lies they want to eat!Ē
Form tiny groups of two or three to counsel and pray for each other and confirm plans.
Memorize Ephesians 2:8-10.