Posts tagged ‘sacrifice’

January 24, 2013

Isaac Could Have Died

by pastortimfowler

Isaac

In Genesis 22 God’s promise of a son to Abraham has been fulfilled and God tests Abraham’s faith with a really bizarre request. He tells Abraham to take his only son Isaac to the place of worship and sacrifice him. Without chasing that obvious questions of “isn’t that cruel”, because it isn’t if you know God’s promise to him. I want to talk about Abraham’s faith. This whole story is a Christ like story. Think about the similarities. Abraham’s only son, God’s only Son. Isaac carried the wood up the hill, Christ carried the cross up a hill. The father, Abraham was asked to sacrifice, God the Father offered the sacrifice. There was a ram with thorns around its head, Christ wore a crown of thorns. I could go on, but I think you can see the similarities.
Abraham had been promised that God would make his descendants more than the stars in the sky. If Isaac dies, how could this happen? So Abraham had to make a choice. Trust God or argue with God. The Bible tells us that God would rather have our obedience than our sacrifice. But if God wants our sacrifice, we need to trust Him to still fulfill His promises. God cannot lie.
So what were the choices that God had? Well, He could have let the sacrifice happen. If so, He would have had to raise Isaac from the dead or have his 100 plus year old wife have another baby. God could do either. Raising the dead is not hard for God to do. It is hard for us to believe and understand, but not hard for God. Sarah had Isaac at 99, so it wouldn’t be hard at 100 plus.
He could have caused the knife not to penetrate Isaac. Jesus walked through walls and disappeared from among crowds. God made himself in the form of fire and smoke and human flesh, I am sure that He could cause a knife to not penetrate skin.
What God did was what Abraham said God would do. He provided the lamb. As the knife was raised, an angel said stop and they looked and there was a ram in the thorn-bush. It was the lamb from God, again a Jesus picture, as He is THE Lamb of God.
Sure, Isaac could have died. But Abraham believed God and we are told in Hebrews that God counted this faith toward Abraham’s righteousness. As I said, God wants our obedience more than our sacrifice. He wants us to believe that His promises can be trusted no matter how bizarre they sound. God’s ways are higher than ours and our understanding is not required. He wants us to do what we are asked and allow Him to be God. He has done miracles as long as we have been on earth and even before. Nature’s laws do not apply to God and He will never allow the impossible to make Him a liar.
So next time that you are faced with the unbelievable and even the impossible, remember that God is the God of impossible and His love for us is unending. If He tells you to do the unthinkable, first, know that it is from God. Abraham knew this was from God, because Abraham had a very close relationship with God. He knew His voice and knew His promises were true.
I don’t think that God will ask you to sacrifice your child. I often prayed for that when my children were little and was not given the go ahead. But He may ask you to be obedient in the face of logic and worldly wisdom. Knowing God will mean that whatever He asks of you, you can find peace and you can trust Him. The closer your relationship, the greater the peace. The greater the faith, the easier it is to do the impossible.

November 9, 2012

Veteran’s Day

by pastortimfowler

Veterans Day

This weekend our nation will celebrate Veteran’s Day. It is the best holiday that celebrates a human. As a veteran, I know the sacrifices that our military men and women make in order for us to be free. Not only do they sacrifice, but their families do too. Unless you have been there, you will never fully understand this.
I use to think of veterans as those old guys who use to drink at the VFW. That is not putting anyone down, it is just where I first understood and got to know people who served in the Armed Forces. The VFW is a great organization that does great work. But far too often we forget that veterans are also young men and women who have children and live right next door. Many who served their time and returned to the civilian world don’t talk about their years of service and sacrifice. They did not serve to be honored or recognized, they served because they believe in our country.
I would like to suggest that you do something to say thanks. If you know a veteran, buy him a meal. Take him or her out for a cup of coffee. Shake their hand and just say how much you appreciate their service. It really doesn’t take much to let them know that you appreciate them. They don’t expect it, but they most certainly deserve it. If you happen to see someone who is still serving, no matter what day it is, thank them. I try to buy their drink and lunch if I can. But more than anything, the kind words from a stranger means a lot.
So this Veteran’s Day, be patriotic and let our vets know that you care. Fly a flag in the yard if you have one. Go by the recruiting office and drop off a box of donuts. Stop in the local Guard or Reserve unit and shake some hands. Help a spouse whose alone due to deployment. Take a kid of one who is deployed to the movies. But what ever you do, pray for them and be grateful for their service.
Thank you to all the brave men and women who served and are serving in the US Armed Forces! You are heroes and patriots and I am grateful!

July 1, 2011

God Bless America!

by pastortimfowler

This is a long weekend for most people in America as we celebrate our nation’s birth and independence. I love our country and its people and love the meaning of this holiday. I also worry each year when the people I know travel and head to lakes and beaches and parties. I worry because this holiday also has a record number of injuries and deaths due to drinking and fireworks and crowded road and waterways.
I rarely travel or vacation during the 4th for those and other reasons. I like open water and roads and as I get older I dislike fireworks more and more. I try to drive during non-rush hours and if I go on a lake I like to do it during weekdays and non-holidays. I like to watch professional fireworks displays but have never been too impressed with the ones you spend a hundred bucks on from a roadside stand. Mine usually end up being far less than that the box promises.
All that said, I still love the 4th of July. I am thankful for our forefathers who sacrificed so much for our freedom and our country. I love thinking about the brave men and women who serve so bravely in the US Armed Forces to keep us safe and often sacrifice all for our country and its freedom. I love watching children spending time with families and the carefree times of vacation. I love seeing our flag flying high and proud on porches and business fronts. It is a beautiful flag and represents our beautiful country.
I will be taking a long weekend off from my blog. I will not be heading to the beach or to the lake, but rather enjoying a rare day off with my beautiful wife and will probably just relax around the house. Our vacation happens in a couple of weeks as we will be celebrating our anniversary and venturing out on the Holy Kaw. I will be observing and take mental notes for things to blog about as I take a break over the next few days and will be back at it on Tuesday, July 5th with something fresh to challenge you with.
Meanwhile, I hope that you have a great holiday. Please be safe on the roads and waterways. Watch out for those who drink too much and don’t have the common sense enough to not drive or operate a watercraft. Be careful if you use fireworks, although I find many duds, the ones that do go off can hurt. Use plenty of sunscreen and drink plenty of non alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated. Have fun and let kids be kids and enjoy this wonderful time. Take a few minutes to reflect and tell others about the meaning of this holiday and thank God for a country that is free.
God bless you and God bless America!