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Robert Morris - Peter

Robert Morris - Peter
TOPICS: Divinely Human, Peter

So, we are in a series called Divinely Human, and I've already preached two messages on it, and if you didn't get to hear those two, I'd really like for you to go back and listen so you can catch up, but especially the first one. I'm taking it from 2 Peter 1:4, where it says we are partakers of the divine nature. In the context, it's talking about through Christ, obviously. We're part-takers, part receivers of the divine. In other words, we are divinely human now that we've accepted Christ. But here's my burden for this series, and I believe it's the Lord's burden, and that is that so many times we see our humanity, our fears, our frailties, our faults, and even our sins, and we count ourselves out for ever being used divinely by God. Like, "Well, God can use Pastor Robert and that person over there and my spouse, because she's godly, but I'm just not godly enough". And you need to know that the men and women of God in the Bible that we look up to, and rightly so, were humans.

So, last week we talked about Peter, and we saw he went from human to divine to human to divine. You know, "Thou is the Christ, the Son of living God". Then he took Him aside, began to rebuke Him. Okay? Divine, human. All right? So, this week we're going to look at Abraham and Sarah, and I'm going to do the exact same thing I did last week in the sense that we're going to go through a lot of Scripture and we're just going to tell the story. But I do have three points, but I'm just going to give them to you at the end of the message. And I have some headings throughout the message that we'll talk about. All right?

First of all, I have to give you a little bit of history. Everyone thinks that Abraham appears first in Scripture in Genesis 12, but actually he's at the end of chapter 11. And I'm going to actually show you that God... Everyone thinks God spoke to him in Genesis 12, but God actually spoke to him before that, and I'll show you the scripture. Okay? But I have to give you some background about him. Okay? So, Genesis 11:27. "This is the genealogy of Terah", that's his father, Abraham's father, "Terah begot Abram", which is Abraham, we'll talk about the name change later, "Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot". Now, it told us that because Haran died, and Lot, Abraham kind of took Lot in. And so, I just wanted to give you a little background there. All right?

Then, verse 30. "But Sarai", which is Sarah, again, God changed her name, "Sarai was barren; she had no child. And Terah took his son, Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran", and remember, he passed away, "and his daughter-in-law Sarai [Sarah], and his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans", now watch this because a lot of people miss this, and we're going to answer why they were going there, "to go to the land of Canaan", so, they were actually going to the land of Canaan, "and they came to Haran and dwelt there".

Now, if you look at a map, and I'm going to show you a map a little bit later, but I didn't want to take the time to show you on this one. When they leave the land of the Chaldeans, they go north, and then Canaan is over here. But you can't go across this way. You've got to follow the river for water. And then there was a river and a highway this way, and that's where he went to Canaan. But Haran was up here. So, why did they even go there? They went there because Terah, Abraham's father, was a craftsman, now, listen carefully because this is very important, and he made idols. I just wanted you to understand that Abraham did not come from a background where they believed in God, the true God. They believed in the moon God. And Haran was the center of worship for the moon god. And Haran, who passed away, the son, was named after the city Haran. And so he went there because there was a thriving idolatrous worship there where he could make a lot of money, and yet they were supposed to go to Canaan.

So, some people say, "Well, then why did Abraham go"? We believe it's because he was old. He didn't live much longer there, and that Abraham was serving his father. He was honoring his father, because as soon as he died, then he does start going to Canaan. Okay? All right. And here's, I just want to prove to you that before Abraham began walking with God, they served other gods. Joshua 24:2. "And Joshua said to all the people, 'Thus says the Lord God of Israel: "Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times..."'" We say today, olden times. "What was it like, Papaw, in olden times"? I hear that a lot. And I say, "Go sit down". "'"...and they served other gods."'"

And they, Terah, Abram, and Nahor, his brother, served other gods. There it is right there in your Bible. So, I want you to know that even if you didn't come from a Christian family or Christian background, you can be a hero just like they were in the Bible. You can be used by God, because Abraham didn't come from a Godfearing background. Now, changing the names. We've made a big deal of it. And some have said, Abram means father, and Abraham means father of many nations. That's really not correct in the Hebrew. Abraham simply means lifted up. Sarai and Sarah, same thing. Sarah means strong. Sarai means strong. They both mean strong. But here's what you need to know: God added one letter to each of their names that wasn't previously there. He repeats the A with Abraham, but He adds H. In Hebrew, H is rûaḥ. It's a letter, as it is in English, but it means breath or spirit.

So, God added the Spirit to Abraham. How do you say H? Hello? You have to use your breath. "God breathed into Adam, and he became a living soul". One rabbi, I remember, said one time, "a speaking spirit" is another way to say it. And so, God adds the H. And with Sarai, I really love it, because He took the I out and the H in, which is what a lot of us need. "I want to do this," and "I want to do that". Well, what does the Holy Spirit want you to do? Not what do you want to do? You follow me? Okay. So, in other words, here's what he was saying. "Abram, you're a father, but now you're going to be a father by the Spirit. And Sarai, you're strong, but now you're going to be Sarah. You're going to be strong by the Spirit". Okay? So, here are my headings. I have a few headings I want to go through, and then I'll get to the three points. So, the message is a little different. All right? Here's the first heading: Abraham believes. Abraham believes. All right?

Genesis 12:1. Now watch carefully your Bible. I really believe most of you have never seen this or heard this. "Now the Lord had said to Abram". It does not say, "Now the Lord said to Abram". Although I looked at one of the popular versions that did, nearly every other version translates it correctly. "Now the Lord had said". So, my question for you is, and I'll show you in a moment, in the Bible, when did God speak to him? But He had already spoken to him. "Now the Lord had said to Abram: 'Get out of your country, from your family and from your Father's house, to a land that I will show you". In other words, get away from the idolatry because I want to do something different with you. Okay? And then he talks about, I will bless those who bless you and make you a father and all that. So, he gives him the promise. All right?

But where had He spoken to him? Act 7:2, "And he said, 'Brethren and fathers...'", this is Stephen, now, one of the seven deacons that was stoned, if you remember. Not that kind of stoned. Okay. The kind that hurts. Okay? All right. And he said, Steven is preaching. By the way, Acts 7, the first 53 verses are the best summary of Abraham to Jesus in the Bible, in one chapter in 53 verses. So, if you say, "I want to get from Abraham to Jesus, and I'm a little behind on my daily Bible reading," Read Acts 7. Okay? "And he said, 'Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham'", watch your Bibles carefully, "'when he was in Mesopotamia [that's in the land of the Chaldeans], before he dwelt in Haran.'"

Remember, it said they left Ur of the Chaldeans, that's in Mesopotamia, to go to the land of Canaan, but they went to Haran instead. This says, God spoke to him before he dwelt in Haran, "'and said to him, "Get out of your country"'", we just read in Genesis 12, the Lord had already said to Abraham, "'"Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you". Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans.'" I told you. This is right there. New Testament. "'And dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell.'" Which is the Promised Land. Okay? So, God speaks to him before. He says to his father, "God has spoken to me. We're supposed to go to Canaan". That's the whole reason they went. So, they take off, and yet his father decides along the way to go and make more money and continue in idolatry. Abraham honors him, but as soon as his father's dies, he says, "I've got to go to Canaan because God told me to go". Okay?

So, there's the background. And then God says, I'm going to make you a father and bless you and make your descendants multiply and all that. Okay. So, he believes. Here's my next heading: Abraham Doubts. I just want you to know he's human because we were, remember we just read Genesis 12. All right? Look at verse 10. "Now, there was a famine in the land", this is in the land of Canaan, they're dwelling in Bethel, by the way, "and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, 'Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. Therefore it will happen'", it will happen, it will happen, he believed it, "'when the Egyptians see you, they will say, "This is his wife"; and they will kill me'", he believed it, "'but they will let you live. Please say you are my sister'", now, I like the way he phrased this, because many husbands do this, "'that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.'"

Though, honey. It's the only reason I want to keep living is because of you. It'll be well with you if I stay alive. So, lie and sleep with another man, because she gets taken into the house of Pharaoh. And people say, "Well, she didn't sleep with him". Well, you're thinking of Abimelech because Abraham lies twice, and God shows up to Abemalech and says, "You're a dead man because you have another man's wife in your house". And he said, "Lord, I did it in the integrity of my heart". And God says to him, "I know. That's why I kept you from sinning". But with Pharaoh, we don't know whether he slept with her or not. We know they never got married, but the Pharaoh didn't have, "Thou shalt not commit adultery".

That was 500 years later, by the way, after they imprisoned Israel, the Jewish people, for 430 years. And there aren't any Jewish people yet. Everyone get that? I mean, Abraham is the father of the Jewish nation. There aren't any Jewish people yet, just Abraham, basically, by faith. Okay, so we don't know. And he dwelt with him several years, he dwelt in Egypt, because he became exceedingly rich. You don't become exceedingly rich overnight. Matter of fact, he and Lot became so rich that when they go into Canaan, many of you know this, they had to separate because the land wasn't big enough for the herds. They had to go, Lot went south, Abraham went north. So, it's very possible that Pharaoh slept with Sarai. But here's the point. I'm not getting on to Sarai here. I'm getting on to Abraham, because he was still willing to let his wife sleep with another man to save himself.

Okay, so why am I bringing that up? I'm telling you, he doubted, because God told him, "You're going to be the father of a great nation". If he really believed he'd be the father of a great nation, then he wouldn't have believed, "They will kill me". He would have believed, "God will protect me because God's already spoken to me, and He has a destiny for me to fulfill". I'm just trying to show you he's a human. I'm not trying to speak bad of him. I just want you to know. So, I just want you to know, he doubted, and he was afraid. And those aren't sins, but they are human, I'm just saying human qualities. But then he lied. That is a sin. He did lie. And then you say, "Well, she was like his half sister". That's not the point, because he said, "She is not my wife". He lied. So, these people were just humans.

By the way, did you know his son did the same thing? Genesis 26:7. "And the men of that place asked about his wife". This is done by Isaac. "And he said, 'She is my sister'; for he was afraid to say, 'She is my wife,' because he thought, 'lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold.'" I just want to say something I need to say. Men, you need to know that how you live your life will affect your children, because his son ends up doing the exact same lie that he did. So, we've got Abraham Believes and then Abraham Doubts. Here's the next heading: Abraham Believes Again. Now let me, here's something, I'm going to give you a little history here. Genesis 13:6. "Now the land was not able to support them", that's Abraham and Lot, "that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together". That's because they've been in Egypt for so long. Okay. But let me just show you a map, and let me kind of show you where they went.

So, I'm going to point it out here, and you might see it on the screen, or you might be able to see it here, but they are in Bethel, right here. Okay? So, he says, "Look, can you go whichever way you want to go, Lot"? So, Lot looks, and I mean, it's going to shock you. And he sees that all of this land is fertile. Now, if you've ever been to Israel or if you know anything about it, what is this right here? The Dead Sea. Nothing can live in it. It's not fertile. Here's Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot goes down here to live in Sodom, and God destroyed it. And all of this now is a desert where nothing will grow. Nothing grows there. And it's amazing, too, that it's filled with salt. I've floated in it. You can go out there, and you can't drown in the Dead Sea. You just pick your feet off the bottom and you just like you have a life jacket on because it's so filled with salt. And yet, remember, Lot's wife got turned into a what? A pillar of salt. She must have been a heavy woman.

But anyway, there was quite a... I'm sorry, because there's a lot of salt in that sea. Okay? All right. Okay. And so, Abraham then goes north, and he goes up to Shechem. Okay? Then kings from the north. Now, they weren't these kings, but when Abraham rescues him, he goes up the Bible says, to Dan, Hobah, and Damascus to rescue Lot. Then he brings him back down, crosses the Jordan right in here, right in here. But then he goes to Salem, which became a city called, would you like to guess, or can you just look at it on the map? Jerusalem. What does Salem mean? Peace. Jeru, many people have said translated incorrectly, means "city of," but what it actually means is "foundation of". Jerusalem is the Foundation of Peace for the whole world. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem," because it's the foundation of peace for the whole world. Okay?

All right. But when he comes to Salem, he meets the king of Salem. Who is the guy that Hebrews tells us, now get this, Hebrews says this guy is without genealogy and does not have beginning of days or end of life. He said, he's the king of peace and the king of righteousness, and he doesn't have a genealogy, and he doesn't have beginning of days or end of life. I wonder who that sounds like. So, it's a guy named Melchizedek, which could have been an actual man or could have been Jesus. And I just want you to notice in Hebrews 7, it goes on to say that when we tithe, our tithe goes to Jesus, and it refers to Melchizedek, who is a priest forever. And Jesus is the only priest forever I know. All right? But whether he is or not, theologians argue, but I want you notice something. This is why I say, Abraham believes again. Okay?

Verse 18. "Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine". Okay, let me just stop for a moment. He brought out what? Bread and wine. Let's see, what does that remind me of? Was it a supper where Jesus took the bread? By the way, who did this? Who had the bread and the wine? Jesus. And the king of peace, Salem, the king of peace comes out to meet Abraham, and he brings bread and wine with him. Sounds a lot like communion, brings out bread and wine. And by the way, we use juice here. And some of you might have wondered, "Why do you use juice"? It's the fruit of the vine. It's still the fruit of the vine. And in Jesus' day, it had no alcohol in it. It was fermented grapes, basically, and, yes, it would make you feel good, but it was fermented. It had no alcohol. We use juice now because there are many people who have alcoholism in their family, and it's not only a disease, it is also a curse.

So, we just choose to do that because it's the same thing in our opinion. It's the fruit of the vine. Okay? And it represents the blood of Jesus. I just know that there are some people that, you know, say, "Why don't you use wine"? I don't know. Now, listen, the Bible doesn't have anything against social drinking, but it does forbid drunkenness. It does forbid drunkenness, but it does not forbid drinking. Okay? So, I'm not saying anything bad about it, but I am saying I just wonder sometimes, some people go to church, and when communion comes by where they serve real wine, they're like, "Two, please". "My wife has gone to the restroom. Two please". And then when the wife comes back, it's like, "Yours is empty". Anyway, just so you know. Okay, so he brings out bread and wine, and "he was the priest", watch this, "of God Most High".

Wow, that's something. "And he blessed Him", which is Abram, "and said: 'Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he", this is when Abram is bringing Lot and his family back, because when they captured Sodom, they took Lot with them. So, he went to get Lot and his family. "And he", Abraham, "gave him", Melchizedek, "a tithe of all". Okay, here's why I say he believed again, because if you're going to give 10% of your income, You're a believer. You don't give 10% of your income to anything you don't believe in. If you give it to Bass Pro Shops, you believe in Bass Pro Shops, or Nordstrom's, whichever one you want to choose. And by the way, this is 500 years before tithing was a part of the law. And Hebrew says, our spiritual father Abraham gave to Melchizedek, the king of righteousness and the king of peace, a tenth of everything he had. Just interesting.

All right, then, Genesis 15 tells us for sure, "And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness". In Romans 4, what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteous. And this simply means God put righteousness or right standing in his account. And I've said this before, but it bears saying again, what God did for us is he took, when you believe. Abraham had to believe it. When you believe, God takes sin out of your account, puts it in on God's Son, and then He puts righteousness from His Son in your account. It's a really good deal with great interest. It has a great ROI, return on your investment. Believe me. Okay? All right. So, we know he believed. Okay, he believed. All right. Here's my next heading: Abraham and Sarah Doubt. Divine, human, divine, human.

Genesis 16:1. "Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. And had an Egyptian maidservant", so, she got the maids when she was in Egypt, "whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, 'See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in'", which is another way to say commit adultery, sleep with, have sexual intercourse with, "'my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.' And Abraham heeded the voice of Sarai". They both doubted. Both of them doubted. Here's why. She lets her husband sleep with another woman. And Abraham, before this, was willing to let another man sleep with his wife. And yet God had given them a promise they were going to have a child. I'm not putting them down. I'm just showing you they were humans. And I just want to show you they were humans so you'll know when you mess up that God can still use you. That's what I'm trying to do. All right?

So, Abram believed. Abraham doubted. Abraham believed again. Abraham doubted again. Abram and Sarah. Abraham believed again. Abraham and Sarah doubt. Here's the next heading: Abraham believes again. Genesis 17:1. "When Abram was ninety-nine years old", the first time he was 75, "the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.'" Verse 10. "'This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant'". Everyone, see? It's a sign. It's "'a sign of the covenant between me and you.'" Verse 24. "Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin".

Okay. You want to know why I say he believed? I said a moment ago, if you tithe, you're a believer? If you get circumcised when you're 99, you're a believer. Can we just be human for a minute? I just want to think about this conversation, all right? God says, "I'm going to give you a sign of our covenant. Every male child shall be circumcised, and I want you to be circumcised, too". Now, I'm just wondering, I know it's not in Scripture. I just wonder if Abraham said, "Wait. Can we talk about this for just a minute? You want me to do what to my what"? And then I think when he told Sarah, she might have said, "He wants you to do what to your what? Are you sure you heard Him right"? "I asked Him three times, honey. Believe me, I checked on this". And then when He said, "This will be the sign of our covenant".

I wonder if Abraham said, "Noah got a rainbow". "I mean, are there any flowers You like or, is there anything else beside the knife thing? You know"? I mean, let's just be human. I mean, he's, he's 99. A baby doesn't have a choice. You know, the baby is like, "Oh, the nurse is coming... ow"! I think he believed, personally, because he did it. Here's the next heading: Sarah doubts again and lies. I'm not trying to put them down. I'm just showing you they were human. Genesis 18:1 "Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day". And then verse 10. "And He", that's the Lord, remember, the Lord appeared to him, the Lord. This is Jesus, by the way. Okay?

So, Josh showed you that in a message a while back in a series. You can go back and listen, but it's very clear that it was Jesus appearing to him, because it says, the Lord appeared to him. "And He", that's the Lord, "said, 'I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.' (Sarah was listing in the tent door which was behind him.) Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself". Does your Bible say out loud? Hello, y'all there? Doesn't say out loud. Doesn't say she laughed out loud. Says she laughed within herself, quietly, in her own mind, saying, "'After I've grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?'"

In other words, she's thinking this, and she's laughing on the inside. "And the Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh, saying, "Shall I surely bear a child, since I'm old"?'" He even knows her thoughts. "'Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you'", remember, at the appointed time, "'according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. But Sarah denied it, saying, 'I did not laugh,' for she was afraid". That's human. "And he said, 'No, but you did laugh"! Yeah, yeah you did. You laughed. Don't lie to Me. So, she not only doubted, she lied. Are you all seeing this in your Bible? I'm not putting them down. I'm just telling you they were humans, and yet this is the father and the mother of Israel. Okay, here's the next heading: Abraham negotiates.

Now, I'm not referring to in chapter 17 where he said, "I just wish Ishmael, You'd let Ishmael be the heir". Not referring to that. I'm referring to another time where God tells him that He's going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He said, I'm going to destroy them. Their wickedness is great. And it lists the sins of Sodom in Ezekiel and in Jude. And so, it's where, Sodom is where we get the word sodomy, by the way. And so, anyway, he says, I'm going to destroy them, and I want you to watch. This to me, is one of the funniest passages in the Bible and conversations recorded in the Bible. "And Abraham came near and said, 'Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would you also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked [innocent people], so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?'" Look at the manipulation. "Far be it from you, the righteous Judge of the whole earth, to do something like this".

And remember, Lot lives there, okay? So, he's got a good reason, but the way he did it, just watch. "So, the Lord said, 'If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.' Then Abraham answered and said, 'Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose there were five less than fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?' So He said, 'If I find there forty-five [God is good at math], I will not destroy it.' And he spoke to Him yet again and said, 'Suppose there should be forty found there?' So, He said, 'I will not do it for the sake of forty.' Then he said, 'Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there? So He said, 'I will not do it if I find thirty there?' So he said, 'Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?' So He said, 'I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.' Then he said, 'Let not the Lord be angry, and I'll speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there? And He said, 'I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.'"

Okay, here's what I think happened. I think Jesus walked away and said to the Father and the Holy Spirit, "Did y'all hear that? That's the coolest conversation I've ever had with a human right there". "Would the Lord of all the earth do something like this, the Judge of the whole earth? Far be it from You, Lord, to do something as bad as this. And You know I'm just dust and ashes, but I've taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose. Suppose". You know, I think Jesus actually said, I think He said something like this. "I like that guy. I like that guy". And do you know what He liked about him? This is going to shock you. Now, we're talking about divinity and humanity. Okay? It wasn't his divinity that He liked because his divinity or his righteousness was imputed. In other words, it was Jesus' righteousness in him. So, did Jesus like His own righteousness? See, it was his humanity. It was his personality that He liked, even when he was trying to manipulate God. Why didn't he just start with ten? Why did he throw in the "dust and ashes" and the "far be it from You"?

I'm just telling you, it's okay. It's okay that you're human. God doesn't get upset at your humanity. He created you. He's okay. You don't intimidate God, and you don't negotiate with God. God already knew he was going to do this. He loved Abraham. Matter of fact, the Bible tells us Abraham was His friend. James 2:23, "And he was called the friend of God". You can go back and read it. It's talking about Abraham. 2 Chronicles 20:7, "Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham", watch this, "Your friend forever"? How would you like your BFF to be God? This is what it said. "Your friend forever". How did Abraham become His friend forever? Because he believed? Well, yes, that's how he became in a relationship with God. But how did they become such close friends?

I think God liked Him even though he believed, and then he doubted, and then he believed, and then he doubted and lied, and then Sarah believed, and then she doubted and lied. Are y'all following me? All right. Here's my next heading: Abraham doubts and lies again. Genesis 20:2. "Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, 'She is my sister.' And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah". That's the one I told you about a moment ago. So, he does that twice. He lies about his wife, and he's willing to let another man sleep with his wife, have sex with her. Yet God's already told him, "You're going to be the father of a great nation". If he really believed, then why would he think they'd kill him? Wouldn't he think God would protect him? I'm just saying there's no doubt he doubted. That's a good statement. There's no doubt he doubted. Here's the last heading: Abraham and Sarah receive the promise, even though they were humans and messed up a lot.

Genesis 21:1, "And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken". You need to know God never lies. He always keeps His word. He always does what He says. If God has told you He has a call on your life, then He has a call on your life, and He has a call on all of you. He has a purpose for all of you, and your humanity won't mess it up if you'll just keep progressing in Him and allowing Him to help you get stronger and stronger by the Spirit. In Genesis 21:5-6. "Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, 'God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.'" Do you know why she said that, by the way? Because Isaac means laughter. And you might think, "Well, Sarah picked out a good name". It wasn't Sarah that picked out the name. "Well, Abraham picked out a good name". It wasn't Abraham. It was God, 25 years before. He said, "You're going to have a son, and you're to name him Isaac". Laughter.

And get this, Sarah laughed when she doubted, and God took her weakness and turned it into a strength, which He might be able to do for you also. I think He can. So, here are my three points. I told you to give them to you really quickly because I don't have a lot to say about them. I've already preached them. But number one, God is fun because Isaac means laughter and because He had a lot of fun with Abraham and Sarah. I mean, I think that negotiating thing was fun for Him. And I think when Sarah said, "I didn't laugh," He said, "Yeah, you did". I think it was fun for Him. "Yeah, and I also know what you thought, too, by the way". Number one, God's fun. Number two, God is faithful. The promise was fulfilled. And number three, God is in control. It says, "at the set time". And I put out here, relax, relax. You can relax.

Listen, I was asked a while back, I've been having some pastors in my home and some pastors of some very large churches and their next-generation pastors, and I've been asked this at every one of them, "So, would you do anything differently at Gateway Church"? And I said, "Yeah, I would have relaxed more because God told me that Gateway Church would have international influence one day and I did not have to work as hard as I did because God was the one that did it. I could have relaxed more. If I'd do anything differently, looking back at my life, I'd relax and have more fun because God's in control".

I'm not putting down Abraham and Sarah. They did believe, but they also doubted and lied, several times. But what I'm telling you is God still used them in a mighty way, even though they were humans. And even though you're a human and you still make mistakes, and you still sin, God can still use you in a divine way to touch someone else. He can still use you divinely to bless and minister to other people. I want you to bow your heads and close your eyes. And every weekend, if you're not familiar with our service, we just take a moment and just say, "Holy Spirit, what are You saying to me"?

So, just take a moment. Whether you're a member or a guest, it doesn't matter to us, you're a person. You're someone that we care about and we love, and we want to help you any way we can. If you're watching online, if you're at another campus, if you're watching on television, doesn't matter. Just take a moment and say, "Holy Spirit, what are You saying to me"? Because I'm telling you, some of you are counting yourselves out from being used by God mightily because of your weaknesses and your frailties and your humanity, and even, here's the biggie, your sins. I'm telling you that we're humans and we're going to make mistakes, and God can still use us.

Lord, I pray that You'll take this message. I pray You'll cause it to get deeply into our hearts, that we believe, and by grace through faith, You put righteousness in our accounts, and You have a purpose and a destiny for each one of us. In Jesus' name, amen.

Are you Human?:*