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Arise, Walk Through the Land
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: Abraham’s material blessings had the potential to distract him from his walk with the Lord, but he wisely demonstrated that he loved the Lord more than his possessions. Abraham did not allow his wealth to substitute for worship; was willing to hold his possessions lightly while enjoying them thoroughly; used his own resources to serve others in need; was faithful in returning a portion of his earnings to the Lord; and was unwilling to acquire income by dubious means. The original audience would have been particularly helped by these examples as they entered the Promised Land, which represented good gifts from God but included warnings not to forget God in the process. By way of application, we too can use Abraham’s model of stewardship as a means of assessing our own discipleship.
01. We love the Lord more than our possessions when our worship is consistent, our contentment is evident, and our faith is permanent.
02. We love the Lord more than our possessions when we contribute to others’ betterment, our giving is proportionate, and our earnings are legitimate.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. How does Abraham’s life demonstrate that he loved the Lord more than his possessions? What are your thoughts about wealthy Christians? How does Abraham’s life compare or contrast with the New Testaments’ teachings about wealth? See Matthew 19:16-30 and 1 Timothy 6:3-10 for further insight.
2. What does Lot’s choice of the best land for himself reveal about his character? What does Abraham’s willingness to give Lot the best land reveal about his character? Consider how the beatitude, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” applies to this text and our lives today.
3. Why does the Lord tell Abraham to “arise and walk through the land”? How does walking through the land add to Abraham’s faith that the Lord will fulfill His promises? How does walking through the land teach Abraham that he is free to enjoy the gifts God has given and will give?
4. Why did Abraham rescue Lot? What reasons might Abraham have had not to rescue Lot? What do Abraham’s actions suggest about our responsibility to use our resources in the service of others? Who can you assist with the resources God has given you?
5. Who is Melchizedek, and what does Abraham’s response to him suggest about Melchizedek’s status? See Hebrews 7:1-10 for further insight. Why does Abraham refuse to profit from the king of Sodom? Have you ever rejected income or opportunities for income due to a concern over ethical issues or questionable associations?
For Further Reading: Craig Blomberg, Christians in an Age of Wealth: A Biblical Theology of Stewardship (Zondervan, 2013)