August 27, 2017 9AM English Message, "The power of a generous heart"

Genesis chapter 13 and some of you might

think well the pastor only preaches from

the Old Testament you know so many of

the texts that I've been discussing

lately have been from the Old Testament

and I do preach from the New Testament

as well believe me and it's just that

sometimes these narratives that are in

the Old Testament are so appropriate for

discussing profound principles because

they kind of graphically illustrate

these truths and then we can use also

the New Testament to complement and

buttress some of the concepts that

emerge from them and but it's also

interesting I think because um I want to

continue on the theme that I started

last Sunday really I I really felt that

there was so much left in the ink bottle

to say that in Spanish because I don't

cause us 18 tangled in Tarot I left a

lot of things unsaid unclarified or not

clarified and I want to just add one

more twist to some of the truths that

were expressed last Sunday and as I said

we're doing a little parenthesis here in

terms of our discussion on the Holy

Spirit and the spirit filled life but I

think that you will see that there is

even a connection here even as we

worshiped and spoke about power in the

power of God in our lives and our God

being an awesome God and so on and how

that connection with a powerful God can

lead us into a posture of generosity and

of confidence that allows us to be

tolerant and forgiving and generous with

those who don't necessarily see us well

and so I want to continue with this idea

and so let me just read it's it's it's a

18 versus I may or may not read them all

but it's a well-known passage were Abram

before he was called Abraham before the

Lord promoted him to another level of a

spiritual stature and his nephew lot

have a conflict and it's going to be

very instructive to us to observe how

they resolved this account

and understand of course you know that

we live in a nation that is conflict

ridden conflict Laden a nation right now

that is divided probably maybe they're

in the Civil War in American history but

the the level of division transcends

even geographical sectors of America

it's not North against South it's you

know families that are divided and like

we see here between an uncle in a nephew

it is churches that are also divided and

it is neighborhoods

it's Massachusetts there were there

different people who think it's New

England not just a Georgia or

Mississippi and Boston it's really so

much more complex than that so we live

in a nation that is divided and that is

competing for resources as well people

are competing for a limited number of

resources and for a limited number of

rights as well and we will hopefully see

through this passage how to approach you

know those situations of conflict that

seem that they have no solution except

continue the conflict and confrontation

and fighting for those resources so in

verse 1 of chapter 13 Genesis it says

that Abram went up from Egypt to the

Negev with his wife and everything he

had and a lot went with him now note is

that a lot sort of seems to be hanging

on to Abram and that's an important

element here he's a he's really III

think we can see it clearly and

throughout the rest of Lots life he was

a beneficiary of Abraham's generosity

and strength and he is the nephew so

Abram has seniority Abram has the right

in a way according to that those ancient

laws of a seniority and you know

parentage and so on and so forth so a

lot went with him a lot is hanging on to

him

way I think benefits from Abraham's

blessing that God has declared on his

life of prosperity and provision and

success so Abram notice had become very

wealthy in livestock and in silver and

gold God has nothing God is not against

by the way God is not against wealth and

prosperity it's only when we convert

wealth and material possessions into a

God when we become enamored of

prosperity and blessing it even churches

can make the mistake sometimes of over

emphasizing the prosperity what we call

the sometimes called the prosperity

gospel it's when you deform when you

exaggerate when you over emphasize when

you oversimplify the complexity of

Scripture that you get into trouble but

that there is a a narrative in Scripture

of blessing that comes to God's people

and we have every right as children of

the kingdom of God to aspire to success

to blessing to provision God does not

want us to live in poverty I think the

natural and the supernatural trajectory

the direction of a child of God is for

provision and for blessing how many can

say amen to that now again as I say it's

only when you exaggerate things and you

when you convert those things into God's

into idols then you are transgressing

but here we have Abraham blessed by God

just as a Jacob was blessed just that's

Isaac was blessed and do we see the

promises of God to Abraham so Abraham is

in a position of wealth and prosperity

and strength now from the Negev he went

from place to place until he came to

Bethel that mysterious place in

Scripture Bethel - the place between

Bethel and I or a where his tent had

been earlier and they

Abram called on the name of the Lord if

you read the the chapters before when

Abram appears on the scene you see

something that Abram is always having

encounters with God and building altars

Abram leaves a trail of altars wherever

he goes so if you see for example

chapter 12 verse 7 when God appears to

Abraham and says through your offspring

I will give this land so it says so he

built an altar there to the Lord who had

appeared to him and then he goes on to

another place in verse 8 chapter 12 and

there he built an altar to the Lord and

called on the name of the Lord so you

see this intimacy between Abram and God

Abram is a worshipper Abram has

communion with God Abram has intimacy

with God Abram benefits from the direct

blessing of the presence of God on his

life and I think his actions and the way

he frames the world are directly related

to that sense of intimacy and connection

with this God who blesses him prosper

him prefers him and in promises victory

and success to him and a a progenitor of

descendents that he will give to this

all the man I he's at least a 75 or 80

years old when we when we when he

appears on the scene and he's 100 years

old when he has his son Isaac so this

man is singularly blessed by the Lord

and he always worships God and I'm

saying this for a reason and I will come

back to that but notice this continual

building this trail of altars that Abram

leaves on his way to wherever he goes

and so in verse 4 he returns to this

place where he had first built an altar

and there Abraham called on the name of

the Lord now he turned to lot

another key figure in this passage now

lot who was moving about with Abram also

had flocks and herds and tents but the

land could not support them while they

stayed together for their possessions

were so great that they were not able to

stay together isn't it ironic that the

very blessing that these two men have

received Abram because he's blessed by

God lot because it's linked to somebody

who is close to him and who is blessed

by God that now they're very wealth and

prosperity becomes a source of potential

conflict division possibly even violence

could have resulted in that and it's

it's paradoxical we live in a nation

here in America where blessing and

prosperity have been distributed to us

unlike any other nation I think in

history and yet we are also divided

America is a land of liberty and it is a

land of opportunity despite all the

other in justices that exist who can

deny that and yet this very fact that

America has been blessed with people

from all over the world from immigrants

from every part of the universe of the

world I don't know if there's some

aliens in America also undocumented

somewhere along the way hanging out but

the fact is that yes that America has

people from all over the world and that

that has been America's greatest

strength throughout its history and we

have benefited from this richness of

provision and blessing and America has

been blessed because it has always

honored that the Lord and has honored

God and has received illumination for

its leaders for blessing and prosperity

and yet now this very diversity that we

inhabit in has become a source of

conflict as well paradoxically

ironically the very blessing of

prosperity and diversity have become a

source of disquiet conflict

tension in our nation and so this is the

case over here that these two men

blessed by God prospered by the Lord it

says that the land could not support

them while they stayed together for

their possessions were so great that

they were not able to stay together

here's something else that I maybe I'm

getting ahead of myself but the fact is

that you know a nation a society can

only contain and accommodate a limited

number of Rights if society tries to

accommodate too many rights actually it

will fail because the elasticity of a of

a society is not great enough to

accommodate every claim - right so every

group what we have right now in America

is so many different groups so many

different small minorities take for

example the transgender population in

America it is it's like point all all 1%

it's not even 1% it's like a thousandth

of 1% or 1/100 of 1% I think it is like

1.001

and yet there is a very insistent claim

and for a moment I'm gonna say

rightfully or wrongly I happen to think

that it's absolutely wrong for the

health of this nation that's my my

conviction and I hope that is the

conviction of everyone here as well but

the fact that you have this very minut

minority claiming absolutely a

space-like lot and Abram with their

flock and and the fact is that you

cannot no society can accommodate every

every claim every complaint every

clamoring for right for a place at some

point there has to be a choice there has

their there have to be some parrot

parameters that define how those who

claim

because the land is not big enough to

contain all the claims and I think one

of the problems when you when you make

politics a space for the accommodation

of every large and small claim you are

in a sense setting up your nation for

disaster for greater conflict greater

configuration and division because a

land society is not elastic enough to

contain every right this at this idea of

identity politics for example it's

really something that I think even the

Democratic Party is beginning to realize

that has backfired because it has

actually set up this nation for

extraordinary conflict which is not to

say that we should not continue

you know the clamor for justice which is

not to say that there aren't abuses that

need to be pointed out which is not to

say that we should stop calling out

injustice and pointing out places were

there is genuine violation of human

rights and so on and so forth but that

can only take us so far when a nation

proceeds from a narrative of addressing

every perceived wrong or of trying to

accommodate mutually exclusive claims

because some of these claims they cannot

survive in within the same space

remember what I said last week according

to the laws of physics two objects

cannot occupy the same space two

contradictory understandings of an essay

of human sexuality for example or of

human rights cannot ultimately cohabit

in the same space ultimately one will

prevail over the other and I know that

nature sometimes need to you know

particularly democratic nations need to

find the summer

accomodation and to live in a certain

degree of tension but when you carry

that to a simplistic degree then you are

setting up your nation for precisely the

things that we are experiencing today so

you see here that these are the

positions were so great that they were

not able to stay together and the

quarreling arose between Abrams herdsmen

and the herdsmen of Lotte quarreling

does that sound familiar to you today in

America does it sound familiar to you in

many parts of the world quarreling arose

between these two brothers and here's an

interesting thing it says now that the

Canaanites and parasites were also

living in the land at that time now why

does scripture put that there

well you know I don't like the also in

the NIV which is the version that I'm

reading from because I don't think it is

in the original and if you look at other

versions that also is not necessarily

there I think it's an addition that

accommodate certain things it explains

it smooths out certain things for the

translators because if you put that also

there it might just mean that they the

parasites and the Canaanites were also

they added it to the complication of too

much too many people trying to fight for

limited resources but I be the way that

it is said in in in I know in the

Spanish translation which we all know

it's better than the English translation

couldn't couldn't resist that cheap

cheap humor it that also is out there so

it's more like the Canaanites and

parasites were living in the land at

that time and I happen to believe that

the reason why scripture adds that is

because here you have these two men who

know God who know the true Living God

with a witness witnesses that are pagan

that do not know the Lord and they are

going to see they're going to be

watching how these two men resolve their

conflict now they're going to resolve it

the way that Jacob's sons did in the

passage that we discussed last Sunday

are they gonna start killing each other

off and fighting each other or are they

going to give a witness of how things

are resolved by

men who know the kingdom and who are

brethren spiritually and also in blood

and this is why I think scripture says

that oh because we always have a wit we

have witnesses around us people out

there who don't know the Lord are

watching to see what witness the church

is going to give how are we going to

resolve these differences among

ourselves how are we going to behave

what message are we going to give the

world are we going to become part of

that narrative of conflict and fighting

for rights and of revenge and resentment

or are we going to adopt the narrative

of the kingdom which is a different

narrative which depends on that power of

God the Bible says again the weapons of

our warfare are not carnal but they are

powerful in God for the destruction of

strongholds we have weapons that the

world does not know about to resolve we

have resources we have skills we have

knowledge we have blessings that the

world does not know about and the world

would be watching to see how we use

those resources whether we put our money

our mouths where our money is or money

where our mouth is and so these it's

really important at this time that the

church not be co-opted into the disputes

of men and the way they resolve their

things because we are we belong to a

different Kingdom amen

we win we wage war fair in a different

way with weapons of light not weapons of

darkness weapons of violence and other

things of that nature of selfishness of

power greed racial partisanship and so

on and so forth we we were very careful

the road that we travel on in the ground

that we tread we don't want the

Canaanites and parasites watching us and

say oh we can manipulate them we can

take the religion and use it for our

ends like sometimes you see in America

where you know you have a liberal sector

of Christianity parsing the world and

and just as concepts of justice and

rights and you have people in the church

very

willing to buy into that mentality and

to be co-opted into that mentality

because the church is a very powerful

resource and so what the right and the

left will want to use us for their ends

and then we have on the right others who

also sometimes very simplistic in their

viewpoints and will want to co-op the

church and use the church and they allow

the church and the church may allow

itself to be used as well we have to be

very careful like Jesus we say you know

my kingdom is not of Caesar we will give

to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God

what is God's

and we will not be drawn into these

controversies as the Pharisees wanted to

draw Jesus into this thing of who you

know who do you get is it okay to give

taxes to Caesar and who do you know

Jesus was very clear on these things and

the church needs to walk a very fine

line it doesn't mean that we don't

participate in what is legal and just

there are laws there are systems in this

nation that are devised to help us solve

the conflicts that we are living in and

I think we have every right to vote for

example and we have every right to

participate in the public square I think

Christians have every right and in

actually an obligation to lend their

voice to the conflicts of our time and

the church is called this is why I'm

going out on a limb here and this sermon

and on previous and the previous one as

well because I cannot escape it I there

is a voice and and you know we have a

right to protest in a way that is

legitimate we have a right to vote our

conscience we have a right to elect

officials that represent our moral and

our spiritual viewpoints and who

represent about justice and about the

things that we value but we must not let

ourselves be drawn into two things

giving a bad witness and number two

being co-opted into the struggles of men

we must always ask the Lord Lord keep us

keep us balanced amen keep us biblical

keep o spiritual keep us eternal in your

perspective give us the wisdom of the

Lord so that we

can navigate these things according to

the principles of your word so I'm not

saying that we need to be passive I

resist believers I hear all the time oh

let's you know let's just love and this

and that no it's more complex it's more

complex in that but love is definitely a

very powerful thing and we we have our

weapons but what we do we do it within a

framework that has been established and

been allowed for us to operate in and

that includes being influences in the

systems of that that are legitimate for

the the elucidation the the processing

of the conflicts and the situations that

we see in our time so this kind of

knights and parasites are living in the

land watching to see how this is going

to be resolved so Abram said to lot and

here's the beautiful thing that Abram

who has seniority who has every right to

choose first was every right to say hey

a lot you know we're in conflict here

you're the junior part of this society

go your way I I've earned this I my

blessing has been on you I'm gonna take

care of things here that's not what

Abram does and already we have here an

example of you know what is the

narrative that we operate under so Abram

says to a lot lot let's not have any

quarreling between you and me or between

your herdsmen and mine for we are

brothers for we are brothers Abram is

appealing to a higher narrative to a

higher understanding to a higher set of

values he's appealing to elements of

Brotherhood of spiritual affinity of

common destiny in the Lord so let's not

let's not fall into this let's not allow

ourselves to to fight each other it's

not the whole land before you very

powerful rhetorical question here

in other words hey look at this land

it's yours don't you see it so it's all

there why why do you want to get into a

furor here about you know what is your

land and what is mine and so on and so

forth I'm sure from the narrative that

lot was very much the instigator in this

whole thing it is clear from his lack of

wisdom that we see in other places as

well in the way that he acts in this

whole passage here that he was a source

of problems but look who seeks

reconciliation in a sense the offended

party Abram he could have said you're

disloyal you're ungrateful get away from

me I don't want to have anything to do

with you but he wants to preserve unity

and so he calls his nephew and says hey

man let's solve this in a way that is

according to the values of the kingdom

isn't the land it's all yours let's part

company you know there's something there

as well that you know sometimes when

when there is a spiritual lack of

affinity you know as the Bible does hold

the place for separation that is

amicable and that is prudent you know

there are sometimes situations in this

situation that we find ourselves in

right now where even in the church you

know there are sectors of the church

that are adopting understandings of

Scripture that really are you know in my

opinion irreconcilable with the

principles of Scripture and sometimes we

need to you know combine grace with

logic if you will

and this is what I see a lot doing here

it's not that simply we sort of be

together in a kind of kumbaya attitude

or you know yeah it's everything is okay

we all believe different things let's I

mean there are moments when we have to

say you know brother I hear what you're

saying

I respect what you're saying but yeah

the fact is that we cannot have intimacy

spiritually so let's agree to disagree I

will bless you I will have a cup of

coffee with you every once in a while

but you must know that we do not agree

on certain things

but I still love you I affirm your love

for God I respect you but we cannot walk

together the Bible says how how can two

walk together if they what if they are

not in agreement right and it's true you

know we must combine these things I'm

not speaking about just a kind of a

spaghetti like spirituality where you

accept everything and you know no we're

talking about truth also but resolving

things in a way that also has a certain

level of a structure because the Bible

the Word of God is also structural but

his attitude is absolutely amazing how

he combines clarity and other things

when you know when there is conflict in

a family you know it's so important to

talk things out it's so important to

speak in the spirit of Christ to speak

truth with gentleness and almost with

sadness sometimes we speak truth with

anger and we that's when the truth gets

control of us and then turns into

something sinister and wounding and

killing but truth that has been prayed

over and allowed to linger for a while

in the spirit and that is then seasoned

with the salt and the spices of the

fruit of the Spirit then it is a truth

that that blesses and resolves the truth

is not taken out but the truth is spoken

in a way that has a healing power

healing effect as well there's too much

truth being said right now that lacks

that nuance it's not that it's not true

but it is true that I cast Ord

the Bible says that you know it's like a

slap in the back with the blade that the

the the side of a sword it hits you and

it wounds you and it it shocks you and

what we need to think in America is

truth yes but truth spoken with nuance

and with the other elements that make

truth the truth of Christ so beautiful

and so irrefutable

it cannot be contradicted effectively

because it is a truth that is mixed with

love and with desire for reconciliation

and the healing of the opponent

and so I see this this mixture here and

I think it can lead us into this is a

good instruction for us in our marriages

when we deal with our children when

we're at work with a colleague when when

we are dealing with the situation with a

friend we need to combine the truth of

God with the the love of God and the

love of God with the truth of God

and I think that this is what a Abram so

exemplifies here there's an element of

separation but there's an element also

of seeking reconciliation and preserving

the peace and I think the Church of

Jesus Christ always navigates between

those two waters of a truth and the

recognition of certain things that are

undeniable and also of love and grace

the very same tension that God inhabits

when he deals with us is justice that

needs to be appeased and His grace that

wants to manifest and the solution that

God came up with this of course Jesus

Christ his death on the cross where God

was able to reconcile those two

contradictory energies his appetite for

truth and justice and also his

insatiable desire for grace and love to

be manifest in his creation and the

cross is what straightens what what you

know establishes connection between

those two elements and we should also

live in that tension I think that that's

one element that I think is sorely

lacking what we hear many times is this

simplistic truth being expressed and I

say what a waste of beautiful beautiful

jewel

you know expressed with such a primitive

understanding it's not that the truth is

not there but the beauty of the truth is

sadly wasted and lacking we need to ask

the Lord to raise voices in this nation

that can speak with that complexity and

that subtlety that is required in our

times because both sides left

and right right now are wasting huge

amounts of beauty and truth by speaking

in these primary tones that have nothing

to do with the the complexity of the

Word of God and of the kingdom of God

so abran says it's not the whole land

before you let's part company if you go

to the left I'll go to the right if you

go to the right I'll go to the left and

here we see another graphic illustration

of two mentalities the mentality of the

world and the mentality of the kingdom

and how these two mentalities think

mentality meaning a way of looking at

the world a worldview an outlook a way

of analyzing life and morality and you

see how the man of God the people of God

should see things and parse and and

process the elements of existence and

how the world does it and so lot you

know his oh he sees a great opportunity

here he thinks that somehow Abram has

made a huge mistake by giving him first

dibs first choice into the land that

he's gonna choose to go to so it says

Abraham so lot looked up and saw that

the whole plain of the Jordan they were

probably in a high point in where they

could see all around them and so a lot

examines everything and he's analyzing

greedy and selfish and opportunistic

he's looking at everything and he's

examining working what do I get the best

advantage what is the best land to get

my take my flock to and so on and so

forth and he saw that the whole plain of

the Jordan was well watered like the

Garden of the Lord like the land of

Egypt towards O our this was before the

Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah a

little note there interesting because

the land that he chooses is part of

Sodom and Gomorrah

or rather Sodom and Gomorrah is part of

that land and that's where he goes to

live he goes to live in a city in cities

and by the way cities if you look at you

know a lot of analysis these days all

the situation that we're living in you

know you find that in America right now

there's a division between the city

cities and the rural areas

interestingly enough the it always has

been there and you know in America we

have this glorification of cities as if

you know hey New York and Chicago and

Boston and you know Los Angeles that's

where the rights are and I think the

framers of the Constitution by the way

in giving certain rights also to some of

these other states and some and the way

our nation is constituted you know even

states that are not highly populated

have a certain number of votes in this

whole Electoral College thing and so

that's a matter of complaint because

people who live in cities like Los

Angeles a Los Angeles has more people

than you know the two or three states

put together why do they have the same

number of electoral votes sometimes or

disproportion number of electoral votes

to the population and it's a long thing

there but I do believe that there is

something about people who live in

cities and people who live in in the

land

I believe that often the city is not

necessarily the place where you have get

most wisdom and spiritual truth I

believe that there are certain things

they are cities have a concentration of

knowledge technological resources

cultural wealth and so on and so forth

but sometimes cities are not the best

places to seek the wisdom of God I do

believe in the humble people of the land

forgive me I've lived in cities all my

life but I do believe that there's a

balance yes cities have something to

give to this nation but also the rural

areas the technologically developed

techies of you know Google and so on and

so forth yes

but I don't often see the wisdom of the

word of God not to oversimplify but I do

see it sometimes in humble places I've

learned that the poor have a wisdom that

the rich

and do not have that the highly-educated

often do not have and I've learned to

respect that wisdom that comes from the

soil I've learned to respect the those

people that would not seem to marry to

much consideration in their viewpoints

they are in contact with millennial

energies that give them access to

certain truths that are very much in

affinity with the kingdom of God and if

we make America purely simply well you

know the place or because now there's

almost like a double standard where you

have these highly educated individuals

America is highly you know it's not just

the financial resources that are

completely distorted and just a very

small percentage controls hugest

percentage of financial resources but

also it's the same thing in terms of

technological knowledge and and of you

know the knowledge that is treasured by

the world and the knowledge that

determines who has power and who hasn't

and that also is in a very small number

of minds and that there is a kind of a

dictatorship in America that is a

dictatorship of technical technological

rational knowledge that seeks to assert

itself in America unfortunately I

believe that often that kind of

technological knowledge is not

accompanied by spiritual knowledge

because often contradictory that

technological knowledge is secular in

its outlook and there are reasons why

you could explain that but what you have

is often the power that determines

wealth which is thesis technology and

financial knowledge and so on and so

forth being dominated by a secular

outlook that also then has influence

over government over journalism over

media over education and universities

over every sort of cultural wealth as

well and then can create an alternative

understanding of reality so that people

live in a bubble in something that is

artificially created it is a worldview

that is artificially being imposed by a

minority really in a way that has drunk

of the milk of the world and therefore

gives us an understanding of the world

that we live in it is a bubble that

needs to be pierced by the wisdom of God

and the Word of God and the principles

of the kingdom of God now I believe I

may be getting into to deeper ground

here I don't know I am I losing you or

do you get are you tracking me a little

bit even if you're hating me but at

least hopefully you're following me and

I think the people of God needs to

understand these things you know

technological knowledge rational

knowledge culture intellect is not

necessarily equivalent to wisdom and

understanding and profundity and we need

to be careful and analyze things with

different lenses in terms of cities and

and people of the land the poor and the

wealthy there's all kinds of

conspiracies going on in this nation

many of them so subtle that they would

blow the mind to be aware of and

believers need to ask the Lord father

give us the knowledge the wisdom of

Christ so that we can analyze the world

with the eyes of God the eternal eyes

and that we will not be co-opted and

brought into these little struggles here

and there between differing

understandings of the world and false

minorities or false majorities at times

and look at things so that's just a

little thing there that I wanted to

throw that comes out when lot a lot this

secular man secular man man of matter

and possession and and material interest

and power and greed he chooses the

cities he goes to live in Sodom and

Gomorrah and he that that's part of the

land that he very strategically and

rationally chooses to live in so lot

chose for himself the whole plain verse

11 of the Jordan and set out toward

East and the two men parted company lot

thought that he had gotten away with it

that he had gotten the best part of it

all

Abram puts himself in disadvantage even

though he is the more powerful party of

this mutual society of interests and he

says hey the only way we're going to

resolve this and prevent bloodshed and

conflict is you go your way I'll go mine

and I'm gonna let you choose first even

though I have the right of seniority

here and I should be the one to choose

first but you do it and let me tell you

something what you have here also in

that choice of Abram is the very power

of the cross exemplified this is the

cross in graphic form this is the most

revolutionary powerful principle that

exists in the universe and it has

existed from the creation of the world

till now the cross was not an invention

of God and its principle the spiritual

principles behind it the spiritual

principles behind the cross have been

evident even in the Old Testament which

we oversimplify and we think that it's

just as naked you know simplistic text

that has been superseded by the New

Testament there's very very beautiful

powerful truth there as well and so what

Abram is doing is he's drinking a cup of

cross and he is making himself weak in

order to become strong and I don't know

that he expected to be strong by doing

what he did but he was sinking into a

very very powerful principle which is

that when you make yourself weak in God

you make yourself strong that when you

choose generosity you are enriched that

when you lower yourself you are exalted

that when you divide yourself you

multiply your resources that when you

wait actually you advance that when you

keep silent in God and in Christ

actually you become eloquent that when

you use the power of love

the power of hatred and the power of

aggressiveness are neutralized and so in

making himself weak in this negotiation

Abram is sinking in with the very heart

of God which has always been about Grace

and and about the fact that again when

you use the weapons of the kingdom you

are destined for success glory and

victory and so we will see what happens

here

Abram is a is saying I'm going to put

down my weapons I'm going to lay down my

claims to justice I'm going to use a

different kind of understanding I'm

gonna make myself weak I'm gonna let

this greedy young person choose first

and I know that he's gonna choose the

good thing and you're gonna leave me the

little pieces not her left of the deal

and so law to seize the whole plain of

the Jordan and sets out or the East and

the two men parted company Abram lived

in the land of Canaan while lot lived

among the cities of the plain cities of

the plain and pitched his tents near

Sodom there's a little moment here in

verse 13 where the music turns a little

somber like in those movies where you

have something you know you have a kind

of music in a major tone and then all of

a sudden mm there's a little bit of a

kind of a change of music here it says

now the men of Sodom were wicked and

were sinning greatly against the Lord

why is that important because later on

Sodom is gonna rather Lodz gonna find

himself in a pickle having chosen to

live in Sodom and he pays a huge price

the death of his wife

I bet maybe of his children the

extraordinary things happened to lot

follow the trail of a man who only sees

the material things follow the trail of

a man who was spiritually simplistic

follow the trail of a man who is greedy

and selfish and primitive in his way of

dealing with this

fellow man and you will see a trail of

destruction of defeat of putting himself

in the hands of those actually who have

to come and rescue him those who live in

the Lord as Abraham had to go and rescue

lot in one situation later on another he

has to has to negotiate with God

lot was always blessed because of his

association with this man of God who

lived according to the principles of the

Lord and so was his lineage by the way

so he goes to live where there's this

wickedness and this sinning greatly

against the Lord by the way there is a

substitute narrative going on today very

you know cleverly constructed about the

fact that there's one little verse in

Ezekiel 16 that the sin of Sodom was a

you know greed and or rather just you

know being satiated and pride and it

says you know now that was all that it

was it wasn't anything else than that no

the sin of Sodom was so much greater

than that it was an abomination before

the Lord and in that word is used

several times in relationship to Sodom

and a cities in Leviticus as well and

there was a city it was a city there

were two cities greatly greatly

offensive to the heart of God carrying

out practices that defended the heart of

the Lord and and this is the reason why

God was so offended toward them it

wasn't just a state of mind that God

abhorred

it was the actions that that state of

mind led to it was both there's a state

of mind the greed and society of society

being satiated with the material things

and food and gluttony and laziness lead

to other things as it is done here in

America as well the the abundance the

overabundance of things that we have and

of time that we have on our hands

leaders into all kinds of terrible

horrible practices as well and so he

goes to live in this these cities that

were sinning greatly against the Lord

and the Lord said to Abram after lot had

parted from him

oh my god oh look at the time already

time flies

tell you when you're having fun maybe

you're not having fun I'm having fun and

I may simply have to leave this for

another sermon at some point because

there's so much here that needs to be

taken care of you get into the word and

the word just wraps itself around you

you lose perspective well not a nicety

perspective but the Lord said to Abram

after lot had parted from him lift up

your eyes this is this is the end here

and I'm gonna have to continue because

yeah this is there's so much stuff that

I wanted I came here with fear and

trembling I haven't even offended you

guys yet and I want to offend you I want

to make you angry at me

I want to spoil your lunch okay this is

really what I the Lord I feel you know

we we should pastors cannot abandon

their prophetic voice the people of God

need prophetic voices rising and

speaking the word of wisdom to the of

the Lord I'd like to be one of those and

I'd like to be at least some of that

influence for you

as well and I'm not here to please you

I'm not here to make you comfortable I'm

here to make you angry at me whatever

side you belong to if I don't succeed in

offending everybody here then I haven't

achieved my prophetic calling and my

pastoral calling because the Word of God

is like that it's it digs into the very

intimacies of your bones and your marrow

and I think the Church of Christ needs

to be preserved by the salt of the word

and needs to get into our wounds and to

minister to us so you know everything

would have been great I mean and we

would have learned a lot already if

that's all if that would have been the

ending but look at the ending it says

the Lord said to Abram because now this

is the commentary of the Bible on itself

this is really the application in a way

this is the interpretation piece since

the Lord said to Abram after lot had

parted from him you could still hear a

lot whistling as he goes away and then

the Lord comes to Abram says Abram now

you and I are gonna talk we're gonna

have an intimate moment here you have

established intimacy with me and my

principles I am pleased with the way

that you have proceeded and I'm gonna

show you something here lift up your

eyes from where you are and look north

and south east and west Abram was in a

promontory high place and from where he

was he could look around every part of

those valleys that were around him he

could see everything 360 degree view and

God says Abram look at all of that the

same the same circumference that lot

looked at examine it examine it last he

did and he's leaving now he's walking

away thinking this is all belongs to me

this is mine I got a great deal

my uncle's eyes were blinded and I got

the best land in the entire region lift

up your eyes all the land that you see I

will give to you and your offspring for

forever you know that forever is a

definitive thing by the way it includes

the 21st century and also have ears to

hear here I will give you this land and

your offspring forever now God is a very

definitive God he doesn't speak kind of

you know enthusiastically and gets let's

his rhetoric get away with him when God

says something he's he's acting he's

speaking like a chemistry professor

measuring minut quantities in a vial I

will give you this land forever and your

offspring

whatever he didn't say if your offspring

adjust or they follow my ways or not

whatever I will give it to them because

of a because of Abraham not because of

his offspring because of Abraham God

establish a pact with a man and his

progeny forever I will make your

offspring like the dust of the earth so

that if anyone could count the dust then

your offspring that could be counted go

walk through the length and breadth of

the land for I am giving it to you I'm

giving it to you that land that lot

thinks he owns no longer it's yours you

proceeded according to my principles and

I will honor you I will bless you and I

will bless your offspring as a result of

it so Abram moved his tent and went to

live near the great trees of Mamre at

Hebron where he built an altar to the

Lord another altar see when when a man a

woman is imbued when a man or a woman is

filled with the spirit of worship and

intimacy with God when you live yoked

and connected to the source of power of

the universe you have nothing to fear

you should not proceed from a

perspective of a weakness victimization

resentment you're actually lowering

your status a man a woman of God

proceeds from a posture of strength when

you you you and God are a majority

wherever you go you do not need the

resources of men you don't need a

government to give things to you I I

don't expect anything from the

government the government can do neither

good nor evil to me ultimately but I

have a God who takes the poor out of

poverty and puts them on high places I

have a God that says to the sterile

woman have children and she has more

children than the woman who is most

fertile I have a God who takes a slave

and turns him into a lord for goodness I

have a God that takes a kid from the

ghetto and puts him in high places you

see because it is that God and it is

that God that you need to yoke yourself

to it is that God that you need to live

empowered by you need to see yourself

through the eyes of that God because if

that God is pleased with you let me tell

you nobody can take away what He has

promised you

the men of the world the the material

man the material being may think that is

getting away with something but he will

have to pay back with interest

a child of God is invincible a child of

God is unconquered ball a child of God

is destined for greatness and I want to

fill my people with that understanding

of ourselves instead of doing things the

way the world does it instead of

adopting the narrative of the world

let's adopt the narrative of the kingdom

let's live in the power of God let's

assume not a narrative of victimization

for a narrative of power victory and

down meant prosperity and blessing and

let's use that power in everything that

we do

this is what Abram discovered this is

what lot discovered if you have God on

your side if you proceed according to

his principles of goodness of love or

reconciliation of trust in him you are

you cannot be defeated you are

unconquerable you will always be

victorious in this time of great

division in our nation let's refuse

these weapons the simplistic weapons of

warfare we can use the laws yes I want

to be clear on that we can use the the

rights that we have as citizens we

should use them we should resist evil by

using what we have but we should do it

in a way that is in affinity with the

kingdom of God I hope that that is your

feeling it certainly is mine this

morning I'd bless you and let's stand

for a moment let's let's take a moment

before we we are live from this place

and to the degree that there is truth in

what I have been saying and you can

recognize that truth I invite you to

internalize it right now and to ask the

Lord to complete many things that I have

left unsaid

I wish I could continue speaking for

another hour here but I believe that

this is the truth of God for our time

and I would love for our congregation to

be an abram congregation a different

kind of congregation doing things a

different way and I tell you our

children will be blessed our families

will be blessed we will be prospered

generations like these kids that came up

this morning they have grown with the

word they're not perfect I hope that

they're not perfect because then if they

were they would just be little illusions

here they're they're human but they're

they've been they've drunk of the word

of God from very young and I pray that

we will be able to continue filling our

children in our generations with that

milk of the Bible with that strong bread

that ensure success and blessing and

prosperity and advancement and victory

over the the struggles and the obstacles

of society and all the in justices that

do exist in a nation let us ask the Lord

to give us a new spirit this morning I'm

trying to teach our people going out on

a limb risking many misinterpretations

but I have no choice and I hope that you

will

hear the truth and give it enough time

to be deposited into your spirit this

morning so father as a church as a as a

family we receive your word and we pray

that you will continue enriching us and

nourishing us with it

we praise your name and we thank you for

your goodness Lord lead us here in peace

to be agents of peace and reconciliation

in this world in the spirit of Christ

and in his name we pray amen and amen

god bless you people of God go with the

Lord