Digging Deeper into Pastor Kevin’s message – Genesis 12:1-4
Pastor Kevin led us through three ways that we see Jesus in the story of Abraham
Jesus in the Calling (12:1)
1. In the story of Abraham, the words journey and sojourn appear quite often. Has there been a time in your life that God took you on a journey? What were the circumstances? Why do you think God had you experience that journey?
2. Read Genesis 12:1 and Matthew 28:19-20. In what ways does God’s call of Abraham echo Jesus’ call of the church?
3. When you finally left your parent’s home and ventured out on your own, what was that experience like for you? What prompted you to leave? If you were a Christian at the time, did that experience cause you to lean more into God?
Jesus in the Covenant (12:2-3)
4. Verse 2 says, “…I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” Verse 3 says, “…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” How has God blessed you and how have you used those blessings in service to others? Why might God use his people as a conduit of blessing the world instead of just blessing the world directly?
5. At age 75, God made a covenant with Abram that he would eventually flesh out in a vision (Genesis 15). At age 99, God made the covenant crystal clear with terms and conditions and the promise of an impending child (Gen 17). 24 years is a long time to wait. How long have you waited for a promise of God in your life to come to pass? Has God ever had you in a long-term holding pattern? How does one keep from losing faith in the times of waiting?
6. In Genesis 17:5, God gives Abram a new identity – now calling him Abraham, reflecting the covenant promise of descendants as countless as the stars in the sky. Jesus provides us with a new identity as well. How has your life changed since becoming a recipient of your new identity in Christ? In what ways have you most been made new?
Jesus in the Circumstances (12:4)
7. Pastor Kevin noted that our identity in Christ is secure, even when our actions are sinful. Do you struggle with accepting this truth? Have you had to battle against feeling like your identity in Christ should be earned or deserved? Why might God have opted to make our identity in him secure and not subject to our future behavior/actions?
8. Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his only son Isaac as a burnt offering (Gen 22:1-14). Genesis 22:1 tells us God was testing Abraham. What might God have been testing? Has God ever put you to the test? What were the circumstances? What did you learn from that time of testing? If God called you to give up what you love most for Him, would you do it?
9. After proving himself faithful, God provides a ram for Abraham to offer as a sacrifice instead of Isaac. In what ways do the origins of Isaac and his involvement in this story mirror those of Jesus? In what ways are they different? In what ways did God present himself as Jehovah Jireh – the Lord who provides in this story? How about in your own life?
10. Pastor Kevin noted that Abraham’s journey shows us that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things for eternal purposes. Is this true in your life? How has God used you to do extraordinary things for eternal purposes? Why might God prefer to use ordinary people?
Digging Deeper into The Story: Chapter 2 – Abraham: God builds a Nation
Genesis 12-13; 15-17; 21-22; 32-33; 35; Romans 4; Hebrews 11
11. This chapter tells us that “By faith Abraham, when called to go… obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” When God has called you to something, were all the details revealed? Why might God keep the location or intended outcome of a calling from us? Why might heading toward an unknown location require faith?
12. Abram longed for a child, but had not been blessed with one even though God said it would happen. In a vision, God had him walk outside. What did he show Abram and what was its meaning? How did Abram respond? Does this line up with Hebrews 11:1?
13. “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed” sort of sounds like the expression of the father who brought his son to Jesus for healing in Mark 9:24, “I believe, help my unbelief!” Have you experienced maintaining hope in a situation that should have left you hopeless? Why were you able to hope, against all hope? Do you think God has a role in helping us maintain hope and belief in difficult situations?
14. Twice Hager was mistreated and sent into the wilderness, the first time pregnant, the second time with a young son. In both instances, God was aware of her situation and an angel was sent to her. The first angel said “the LORD has heard of your misery”. The second angel said “God has heard the boy crying…”. What does it mean to have a God who sees our needs and hears our suffering? How has God met your needs when you were in the midst of suffering? How does it feel to be ‘seen’ by someone else? Whose needs do you see right now that you could help meet?
15. Jacob and Esau left their father’s bed side on bad terms (you know, stealing a birthright and all). Years later, Esau sought out his brother and Jacob feared the worst. All ended well, however. What stands out most about the encounter of the two brothers? Is there someone with whom you had a bad parting? What is one step you could make toward reconciliation? Why is reconciliation of close relationships important?