November 10, 2017

Proverbs 1:7 (NLT) — 7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

People who fear God anticipate God when they worship.

Genesis 22:4–5 (NLT) — 4 On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”

Wow he would walk three days to a worship service! Some people won’t drive three minutes to a worship service. He had a lot of time to think. He had a lot of time to let doubts creep into his mind. He also had time pray and to anticipate and look forward to what God was going to do at that worship service. He probably thought > I don’t feel like going today but I want to give God a sacrifice of praise because He is a great king!

Abraham’s anticipation is voiced in the words, “We will come back.” He was told to kill Isaac and yet he said we will be back. What was he thinking?

Hebrews 11:17–19 (NLT) — 17 It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, 18 even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” 19 Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

Abraham acted on the information that he did have. What did he have for information? God said that through Isaac Abraham would have a great nation. God doesn’t lie. God said that he was to kill Isaac. God knows what he is doing. In order for Isaac to have children he has to be alive. God is going to have to do something in between the time we leave here and come back because we are coming back! Abraham got that information because he spent time with the Lord.

Abraham chose to focus on God and His word and not the problem with its dilemma. He chose to entertain thoughts about God. The only thing that you can do when you are in a dilemma is to hold on to what you know about God! You won’t do this unless you fear God unless you hold his opinion higher than your own.

People that fear God believe that God will provide.

Genesis 22:6–8 (NLT) — 6 So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, 7 Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” 8 “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.

Isaac figured out that something wasn’t quite right. Any other time they went to worship they had a sheep to sacrifice but not today. “Dad where is the sheep? Abraham didn’t say he didn’t know he just said confidently, “God will provide, God is going to have to take care of this one Himself.”

When I cam to Hilltop fifteen years ago the attendance of the church had dropped to between 25-45 people. Steve Synstelien said that they could only guarantee me salary for one year. God told me to go so I just figured that he would provide and he has!

People who fear God will sacrifice whatever it is that would keep them from worship.

Genesis 22:9–10 (NLT) — 9 When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice.

This wasn’t easy worship. This was painful. This was a sacrifice of praise. This worship required killing something that was loved. Fearing God means that you love Him more than anything else! It means giving Him the respect His person and position deserves.

Jesus asked Peter if he loved him more than these. Do you know why churches with 2&3 services go to one service in the summer? To worship in the summer is painful! The treadmill is going too fast for their heart to keep up.

As the treadmill is bumped up in speed do you anticipate God’s presence when you worship? When your breathing becomes more labored as the treadmill moves even faster do you believe that God will provide for you when it doesn’t look possible? And now with sweat running down your face and your lungs sucking in hug amounts of air do you sacrifice what ever it is that would keep you from worshiping? Once you catch your breath and you are able to say yes to these questions you probably Fear God.

A baseball coach was trying to stress to his team how important paying attention to detail was if they were going to win ballgames. He told them that when he was in college he played baseball all four years but had never hit a home run until his final at bat in the last game of his college career. He said the he was so excited and was jumping up and down as he ran the bases. But when he got to home plate the umpire called him out. Why? He had forgot to touch first base.

The Fear of the Lord is first base. If you miss first base it doesn’t matter what you do after that.

Proverbs 1:7 (NLT) — 7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Be Inspired Hilltop!