Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Submitted by Jim Garner

A dictionary defines the word discover as to “find something or someone unexpectedly or in the course of a search”. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary specifically defines the idea to discover as “obtaining sight or knowledge of for the first time”.  In everyday life we discover things like this all the time such as trying a new food / restaurant and realizing it is pretty good, coming across something that’s been lost for a while and having that feeling of relief, or even learning something new about ourselves or others – personality, interests, talents, etc.
But to actually have been an explorer (Columbus, Hudson, da Gama) adventurer (Lewis & Clarke, Hillary, Magellan), scientist (Newton, Einstein, Galileo), or inventor (Edison, Bell, Wright brothers, da Vinci) who discovered something that changed the world, that must have been pretty cool! I wonder if they even realized the significance at the time?
·      What do you think is the most important invention to have been discovered? Why?
·      World history? (Examples: Fire, telephone, electricity, DNA, and computers)                   
·      Last 100 years? (Examples: Penicillin, Internet, cell phone, air travel, and space)
Discovery is a part of all of our lives. Some could impact others while most are just personal and hopefully inspiring. There’s a story in the Old Testament about a man who I would think we could rank up there pretty high on the “explorer” or “adventurer” list due to the nature of his discovery and his motivation. It’s the story of Abram and is found in the passage below to read.
Genesis 12:1-7
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
Many of the explorers or adventurers we regard were motivated by fame, treasure, adventure, wealth, or from the pressure of governing authorities. But in this passage of Genesis we have a story about Abram who was motivated by God. It says in the first verse “the Lord said to Abram”. For him, that was enough. Verse 4 states simply: “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him,…” 
·      Does our faith in God rank up there with Abram’s? (God said “go” and Abram “went”)
·      Think of a time when God clearly told you to do something. What was it? Did you do it? Was there immediate obedience or did you have to weigh the options or consequences before wiping off the sweaty palms and then reluctantly stepping out to do it?
It sounds fun when we first hear of an adventure. Think back to your childhood for a moment. What were some things that you and your friends explored? (Abandoned house, woods or forest, or maybe a cave) Be honest, you probably dreamed of finding gold or a rare jewel didn’t you, and you probably came up lacking like me. Anyways, it was thrilling most of the time wasn’t it? Going into the “unknown” of things on earth, under the earth or above the earth can be very exciting. But it may not always be easy (at least that’s what the movies show us and most of the history books as well). We understand to achieve or receive something great often requires great sacrifice. And in our story of Abram sent by the Lord there is no exception. Look at the challenges that Abram faced:

·      He left what was familiar and comfortable in regards to family/friends and occupation
·      He left the “known for the unknown” in regards to a “land that I will show you” (v.1)
·      He was not young when he left on this adventure of faith – age 75 (v.4)
·      He put his faith in someone other than himself
Yes, there was a promise involved in this adventure but it took great faith. Abram was promised by the Lord that he would make of him: a great nation, a great name, and a blessing to others. As we read on in Genesis and have backed up all through Scripture, we see that God kept his part and did great things in and through the life of Abraham.
To Consider
·      Who or what motivates you?
·      Where does God rank in terms of being your motivator?
·      When you hear God speaking to your heart to step out in faith, what “fear of the unknown” keeps you from responding “yes”?
·      What would be the hardest thing for you to give up to follow God on a great adventure?
·      How has God showed himself faithful to you in the past?

Pray Today…

That God will give you a renewed faith to do what He is calling you to do in terms of following Him in a greater relationship and courage to step out to serve Him in a way that you have said no to before. Share what He is teaching you with a friend.

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