A young pastor just starting out in Chicago polled several thousand homes. He asked them what type of church they would attend. The most repeated answer is one that was not asking for money.

God is not really interested in your money. He wants your heart. If He can’t have your heart He doesn’t want your money. If He has your heart, He has your money. We want to learn about investing with God.

We are learning in the context of AGONIDZOMAI, the New Testament word used 7x to describe our calling as Christians! We have watched Abraham struggle.

  • He learned to wait. He waited 25 years to see the promises of God fulfilled.
  • He learned to trust. Abraham is a fellow pilgrim struggling on the road of faith. He grew in faith trusting God for what had been promised.
  • Now we see him learn about investing with God.

ABRAHAM is the 6th of our fellow strugglers in this Sunday evening series. Each of them have been so powerful as God exposes their lives in the Scriptures.

1. JOB struggled to See God, and through his pain and he saw Him as never before.
2. PAUL & SILAS struggled to sing through persecution and learned to worship God from prison.
3. DAVID struggled through depression and learned more about God in his darkest days than ever before.
4. JOSEPH struggled to keep his life pure and was purified by God and greatly used.
5. MOSES struggled to be content and was satisfied by the very face of God. 
6. ABRAHAM struggled to wait for God and when he did became the father of the faith. 

As we look at every day life in the 21st Century, B.C. that is, we find that it has not changed much. God’s friend Abraham was faced with the same daily struggle each of us must endure. Let us examine the TEN SPECIFIC STRUGGLES he went through and seek to learn a lesson for our lives from each. We might summarize each of his struggles as a question God was asking him. We my be asked the same questions so lets listen.

v     WAITING: Is God Sufficient for Abraham to follow ? [down an unknown and potentially dangerous path] Gen 12:1-9 [+]

o       When God calls we must leave behind all that would slow us down. [Oops, he kept Lot; he wasted years in Haran ‘parched’ ] Remember Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (NKJV)

o       When God leads He can overcome all the disruptions and weariness following His plan may bring.

o       Hebrews 11:8-19

§         Abraham obeyed the call. v. 8

§         Abraham dwelled in the land v. 9

§         Abraham waited for the city v. 10

§         Abraham embraced the promises of God v. 13

v     TRUSTING: Is God Sufficient for Abraham to rely on for protection and provision? Gen 12:10-18 [-]

o       JESUS PASSED THE TEST: Christ was tempted to satisfy a legitimate desire in an illegitimate way. Mt. 4. The Scriptures have so much to say about TRUSTING GOD:

§         First time in Scriptures Ruth 2:12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. (KJV)

§         In the lives of God’s saints 2 Samuel 22:3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. (KJV) 2 Samuel 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. (KJV) II K 18:20-30 [trust 5x]; 1 Chronicles 5:20 And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him. (KJV)

§         UNWAVERING HOPE Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in

§         him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (KJV)

§         BLESSED Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (KJV)

§         SECURE Psalm 4:5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. (KJV)

§         JOYFUL Psalm 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. (KJV)

§         DELIVERED Psalm 7:1 Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.>> O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: (KJV)

§         CONFIDENT Psalm 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. (KJV)

§         FIRMLY PLANTED Psalm 11:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? (KJV)

§         KEPT Psalm 16:1 Michtam of David.>> Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. (KJV)

§         PROTECTED Psalm 17:7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them . (KJV)

§         STRONG SECURITY Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (KJV) Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. (KJV)

§         ULTIMATE VICTORY Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. (KJV)

§         VINDICATION Psalm 25:2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. (KJV) Psalm 25:20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. (KJV)

§         DIRECTION Psalm 31:1, 6, 30 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD. (KJV) Psalm 31:19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! (KJV)

§         FRUITFUL Psalm 34:22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. (KJV)

§         SHELTERED Psalm 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. (KJV)

§         SATISFIED Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. (KJV)

§         SETTLED Psalm 40:3-4 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it , and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (KJV)

o       WRONG OBJECT: Abraham looked for food instead of God. God is in charge of famines. Abraham went to Egypt [place of worldliness, idolatry and a curse] instead of trusting the God who led him 600 miles across the desert; rationalizes

o       WRONG PLAN: Abraham planned to protect himself and resorts to half truths. God wants us to see weakness as an opportunity to trust Him. 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (KJV)

o       WRONG CHOICES: Abraham accepted rewards for his untruths. God warns sin entangles us once we start. Gen 4 it couches at the door. II Tim 2:26

o       WRONG ENDING: Abraham was exposed for his sin. Gal 6:7

v     INVESTING: Is God Sufficient for Abraham to trust with all his treasures ?Gen 13:1-18 [+]

o       Abraham TREASURED HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. [13:1-4] He kept going back to where he met God. He was God’s Friend and Servant.

§         Abraham was God’s SERVANT: All the possessions of his life never stood in the way of the God of his life! Psalm 105:42 For He remembered His holy promise, And Abraham His servant. (NKJV)

§         Abraham was God’s FRIEND: All the distractions of life never made him forget his best friend! 2 Chronicles 20:7 ” Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? (NKJV) Isaiah 41:8 ” But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend. (NKJV)

o       Abraham INVESTED HIS TREASURES WITH GOD [13:5-13]. All he had came from God and so it was His to do with as He saw fit!

§         He practices contentment. God gave him the land why fight with Lot, pursue peace and God will settle for you all injustices. Heb 10:30 & Rom 12:19

§         He lived by faith Lot by sight. Hebrews 11:10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (NKJV)

§         He lived by principles. He did not grasp things he waited.Philippians 4:11-12 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (KJV)

o       We should learn as Abraham did and INVEST OUR TREASURES WITH GOD!

§         What are things that God treasures that we can invest with Him?

·        The treasure of an exclusive one and only relationship with Him. Exodus 19:5 ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. (NKJV)

·        The treasure of life on earth lived in awareness of the Lord. Deuteronomy 28:12 “The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. (NKJV)

·        The treasure of our special possessions given to the Lord. 1 Chronicles 29:8 And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the LORD, into the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. (NKJV)

·        The treasur e of our support for the work of the ministry. Ezra 2:69 According to their ability, they gave to the treasury for the work sixty-one thousand gold drachmas, five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priestly garments. (NKJV)

·        The treasure of a godly home! Proverbs 15:6 In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble. (NKJV)

·        The treasure of living in wisdom. Proverbs 21:20There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up. (KJV)

·        The treasures that can’t be lost Ecclesiastes 2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. (KJV)

§         What warnings did Christ give about our treasures?

·        Our treasures reveal the location of our heart.

·        STACKED ON EARTH: Matthew 6:19 ” Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; (NKJV)

·        STACKED IN HEAVEN Matthew 6:20-21 “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NKJV)

·        Our treasures reveal the contents of our heart.Matthew 12:35 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. (NKJV)

·        Our treasures are eternalized when they are invested in heaven [the best off-shore bank there is]!Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (NKJV)

·        Our treasures can be a warning that we have built our barns too big! Luke 12:21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (NKJV)

·        Our greatest treasure is the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus! 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (NKJV) 2192 echo {ekh’-o} 2c4.7; to have, i.e. to hold in the hand, in the sense of wearing, to have i.e. own, possess ; to hold one’s self to a thing, to lay hold of a thing, to adhere or cling to 4a) to be closely joined to a person or a thing

·        Our greatest danger is stacking treasures for ourselves. James 5:3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. (NKJV)

v     What Can We Do?

o       Start a regular investment program in heaven:

§         The treasure of an exclusive one and only relationship with Him. Exodus 19:5

§         The treasure of life on earth lived in awareness of the Lord.Deuteronomy 28:12

§         The treasure of our special possessions given to the Lord. 1 Chronicles 29:8

§         The treasure of our support for the work of the ministry.Ezra 2:69

§         The treasure of a godly home! Proverbs 15:6

§         The treasure of living in wisdom. Proverbs 21:20

§         The treasures that can’t be lost Ecclesiastes 2:8

o       Finally, What can be the result of living by the Bible’s definition of contentment? Let’s look at just three:

§         If you are content, you can enjoy the present rather than being anxious about the future. Mt 6:25

§         If you are content, you can be liberated to truly enjoy the successes of others around you without envy. Ps 37:7

§         If you are content, you will be able to let the Lord build a true sense of thankfulness about everything. I TH5:18

v     SEPARATING: Is God enough/sufficient for Abraham to leave all else behind? Gen 14:17-24 [+]

1. Gene Getz, Abraham (Chicago:Victor, ), p. 11.

2. Farrar, Better Homes and Jungles, p.189-90.

3. Ruth Calkin, Tell me again Lord (Wheaton:Tyndale, 1974), p. 124-25.

4. Gene Getz, Abraham (Chicago:Victor, ), p. 11.

5. Gene Getz, Abraham (Chicago:Victor, ), p. 11.

6. Farrar, Better Homes and Jungles, p.189-90.

7. Ruth Calkin, Tell me again Lord (Wheaton:Tyndale, 1974), p. 124-25.

8. From the Dobson Fathers tract.

9. Letters to Phillip.