Friday, April 17, 2009


The trip was long. Long enough to think; long enough to remember; and yet it could never truly be long enough. With each step, the man thought of the destination. As they followed the path, now moving upward, he was unsure of many things: why here? Why now? Why him? The answers to these questions were not promised, nor were they offered.  But despite the circumstances, he would be obedient; he would be faithful; he would trust the promise.

The place where they were going now came into view. It had been three days. The servants must stay with the animal. This final part of the journey will be taken only by himself and the boy. He tells them, “stay with the donkey while the boy and I go over there. We will worship, and then we will come back to you.” Yes, somehow, WE will come back. He would trust the promise.

Genesis 22:6-14

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham? Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

In Romans 12:1-2 Paul writes,

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When Isaac got up from the altar, he literally became our first example of a living sacrifice. And just as Abraham had told his son, God Himself did provide the lamb, in the form of HIS only Son, whom He did not withhold when Jesus bled and died to literally take away the sins of the world.  The journey of this sacrifice was also three days. And on the third day, HE became the perfect, living sacrifice, rising from the dead, bearing in His body the scars of crucifixion, and becoming our high priest, and our advocate before the very throne of God!

There is a lot of talk today about what makes “good worship.” And we could spend a lot of time talking about music and teaching styles and lighting and sound and drama and the color of carpeting, but the single greatest contributor to great corporate worship is great PERSONAL WORSHIP.

Worship was never intended to be limited to an event. Worship is meant to be the very lives we lead, and events like those that happen on Sunday mornings at church buildings are intended to be born out of the overflow of the rest of our lives! If you are relying on a worship gathering to fuel the rest of your week, you will always run dry, because this was never meant to be your primary expression of worship. 

Give Him your "everyday," and see what happens!

In Him We Live,



katdish said...

Whoa! I was just coming over here to link your blog and what do I find? A NEW BLOG POST?! It's a good thing I'm using Planky and not Dave, because I might have given myself whiplash when my head flew back in surprise. Okay, I'll stop now...

Do you think Abraham knew that God would save Isaac? See...I don't think he did. I think that's what he hoped for maybe, but was ready to make the ultimate sacrifice. If he knew, then I suppose the story loses a great deal of its impact.

wv: killore (weird, huh?)

Jeff said...


Did he know that God would save Isaac? I think that depends on how you qualify "save." Some people suggest that he knew God would stop him from sacrificing Isaac. Some even suggest that he believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead (which has some obvious future connections). Both require an incredible amount of faith, don't you think?

All I know for sure is that Abraham trusted God, period. However you slice it, God had made a promise, and Isaac was a part of fulfilling that promise.

Now, about giving you whiplash with a new post- this is actually a re-worked section from a message. You see, I've been inspired to go back to some of that stuff because recently I've been reading this blog where the author keeps "recycling" old posts... :)

katdish said...

Oh, shut up.

katdish said...

So you know I was totally kidding about the whole shut up thing right? Did you notice I linked your blog today? The kids crossing schedule has already been done, right? Richest blessings pastor Jeff!

jasonS said...

Great post, Jeff! I couldn't agree more. What a great picture for us. Also Hebrews 11:19 says that Abraham acted in faith reasoning "that God could raise the dead" and he did in a way receive him back from the dead.

A life of worship is a life of radical faith and obedience. Thanks, I'm going to tweet this too. :)

Jeff said...

Jason- Thanks for the feedback, and for bringing up the Hebrews 11 reference- great stuff!

Kat- Of course I know you're kidding, sheesh. I mean, how long have we known each other?

Oh, and thanks for reminding me about the Kids Crossing schedule- I'll get right on it...
Bwaa Ha Haaa!