TRANSCRIPTION | Wednesday, December 16, 2020 | The Blessing of Abraham

 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Hey, 3trees, so good to get to be with you guys again on another Wednesday evening. We've been taking these last few Wednesday nights, about 20 to 30 minutes, and just to have a Bible study time together. Kind of looking at some things that maybe are sticking out to us in Scripture. We've been in a sermon series on Sunday mornings, just simply entitled God With Ws. And, man, it's been so good to hear your feedback and to hear your testimonies, and to hear the way in which that the services have been ministering to you, and the way that God's been moving in your life. And it's just a great reminder to know that God is with us. And that's really what Christmas is all about. It's about the moment when God came to the earth, and he might have come through a manger, but he knew that he was going to exit through a cross, and He decided that we were worth it. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so I just want to share the anchor text with you that we've been using for this month in December. It's going to be in the book of Matthew chapter one. I'm going to read from the New King James Version. I'll read a few other verses tonight, as well. If you'd like to find some message notes to go along with tonight's message, you can go to ericgilbert.org. There's a link there called discussion guide. And you can just pull that up and it'll be able to show you the notes and the Scriptures. Another thing I would share with you is you also can go to 3trees.online.church. And there, you can watch tonight. So right now you might be on Facebook, you might be on YouTube, but if you want to switch over to that platform, then we actually have the notes loaded for you right there on a link. It's a little tab, and it's right next to where you can watch the service this evening. And just one more, just a little bit of housekeeping before we go in and start reading the text, and that is that tonight we're actually going to conclude our time together with communion. And so maybe you just want to push pause for a second and just gather the elements for communion. Maybe you have to improvise a little bit, maybe it's you need to grab a cracker and some juice. I believe the Lord would understand that in the circumstance that we find ourselves in. But we will be having communion at the end. What we’re going to do communion is going to be special, because we're going to believe God for a specific blessing over our life. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so I want you to look with me just in our anchor text, just a reminder, Matthew 1:21, it says, “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, and he will save the people from their sins. Behold, the virgin” verse 23, “shall be with a child, she shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which means God with us.” So one of the things we've been focusing on that as we call him, Jesus, we are saved from our sins. And then there will come a moment where they, the people around us, maybe even the people that don't recognize Jesus, maybe have to say God is with them. And that's the testimony we're looking for, that we so exemplified Jesus in our life, and his salvation of our sins, that the people around us notice, hey, man, God is with them. Even how we have peace that passeth understanding, how we have joy that's unspeakable, how we make it through difficult times, that they acknowledge God is with us because we have accepted him as Savior. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So one of the great things that comes with accepting Jesus as Savior is an invitation to the Lord's Supper, also what we refer to as communion. And so there's something that I want you to see in Scripture, that I think is something we can believe for when we're partaking of communion. Now, you may be familiar with a man in the Old Testament, his name was Abraham. He's mentioned in the book of Hebrews chapter 11, as a man of great faith. He's recognized as one of the fathers of the faith, and I want you to see a moment in his life. It's found in the book of Genesis, it's chapter number 14, it's verse number 18. Now, Abraham is returning from a time of warfare, and he meets a man by the name of Melchizedek, who is identified as a king of Salem. Verse 18, it says, “And Melchizedek, the king of Salem, brought out bread and wine and he was the priest of the God most high. And he blessed Abraham. And he said, blessed be Abram, of God most high, possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed be God most high, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” So what's happened, there is a representative of the priesthood being made manifest in the earth. And we may look at the verse here in a moment where the book of Hebrews points to the fact that Melchizedek may have actually been the son of God being made manifest in the earth in a pre-incarnate form. Listen, that gets really deep theologically, we're not going to try to go into all of that tonight. All we need to realize is bottom line. Melchizedek de was a high priest, and he represented the priesthood on earth. So that means he's an intercessor between God and man. He's an intercessor, between God and man. That's what the priesthood was to do. And so Melchizedek is representing something that God wants to do in Abraham's life. And this is what he says to him. He says, God's gonna bless you. First of all, you're going to recognize that you are a child of the most high God. Second thing you're going to experience is that you're going to become a possessor of the land. The third thing you're going to experience is that God is going to deliver your enemies into your hand. Do you notice that there's a progression there, that this blessing seems to come in levels? 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

First thing, you're a child of the most high God, that's the first level. I want you to think of that in terms of elevation. Second thing is, you're going to become a possessor of land. So, we start noticing that we have this promise, this blessing, of possession. And then the next thing is it says, your enemies, the people who are against you, the people that are trying to push you down, the people that are trying to steal, kill, destroy, be used by the enemy, against your life, God's gonna deliver those people into your hand, think of that as dominion. So you might think of it in this regard that when God really starts to bless somebody, like he did Abraham, that the first thing and he begins to do is he begins to elevate them. He begins to give them influence. They begin to have greater levels of significance, because he's the God of the most high. He's moving in their life, and they're seeing being taken from one level to the next level, one level of faith, next level of faith, one level of glory, next level of glory. That even they're going through moments in their life where that literally their spheres of influence are expanding. That maybe they once was able to influence somebody that was at this level. But now they're able to influence somebody that's at this level, and their influence goes, God is elevating them. But as he elevates them, he begins to give them greater levels of possession. with Abraham, specifically, it was the land. He told Abraham, he said, you're going to walk the length and the breadth of the land, and I'm going to give it to you. That became the Land of Israel. Everywhere he put his foot, God was just expanding his possessions and his territory. And we know that Abraham wasn't just blessed to be blessed, but he became blessed to be a blessing. Again, we'll talk about that more in just a moment. But then that third stage was even enemies, people that had tried to put him down and hold him back. God said, I'm going to give you dominion over your enemies. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so I think when you really start to see the blessing of God unfold in somebody's life, it comes in these stages. First thing is they're elevating the influence they have. The next thing you'll notice, they'll start to have greater levels of possession. And then you'll notice that they start to have some kind of level of dominion, that can only come from the hand of God. In that people and things that were against him, even demonic powers that were against him, suddenly starts to be under their feet. And you say, oh, that's great for Abraham, and that's great for some, you know, awesome minister, somebody that I really look up to and their relationship with God, but what's it have to do with me? Well, I want you to notice that in the book of Galatians, it's chapter number three. We're told in verse 11, that the just shall live by faith. Now, verse 13, is where what we just talked about starts to have specific meaning for me and you. It says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. So God with us. God came to the earth. Jesus took the cross, lay down his life on our behalf. He took the curse of sin. Watch this, verse 14, that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Now, did you get it? That one of the reasons that Jesus came and took the cross for us, and chose to be God with us, was so that we could have the blessing of Abraham. So that this specific blessing from Genesis 14 is one of the reasons that Jesus died for me and you was so that we could have that blessing in our life. And we could believe that God is going to elevate us for his purpose and the earth, that God is going to give us the blessing of possessions for his purpose to be fulfilled in the earth, and that God is going to give us dominion over our enemies for his purpose to be accomplished in the earth. And here's just a one thing I don't want you to miss is that when you look at Genesis, chapter number 14, the place we were at just a moment ago, starting out again with verse number 18, when this blessing was instituted, it says, and then Melchizedek brought out the bread and the wine, he was the priest of the God most high He brought out the bread, and the wine. He brought out the bread and the one so wine. So while Melchizedek is giving this blessing, he does it with symbolism. In Genesis, chapter 14, he walks out with bread and wine and blesses Abraham and says hey, your God wants to elevate you for his purpose in your. Your God wants to give you possessions in the land for his purposes in the earth. God wants to give you dominion over your enemy for his purposes in the earth. And then we go all the way over to the book of Galatians, all the way up to the New Testament 1000s of years later. And Paul says, God sent Jesus. Jesus died for our sins, the Son of God with us for our sins, so we can have the blessing of Abraham.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And that's how I believe that we can celebrate that blessing in our life is that when we get to partake of the bread and we get to partake of the cup. And so I just want you to gather those elements for communion, and we're going to believe the blessing of Abraham over our lives as we partake of the bread, and we partake in the cup. And while you're gathering those things, and thinking about that moment, I want you to think about just one more thing. And that's this, in this moment, the book of Hebrews tells us that when Abraham and Melchizedek are having this exchange, the way in which that Abraham responded, watch this, it says for Melchizedek Hebrews 7:1, “King of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham, returning from warfare, and blessed him, to whom Abraham gave one 10th of everything, to this person,” translated as king of Salem, or king of righteousness, or king of peace. “Without father, without mother, this priest was,” which is another reason I think that maybe this has something to do with Jesus being made manifest in Abraham's life in that moment, “but was made like the son of God and remains a priest continually.” And it goes on and gets deeper from there. The thing I want to point out to you is that when Abraham instituted the concept of tithing, he did so in a moment, when Melchizedek had the bread, and he had the cup. And then Abraham responds, and says, I'm going to give you, in response to this blessing, one 10th of everything God's put in my life. I hold up this dime, because that's what a 10th is. It's just one dime out of every dollar. And so Abraham went, did an inventory of everything he had. And he said, here's my response to the promise of this blessing. I want to give God one 10th. God, I give it to this priest, symbolizing, and I’m giving it to you. One 10th of everything that I have was his response to the blessing. And maybe that's something for you and how to think about while we're in this season of Christmas, and we're thinking about all the things that were given to our kids, and we're going to give to our spouse, and we're going to give to our loved ones. And maybe we're even going to give to the community. Let's not forget that this is the time when we celebrate. We've chosen to celebrate Jesus's birthday. Like what are we going to give to Jesus? What are we going to give to God. And it might be a great time, don't just wait till the first of the year to say, oh, that's when I'm going to start tithing, that's when I'm going to start honoring God. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

As a response to believing God for the blessing, like maybe this is your moment to say, you know what, this Christmas, this is going to be what I give God. I'm going to initiate tithing in my life, especially in a time when I need to be blessed. And he promised me in Malachi chapter three, that if I would bring him the tithe into the storehouse, he blessed me in ways I wouldn't even be able to contain it, I wouldn't even have room enough for it, that I'd be blessed to be a blessing. And so maybe that's one of the ways that you respond to God tonight, as you're believing for this blessing as we take communion. You might also think about putting something on the altar. It might even be a moment where Mandy and I've had moments like this, especially early on in our marriage, where we were setting up, hey, we're going to believe God for the blessing, we're going to put the tithe forward. Just lay in that tithe, maybe it's written out in a check form, maybe given it through online in some kind of way that you just lay it out. Whatever symbolizes that you lay it out in front of you, and you say, God, I put you first. I give to you in this way. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so here's what we're gonna do. You think about how God would have you to be a giver, to honor him with tithe, and honor him with offering, but get your communion ready. And let's think about it. Let's think about what Melchizedek told Abraham. He said, he says what you get Abraham. You’re going to be a child of the most high God, you’re going to possess land, and you’re going to have your enemies delivered in your hand. Elevation, possession, dominion. Believe God for that kind of blessing over your life. Jesus made it possible according to the book of Galatians. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So I just want you to take the bread, and just break it, and let it symbolize the broken body of Jesus in your life. And as you're holding that bread, you know, understand this is the Lord's Supper. We've been invited into it because he was willing to make us clean enough through the forgiveness of our sins, to sit at a table with the presence of God. It is for those who profess Jesus as Savior and Lord. And I'm going to ask you, as you just believe in hey, God elevate me in every place in my life that you feel like I need to be elevated for your purpose to be fulfilled in the earth. This is a prayerful moment for you, God, if there's anything that you could give me possession of, maybe it's more land, maybe it's more property. God, maybe there's things you want to put in my life so that I can better accomplish your purpose in the earth. God, there's some things I need to have dominion over. Maybe there's an addiction that I need to have dominion over. God, maybe there's an attack that I need to have dominion over, something that's come against my health father, it's the enemy, that I need to have dominion over. Somethings got in my mind, depression, and discouragement. God, I need to have dominion over that. And I believe in that by the blood of Jesus, I can have this blessing in my life, so that the purposes of the Lord can be fulfilled in me and through me, when I ask you to tell you can just eat of the bread. Jesus lifted up the cup. This is why he told them, so often as you drink of it, do it and remembrance of me. And so with this promise from the book of Galatians, chapter three in mind, that the blessing of Genesis 14, given to Abraham, can happen in our life. Man, we're thankful that Jesus saved us. And we pray, man, that we get to live out Matthew 1:23, that they, those around us would say, man, God is with them. And we'll tell you something, if God elevates you, and God gives you possessions for his purpose in the earth, and God gives you dominion over your enemy, there's going to have to be some folks that look at you and say, surely, God is with them. That's the only thing that could explain it. They looked at Peter and John, they said those guys are ignorant and unlearned, but they have been with Jesus. You know what the storyline was there, I believe they were walking in the blessing of Abraham. God had elevated them, God has given them possession, and God was giving them dominion over their enemy. With that in mind, I want to ask you to take a drink of the cup. Father, we thank you. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Would you pray with me right now? Just bow your head, stop whatever you're doing, wherever you're at, lean in for a minute. Like, even if you've had me playing in the background, and it's been more audio then video today, whatever it looks like for you take a minute, and I want you to lean in and pray with me. Father, we thank you that you got us through this portion of 2020, up to this moment. But we know God that there are greater things that are yet to come in our life. And we believe, Lord, that the blessing, according to the words of Paul to the church of Galatians, that God, you want to do things in our life just like you did in the life of Abraham. And we surrender our heart and life to you. And God just like Abraham responded by giving you a tithe. God, there may be something that not you want us to give to you. Maybe it's the first time we've ever tithed. Maybe it's the first time we've ever really went above and beyond with an offering. Maybe it's the first time we've ever said, God we don't want to just be blessed to be blessed, we want to be blessed to be a blessing. And some of this we're doing by faith right now, just to believe that this is going to come to pass in our life that we take you at your word, we believe your word, it's a promise, we know you said what you meant. and you meant what you said. So Lord, this Christmas season, may we walk in your blessing, may we exemplify what it is to be generous in the earth, and to trust you, Lord, we thank you that there are greater things yet to come in Jesus name. Hey, I want to thank you so much for being with me tonight. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Man, what an honor to just lead you through some principles and truths of God's Word. And I'd love to invite you to be a part of our services, this coming Sunday. You can go to 3trees.com to see the service time for the location closest to you, or even if you'd like to join us, for church online. During this coming Sunday services, we are going to be incorporating a candlelight moment. And so we'd love to have you be a part of that. And I would even say, you know, if you want to do that at home, go ahead and get those candlelight elements. I mean, you can just grab a candle and have something delighted with and when we get to that portion of the service, you can participate and be a part of it. And I just again want to say if you are able to join us in person, I believe it's going to be a really powerful day. Whether you're in person, or here with church online, we're believing God to touch lives, and change lives and transform lives. 

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So again, 3trees.com. And you can kind of see there, the service times that apply to you. And again, even next Wednesday night, we're going to be right back here again, whatever platform you're joining us on. We'll be right back there at 6:30pm, Central; 7:30pm, Eastern Standard time. And we're going to be praying for you. I know you're going to be continuing to pray for us. And thank you so much. God bless you. Go with God, he'll go with you, greater things are yet to come.