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Two Men Under One Microscope
Genesis 13
Skip Heitzig

Genesis 13 (NKJV™)
1 Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South.
2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.
3 And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,
4 to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents.
6 Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.
7 And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.
8 So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren.
9 "Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left."
10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar.
11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other.
12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.
13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.
14 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are--northward, southward, eastward, and westward;
15 "for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.
16 "And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.
17 "Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you."
18 Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Making Your Mark

Are you satisfied with just getting through life or do you want to make a difference? God calls each of us to play an important role during our lifetime, but we often forget to seek His will. Join Pastor Skip Heitzig as he looks at the life of Abraham in this two-volume series. Abraham had both ups and downs when it came to his spiritual journey, but he made a lasting mark deep within the fabric of three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. You may find striking parallels between Abraham's life and your own experiences. Learn how to leave a lasting impression on your world as you study the life of this great father of faith. Don't just live--make a mark with your life!

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Transcript

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If you have your Bible tonight would you turn to Genesis chapter 13. I spoke to somebody this morning from Kansas who said they listened to our Line on Line and often Sunday morning or Saturday night quite regularly from Kansas where they go to college and a lot of times we Saturday nights greet our radio audience. And we think you know, "that in our minds is just this nebulous unknown out there." But there are peoplel listening and we get notes from them all the time, all over the country. In fact, we have somebody with us tonight who is a truck driver, drives cross country. In fact he has his 18-wheeler parked out in the parking lot and he lives in a little town in Oklahoma and listens. In fact, I didn't get your name but just stand up and wave up us, would you? There he is, great (applause, cheering).

Genesis chapapter 13 tonight. It's a short chapter as you can see. This week something interesting happened and you all know about it, Arnold Swarsenegger announced his plans to run as governor of the state of California. And he announced it on the Jay Leno show and I heard that he was going to announce it so it was already a done deal when the show played, but you know he got on and in classic style said, "I have one message for the politicians, if you don't do your job it's hasta la vista, baby." And then this week he said something that is sort of, probably will become one of his most famous lines. He said, "I will be the people's governor." Of course, his most famous line, you know what it is, "I'll be back." And I sort of have a hunch that if he doesn't make it this time he'll be back.

Abram left, Abram said, "Hasta la vista, baby," to the land of Canaan but now he's back. He's back in the land, he's back to the altar, he's back to the promises of God. This is the fourth message in our study that we've called Making Your Mark, the fourth study in the life of Abram but we're barely into the second chapter of this area of Genesis. We've been going slowly because we've been sort of putting Abram under the microscope and examining him carefully. Microscopes are exciting and devastating. They're exciting because you get to see great detail. They're devastating because you get to see great detail and it might reveal some things you don't want to see.

A wealthy Chinese businessman was in America several years ago and was fascinated with a microscope. So he bought one, took it home, loved to look at flowers and crystals and hair, etcetera. So he decided one night to take some of his meal, the rice that he was eating and place it under the microscope. And he looked and he was shocked to discover there were all these microorganisms, these bug crawling over his food which devastated him because he loved rice, it was his staple. Well being confronted with this information he had to do something and so he did. He went out and he smashed the microscope. Tonight in this chapter we're going to take two men, Abram and Lot and place them both under God's microscope and compare their lives one to another. And as we do, we're going to compare ourself to their lives to discover which one we're most like. So we're going to be under the microscope as well as we make these comparisons. We're going to see some things we may not like to see, so let me caution you, don't smash the microscope but give yourself an honest evaluation.

We've called this series Making Your Mark. I've said this is the fourth study. If we were to go back and just sort of sum up what we've learned so far: the first week we learned that a person who makes his or her mark has a past. They're imperfect, flawed, they come from failure usually in their past, they have baggage they bring to the table. The second week we noted that people who make their mark are people who respond to God, Abram heard God's word, he obeyed him. Last week, our third week, I I suppose the general overall lesson was that people who make their mark don't always get straight As on their tests. They fail a few even while they're on this walk of faith. And that brings us to chapter 13. Tonight's lesson can be summed up by saying this: people who make their mark learn from their mistakes. They learn from them. And we're going to look at a man who learned from his mistakes, next to another guy Lot who kept making mistakes, bad choice after bad choice. And here in this chapter we will see that they will separate from one another. It's the story of two men, two relatives. They're related to each other physically but they're hardly related to each other spiritually. One is a spiritual man, that's Abram. He's not perfect, we've already discovered that. But he's back now, he's learned his lesson. Whereas Lot is more of a worldly man. That's where his sights are, that's where his focus is and we're going to see that tonight. We're going to look, sort of as the undergirding theme of this: the power of choice. The power of choice. Somebody once wisely said, "We make our choices and then our choices make us." One little choice, one little decision has changed the course of history, nations, families, individuals.

I heard there's a courthouse somewhere in the Midwest that's so situated on a hill that when it rains, raindrops falling on one side of the roof go down into the valley into the streams, into the river, through the Great Lakes and end up in the Atlantic Ocean, whereas raindrops falling on the other side of the same building make their way down the other side of the hill down into the Ohio River, the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf of Mexico, just a little bit of wind makes all the difference in the world as to the destination of that water. And so it with our choices that we make. We can make choices that will bear ramifications for years and on into eternity.

Tonight if you're taking notes I'm going to give you four comparisons as we look at the life of Abram and Lot together. Four comparisons, four ways they were different. First of all, their profile. If you look with me at the first five verses: "Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him to the south. Abram was very rich in livestock, silver and gold. And he went on his journey from the south as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning between Beth-el and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord. Lot also went up with him, with Abram, and he had flocks and herds and tents." We know a lot about Abram already, we know where he's from, he's from ur of the Chaldees, out in Mesopotamia. We know that his wife is barren. We know that God called him. And we know that he's in the land of Canaan. But who is this Lot guy? Well, Lot is his nephew. Lot is his brother Haran who died, that's his son. And it seems that ever since Lot's dad died, Lot must have looked up to Abram as sort of a father figure, some example to follow. And he followed him all the way from Ur to Haran and from Haran on into Canaan. We know that both are wealthy. Verse 2, "Abram was very rich, livestock, silver and gold. Verse 5, Lot also who went with Abram had flocks and herds and tents." By the way verse 2 is the first mention of riches in the Bible and it says Abram was rich. Now that's not necessarily bad, it's not necessarily good, it's just neutral. Riches, money is neutral, it all depends on how it affects you and how you handle them. Some of God's greatest servants had money. And some used it well, wisely; some as a direct result of God's blessing. Abram is one of them, Job is another, Daniel is another, Joseph is another. You say, "But wait a minute, Skip. I know the Bible says money is the root of all evil." I don't know which Bible you're reading but it doesn't say that. It says, "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil," that's Paul's words to Timothy. The love of money and you can love money and be poor and it would be devastating if God blessed you with a lot of it cause it would ruin you. But sometimes God feels the liberty to bless somebody financially like He did some of the others that I mentioned in the Bible. Proverbs 24 says "through wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established by knowledge the rooms are filled with precious and pleasant riches." Having said that at the same time riches can become a problem as we're going to see here. Now here is the difference I believe between Abram and Lot. As I see it as I go through the story I conclude that Abram possessed riches but riches possessed Lot. One possessed them but with Lot they possessed him, they drove him. We know from reading the first five verses that both of these guys left Egypt and are now back in Canon. But here's the difference Abram repented, Lot just returned. Look at the wording of verse one. "Abram went up from Egypt" and keep going in that verse. "Lot went with him." You get the idea from the text that Lot is tagging along with Abram. He is following him. And then if you look down if verse ten I know I'm skipping ahead but let's do it anyway. "Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorra. Like the garden of the Lord, notice, like the land of Egypt as you go up toward Zoan." That's interesting, Lot had a frame of reference and made a choice based upon what reminded him of Egypt. "Oh, that looks a lot like Egypt; I want that because I miss Egypt, I long for Egypt." Egypt became his frame of reference. We all have frame of reference, we all make comparisons based to it, usually it where we were born and raised or where we lived and spent a lot of time. And it's not always fair it just is. Uh I grew up in southern California, that's my frame of reference. Sometimes I drive my wife nuts. It'll be nice balmy cool summer afternoon I'll say "Oh this is, this is like California". Or uh we'll drive through a neighborhood and houses bear a similarity to those on the West Coast. "This neighborhood looks like a California neighborhood" or we would go to a lake and go "boy this is nice water but it's not California". Or we would be driving down the freeway caught in traffic and I'll say "Boy, the traffic is horrible" my wife will smile and say "Not as bad as California". Egypt became Lot's frame of reference. That's what he was trying to duplicate.

Now, I know what the New Testament says about Lot. Peter calls Lot "Righteous Lot". Righteous Lot who was vexed with what was going on in Sodom but I think that he's called righteous simply as comparison to all the wickedness that was going on in Sodom and Gomorra. It was really a comparative statement. We never read of Lot building an altar, we never read of Lot worshipping, we never read of Lot praying. So, in looking at their profile, I would say Abram walked with God, Lot walked with Abram. Abram was a friend of God; Lot was friend/nephew of Abram. There is a lot of people like Lot, they tag along with believing relatives. They don't make their stand for Christ. They try to live off somebody else's faith, somebody else's commitment to Christ, they're raised in a church perhaps, but they really love the world. They tag along and that's a dangerous place to be in. That's a dangerous profile to have. Listen to what James writes so clearly in the fourth chapter of his little letter. "Don't you realize that friendship with this world makes you the enemy of God?" If you aim is to enjoy this world you can't be a friend of God. Here's Lot leaning upon Abram's faith following Abram rather than the Lord. And you know what, I'll tell you right now, you can't live off somebody else's faith. God will have no grandchildren. He only has children, a direct relationship. You can't say, "Well my father and grandmother they were a great church going people." What about you? How's your relationship with Christ life?

Notice, however, Abram, verse three, look at that, "He went on his journey from the south as far as Bethel. (Remember that place? Where he built an altar at one time?) to the place where his tent had been at the beginning between Bethel and Ai to the place of the altar which he made there, at first and there Abram called on the name of the Lord, oh that's good! This guy learned his lesson. He's had enough of Egypt. He's back. And what does he do? Well, he remembers his past. He repents of past and he redoing what he did at the beginning. Does that sound very familiar to you? Doesn't that sound like that passage in Revelation when Jesus writes to the church of Ephesus who had left their first love? And He tells them, "Remember therefore from where you have fallen, repent and do your first works." That's the gateway for the backslider. If you're away from God you go back to that same door, you go back to the beginning that place of devotion and worship. That's what he did. Here's Jesus in Revelation telling a church to repent. And that's what Abram does. This is repentance. A lot of Christians think repentance is for unbelievers, "Yeah they're heathens, they need to repent." I've got to tell you something, there's a lot of things God always convicts me to repent of, it's an ongoing process as he reveals himself to us.

A couple of authors wrote this: "Churches want to hear nice optimistic messages free of the mention of sin or a call for repentance. What churches want is nice lean programming defected at nice clean families leading to growth without sacrifice. They want their organization to become bigger and bigger even as their God becomes smaller and smaller." That's Lot but that's not Abram. Their profiles are two totally different kinds of people.

Now let's look at their predicament next. Look at verse 6, "Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together for their possessions were so great they could not dwell together. And there was strife between the herdsman of Abram's lifestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock." Just a note, there wasn't a disagreement between them but their staff members. They were relatives, they were connected by blood but those who worked for them had a problem. And it also says, verse 7, the end of that verse, "the Canaanites and Perizzites then dwelt in the land." It's interesting to note that though there's nothing wrong with having stuffthat it's stuff that becomes the reason for this conflict with each other. Both of htem have lots of animals, both of them have lots workers, they have lots of needs, they need more space and so they have sort of this problem over the stuff that they own. Most of us can related to this. We don't realize we have so much stuff we have til you move. Right? And hten you look inside the boxes and you go, "Man I've got a lot of stuff. Where'd I get all this stuff?" And you'll never see it again, trust me, until you move again. You look at it again and go, "Yeah, that's that stuff that was in that last garage." See that's the rub with having stuff, the more you have the more you have to manage and that can become a conflict.

This last year I moved up to the mountains and we were looking through our stuff. And I'm very pragmatic when it comes to stuff, especially other people's stuff. I throw it away, it's just clogging up the garage, get rid of it. So I started getting rid of the stuff and I was reprimanded for it. "Hey, what are you doing with that box?" "I'm throwing it away." "Hey, that's my stuff." There's a stuff problem going on here. There's another problem, did you notice it, look at it, "the Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land." Now why is that in there? The author, Moses, was trying to show us a couple of things. Number one, he's showing us that not only did these guys have a hard time finding pastures, not only was there competition between them but they had other competition as well. People who lived there first. But there's another reason I believe it's written here: to remind us that unbelievers are overhearing the quarrel. Unbelievers, the world is watching them. The world watches us, they listen, don't they? Very closely. In fact, it surprises us when they'll tell us something that they've noticed about us and you're thinking, "Man you have been paying close attention to how I work around here." Oh yes, you are under the microscope.

Well, years ago in Rome in the Vatican, Michelangelo, that's the sculptor, Rafael the great painter, were called upon to beautify the Vatican. And they worked hard to do it, they were hired by Rome to do it. They worked hard, they were famous, everybody knew they were doing it, but they were great craftsmen but a rivalry broke out between Michelangelo and Rafael so bad this rivalry got that they wouldn't even speak to each other when they passed each other in the hallway. And everybody knew it. The ironic thing is they're doing it all for the glory of God. And they're at odds with each other for the glory of God, as the world, all of Rome, all the prealots of the church were watching. How sad.

Well let's skip down to verse 8. We've seen their profile, their predicament. Let's see what they do, let's look at their preference. Verse 8, "So Abram said to Lot, 'Please let there be no strife between you and me, between my herdsmen and your herdsmen and your herdsmen for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me, if you take the left I'll go to the right, or if you go to the right I"ll go to the left." You know what? Abram's older and wiser. Abram wants to be a peacemaker not a troublemaker so he goes, "You pick it, man, you can have anything you want. I'll just take whatever you don't want." Now God promised him the land but what a gracious thing to say. You see what Abram is doing, his preference is different than Lot's as you will see, his preference is to take the very way, Philippians 2 you know the verses well outline how we ought to treat other people. It says in those verses, Philippians 2 verses 3 and 4, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but let each of you esteem others better than himself." Look not upon your own interests but also upon the interests of others." This man's doing it.

Okay, what did lot choose? Verse 10, "Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan," we had already read that verse, "that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah like the Garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan and Lot journeyed east and they separated from each other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and (we'll get to this as we close) he pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom (notice this footnote) were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord." Okay, what did Lot pick? The Jordan plain. Why? Because it looked good. I want you to notice that, it looked good to his eyes. Here is a man driven completely by his senses. He's doing what he thinks is the best for him based upon his outward observance. Notice the word "saw". He lifted his eyes and saw. The word literally means he looked with longing. Doesn't that sound like somebody else we know about named Eve, who in the garden there was htat tree and the Bible says, "She saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, that tree desirable to make one wise. And so she took of its fruit and ate." Listen, the eyes will see what the heart loves. John called it "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life." You know Paul said in the New Testament that as believers we walk by faith and not by sight. Lot walked by sight rather than by faith. Now listen carefully, Lot made his choice based upon what looked best to him materially not spiritually. Lot made his choice based upon what seemed best to him materially rather than spiritually. "Oh, I want the Jordan plain. There's nothing like it, it is the best, it's for me, I want the best, move over Abe."

In 1975, six gunmen looted a bank in London, stole seven million bucks worth of stuff. Part of the stuff was a little box of jewelry. Five hundred thousand dollars this jewelry box was worth. The woman who was victimized had that box stolen wailed when she heard about it, she said, "My whole life was in that box." That's a sad statement. Your whole life is in that box? Because one day you'll be in another box and if all your life is in that box, that's a sad day at that other end. Now here's Lot and he would say, "My whole life is toward Sodom, it's out on the plain, it looks so good." But it'll bite him as we'll see.

I want to ask you a question: How do you make your choices? What do you base your choices upon? What is the process you use for deciding things in life, where you're going to go, what you're going to do, where you're going to live, etcetera? Do you place and make decisions materially above spiritually?

I found this in a commentary and I wanted to just, you know, kind of say it myself so it would sound like I was this wise but I'm not so I'm just going to read what Griffith Thomas wrote. He said, "Even professedly Christian people often choose their home in a locality simply for its scenery or society or its other material advantages without once inquiring, "What church privileges are there? The souls of their children may starve among worldliness and polite indifference." Now, not Abram, Abram didn't walk by sight. Abram walked by faith in the promises of God. Lot says, "I want the best of the land." Abram says, "Go for it." God's about to give him something better: himself as well as the promises for his family in the future.

I want you to listen to Hebrews 11, I've made reference all the way through this series, Hebrews 11 tells us, "Abram lived in the land of promise and by faith he was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. I have discovered that there is no geography in this earth that matters any wise to the will of God. It doesn't matter if you live here or there or there, because you are passing through, you are going toward a heavenly city. And the best deal isn't what you find down here. "I got the best deal." The best deal is what's up ahead. Abram knew that.

Well let's look at the fourth comparison. Let's look at their provision, their provision, what they got. Verse 11 you already read that, "Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan." That's because he lifted up his eyes and he saw it and he wanted it. And now look at verse 14, "And the Lord said to Abram after Lot had separated from him, 'Lift up your eyes now and look from the place where you are, northward, southward, eastward, westward; for all the land which you see I give you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width for I give it to you. Then Abram moved his tent and went and dwelt by the terabynth trees of Mamre which are in Hebron and built an altar there to the Lord." There's Lot, he looked up one day and he saw that plain of Jordan, he saw all that that could offer, all that the earth could offer him but then there was the day when God said, "Hey Abe, lift up your eyes and see what I have to offer you."

Now it says they separated from one another and there's a good reason for that, there's a principle found in Amos chapter 3 verse 3, "Can two walk together except they be agreed? And they weren't agreed. They were going in two different directions as far as the goal of their life was concerned. So they separated and I would say this is good for Abram. Not good for Lot, I think Lot needed Abram but as far as Abram was concerned it was good. God told him a long time ago, "Leave your father's house." He didn't do that, he drug his feet, he brought Dad and Lot and everything else with him. He did go to the land of Canaan but Lot is still with him. But now it's time to separate. If you watch his life now really start to blossom. God tells us to make separations, doesn't he? He tells us to make separations from worldly behavior, worldly lifestyle. II Corinthians 6, "Come out from among them," says the Lord, "and be separate." Why is that? Why is that? Because and you know this to be true, there are certain people who can drag you down spiritually and actually hinder your spiritual growth. You've been around some of them. You've been around some of htem for a period of time and at the end you feel exhausted and worn out and dragged down to a lower level. Certain people can diminish your spiritual appetite. Oh they may profess to be Christians but when you're around them, it seems like they have no real heart for spiritual things or spiritual growth or God or prayer. Rather, let's just have a whole evening of worldly behavior and we'll just sanitize it at the end with a little prayer. No heart at all for the things of God, no spiritual appetite. They're more interested in worldly things, worldly events, worldly activities. You get around them, they complain, they murmur, the gripe, they backbite, they gossip. You feel like you've had a weight around you all night. So they separate.

Others by the way, others you can be around and you feel at the end of your encounter you have a stronger spiritual appetite, don't you? You want to grow, they've inspired you. Listen to this verse, it sums it up, II Timothy chapter 2, "Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith, love and peace (now listen) and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts." That's what Abram did, there was a separation. And God is going to bless this man. Well Lot goes off it would seem into a place of blessing but you see where Lot was going Abram didn't want to go. There are a series of steps, let me just quickly outline them and in studies to come we'll probably get back to a couple of them. There's a series of steps downward for Lot. Step number one, he saw, he was driven by his senses, verse 10. Step number two, verse 11, he separated from this man of spiritual influence. Third mistake: he pitched his tent toward Sodom, verse 12. Oh he's not in Sodom, that's the wicked city it talks about, but he's close enough to just sort of enjoy the amenities of the city. He pitched his tent, he's in that direction, he's a Christian living on the border to put it in a modern New Testament vernacular. Step number four, he dwelt in Sodom. And that's not here but in chapter 14 verse 12, he's living there. He's living there. Now if you were to stop and go, "What are you doing? Don't you know this city stinks, its' sinful?" "I can handle it dude. I can handle it man. Don't worry about me. Worry about what's going on in your own life, dude." Right, he'd probably say something like that to you. "Don't judge me, man, I can handle it." He'd probably talk about all the advantages that that city had to offer. But the final step we read about in chapter 19 verse 1, it says, "And Lot was sitting in the gate of the city." His last step downward he became a politician. Now I'm not saying that it's bad to become one. What I am saying is it's bad for Lot to become one in Sodom. Sitting at the gate was having a place of great notoriety and influence. And yet he never really influenced the city for good, it drug him down. You could look at Lot's life and sum it all up with just a couple of verses in Psalm 1, "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly nor stand in the way of sinners (and then eventually) sit in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord." And that was Abram's delight, the promises of God.

So, two men, two lives, two different sets of values. One wanted an altar, the other wanted allurements. One wanted the altar of God, the other wanted the allurements of the world. One was driven by the promises of God, the other was driven by his senses. You could look at it this way: Lot got grass for his cows. Abram got grace for his kids. Oh he didn't have any kids but he will. God promises he'll have so many of them he can't count them. Now Lot made a choice probably saying, "This is the best choice for my family." He'll lose his family in the end because he didn't place God first. Abram just says, "whatever man, I'll let God choose for me." And God will give him a family so big he won't know what to do with it. It's always better when you let God choose for you. See those little choices like those raindrops that fall on that courthouse somewhere in the Midwest, those little choices can mean so much.

I'm going to read this to you as we close: A comparison between two others, Max Jukes (have you ever heard of Max Jukes? You're about to) and Jonathan Edwards (most of you've heard about him). Max Jukes lived in New York. He did not believe in Christ or in Christian training. He refused to take his children to church even when they asked to go. He has had one thousand and twenty-six descendants. Three hundred were senet to prison for an average term of thirteen years. A hundred and ninety were public prostitutes. Six hundred and eighty were admitted alcoholics. His family thus far has cost the government in excess of $420,000; they made no contribution to society. Jonathan Edwards lived in the same state of New York at the same time as Jukes. He loved the Lord and saw that his children were in church every Sunday and he served the Lord to the best of his ability. He has had 929 descendants, and of these 430 were ministers, 86 became university professors, 13 became university presidents, 75 authored good books, seven were elected to the U.S. Congress, one became Vice President of the United States. His family never cost the state one cent but he contributed to the economy and the wellbeing of his country. Let's see which would I choose? Jukes,Edwards? Lot, Abram?

We're about to pray but before we do as I've looked at the text, three bold conclusions came out to my mind in terms of a warning. I'm going to caution you tonight to be careful of your vision. Be careful how you see stuff, things, how you look at your life. Not what you, how you view it. You see Lot viewed just the world. He looked up and he saw stuff. Abram looked up and he kept looking up. He saw God. You might saw that Lot looked down before he looked up. Abram looked up before he looked down. So be careful of your vision. Number two, be careful of your values. Your values. Lot had a tent but no altar. Abram had a tent and an altar and in his life, the altar was number one over the tent. That was his priority, his value system. So be careful of your vision, your sight. Be careful of your values. And then, be careful of your choices. Be careful, treat each choice as a powerful individual thing. Because look what Lot chose and what Lot lost. Look what Abram chose and what he got.

Our Father, so many lessons apply to us, so much of the microscope and this time that we have spent under it looking and evaluating Lot and Abram and thus seeing ourselves has been encouraging as well as painful. It could be that you're telling some of us in your church to repent, to remember where we have fallen from and to go back and do those first works all over again. For others who have like Lot been tagging along with other religious spiritual Christian members of their family but haven't personally committed themselves to Christ, they need to do that, they need to make a relationship established with you through your son Jesus Christ in faith. And I pray that some would do it tonight, Even as we pray Lord, would your Spirit just go through this room and through the radio waves and internet and touch people in whatever situation, wherever they may be, in cars, hospital beds, at home, dormitories, trucks driving across the country, or here in this building and bring them to a sense of their need for Christ, to make the right choice tonight, to follow Jesus personally, to be sure of salvation. Right now eyes are closed and heads are bowed and we're praying for you friend and maybe you've heard this before but you haven't done anything about it, tonight is your night to say yes to Jesus, to turn to him once and for all. Maybe like Lot you've been out there looking at other stuff in the world. And God's saying, "Child, come home. Be mine."

Additional Messages in this Series

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7/20/2003
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The Past: Guidepost Or Hitching Post?
Genesis 11:27-32
Skip Heitzig
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Today we embark on a new journey, studying the life of Abraham. I'm calling it, Making Your Mark. Abraham made his mark deep within the fabric of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. More than that, Scripture exonerates him as being an example of faith. But what about his past? How did he begin his journey of faith? You may find striking parallels to your own spiritual experience as we see five experiences that shaped Abraham's earlier life. Let’s learn the first steps in how to leave our mark of influence in our own culture.
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7/27/2003
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Buckle Up! You're Going on an Adventure!
Genesis 12:1-9
Skip Heitzig
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Have you ever thought of life as an adventure? Most people don't. Daily life becomes the daily grind as many just survive: eking out a tasteless and meaningless existence hoping something better comes along in the future. There's one factor that can make all the difference—it's called God's will! To live life according to God's promises and commands, even though difficult at times, will be the most exciting way to make your journey through this life. In this second study on Abraham, Making Your Mark, let's see three principles that brought this sense of adventure.
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8/3/2003
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Warning: Doubt Can Be Hazardous To Your Health!
Genesis 12:10-20
Skip Heitzig
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Doubting God's promises is often the foundational reason we don't experience His blessing. The children of Israel wandered for forty years before entering the Land. Why? "They were not allowed to enter his rest because of their unbelief" (Hebrews 11:19). Their legacy was often to doubt, for the Psalmist says that they, "limited the Holy One of Israel" (Ps. 78:41). Now, even Abraham, the father of faith, struggles with trusting the most trustworthy Being that ever was!
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8/17/2003
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The Glimmer of the Godly in a Cauldron of Crisis
Genesis 14
Skip Heitzig
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8/24/2003
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The Journey from Fear to Faith
Genesis 15:1-6
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8/31/2003
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A Dark Night; A Bright Future
Genesis 15:7-21
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9/14/2003
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Taking the Long Way Around
Genesis 16
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9/21/2003
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A New Start for an Old Soldier
Genesis 17:1-8
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9/28/2003
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When God Makes His Mark
Genesis 17:9-27
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10/5/2003
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How To Be God's Friend
Genesis 18:1-15
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10/12/2003
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Have I Got Plans For You!
Genesis 18:16-33
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10/19/2003
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Shock and Awe!
Genesis 19:23-29
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10/26/2003
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Re-run of a Star's Worst Episode
Genesis 20
Skip Heitzig
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The basic idea: Even after years have gone by, years of growth for Abraham, he relapsed into old behavior patterns. The sin principle is always a problem, even for the Christian. If the "old ways" are not sufficiently dealt with, they will grow and threaten to undo us. We look at four scenes in this rerun episode of Abraham, revealing how seriously this battle between the flesh and the spirit really is.
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11/9/2003
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The Gift of Laughter for Senior Citizens
Genesis 21:1-7
Skip Heitzig
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Abraham is old here (age 100—a centenarian). His wife Sarah delivers the child promised by God (Isaac) and the result is joy and laughter. We learn five things about the nature of God in this passage.
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11/16/2003
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Faith... For Better or For Worse
Genesis 22:1-19
Skip Heitzig
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Skip speaks about the greatest test of Abraham's life and how he responded to it.
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11/23/2003
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Funeral for a Princess
Genesis 23
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This message highlights the death of Sarah and her husband's response.
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12/7/2003
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Passing the Baton
Genesis 24
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Abraham was the recipient of God's promises and blessing for many years. Now it's time to make sure that his son Isaac will also make his mark and inherit the promises of God. Abraham wants to pass the mantle of patriarch and the baton of blessing to his son by ensuring he marries the right person and continues the family line so that "all the nations of the earth will be blessed," as God had promised. What are the key principles for such an endeavor?
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12/14/2003
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A Senior Saint's Sunset Years
Genesis 25:1-11
Skip Heitzig
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Skip looks at Abraham's obituary as given in Genesis 25. After following his life from his call to leave his homeland, we now come to his last breath and subsequent burial. Encouragement and instruction for facing our own mortality will be considered.
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There are 18 additional messages in this series.
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