01/18/S – Never Abandoned

Genesis 20:1-21:21; Matthew 7:15-23; Psalms 9:9-12; Proverbs 3:27-32

OT: “The Lord came to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him. Abraham named his son who was born to him — the one Sarah bore to him — Isaac. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him… Early in the morning Abraham got up, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beer-sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes and went and sat at a distance, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die!” While she sat at a distance, she wept loudly. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the boy crying from the place where he is. Get up, help the boy up, and grasp his hand, for I will make him a great nation.”” (‭‭Genesis‬ ‭21:1-5, 14-18‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

God is always faithful to His word, and He is never limited in His faithfulness. God promise Abraham a son through his wife Sarah, and even though both were very old, God remained faithful to His promise, giving Abraham and Sarah a son when Abraham was 100 years old. Even though Isaac was the “son of promise” and would be Abraham’s heir and carrier of God’s covenant, God had also made a promise to Hagar the slave. When she was alone in the wilderness, God saw her situation and promised that if she returned and submitted to Sarah, He would make her son a great nation. Now that Isaac was born, Hagar and her son were now abandoned in the wilderness and left to die. This time God heard and answered her and her son’s cry. He provided water in the desert and reinforced His word. When we trust in the Lord and obey His will, we are never abandoned, and we put ourselves in a place to experience God’s faithfulness.

NT: “Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:15-21‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Right after Jesus taught against hypocritical judging, He explains how we are to judge. He teaches us that we are to judge true followers of the Lord by their fruit… and ultimately, this is how the Father will judge people. The Father won’t receive everyone who claims to be His follower into His kingdom. He will only receive those who have trusted in Him and obeyed His will… and born the fruit of someone who truly follows Him. And fruit is how we determine if a person is trustworthy or not. For all the promises of the Lord to be yes and amen in your life, you must obey the will of the Father and thus produce good fruit through His grace. The wonderful thing about God is that He isn’t a respecter of persons – anyone can be made new and begin bearing good fruit by placing their faith in Him and receiving His salvation.

Psalms: “The Lord is a refuge for the persecuted, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you because you have not abandoned those who seek you, Lord.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭9:9-10‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Those who truly know the Lord, trust in Him, and seek Him – they will not be abandoned, regardless of who they are.

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