Good morning and welcome to the Broward Church. If you’re with us here on line, we were grateful that you’re here. If you’re here in person, we’re grateful that you’re with us. I know Mike mentioned this earlier, but we had a great barbecue yesterday, and I just wanted to Amen. Yeah, I just wanted to highlight our pitmaster, our Cook, the leader of our cooking team.

I see Al is in the crowd, so Al, can we give a hand to Al for Al’s work yesterday? And we had such a great event. We’re right now in a Bible study series that we’re calling the purpose of God’s people where we’re trying to unpack what it means to have vision and what really God is after in our own lives. And one of the things we’ve been tossing around, a couple of kind of comments that really become the foundation for us thinking about our purpose. And a couple of weeks ago, we laid out this as one of the main ways to discover who we really are.

We said that if you want to know why you exist, you need to understand the role you play in the story of God. That if you’re you really want to capture your own purpose, you need to figure out who am I in the context of the Scriptures and who am I in the narrative arc of the Bible and man, what would God have me do if he were speaking to me directly? What would he tell me to do for the community I’m in for the family I’m in and for the society that God has placed me in.

The main takeaway again is for us to really think about and determine our role in the story of God. What role do you play? It’s a thought we have to have, because when we think about the heroes of Scripture, we see that they understood their role so definitively and they were able to achieve the thing that God had placed in their lives for them to do.

When you read the scriptures, you find people who we preach about for thousands of years, who we see, that their story Echo for eternity, that they understood this. We think about people like Noah, people who see, hey, God is going to destroy the Earth. And God speaks to him and says, hey, I need you to build an arc for your family, not only to save your family, but also to help protect the creation, the good creation that I’ve made. And so Noah with faith and with obedience, steps into his calling.

What is your arc?

What is the thing God is calling you to do? We say the same thing with Moses, right? Moses looks at his life and goes, okay, God calls him out out of his being raised by the Egyptians and goes, okay, this is a burning Bush. I’m gonna come before you. And I want you to go save my people in that moment.

Moses understands his role of not only freeing the oppression of the Israelites, but also introducing them to Yahweh, their God. We see this again in the heroes of the Bible. People like David, who both in his youth and as an adult man stood up and followed their purpose. Him slaying Goliath and cutting off his head and slaying the big thing that was before him and fulfilling his purpose in this leadership of Israel. We can talk about the prophets who, against all the intensity of their persecution with faith, spoke out against the ideologies of the nations that held them captive.

It’s men like this and women in the Scriptures where we can see and we can point while they followed what God had called them to do. They obeyed their purpose. They lived their calling. All the people in Scripture remind me of what it means to follow our calling and Scripture follow our calling and our purpose. But maybe other than Jesus, in my opinion, the very best example of a man who knew his role and fulfilled it totally is the Apostle Paul.

The Apostle Paul is one of my heroes. He is, his mission is also tied to ours. And we’re going to see this in just a second. Paul was given the task of being an Apostle to the nations he understood where he fit and where he understood his role in bringing the gospel to all people.

And in fact, Paul clarifies to us exactly what his calling was. He says in Romans in his great letter in the Book of Romans, he says in Romans chapter one, verse five, the call. He says, Paul, he was called to all the Gentiles, meaning to all the non Jews to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. For his name’s sake. His name is Jesus sake.

So Paul is saying, hey, what’s my calling in life? Well, I’m supposed to call all the Gentiles, all the people far from God and bring them into a relationship with God that is marked by obedience and faith. This is so important to Paul that he actually repeats it in the Book of Romans again at the very end of the book, so that all the Gentiles might come to obedience that comes from faith. Paul said, you know what my role is here?

My goal, my purpose in life is to continue the story of God by bringing the gospel message to all people. And I want all people in life to be people that are characterized by obedience that comes from faith. It’s pretty amazing what a calling. And this man did it. Before Paul, christianity lived as a small Jewish sect in the land of Judea.

After Paul, it was everywhere. And you look around today, I don’t know very many of us of Jewish heritage. Maybe there’s one or two of us of Jewish heritage, but the majority of us are Gentiles. We are a fulfillment of Paul’s vision. It’s pretty incredible.

He took on what he was supposed to do. He understood the role he played and he did it. You know, these two words, faith and faith and obedience might seem just like kind of typical spiritual words. But if you take a deeper look, what you find is that Paul’s purpose statement isn’t even original to Paul. He is taking this thought about obedience and faith and the call to all nations and his call goes all the way back thousands and thousands of years to a man named Abraham. And Paul is really interesting because he’s saying, hey, I am called to do something. And what we find out is that his calling isn’t even his calling, but it’s his calling that goes back generations and generations. One commentator, I read said of Paul’s work that Paul’s lifetime service of the gospel was all about producing communities of Abraham lookalikes. Paul was just trying to produce people that look like Abraham in all nations.

This might be the reason why Paul in Galatians chapter three, talks about the gospel in a little bit of a different way. Today we talk about the gospel as beginning with Jesus, but that’s not the way Paul saw it. Paul saw the gospel as beginning with Abraham. Scripture foresaw, that God knew God would justify the Gentiles by faith, that’s that word again, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham, saying All Nations will be blessed through you. The gospel, the good news from God’s own mouth is that God intended to bless all nations and to do so through the descendants of Abraham and Paul thinking to himself, I’m a descendant of Abraham.

I’m a descendant of Abraham. So my goal, my goal in life is to bring the gospel the good news to be a blessing to all people. That’s pretty awesome. So he understands the role in the story and then he fulfills it. Here’s something interesting for you to consider, however, and this is where we’re going to kind of really dive into what we’re talking about here today.

Did you know that if you’re a follower of Jesus, you’re also a descendant of Abraham? Galatians chapter three, verse 29 says, if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham seed or a descendant of Abraham and heirs according to the promise. So track with me. We can get our minds around this. Paul understood that the call of all Christian men and women is the calling of Abraham.

And the calling of Abraham is we’re going to unpack in just a second is to be a blessing to the world. So here you have a man who lived on target did exactly what he was supposed to do because he understood the role he played in the story, and he understood that is Abraham’s descendant. He needed to live his life as a blessing to the world. Let’s try to understand this a little bit better by going to the source of this mission. We’re going to look at the story of Abraham and try to pull some things from it.

And hopefully I’ll leave you with a couple of practicals that will guide you towards what your real purpose is, what your real purpose is in life. If you have a Bible, you could turn with me to Genesis chapter Twelve. Otherwise, don’t worry, it’ll be up on the screen. The Book of Genesis is where we’ve been pulling so much of our content in this sermon out of when we’ve talked a little bit about the backdrop of Genesis chapter one and three or one through three. Genesis chapter one is the calling of man.

We talked last week about the need to take care of the Earth and the resources that God has given us. And then we get from Genesis chapter one, we got Genesis chapter two, the direction given to man. And then we get to Genesis chapter three. Genesis chapter three is where the story goes really, really bad. Genesis chapter three is the beginning of the backdrop where we get Genesis chapter Twelve.

And I know that may seem obvious that Genesis chapter three comes before Genesis chapter Twelve, but you have to understand it because it helps us in our context of the reason why Genesis chapter Twelve is so important. From the point of view of Genesis chapter Twelve, there is no good news. All we have is bad news. God’s creatures, these human beings have rebelled against their Creator. They’ve distrusted his benevolence and to disobeyed his authority and disregarded the boundaries of freedom that God had set up for them.

And that produced radical brokenness not only for them, but for all of society. Human beings have now needed to hide their guilt from their God. Adam and Eve covered themselves in shame. Men and women can no longer even face each other without blame or guilt or shame. It’s so bad that the Bible says that in Genesis chapter three, that the ground is cursed because of the sin of man.

And what happens is that you get Genesis chapter 45678, 910 and eleven. And all we’re getting is a crescendo of evil. You get the first murder with Cane killing his brother Able. Oh, it’s gotten really bad. And Lamac is one of the descendants of Cain.

He goes, Look, Able kills one or two or three. I’ll kill thousands. Those are not the exact words that’s my interpretation. And yes, God’s Grace is in the picture, but it’s really being overshadowed by the curses on the world produced by mankind. It’s really bad.

It’s so bad. In fact, that even when God tries to save everybody again through Noah, the situation right after the flood looks like, oh, read the story on your own. It just goes bad once again. Human decisions are just bad and bad and bad. And in chapter eleven, in Genesis chapter eleven, there’s like this tower that’s built by mankind is called the Tower of Babel later on.

But we have this thing where men and their arrogance are going,. I’m gonna make a name for myself. I don’t need God anymore. And then they’re feeling like I don’t want to be separate, even though God told them to disperse throughout the whole Earth. And so again, you have this just negativity that’s coming.

There’s chaos. There’s destruction, there’s evil, there’s jealousy and anger and merge and vengeance and violence and violence and violence and violence and corruption and drunkenness and sexual discord and arrogance. And it’s all so bad. That right before the flood, God says this. Listen to this.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the Earth and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. I’m gonna read that again because I just want you to capture the words. Every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was evil all the time. The next passage says that God regretted making mankind. Imagine how bad it has to be for the author of Life and the one who is a manifestation of love itself to no longer want anything to do with his good creation.

Man, it’s bad. And men are subduing the Earth and that’s sort of good.

They’re making beautiful things, but they’re using smarts and their technological advances to just add to their violence and evil. The skills crafted for beautiful instruments and music and agriculture are now being used for weapons and violence and death. And even the fast array of like ethnic and linguistic diversity. That’s all beautiful is also being accompanied by war and genocide and violence and insecurity. Genesis chapter three through eleven poses us a cosmic question, and I know we know the end of the story, so it’s easy to kind of conclude it.

But I want you just to live in the bleak moment of Genesis Eleven.

Everything is bad. So here’s the question. How is God going to fix it? Okay, God could wipe the Earth clean. He already tried that. God could start again and create a new human race, that of robots who obeyed him all the time.

But instead, God does something that none of us would do. God sees an elderly, childless couple living in the land of Babel and decides to make them the launching pad for his new mission to subdue the curses and create something beautiful in society. By the way, could you imagine the confusion in heaven when God tells the plan to the Angels? Hey, what do you guys do? Your human creatures have destroyed the Earth.

They have ruined everything you’ve made. You made a good world, and they’ve made it all bad? What are you going to do? And God’s, like, you know, there’s these AARP members and Amen living in Babel the place, and actually their heritage is that their idolaters?

Oh, let’s go ahead and use them by the way, they’re barren and they have no children. I’m gonna make a family out of them. And that family is going to save the whole world.

What kind of plan is that? This elderly couple and nothing against older people. But it’s kind of got style, right? He calls things that are not as if they were and just a quick encouragement for any of you who are feeling like you’re part of the elderly couple. You should never let anyone tell you you’re too old to be useful to God.

Seriously, young people have a role to play, but so do you. Be a Caleb. Go take your Hill country. Don’t think I’m gonna retire. There is no retirement in the Kingdom of God.

You’re gonna be 85 years old and God’s gonna call you out of the land and give you blessing on blessing to start a whole new revolution. I don’t care how old you are. Never think I’m too old. I’m gonna let the young people do it. We still need you.

This is God’s choice. I wouldn’t make it. But God did it. God chooses Abraham. And this is the beginning of the mission to solve the evil in every human heart.

It’s so bad that every inclination of the human heart is evil. Here’s how I’m going to solve it. Old men and women. Let’s come on, let’s give it. Let’s give it a chance.

So God commands Abraham. And this is the commandment given in Genesis chapter twelve. This is a link, like a Lynch point. This is the turning point. This is the watershed moment in the Bible.

This is the passage of Scripture, Genesis chapter Twelve. That is just so awesome. If you consider the backdrop of Genesis chapter eleven, here it is. Genesis chapter twelve, verse one, the Lord said to Abram out of nowhere, go from your country.

By the way, if you ever want to be have an impact, God may require you to leave the place where you’re comfortable. Go from your country, from your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. And then this right here. This is the blessing of Abraham.

The Abrahamic Covenant. Verse two, I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you. And I will make your name great. And you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you.

And whoever curses you, I will curse. And all people on Earth will be blessed through you.

It’s not hard to see what the central theme of this verse is. What’s the word that shines out. Blessing. Blessing. It comes out like a golden thread.

The root word here, Barack actually occurs five times and three verses, and it’s sudden and surprising good news. Why is it good news? Well, apart from Noah, there has been no talk of blessing since the very beginning of the Bible. For seemingly thousands of years. Not a single word of blessing from God on the Earth.

And all of a sudden, here comes God blessing abraham. It’s all been bad. This might be the reason why Paul saw this as the gospel in advance.

Blessing, I’m gonna bless you. I’m gonna bless you. I’m gonna fulfill. I’m gonna pour into you. I’m gonna bless you.

And by the way, do you even know what this word means? This is a very Christian word. You know, you’re like sneeze and someone’s like, bless you. Like, I wonder if that’s the Abrahamic Covenant. Nowadays when you sneeze people just walk away from you and they don’t really bless you anymore.

What does it mean to be blessed? What is God saying when he’s saying that you have blessings? You know, our brains can easily go one of two ways. Certainly as a response to kind of the an insidious prosperity gospel thing, we can kind of push away and go, okay, blessings are all spiritual. Blessing means joy and Salvation, peace and Grace. And certainly those things are blessings.

We may be tempted to kind of to look at Abraham’s life and going, okay, what did God actually bless him with? Well it’s Salvation and the ability to save other people? But there’s certainly a level of it that’s the opposite side, too, where God is blessing Abraham, if you look at the story with wealth, with having longevity, with having the ability to reproduce over and over again, to have a new family that produces amazing things. So before we slide to one direction or the other, we probably need to take this word in a wider biblical context.

In the account of Genesis chapter one, God’s blessings are pronounced three different times.

The first time they’re pronounced is with the fish and the birds. That’s like, I think, day five, the fish and the birds are blessed. The second time it’s pronounced is day 6 in the blessing of human beings. And the third time really Interestingly, it’s during the Sabbath, in the inauguration of the Sabbath, God blesses the Sabbath. What are the first two teach us? Well, the first two are all about fruitfulness increasing growing abundance. And that last time is all about a relationship with God that’s marked by rest, that’s marked by peace. So you could say that the first two are a physical blessing, and the third one is a spiritual blessing.

Though I would argue that all three are spiritual blessings, but that’s neither here nor there. What we actually find is a theme in God’s Word that is repeated over and over again. We see the same idea repeated in Deuteronomy chapter 28. The famous verse on blessing and curses. We also see it Genesis chapter nine, when God blesses Noah, but it’s easy to go to one side of the other, but I want to stop you from pushing on the other side of the spectrum and just think it’s a both/and thing.

Blessing is a spiritual and a physical benefit given to man by their creator. So this is going to be way too simplistic. I know. So please don’t send me an email about this being oversimplified. I totally understand.

I only have 15 minutes to explain these things. So for the purpose of this discussion, blessing is sort of equal to benefits. Does that make sense? So when God says you are blessed, it means that he’s going to benefit you. He’s gonna benefit you.

He is, and this is what happens to Abraham, right? He gives to Abraham. He provides him. He multiplies his flocks, he protects Abraham. It’s a benefit of Abraham.

He takes care of his body and of his mind and of his soul. When he’s in a really dangerous position with his wife. If you read the story, he’s like, he pretends that his wife is his sister, and it’s just a lie. It is bad. And God’s, like, I’m gonna still protect your wife because I’m with you.

God is with him. God is with him in the course of time. In Genesis, chapter 22, when he asked him to sacrifice his son, he goes, I’m going to give you a son. And I’m gonna ask you to sacrifice him to test that you’re still faithful. But just so we’re clear, because you’ve done this, I’m gonna make your descendants as numerous as the stars.

God is with him. He’s also with his mind and with his soul and with his family and with his body. And so it’s a both/and. It’s a spiritual and a physical. And this is amazing, especially when you consider the backdrop of where we’ve come from.

This is what’s offered to Abraham. And this is what’s offered to his descendants. But this promise is not a mechanical promise. It’s not just for the benefit of Abraham. Remember the verse.

I’m going to go back to it. It says all these things and then says, and what happens? All Peoples on Earth will be blessed through you. So what do we see here? The blessing is supposed to be shared.

In other words, those who are blessed are called to be a blessing beyond themselves. I’ve been blessed and now it’s my time to produce fruit of blessings in other people’s lives. I’ve had the benefit of wealth in Abraham’s context or of strength or of peace or of joy or of Salvation. But that was given to me, not for myself.

It was given to me to be shared with the nations. And this is so awesome, right? Because what you have is you have these two competing issues. All we’ve had is curses from chapter eleven from chapter three to chapter eleven, curses and curses and curses and curse. And the curses.

And now blessings have been unleashed. And what’s supposed to happen? Well, there’s a duality now, right? There’s a tension. There’s like a movie. Okay.

This is the movie title. The curses of the sinful versus the blessings of Abraham’s descendants. And who’s gonna win. Okay, because everyone who sins causes pain and curses on everyone else. When you do wrong, when you do anything wrong, okay? You’ve lied to your spouse.

Well, you’re cursing your spouse in one form or fashion. You’re hurting your children. You’re hurting yourself. You’re hurting your God. You’re hurting your community around you.

There is a sphere that’s being impacted by your sin. Curses have been placed in this area. As these curses grow and grow and grow and crescendo into a nightmare reality God’s, like I’m also gonna send the descendants of Abraham to produce blessings in that same world. It’s a battle between the people who curse and the people who bless.

And so history will be marked with the goodness of God and the curse of man. I think this might be what’s in view in Romans chapter five, verse 20, when Paul says this, but where sin increases, that’s the curse, that’s the devastation of the sinful, Grace, that’s the blessings, increase all the more so that just a sin reigned in death so also Grace might reign through the righteousness to righteousness, to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. So what I’m trying to explain to you this duality is that God’s blessings are supposed to be missional.

You aren’t blessed to be blessed.

I can say it another way. You are not too blessed to be stressed. That’s not the point of the blessing. You are blessed to be a blessing. And see at the fundamental level when you ask the question to Christians, why do I exist? What’s my purpose?

Why am I here? I’ll give you a really basic answer and certainly you need to fill in the gaps for your own life. But you’re here to be a vehicle of God’s blessings. In the history of God’s people and the history of the spread of the good news of God, it is supposed to be the history of people of God benefiting the people around them, spreading blessings, spreading blessings. And I can tell you that the end of the story is amazing.

What the end of the story is that God takes on the curse himself and he becomes the one marked by the curse by being hung in a tree so that all people on Earth could be blessed through him. Now he is the prototype of the men and women that we are supposed to be. We’re supposed to be like little Jesuses doing the same thing to the whole world. But when you think about it, your goal is to be a blessing. How are you a blessing? When you love the poor, you’re a blessing. When you love the people who are poor and downtrodden, you’re a blessing. When you love and care for the orphans and the widows, you’e a blessing. When you’re a good friend or a good neighbor to your friends and to your community, you’re being a blessing. You’re being of benefit to them. When you give to those in need and when you bring Salvation to people, you’re bringing a little piece of heaven to the Earth.

When you teach your kids to follow the ways of Jesus, you’re being a blessing. When you’re a hard worker for your employer, you’re being a blessing when you’re considerate as an employee, you’re being a blessing. Or I guess an employer vice versa. You get what I’m saying. When you hold the door for a stranger, even in that little moment, you’re being a blessing because you’re saying, okay, God has benefited me by being patient with me, so I don’t need to rush in. I’m gonna be a benefit of other people when you call the corrupt to repentance, you’re blessing the world. When you stand up for those in need.

When you mourn for those who mourn when you turn the other cheek, when you challenge others to repent and to change. When you live your life as though Christ we’re living through you, you’re being a blessing. Even when you open a business and take care of society. You’re being a blessing when you touch the sick and spend time in prison and a nursing home when you speak justly and you tell the truth when you take care of the Earth that God has given you, you’re being a blessing.

In those moments, you’re living your purpose and you need to identify what all those little details are.

But brothers and sisters, your number one role in the context of relationship is to be a blessing to the people around you. Who who does your life benefit?

Who does your life benefit? If the answer to this question is just me, you are not living in the Christian worldview. You you have missed the Mark of your calling for what God has asked you to do. If your answer to this is just you and your immediate family, you have missed the Mark. The calling is for the whole world, which means people outside of your immediate family.

Who does your life benefit?

Have you taken stock of how much God has impacted your life? Have you even thought about all the millions of miracles that God has done in your life? All the ways that he saved you from the pit of your own despair? Each breath that you take is a blessing from God. The job that you have, the children, that you have, the house that you have, the car, that you have, every little thing that you’ve been given by God. By the way, all those numbers in your bank account, they could be zero if God wanted them to be.

But instead he benefited you with every single dollar that’s in there.

Who are you benefiting with what you’ve been given? In one of Jesus’s most famous parables, he concludes it with this intense statement. Luke chapter Twelve, verse 48 from everyone who has been given sorry, who has been given much, much will be demanded. This is not a suggestion. It’s gonna be demanded.

I have given you a lot. What are you doing with what I’ve been giving you? And from the one who has been entrusted with much, much will be asked, what have you been given? And how are you living as a benefit for others? If your purpose in life is primarily focused on you, you’ve totally missed the Christianity.

You’ve missed it. You’ve missed it totally. But if you’re thinking yourself, man, I want to impact people with what God has given me. Man, your head is in the right direction. I want to talk to you about a friend.

Last week, a friend called me, I guess, a couple of weeks ago, and they talked about how they’ve been blessed so much in their work. They were like, God bless me so much in my work. And I want to learn. I want to be a blessing. We want to give more to the Reach offering than we’ve already given.

Reach offering, if you don’t know, in May, we took up an offering that goes beyond what this Church can do just in and of itself. We’re going to support the Caribbean. It’s a support South America and really lots of different things. And they were like, you know what I know we’ve given.

But we’ve been given more. And so we’re going to ask to give more. I’m like, that is following the Abrahamic call. I was given more, so I give more.

Not I was given more, so I spend more on myself so I could be more comfortable. Do you get what I’m saying? And it’s not just money. I mean, it could be anything. Like I was, wow, I got a vacation a couple of months ago. I’m sorry. A year or so ago, this pandemic thing is messing with my calendar. But someone’s like, look, I was given vacation days, and so I went to go serve the poor.

I was given more time off. So I used it to benefit others. That’s living the call of Abraham. That’s living the call of Abraham. God has given me more. So that means God has demanded more from me.

I was talking to my friend Tom Masonic from For Kids. For Kids is a foster care organization we partner with. He was telling me Amen. He was telling me that last month they had to say they could not house more than 80 kids. 80 kids had come through the system and they couldn’t find a home for them.

He’s also telling me that the laws have changed. So some of the group homes are just being basically dismantled. And so there aren’t going to be any group homes for these kids to go to, either. And so I asked Tom, where did the kids go? He said they’re gonna basically put them in hotels by themselves, especially older teenagers.

This is what got me. He said, if only the capital C Church he’s talking about all believers knew what they had been given we could solve this problem. And I’m not trying to guilt anybody into fostering a child, though. If God has put on your heart, please do it.

I’m just saying what he’s saying is important. If you only knew how much he’d been given, you would probably do more. You would probably give more. You would probably serve more. You would say, you know, I got a little bit extra money, man.

Maybe I could fund there’s some single moms in this Church. Maybe I could fund that kids, College books. You know what? I was given a little bit of extra thing. Maybe I was given some extra wisdom.

Maybe I could sit with somebody and counsel to help them counsel through their problems. I was given a little bit of extra joy. Maybe I could sit with somebody who’s going through a really challenging time and just pour into them so they could find the joy that comes from God. You know what? I was given so much.

Maybe if I would just take a moment, I could find somebody who could use the excess so that I didn’t use it on myself. I’m just trying to remind you you’ve been given much more and so much is demanded from you. You have been benefited by God. So God wants you to use it to benefit others. Here’s the good news.

If you want, you could change that today. Today, you can make changes in your life today to have some impact in a way that you never have impact before. If you just took some time to consider how much you’ve been given and think about the impact that you could have with those around you. In that moment, you would live your purpose. You would follow Abraham’s Abraham’s example and also follow what’s echoed in the life of Paul.

You would live your part of the story. And I bet you in that you would find much more of your purpose than if you just focused on yourself. Find your purpose. Be a blessing. Jesus, as we transition to Communion, Jesus is the best at this. In Philippians chapter two, there is this perfect picture of this idea of Jesus being of benefit to the world because he was given so much.

It says that in our attitude with one another, we should have the mindset of that of Christ Jesus. It says he was in very nature God. Yet he didn’t consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage. But instead he made himself nothing, taking on the nature of a servant being made a human likeness and being found in an appearance as a man. The Bible says he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.

What is that telling us? God did not use the benefit of being God to his own advantage, but He used the benefit of being God so that the world could be blessed. When we think about the cross, let us consider that for our own lives. Let’s consider how grateful we are for the response of Jesus.

Let’s think about how we can do that in other people’s lives. Let’s pray together for our Communion. Lord we know that Lord, we have been given so much. God, I’m floored by the amount of times I think about all of the blessings in my own life. God, you’ve given me an amazing family.

You’ve given me amazing extended family. You’ve given me amazing children. You’ve given me a mind that can work. You’ve given me a heart that beats. You’ve given me breath that I can take in. You’ve given me food on my table God. I pray that I will spend more time thinking about how to benefit others and benefit my own self. God, I pray that I’ll think about the example of Christ that I’ll consider him as I consider my relationship with others. Lord, let us be drawn back to the true gospel and away from any Americanism than Christianity. God help us help us to be drawn into a relationship with you.

Help us to understand what we’re supposed to do so that we can be men and women who follow Abraham’s example. God, we thank you for Jesus and the bread that represents his body and the juice that represents his blood. God, we pray that as we remember him, that will really be drawn to live a life worthy of a calling. We love you in Jesus name. Amen.