This is lesson 1 of 5 in the Abraham sermonlink series. Find this and other sermons on YouTube here.

Abraham is probably the second most important person in history after Jesus. Christians, Muslims, and Jews consider him to be the patriarch of their faiths. This alone makes Abraham a worthy person to study. However, Abraham is also a picture of what a lifelong pursuit of God looks like. Abraham wasn’t a perfect person.

Like us, he repeated the same mistakes over and over again. Yet, Abraham is an example of how God can transform our lives in unimaginable ways.

God’s Been Planning Your Story For a Long Time

When did you first really become aware of God in your life? It may have been as a child attending church, or it may have been recently as an adult. Whatever the case, God knew you long before you knew him. This was true for Abraham too. Abraham first meets God in Genesis 12.

Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.”

God had been planning Abraham’s story since before creation. Abraham was going to play a crucial role in God’s great rescue plan for the world. Similarly, God has been planning your life for a long time. You aren’t an accident or an afterthought to God. God put you on this earth so that you too can be part of his great work in the world.

[Related: What Is the Story of the Old Testament?]

God Invites Us to Take Big Risks

When God revealed himself to Abraham, he didn’t give him much of a plan. Abraham didn’t know where he was going or how long it would take to get there. God told him to go and leave everything he knew behind. Incredibly, Abraham obeyed God.

Genesis 12:4 So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

And Abraham was 75! But he didn’t allow his age to stand in the way of following God. God calls us to take big risks too. Following Jesus, living to honor him, and making disciples are all risky endeavors that end up being very costly. When we follow God in these ways, though, our trust in God is strengthened and we draw closer to him.

[Related: 5 Reasons to Read the Old Testament]

God Blesses Us to Bless Others

God’s promise to Abraham involved three parts:

Genesis 12:2-3 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.

God would turn Abraham’s descendants into a great nation, which was remarkable because Abraham and Sarah had no children. God would also give Abraham’s descendants their own land, which would be roughly equivalent to the borders of modern day Israel (see Genesis 12:7). Finally, God promises Abraham that the whole world will be blessed through his family. This promise has its fulfillment in the coming of Jesus Christ, who is the savior of the whole world.

These promises to Abraham teach us another principle for our daily lives. God blesses us, or gives gifts to us, so that we can pass on that blessing to others. God doesn’t give us his grace, mercy, compassion, love, money, relationships, and more so that we can just hoard those things for ourselves. Instead, we must pass them to others. With this in mind, a good exercise everyday is to say: “God, thank you for how you’ve blessed me. Now, who do you want me to bless today?” This is just one small way we get to be part of God’s great story he’s writing in the world.

[Related: Why Does God Bless Us?]

Discussion Questions:
  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. When did you first become aware of the presence of God in your own life? How did you first try and get to know God?
  3. Make a list of some things you know about Abraham. Why is Abraham such an important figure in the Bible and world history?
  4. Read Genesis 12:1. If you were Abraham, what would you think of God’s command? What questions would you have for God?
  5. How does it make you feel to know that you aren’t an accident or afterthought to God?
  6. Read Genesis 12:4. Why do you think Abraham was able to obey God and leave everything?
  7. Share about a time when you had to take a big risk in order to follow God.
  8. Read Genesis 12:2-3, 7. List the three parts of God’s promise to Abraham. How do these promises point us to Jesus?
  9. Who can you bless this week? Tell your group who you want to bless this week and how you’re going to do it. Next week, let people know how this went.
  10. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Daily Readings