Lesson 10

CHAPTER TEN

BLESSING THE NATIONS

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

C Identify spiritual qualities of Abraham which enabled him to bless the nations.

C Recognize you are an heir to the promises of Abraham .

C Understand your responsibility as an heir to bless the nations of the world.

KEY VERSE:

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)

INTRODUCTION

Abraham was chosen by God to be the father of many nations. Through him all the nations of the earth were to be blessed:

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:18)

The New Testament reveals that all believers are heirs to the promises God gave Abraham . To be an "heir" means you have inherited from him :

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith,
preached before the Gospel unto Abraham saying, In thee shall all nations be
blessed.

So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (Galatians 3:7-9)

You are an heir because you have become the seed of Abraham through Jesus Christ:

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promises. (Galatians 3:29)

As seed of Abraham you are an heir of the promise of salvation . But as an heir you are also under commission to bless the nations of the world with the good news of the Gospel.

You are told to claim your inheritance:

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. (Psalms 2:8)

Through Abraham the nations of the world were to be blessed. Through Jesus the nations are your inheritance also.

SPIRITUAL QUALITIES

The following are spiritual qualities Abraham had which enabled him to be a blessing to the nations and how these qualities relate to the vision of the harvest:

HE WAS FULLY PERSUADED:

Abraham believed the vision God had shown him . He was fully persuaded that through him God would bless the nations of the world:

And being fully persuaded, that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. (Romans 4:21)

For the vision of the harvest to become a reality, you must be fully persuaded. God has promised abundant harvest. He has provided the strategies and the methodologies. You are called as a laborer to bless the nations of the world .

HE INVESTED IN SPIRITUAL THINGS:

Abraham invested his whole life in that which was not visible in the natural world.

God had given Abraham the promise of a beautiful land, yet he himself never set foot in this country:

And He gave him none inheritance in it, no not so much as to set his foot on: Yet He promised that He would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. (Acts 7:5)

A land was promised which Abraham had not seen. It was promised to a son he did not

have. Yet Abraham did not doubt God. He invested his life in the plan of God in order for the promise of God to be fulfilled in future generations.

The vision of the harvest is eternal in nature. You will spend your whole life invested in that which is not visible. But the results are eternal. Generations to come will be blessed because you fulfill the vision .

HE WAS OBEDIENT TO THE CALL:

When Abraham was called by God to go out to a place which he would later receive for an inheritance, he obeyed:

By faith, Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (Hebrews 11:8)

It is not enough to be called to the vision of the harvest. You must respond in obedience to that calling .

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:18)

HE WAS WILLING TO STAND ALONE:

God speaks of Abraham :

Look unto Abraham you father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. (Isaiah 51:2)

Abraham was called alone. He had to leave his homeland and his family in answer to that
call.

When you are called by God unto salvation it is an individual matter. Each person must respond personally to that call. The call to the harvest field is similar. Like Abraham, you are called alone. You must make the decision. Responding to the vision may involve leaving home and family. Certainly it will involve stepping out from among unconcerned believers who have not yet caught the vision.

HE HAD SPIRITUAL VISION:

Abraham had a spiritual vision:

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is

God. (Hebrews 11:10)

His vision was based on spiritual things. His vision was of a city whose builder was God. It caused him to stay in a strange land, dwelling in tents, separated from his home and family. The vision changed his life.

The vision of the harvest has changed your life. You will never again be the same. You cannot be content with the temporal things of life . You seek an eternal cause.

HE KNEW GOD INTIMATELY:

Abraham was called, "the friend of God":

And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (James 2:23)

It will require an intimate personal relationship with God in order for you to fulfill the vision. You must learn His ways and be able to hear His voice. You must become the friend of God.

HE WAS FULL OF HOPE:

Paul speaks of Abraham :

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
(Romans 4:18)

Although he had no son, Abraham received a promise to be the father of many nations. In the natural it looked hopeless. But in the face of hopelessness Abraham believed in hope.

No matter what your circumstances, no matter how hopeless your situation, know that God has called you to the vision of the harvest and it will be fulfilled.

Face hopelessness with assurance that "what He has promised, He is able also to perform" (Romans 4 :21 ).

HE HAD STRONG FAITH:

He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. (Romans 4:20)

Abraham had such faith that he praised God for the fulfillment of the vision even before it

happened. He was completely sure God was able to do anything He promised (Romans 4:20).

The greatness of the vision to which God has called you is overwhelming… Three billion people yet without the Gospel message. These are the heathen. They are your inheritance. Through you they are to be blessed.

But do not stagger at the promise of God. Do not look to the greatness of the task before you, but look to the greatness of God . God has promised abundant spiritual harvest . Be like Abraham who…

…believed God even though such as promise just couldn’t come to pass. (Romans 4:18, The Living Bible)

HE WAS RIGHTEOUS:

Because Abraham believed God:

…it was imputed to him for righteousness. (Romans 4:22)

As you learned previously in this course, the foundation of your labor in the harvest must be righteousness.

HE WAS HUMBLE:

Paul states that Abraham gave glory to God (Romans 4:20).

Abraham knew the fulfillment of the vision would come only through God. He alone must receive the glory.

God has given you a great vision in the harvest fields of the nations of the world. But the fulfillment can only come through Him. You cannot receive glory for the vision or for results of the harvest. The glory must go to God for a vision fulfilled.

HE WAS PEACEFUL:

In Genesis 13 the servants of Lot and Abraham had several disagreements over water rights. Abraham arrived at a peaceful solution to the problems.

The message at the birth of Jesus delivered by the angels was one of peace. The Gospel you take to the nations is a message of peace for it is only through God that true peace will come.

HE WAS PROMPT TO DO GOD’S WILL:

When God spoke to Abraham that the sign of the covenant between him and God was to be circumcision, the Bible records that the same day God spoke, Abraham had all the men in his family circumcised (Genesis 17).

Some time later God fulfilled His promise to Abraham and he and his wife, Sarah, had a son. After the birth of Isaac, God gave Abraham a difficult test. He told him to sacrifice his son (Genesis 22 ).

In Isaac was the future of the promise of God. He was the heir through whom Abraham’s descendants were to come. Isaac was to bring forth the nation of Israel through which the world was to be blessed. Yet God asked Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice.

The Bible records in Genesis 22:3 that after Abraham received this message from God, "he rose up early" in the morning to obey the instructions. Even when God’s will was difficult, Abraham did not delay . When God spoke he acted immediately. Because of his obedience, God provided another sacrifice and Isaac’s life was spared.

Labor in the harvest field will not always be easy but when God speaks you must act. When you step forward in obedience God will always move in your behalf.

It is interesting to note that Abraham never referred to God’s instructions regarding Isaac as a sacrifice . He called it worship. The highest form of worship is to look beyond Isaac, that which we love, to God.

God has given you a vision and it has changed your life. But never can the vision become more important than God. Your first responsibility is relationship to Him .

God tested Abraham to see if it was Isaac who occupied his highest devotion or God. It must
always be God who occupies your devotion. The vision can never replace the Giver of the
vision.

HE WAS MOBILE FOR GOD:

Abraham lived a simple life which enabled complete mobility for God. He could move quickly at God’s command (Genesis 12).

HE NEVER LOOKED BACK:

Abraham did not desire the old life left behind, but looked to the new things God would do:

But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must

believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

HE WALKED IN REVELATION KNOWLEDGE:

Abraham acted upon revelation from God instead of human reasoning:

And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do. (Genesis 18:17)

HE DID NOT LOOK TO HIS NATURAL ABILITIES:

God’s promise to the nations sprang from one as "good as dead.” In the natural, Abraham had no ability to fulfill God’s plan:

Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. (Hebrews 11:12)

HE SOUGHT GOD:

Genesis 12 records how Abraham built an altar and called on the name of the Lord.

HE ASSUMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR OTHERS:

Read the story of Abraham and Lot in Genesis 14. If you are to be a "world Christian", then you must assume responsibility for those in need in the world around you .

HE WAS GENEROUS:

Abraham paid tithes of all he had:

And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. (Genesis 14:20)

HE WAS WILLING TO DWELL IN A STRANGE LAND:

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. (Hebrews 11:9)

He was willing to respect the culture of others. For example, he bowed before the people of the land as was the custom :

And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land. (Genesis 23:12)

HE REPRODUCED MEN OF LIKE DEDICATION:

This is seen in the life of his servant, Eleazar (Genesis 2 4).

HE GAVE THE GLORY TO GOD:

And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.

And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion. (Genesis 14:21-24)

Always remember, the glory must always go to God.

THE VISION FULFILLED

Abraham , a man with a spiritual vision …He was a man through whom the nations of the world were to be blessed. And the vision was fulfilled:

Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars by the sky in multitude, innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. (Hebrews 11:12)

When the vision was given to Abraham, his past had been unproductive and his present was unproductive. But he did not accept the deadness of his own body and of Sarah’s womb.

Perhaps your past has been spiritually unproductive and your present is unfruitful. But now you have received a vision of the harvest.

As Abraham , look with the eyes of faith into the future knowing that "He who has promised is able also to perform it."