28/02/2021 | WALK BEFORE ME
Reading: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Group Warm Up Question:
Do you know the origin of your name, or the origin of the name of a member of your family?
- How comfortable are you with the label Christian? Baptized believer? Disciple? Christ Follower? Which do you identify with the most? Why?
- What has Abram/Abraham had to sacrifice to be a faithful follower of God? [Have a look at Genesis 11 to help you with part of your answer.]
- Why is sacrifice a vital component of discipleship?
- Reread verse 1. Notice that, first, God reminds Abram of God’s nature. Second, God gives the condition of the covenant, “Walk before me, and be blameless.” What might it look like to walk before God and be blameless?
- How can our Lenten practices of “giving something up” be small ways that we learn to trust God more?
- In this passage, God also includes Abram’s wife Sarai/Sarah as an important part of the story. Her name, and therefore also her destiny, is radically altered by God. The story of Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah takes place across decades. Like them, we too can feel that God is working at a glacially slow speed. What does their example teach us about dependence on God? About a life of faithfulness?
Father, we continue to believe that you are at work in the world. Help us to learn to live sacrificially, and give us the eyes to see hope when we are tempted to despair. Give us reassurance of your presence, even during times when we feel we are stumbling in the dark. May our lives be a witness to those around us of your faithfulness. Amen.
[This Small Group Study based on and used by permission: https://www.umcdiscipleship.org : Discipleship Ministries]
Copyright Licencing: St.Thomas Methodist Church:
Church Copyright CCLI: 2024100 and Music Reproduction CCLI: 2054493