Sermon Title: Walking with Abraham: Faith, not Sight
Text: Genesis 13:1-18 (ESV)
Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?)
Broadly speaking, we look at the world in two ways: by sight and by faith. Looking by sight is viewing the world around us in an unspiritual way—the way most of the world looks at things. So we make decisions based on what makes us most comfortable, what’s the easiest, what will bring the most immediate and greatest pleasures, etc.
Looking by faith is looking at the world through a spiritual lens. We look beneath the surface to the true essence of things—the way they really are. We look beyond the temporal to the eternal, beyond the mere physical to the spiritual.
Our text gives a clear example of both: Abraham trusted God, so he was willing to give Lot first choice on which land to inhabit. When you live by faith, you become open to risk . . . you know God controls the future.
Lot, on the other hand, looked around him and saw what everybody could see: the land to the east was well-watered and prosperous and offered him the greatest chance of living the good life with prosperity and success.
Which kind of life are we called to live? Which approach offers the greatest hope?
How do I live out the implications of this passage? (Discussion starters to help with applying the sermon to our lives)
- What do you think was going through Lot’s mind as he looked toward the Jordan Valley? The text says he “pitched his tent as far as Sodom” and that “the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord” (vv 12-13). Why did he do this?
- Most of us like to know exactly how things are going to work out in life, don’t we? How do we balance healthy life-planning while also trusting that God is in control of where we go?
- Why did Abraham allow Lot to choose first?
- Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,” and she ate it (Gen 3:6). How was her choice based on sight, not faith? How was it similar to Lot’s choice?
- Suppose you’ve been offered a big job promotion that will take you to a part of the country where Christianity is weak and the culture is apathetic or hostile to faith in Christ. What should you consider before you decide to accept the job or not?
- How are we tempted to walk by sight? What does that look like practically in every-day life?
- What other biblical examples can you think of where people walked by sight and not faith?
- In contrast to Lot, Abraham trusted that God would work out the land situation since God had promised that he would. How difficult must that have been to let Lot choose first, knowing that the young man would probably take the best?
- What other biblical examples of walking by faith and not sight can you think of?
- The perfect example of walking by faith was Jesus’ looking beyond the horrors of the cross to “the joy that was set before him” (Heb 12:2). How does that example guide you?