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T. Austin Sparks - Messages.

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Written by David Hayman.   

The Time of Your Life!

Sometimes there seems to be a hold up with heaven’s promise and eternal purpose coming to pass in our lives. We’ve been given great promises but we haven’t seen the fulfilment and we struggle with unbelief, doubt and fears. This was the position that Sarah found herself in regarding God’s promise that she would have a child to Abraham. In Gen 18:9 we find the Lord promise Abraham that ‘I will certainly return to you according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.’ Sarah laughed at that time (18:12) and lamented saying ‘after I’m waxed old shall I have pleasure’?

Lord You're too Late!

¶ This too can be our thinking, Lord you’re too late! I’m too old now! But David says, Lord let none that wait on thee be ashamed (Ps 25:3). Friend, let us take courage in this wonderful truth, that the Lord is never late! And we must draw near to him in these times when we realise that we are late; late to trust him, late to keep his word, late to follow, and the blessing hangs in the balance; but the Almighty, the Lord of glory, our beloved Saviour is never late. He was early to the cross to redeem us with his own precious blood (Gal 2:20). He said, I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (Jn 10:10).

I feel like I don't fit in...

¶ God promised Abraham that in his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed. This was a very great promise and clearly implied that Abraham would have a son (Gen 12:2-3,6). He added later that his seed would be as the dust for multitude (Gen 13:15). The promise that God’s blessing and promise would come to Abraham by Sarah was first hinted in Gen 15:4 ‘he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels (depths) shall be thine heir’. Is not a man’s wife his bowels? Then 14 years after the promise was given, God plainly tells Abraham that Sarah will bare him the son who will be his heir (Gen 17:16). In those 14 years between, there were ups and downs, mistakes, human effort to make the promise effective, but Sarah came to realise and accept that she was barren (Gen 11:30, 16:2). Sarah would have struggled with fears about the future, that maybe God needed to get her out of the picture before he could bring to pass the promise – perhaps a new wife for Abraham? But she continued to trust in the Lord in that dark situation and she ended up blessed. This is what the Lord encourages us to do when we’re in the dark, to trust in his name and to wait upon him (Is 50:10). It’s so easy to run away but we must stay! He will come with light that springs up! (Mt 4:16).

Help my Unbelief!

¶ In Genesis ch 20 we find that there is still work to be done in Sarah. Although the promise is clear and even her name has been changed (Gen 17:15), with maturity and age on her side, Sarah, at 90 years of age, is still struggling to believe! And a dip in the flesh is the natural tendancy. The Psalmist cries out to the Lord “My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word” (Ps 119:25). How our soul cleaves to the dust (flesh) and earthly things – the lower level. But there is a higher level, even a third heaven! Glory to God for his ‘Amazing grace, how Sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me’! Oh the sweetness of knowing Jesus (Ph’p 3:10).

Sarah, a Godly example

for women...

¶ Peter says that Sarah is the mother of women of faith and courage, an example for Christian women to set their hearts upon (1 Pet 3:6). Her focus was not on outward beauty (although it’s clear she did not lack in that area) but on what was pleasing to the Lord, in meekness and quietness, in subjection to her own husband not grudgingly but with a loving mind knowing that it would redound to the glory of God. Even calling him, lord! See Gen 18:12. This reference to Abraham as her ‘lord’ rolls off Sarah’s tongue as natural as the breeze. That’s because it came from an attitude deep rooted in her heart of who Abraham was to her. He was highly esteemed in her heart. Some women think, I’ll reverence my husband when he starts loving me, but this is a grave mistake. Some men think, I’ll love my wife when she starts reverencing me. This is an even graver mistake. The bible declares that we love Jesus because he first loved us (1Jn 4:19). If we want to see change in our marriages, we need to take the first step. Whether husband or wife - we need to ‘love first’ as Christ has shown us. As the song says ‘Love changes everything!’

Natural vs Spiritual (The battle for abundant life!)

¶ But her life with Abraham, was not an easy one in natural terms. And this can be the case for believing wives involved in the Lord’s work. She left the land of her nativity and her mother and headed far west with Abraham to the place God would show him. She dwelt in tents all her days. She was also barren; no children to take comfort in. But at the end of her days, after the Lord had brought her through into his purpose, she would laugh the laugh of faith (Gen 21:6) and show all of mankind for generations to come that the end of the Lord is great happiness! But here in chapter 20 of Genesis, after many years in the promised land, Abraham, at the age of 100, and Sarah, around 90, journey down to Gerar in the south part of Canaan and dwell with the Phillistines. And Abimelech their king sees Sarah and because of her beauty, takes her into his house, after Abraham says that she is his sister. This is a big mistake from Abraham to the detriment of his own soul. His failure to play the man by faith almost costs him big time. The Lord is calling men to be men. It’s a great need in our generation (1 Cor 16:13). The world teaches men to be like women today. But the mark of a man is strength, and the Lord is working this into his church. But here we see the great mercy of the Lord coming in and speaking to Abimilech to give back Abraham’s wife immediately. I’m sure Abraham got quite a fright from this situation and would have being praying that somehow the Lord would restore him his wife. We note how severe God’s warning to Abimelech is in this situation, he makes it clear that if he does not give Sarah back, he shall surely die along with ‘all that are thine’ (20:7). This suggests that Abimelech’s heart was very much set on having Sarah. And we find out later on (20:16) that Sarah had been a willing participant in going with Abimelech. Yes! As surprising as that is, Abimilech reproves Sarah for looking at him in a way that a married woman should not.

The Age Old Question!

I’d like to pause now and ponder that age old question, Who can understand the female mind?!! The story is told of a man who was walking along the beach at Malibu when he found a bottle. He looked around and didn't see anyone so he opened it. A genie appeared and thanked the man for letting him out. The genie said, "For your kindness I will grant you one wish, but only one.." The man thought for a minute and said, "I have always wanted to go to Hawaii but have never been able to because I'm afraid of flying and ships make me claustrophobic and ill. So, I wish for a bridge to be built from here to Hawaii." The genie thought for a few minutes and said, "No, I don't think I can do that. Just think of all the work involved with the pilings needed to hold up the highway and how deep they would have to be to reach the bottom of the ocean. Think of all the pavement that would be needed. No, that is just too much to ask." The man thought for a minute and then told the genie, "There is one other thing that I have always wanted. I would like to be able to understand women. What makes them laugh and cry, why are they temperamental, why are they so difficult to get along with? Basically, what makes them tick?" The genie considered for a few minutes and said, "So, do you want two lanes or four?"

The Time of Your

Life is Near....

All-Time High Record Breaker Thermometer Hot Heat Score Royalty Free Stock Photos - 31552788

¶ The Lord said to Sarah that he would return to her in ‘the time of life’ (Gen 18:10,14). And how crucial it is for us to get there! To ‘life’ that is! And that we know, is by faith (Heb 10:38). Where Christ becomes our all and we trust him fully (Col 3:4). Sarah was a long way down the track with Christ but there was still some lack in her faith. Paul speaks of this in 1 Thes 3:10. Perhaps it was all those years in tents, the disappointment of desires not fulfilled, of life so far not panning out as hoped. Sarah was open to a taste of the high life. There was obviously some electricity between her and King Abimelech, he was perhaps a handsome man. She was stunningly beautiful (Gen 12:11-15), his palace and all the pampering of this world would have been serious temptation for a woman in her position. But at age 90? After 25 years on the road of faith? Could Sarah entertain such a thing? The answer is clearly, Yes. This temptation revealed that deep down Sarah still had her eye on carnal things for the answer, for happiness, for life! Whether it’s being a king’s wife, or having the baby that you always wanted, or that job or that big break that you just missed out on, God is working tirelessly in us to ‘believe on Him whom he hath sent’ (Jn 6:29). That means where Christ becomes our all and we look to him for happiness and for life itself. And GLORY TO GOD, we won’t be disappointed for Jesus said, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (Jn 7:37-38)

The End of The Lord Jesus...

¶ The encouragement for us is that even the great patriarch Sarah went through the same battles that we go through, with something lacking in her faith, trouble in the flesh, but the Lord’s glorious grace redeeming! What grace and mercy from our Lord Jesus that saved Abraham and Sarah out of the whole mess and brought them forward into a new and greater measure of faith and Life – yes, the time of life! And James says in verse 5:11 that the ‘end of the Lord’ is very pitiful and of tender mercy. David says in Ps 89:1 I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever! Let us draw near to Jesus, in times of darkness, when we realise that we have been late to trust, late to follow and late to keep his commands. Don’t let your eyes drop down, keep looking unto him, that we might laugh one day with Sarah, the laugh of faith – and you’ll be having the time of your life! Gen 21:6 “And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh , so that all that hear will laugh with me.”

Jesus Loves You God Bless .

Ministry given by : David Hayman.

Church : Shellharbour Christian Fellowship.