By Colleen M. Donahue

"By faith Abraham, when he was called....." Hebrews 11:8

As we turn into a New Year I'd like to direct our studies to the real "heroes of the faith" spread throughout the Bible. Many of us feel that lives like Abraham, Moses, King David, and Paul were extraordinary - specially chosen and empowered by God. This may be true in part, but you will soon see that God chooses the ordinary and makes one EXTRAordinary. He takes the simple and makes one wise. He takes what is average and makes one great.

In the months before us, we will see how God took "lumps of clay" and made some very fine pots. If you are "ordinary and average" you too are a candidate for God's finishing school. It's my hope that from the life examples God has given us we'll be able to see more clearly our own lives and to understand some of what God might be doing with us. "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6).

We begin now with the story of a man who lived 2,000 years before Christ was born.......

PART I- ABRAHAM -- A Work in Process

DAY 1- What happened to Abraham while he lived in Ur, a city in the country of Mesopotamia?
Acts 7:2-4

DAY 2 -The city of Ur, where Abraham lived, was full of idolatry and evil. Even his own family had succumbed. What specific instructions did God give Abraham?
Genesis 12:1

DAY 3 -God's call to "get thee out" and be separated was the key to Abraham's life. It is the same for His children today. What are we to separate ourselves from?
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 / 2 Timothy 2:4 / I John 2:15-17

DAY 4- What does it mean to be part of the world?
Colossians 3:5-9

DAY 5- How can we still live in this world and be separate from it?
Romans 12:2 / Colossians 3:1-3

DAY 6- This call to Abraham to leave all and GO was not easy. Imagine saying good-bye forever to those you love and never seeing your homeland again. Will God's call to us be any easier?
Luke 14:26-27

DAY 7- As we will see in Abraham's life, what he had to "give up" in choosing to obey God was more than compensated for by God. What is God's promise to us?
Matthew 19:28-29

DAY 8- Had Abraham been left in his favorable and undisturbed surroundings of Ur, his faith might never have blossomed. God knew that he needed to be pushed out so he could rely on God alone. What exactly is faith?
Hebrews 11:1

DAY 9- We may not be called to leave our country and family, but all of us who are set on following God will need to be cut off from earthly props and supports. Many of God's children would describe this "surgery" as their dark hours. What is God's ultimate purpose in allowing hard things to happen to us?
Isaiah 50:10

DAY 10- The call to Abraham was accompanied by a promise. What did God promise if he obeyed?
Genesis 12:2-3

DAY 11- How did Abraham show his faith and trust in God when he decided to obey God's call?
Hebrews 11:8

DAY 12- Although Abraham obeyed God, he only partially obeyed. Who went with him on the journey? In fact, who seemed to take the lead?
Genesis 11:31

DAY 13- This partial obedience was a great hindrance as they stopped short of Canaan. Where did they settle?
Genesis 11: 31B

Abraham was delayed until what event occurred?
Acts 7:4

DAY 14- If your own life has been a disappointment, you might trace it back to a time when God was asking YOU something and you shrank back. Why is this such a serious mistake?
Hebrews 10:38

DAY 15- When was Abraham's obedience finally complete?
Genesis 12:5

DAY 16- Our one aim in life must be to follow the will of God, and to walk in those ways in which He has preordained us to walk (Psalm 139:16). When you journey to your Canaan, do not rest until you reach it. Anything short of complete obedience nullifies all that has been done. What advice did Paul give us regarding this?
I Corinthians 15:58 / Colossians 3:23

DAY 17 -What was Paul able to say at the end of his life that Abraham might have said as well? Will we be able to say this?
2 Timothy 4:7

DAY 18- How did Abraham make his home in the promised land?
Hebrews 11:9-10

DAY 19- The "tent life" is the natural one for those who feel their real home and country lies in Heaven. It is very important that children of God should live this kind of detached life as a testimony to the world.
Luke 21:34 / Colossians 3:2

DAY 20- Professing Christians today are often taken up too much in business cares, pleasure-seeking, luxury, and self-indulgence. There is little difference between the children of the kingdom and the children of this generation.
James 4:4

DAY 21- As soon as Abraham had fully obeyed what new promise did God give him?
Genesis 12:7

DAY 22- The fulfillment of this promise must have seemed very unlikely, for powerful Canaanite tribes lived in the land (Gen.12:6). Yet, no matter what outward circumstances look like, when God gives a promise, He is able to fulfill it.
Joshua 23:14 / 2 Corinthians 1:20

DAY 23- What was Abraham's own attitude toward God and His promises?
Romans 4:18-21

DAY 24- After being in the promised land for a while, what did Abraham find? What did he do to escape?
Genesis 12:10

DAY 25- In the figurative language of scripture, Egypt stands for an alliance with the world, and dependence on man's strength.
Isaiah 31:1

DAY 26- It does not appear that Abraham received any divine direction to go to Egypt. He seemed to look at his difficulties and grasped his own means of deliverance. One mistake led quickly to another.
Genesis 12:11-17

DAY 27- Perhaps we might blame Abraham's mistake on God, who allowed the famine to tempt Abraham into taking action for himself. How often have we also been in a tough position and needed to act?
I Corinthians 10:13 / James 1:13-15

DAY 28- Temptation is meant by Satan to lead us into committing sin. But God, in allowing (not causing) the temptation, can use it for a great purpose that brings Him glory.
James 1:2-4, 12

DAY 29- Therefore, in any trial, it's always right to cast ourselves upon God first before we take any hasty action.
2 Corinthians 1:10/ 2 Timothy 4:18/ 2 Peter 2:9

DAY 30- For a time, our sin of acting independently from God might get us good treatment from the world.
Genesis 12:16

DAY 31- But always, in the end, sin will bring its consequences of humiliation, destruction, and ultimate death.
Genesis 12:17-20 / Romans 6:23A

In Part 2 of our study about Abraham, we'll learn how he was being guided to lean on God alone.


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