Introductory discussion questions

  1. What item would you usually try to pack for a holiday or trip away from home?
  2. How would you feel if your baggage was lost during your outward journey?
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Abraham Tested

In the book of Genesis (Genesis 22:1-19) we read how God called Abraham to take his son Isaac to Mount. Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on the mountain top.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love – Isaac – and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.””

Genesis 22:2

Abraham obeyed God and took his son, Isaac, to Mount Moriah. But just as Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac God stopped him and provided a ram as a substitute. The well-known story of Abraham on Mount Moriah provides a dramatic picture of faith, obedience and God’s provision. At the end of the story Abraham called God ”Jehovah Jireh”. Jehovah-Jireh translates as “The LORD Will Provide”.

When Abraham used the name “God will provide” (Genesis 22:14) he was not only talking about the present but also the future. On Mount Moriah Solomon built the temple (2 Chronicles 3:1) and it was outside the temple on top of Mount Moriah that Jesus was crucified. The picture of Abraham called to sacrifice his only son foreshadowed God’s provision, the sacrifice of his only Son, to take away the sins of world.

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:21

On Mount Moriah God provided for Abraham and on Mount Moriah God provided for us today. Abraham called God “Jehovah-Jireh” and the Lord remains true to his Old Testament name today.

Jesus Sends Out His Disciples

In Luke and Matthew Jesus talks to his disciples sends them out on a journey with specific instructions:

Luke 10: 1-4

The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveller’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.

Matthew 10: 1-9

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.

  1. Why does Jesus send out the disciples?
  2. The disciples had learnt a lot from listening to Jesus but how might they be tested and what could they learn from following Jesus’ instruction to take nothing with them?
  3. What does this say about the disciples’ faith, trust and obedience?
  4. How would you feel and how might you respond if God called you and asked you to set out on a journey empty handed?
  5. God provided. In what ways could this provision influence those listening to their message?
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Do Not Worry

In Luke Jesus tells his disciples not to worry about their needs –

Luke 12: 22-34

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you – you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

  1. What must we do to receive God’s provision?
  2. Can we ever have a need too big for God to provide?
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A stranger in Italy gives Counties evangelist Clive Cornish a bottle water - photographed during a project called From Jerusalem to Rome in the Footsteps of the Apostle Paul.

Closing thoughts

God provided for Abraham, God provided for the disciples and God provided for Clive during his walks with the cross. God’s desire is to provide good things for all of us and he cares about our physical, emotional and spiritual needs. God does not always provide what we want when we want it, but nothing is impossible for him and he meets our requirements in his own way and in his own timing. God will often allow us to confront struggles and difficulties and through his provision in challenging times he builds our trust in him and demonstrates his faithfulness to those who look and listen.  Jesus is God’s greatest gift to you:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Through Jesus God provides for all our needs both now and forever.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3: 20-21

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

Matthew 6:31-32

And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus

Philippians 4: 19

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so whoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

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