Please refer to my Most Effective Way to Teach a Youth Bible Study
- Do Not Be Afraid - What causes us fear? The threat of danger, certainly, and failure. We fear for our safety and we fear that our efforts, what we've been working toward, will ultimately end up being wasted.
tells Abram not to be afraid. Why should Abram not to be afraid?
Because God is his "shield" and his "very great reward." God is his
protection and all he needs for his effort.
In the same
way, God is our shield, protecting us in every way He sees fit, and the
only thing we ever need. With God protecting us and blessing us with
the reward of Himself both now an forever, what danger can threaten us?
What failure will mean anything in the light of our spending eternity
Do not be afraid, for God is your shield and your very great reward.
Belief as Righteousness - How do you know if you believe something or
not? If you believe something, you act on it. It shapes how you live. If
I believe that 3 + 2 = 5, when I add those numbers together, I'm going
to give the same answer every time. It's been ingrained in me and it
shapes how I live.
If I say I believe 3 + 2 = 5 but
then sometimes give the answer as 4 or 6, I don't believe it to the
point of it shaping my life.
In Abram's case, he
believed God and God credited Abram's belief as righteousness? What does
this mean? How did Abram's belief translate to righteousness?
Abram believed God to the point that Abram acted on what God said. It affected his life. He didn't name his servant as his heir.
we believe God, if we take what He said, and apply it to our lives in
such a way that what we say we believe affects the way we live, then God
will credit our belief as righteousness as well, because we will be
living righteously based on our beliefs.
The Smoking Pot and the Carcasses - How do you know you can believe God
when He says something? Isn't possible for God to go back on His word
just like people do?
In this story, God has Abram lay
out animal carcasses on either side of a pathway and then God passes
through the middle of those carcasses. In ancient times, this would have
been a way of sealing a very solemn contract. The one who passed
through the carcasses would have been saying, "If I fail to hold up my
end of the bargain, may I become like these carcasses, mutilated and
torn in two."
But what do we know about God? Can God
die? Can God become like those carcasses? No. Even when God the Son died
on the cross, death couldn't hold Him. God is Life.
God is giving Abram a double assurance. "If I fail to keep My word,
I'll die. But since I can't die, I can't fail to keep My word."
the same way, we can trust that God will keep His word to us because
God can't deny who He is. He can't break His own character. If God is
Truth, God must be true. If God is Love, God must act out of love. If
God is righteous, He must act righteously.
We can trust God because we know who He is and what His character is like.