Following are my message notes for my “ladder talk.”
Flourish: The stability of being planted in the House of the Lord
The Biblical record is clear, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were rather displaced, migratory, and unsettled when God began the process of calling them to settle in “a land I will show you.”
God’s promise and call to Abraham would be short lived, without God’s promise and call to the generations that would follow.
• God’s call and promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:3-8
• God’s call and promise to Jacob in Genesis 28:13-15
Abraham’s experience was branded in covenant terminology while the next generation’s encounter had a ladder for its logo.
Upon examination, we discover the person God was inviting to climb was a most conflicted soul. Jacob, prior to being planted by the Lord, was:
• He exploited Esau’s hunger
• Purchased an entire inheritance for a bowl of soup
• Took advantage of his dad’s blindness
• Practiced identity theft by pretending to be Esau
• Swindled from Isaac, Jacob’s patriarchal blessing
• He was a consummate liar
Jacob’s life is then forever altered by God’s ladder.
Jacob’s ladder clearly reveals the two most important aspects of ladder safety. 1. The top support must be strong and trustworthy. 2. The ground support must be level, stable, unmovable, and it is best if someone also holds it.
Heaven is the top support for Jacob’s ladder and God Himself is supporting it.
The earthly house of God is the ground support for Jacob’s ladder and God Himself is holding it.
I selected an extension ladder for my illustration today, because the extension of your life and ministry and the extension of God’s life and ministry in you must have God and eternity as the top support and the house of God and the presence of God as the ground support.
Top indicators that your “ladder” is grounded in the house of the Lord.
1. The house of the Lord is in your top priorities. Psalm 27:4
a. Priority in your heart’s desire.
b. Priority in the expenditure of your time.
c. Priority in the expenditure of your resources.
d. Priority in the expenditure of your skills.
2. An abiding commitment to “stay put” in your local expression of the house of the Lord no matter what happens. Ephesians 5:25-27
a. Staying put until you become part of His radiant church.
b. Staying put as God removes from you your stains.
c. Staying put as God removes from you your wrinkles.
d. Staying put as God removes any and all blemishes.
e. Staying put until Jesus presents the whole church to Himself.
Connecting with Each Other
1. What is the place you were most happy to leave?
Digging Deeper into the Weekend Talk
1. What are the similarities you see between God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17:3-8 and His covenant with Jacob in Genesis 28:13-15
2. Which is easier for you and your extension ladder; top support or ground support? Why?
3. The ladder experience changed the direction of Jacob’s life. How does a personal experience with God transform lives today?
1. Please pray for the extension of your life and ministry.
2. Please pray for the extension of God’s life and ministry in you.
3. Please pray for the MCA Thanksgiving and Christmas Day ministries.