The Future for a Bowl of Stew

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Andy Stanley is the Founder of North Point Ministries and Pastor at North Point Community Church. In this message, he explains that we all have an amazing future, a birthright, in store for us if we will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. However, many christians fail to live up to their call because they trade in God's plan for the fleeting and temporary.

Take a moment to read the full story of Jacob and Esau and the selling of the birthright before you answer the questions in this post.

Genesis 25:24-34 (ESV)

24When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb.25The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau.26Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents.28Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Esau Sells His Birthright

29Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted.30And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.)31Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.”32Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?”33Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Where have you been impacted by others around you who traded in their future for a bowl of stew?
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How do you see God orchestrating your future? Where does He seem to be leading you?
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Is there a place in your life in which God is asking you to sacrifice right now? How is this sacrifice teaching you to grow in your walk with the Lord?
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What are your "bowls of stew"? What is the immediate that is tempting you to compromise your walk with the Lord? What are you involved in that you don’t want anyone to know about?
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What habit, one that’s not even a sin, can you interrupt or refrain from as a discipline to work on your ability to say no?
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"You have no idea what hangs in the balance if you refuse to trade in your future for a bowl of stew." When your appetites are pressing you to make decisions apart from godly, scriptural wisdom, remember to call them out for what they are. Trust in the Lord as you make hard decisions for a future of good work for His name.

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