Moses – “I trust your plan for my life.”
Brittany Barnett & Matthew Dunning – Jan 19, 2011
January 23rd is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday celebrated in churches all over America! But maybe you are wondering about THIS church. Well, this church believes that life is sacred - from the baby in the womb to a senior adult in a nursing home – every person has meaning and value. I am so appreciative that I was given the opportunity to be born and to live life! Not every child has been given that right. Open up your newsletter and you find an insert from Pregnancy Decision Health Center. The mission of PDHC is “to provide compassionate care and pregnancy support services to women who have unexpectedly become pregnant and need a safe place to confidentially discuss their situation.” Westerville Christian is Love God – Love People. But today we’re Love God – Love Babies. The late Ronald Reagan said, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion is already born.”[i] If you would like to help PDHC provide women with alternatives to abortion take one of these baby bottles home and fill it up with your change and bring it back by February 5 or 6th!
Now speaking of babies - last week we read about baby Moses. Actually we read about the faith of Moses’ parents – Amram and Jochebed! Well guess what? Moses is no longer a baby – Moses grew up! Turn in your Bibles to Hebrews 11:24. Do you need a Bible? Jesus said, “Ask and ye shall receive.” You ask by raising your hand. Let’s read verses 24-28 together. Three times in five verses the Hebrew writer tells us Moses chose to walk by faith! Verses 24, 27 & 28. Why does the Hebrew writer do that? The only way you can overcome fear is to choose faith! Look again at verse 24. Have you seen this video clip from Calhoun, Georgia? (SNOW PLOW) Here’s this guy plowing snow and boom look what happens! I bet he didn’t expect that! In my opinion Moses does the unexpected here. Verse 25 gives us specifics. Apparently Moses did not grow up thinking, Man one day I might be Pharaoh! I grew up thinking – I might become a professional baseball play or fly a rocket into outer space or operate a bull dozer so I can knock things down! I did not want to build anything – I wanted to knock down what was already built! I NEVER ONE TIME ENTERTAINED THE THOUGHT THAT I WOULD BE A PREACHER! What is Moses thinking here? He has success in the palm of his hands and he decides to give it up! WHY? He can’t ignore the obvious! Turn to Exodus 2:11. Moses knew who he was. Moses knows that even though he grew up in the house of Pharaoh’s daughter he is a Hebrew and not an Egyptian! Let’s go back to the Fear Poll Results. I asked last fall for people to tell us, “Currently, what is your greatest fear!” People turned in nearly 150 fears. I gave you a few last week - here are three more: Making sure I have all my loose ends tied up before I die” / “My greatest fear is the general uncertainty of the future” / “To live a meaningless life.” Now I admit that last one really caught my attention - I don’t want to live a meaningless life either! DO YOU? How can we be absolutely certain we do not live meaningless lives? Follow the example of Moses! Trust God. Walk by Faith! You are more than who you think you are! Moses was a Hebrew. We are Christians and all of us must walk by faith! As a Christian or “little Christ” there is a calling on your life! And the stuff of this world can potentially lure us away from that calling! So Moses made a decision to walk by faith. Hebrews 11:24 shows us - By faith Moses refused worldly fame! Did you all know that we are all sitting in the presence of a famous person? How many of you are familiar with the Jeff Stahler’s syndicated cartoon “Moderately Confused!” Well, apparently so is Bob McKenzie. Bob is a ministry partner at Westerville Christian and Bob turned in his winning entry to the 48th Columbus Dispatch Caption-Writing Contest and it was printed on Christmas Day! Here’s the cartoon. And here’s the caption Bob submitted! Is that not clever? Now fame could get to Bob’s head. He could be saying, “No one else in this audience has turned in a prize winning caption. You people should treat me special. I shouldn’t have to sit in one of these chairs – where’s my throne. Don’t serve me communion is a plastic cup – use a gold goblet instead.” But I know Bob. He wouldn’t do that! Plus I also know Bob’s wife, Joanie, and she wouldn’t let him get away with that! But fame tempts us to think we’re bigger than God. That life is all about us and not God. Fame forges the idea that a successful life is palace living, higher education, fine dining, and treasure hoarding! NOW don’t draw a wrong conclusion. “Greg here’s what I heard you say – ‘rich people or famous people can’t live meaningful lives!’” No, that’s not what I’m saying! It’s just harder. If you’re rich – you better be razor focused in your faith. If fame happens to come your way – use it to point people to God’s Son! Most of you know my friend, Dr. Mark Moore. I email Mark often asking him for Biblical counsel on a wide variety of topics. He ends nearly every email with the phrase, “Making Jesus famous!” We live our lives one of two ways – either we’re trying to make Jesus famous or we’re trying to make ourselves famous. Right now – which best applies to you! Moses made God famous. His actions revealed his heart, “God, I trust your will/your plan for my life!” Moses went from meaningless living in the palace to desert living and shepherding sheep! Here’s how it happened. Are you still in Exodus? Let’s read again Exodus 2:11. (Read 11-12) Moses is one of the best known people of the Bible. Who shows up with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration? Moses and Elijah! Moses is in the hall of faith in Hebrews 11. He’s also a member of hall of grace. This will sound negative, but I mean it so positively. Noah got drunk. Abraham lied. Moses was a murderer. David was not only a murderer but an adulterer too. Solomon was a sexual addict and Elijah became woefully depressed. Maybe you’ve heard me say this before, but there’s a ton of grace in the Old Testament. They were not perfect and we are not perfect. You do not have to be perfect to live a meaningful life. You just need to be forgiven! Are you forgiven today! Let’s keep reading. (Exodus 2:13-15) Listen to Hebrews 11:27!
The Hebrew writer said, By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. Maybe you are a little bummed today. You used to enjoy this level of life, but now it’s here or even here! You used to have this kind of house, but now it’s this kind of house. You used to have this job, but now it’s this job. You used to enjoy this level of income, but now it’s at this level. And you are thinking – what in the world happened? What have I done? Better yet, what is God doing? Moses was human so I imagine he had these same thoughts. What have I done? I left the comfort of Egypt for the heat of the desert. I left my cozy government job for the hard work of guiding sheep. How could Moses do that? Because he saw him who is invisible. He focused his eyes on the reward he will get not the one he left behind. The Apostle Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians 4:18: So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Eternal is better. Make your life about what’s eternal and you will live a meaningful life! “Greg, I want to – I just need God to show up. He’s way too invisible for me! Do you know what I need? I need a burning bush just like Moses had.” Locate Exodus 3:1. (Read 1-6)
I think like that too sometimes. I want to see God but I’m too afraid to look. I know we say – I need a burning bush sign from God. Well understand that if you get a burning bush sign from God – it means God wants you to do something – actually it means God wants you to GO! (Find Exodus 3:7-(7-10) He wanted Moses to go to Egypt! He wanted Paul to go to Rome. He wanted Jesus to go to the cross! You don’t need a burning bush. All you need is faith! To make a decision to put your trust in God!
Two days before Christmas and I picked up a copy of the USA Today. As I leafed through each section, one article caught my eye. It was entitled; Andrew Gallo gets 51 years to life. Now the first thing I thought was “Who’s Andrew Gallo?” On April 9, 2009 Andrew Gallo blew through a red light at 65 mph and T-boned a car carrying Los Angles Angels Rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart and three friends. Adenhart, 20-year-old Courtney Stewart and 25-year-old Henry Pearson all died. A fourth passenger, Jon Wilhite had his spine separated from his skull by the impact but survived. Judge Richard F. Toohey gave Gallo 15 years to life on each murder count and six additional years for other crimes. Gallo had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit and this was his second DUI conviction. Gallo made this statement at his sentencing, "I know whatever I say will not change anything or the way you think or feel about me. You're right. I am a horrible person, a drunk driver who took your beautiful kids away…[ii] When I die I have to look God in the face and ask him for forgiveness and mercy.”[iii]Did what he say grab you like it grabbed me? When I die I have to look God in the face and ask him for forgiveness and mercy.”[iv] It’s too late then. He needs to ask God for forgiveness and mercy now – before he dies. Here’s a test question asked at school. “What did Mahatma Gandhi and Genghis Khan have in common?” (Unusual Names) What did Moses, Jesus and Paul all have in common? They went on rescue missions. God wants us to join them. To go. To care. To help people receive forgiveness. To help people see the invisible so they can truly live. So trust God and choose not to fear and you will live a meaningful life!
[iii] USA Today, December 23, 2010
[iv] USA Today, December 23, 2010