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Man of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The man of God must be willing to work with others in order to take the work of the kingdom to new heights

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A young woman is preparing a pot roast while her friend looks on.  She cuts off both ends of the roast, prepares it and puts it in the pan.  “Why do you cut off the ends?” her friend asks.  “I don’t know”, she replies.  “My mother always did it that way and I learned how to cook it from her”.
Her friend’s question made her curious about her pot roast preparation.  During her next visit home, she asked her mother, “How do you cook a pot roast?”  Her mother proceeded to explain and added, “You cut off both ends, prepare it and put it in the pot and then in the oven”.    “Why do you cut off the ends?” the daughter asked.  Baffled, the mother offered, “That’s how my mother did it and I learned it from her!”
Her daughter’s inquiry made the mother think more about the pot roast preparation.   When she next visited her mother in the nursing home, she asked, “Mom, how do you cook a pot roast?”   The mother slowly answered, thinking between sentences.  “Well, you prepare it with spices, cut off both ends and put it in the pot”.     The mother asked, “But why do you cut off the ends?”     The grandmother’s eyes sparkled as she remembered.   “Well, the roasts were always bigger than the pot that we had back then.  I had to cut off the ends to fit it into the pot that I owned”.
How often, do we take action and don’t even think to ask, “Why do it this way?”   Some of our behaviors were learned long ago – and come out of circumstances that may no longer be relevant and belong to another place and time.  And yet, we just keep doing the same thing, over and over.  We need to stop and ask ourselves, “Why do I do this?”   Is this an anachronism; has it outlived its relevance?  Do I need to update my repertoire?  What might I do differently and perhaps more effectively if I did not feel bound to the way I “have always done it”?  Review and change is yet  another step towards going to the next level.
Leadership requires flexibility and creativity.  Change is healthy and necessary for both ourselves and in the church. Vital leadership requires that  we  continually question our processes and behaviors and to adopt those changes that are the best fit for these times and God’s word.
Taken and edited from http://selfdefinedleadership.com/blog/?p=158
Exodus 18:13–16 NRSV
13 The next day Moses sat as judge for the people, while the people stood around him from morning until evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” 15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make known to them the statutes and instructions of God.”
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V13 Moses is doing all the work. What is seen in the character of the “Man of God”?
Exodus 18:13 NRSV
13 The next day Moses sat as judge for the people, while the people stood around him from morning until evening.
· As a man of God Moses was not simply a title holder but he worked tirelessly for the people of God.
2 Timothy 4:1–8 NRSV
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 2 proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5 As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully. 6 As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
can attest to the work of a minister and how it is not simply a title. It is important work for the people of God. It is through this work in which the man of God will receive his crown! This great work of God is held up by the man of God.
Exodus 18:14 NRSV
14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?”
Jethro loved Moses. He led with a query and not a critique. · Jethro was curious about his son in law.
· Questions are not a bad thing, especially from those who truly care.
· Note: His interests were peaked because of the proofs of God done through Moses while dealing with Pharoah.
Exodus 18:10–11 NRSV
10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because he delivered the people from the Egyptians, when they dealt arrogantly with them.”
Jethro, even though he still remained a priest of another god, now believed that Yahweh was greater than all other gods. That was a step in the right direction.
Exodus 18:15 NRSV
15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God.
ex 18 1
Moses readily had a response to give to his father in law. I believe this illustrates that we should already be prepared to give reasons for why we do the things we do.
1 Peter 3:14–16 NRSV
14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.
Exodus 18:16 NRSV
16 When they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make known to them the statutes and instructions of God.”
Moses explains that he is a mediator between both man and God.
· Notice that this role would be kin to the role of so called pastors in today’s world. Deciding the matters of the church and proclaiming the word from God.
Notice that this role would be kin to the role of so called pastors in today’s world who look more like dictators in their “church”. Deciding the matters of the church and proclaiming the word from God BY THEMSELVES!
Moses makes known the statutes and instructions of God.
Statute- A law enacted by an authoritative figure.
Instructions- An outline or manual of technical procedure
· Instructions- An outline or manual of technical procedure
“If you are at work in the kingdom do YOUR best and know WHY you are doing what you are doing.”
A young woman is preparing a pot roast while her friend looks on.  She cuts off both ends of the roast, prepares it and puts it in the pan.  “Why do you cut off the ends?” her friend asks.  “I don’t know”, she replies.  “My mother always did it that way and I learned how to cook it from her”.
Her friend’s question made her curious about her pot roast preparation.  During her next visit home, she asked her mother, “How do you cook a pot roast?”  Her mother proceeded to explain and added, “You cut off both ends, prepare it and put it in the pot and then in the oven”.    “Why do you cut off the ends?” the daughter asked.  Baffled, the mother offered, “That’s how my mother did it and I learned it from her!”
Her daughter’s inquiry made the mother think more about the pot roast preparation.   When she next visited her mother in the nursing home, she asked, “Mom, how do you cook a pot roast?”   The mother slowly answered, thinking between sentences.  “Well, you prepare it with spices, cut off both ends and put it in the pot”.     The mother asked, “But why do you cut off the ends?”     The grandmother’s eyes sparkled as she remembered.   “Well, the roasts were always bigger than the pot that we had back then.  I had to cut off the ends to fit it into the pot that I owned”.
How often, do we take action and don’t even think to ask, “Why do it this way?”   Some of our behaviors were learned long ago – and come out of circumstances that may no longer be relevant and belong to another place and time.  And yet, we just keep doing the same thing, over and over.  We need to stop and ask ourselves, “Why do I do this?”   Is this an anachronism; has it outlived its relevance?  Do I need to update my repertoire?  What might I do differently and perhaps more effectively if I did not feel bound to the way I “have always done it”?  Review and change is yet  another step toward self definition.
Leadership requires flexibility and creativity.  Change is healthy and necessary for both ourselves and in our organizations.  In computers, we update our operating systems every few years (months?)!  Vital leadership requires that  we  continually question our processes and behaviors and to adopt those changes that are the best fit for these times.
Exodus 18:17–24 NRSV
17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19 Now listen to me. I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God; 20 teach them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do. 21 You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Let them sit as judges for the people at all times; let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their home in peace.” 24 So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said.
After first understanding what was going on then Jethro tells Moses that what he is doing is not good. He seeks to first understand.
Exodus 18:17 NRSV
17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good.
Do you seek the understanding of others before giving your own input?
Exodus 18:18 NRSV
18 You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.
to tire v. — to exhaust or get tired through overuse or great strain or stress.
shrivel, i.e., to have a biological plant, or a part of a plant lose vital moisture, and so lose its natural color and shape, implying the death and decay of the object
He tells Moses, even though you have accomplished great things in the past, you need to now change. Moses’ situation was now different. Contiinuing on the path previous would mean a death for him and the body.
“For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.”
He does not tell Moses that success is impossible, only that he needs help. From someone who is a leader himself that is respected advice.
Exodus 18:19 NRSV
19 Now listen to me. I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God;
ex 18 19
Counsel- to give advice to.
One who speaks and urges certain directions of actions or thought, implying the advice given is considered wise and valuable
Jethro also tells him that he should still be the man of God being the mediator between God and man.
Exodus 18:20 NRSV
20 teach them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do.
· He tells him to continue to teach the statutes and instructions and explain them thoroughly to them. Making it plain so that they can WALK.
3 John 3–4 NRSV
3 I was overjoyed when some of the friends arrived and testified to your faithfulness to the truth, namely how you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Exodus 18:21 NRSV
21 You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
ex 18 21
Able- Special ability or capability, qualified for a task
Fear- Respect (for God)
o A man who respects God must first know him.
o Also has knowledge of God
o Is wise
3 john 3-4
Psalm 111:10 NRSV
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
People who fear God are headed towards wisdom. These same people can be trusted to lead God’s people applying knowledge of what they know of God.
This can be explained by defining Theology and its purpose.
Trustworthy- reliability, trustworthiness, i.e., a state or condition of being dependable and loyal to a person or standard
Trustworthy- reliability, trustworthiness, i.e., a state or condition of being dependable and loyal to a person or standard
Ex of reliability
Loot- goods or money obtained illegally. Dishonest gain, valuable things obtained by theft, deception, or other immoral actions
Ex of a person with a good conscience
Exodus 18:22 NRSV
22 Let them sit as judges for the people at all times; let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.
This was not a temporary fix until they reached a certain point! There was purpose here.
“...let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves.”
People have to be trusted to do what they have been tasked to do. Those working with leadership must have good judgment.
“So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. “
Bear- endure something unpleasant or difficult whether on one’s own behalf or on behalf of someone else.
· Hebrew word means- to cause to move up or lift up an object to a HIGHER elevation of any amount
The work of the man of God is one that is heavy and difficult to do. It is tiring, taxing, and at times troubling. But it is a necessary and GOOD work. These able men were to LIFT UP THIS BURDEN TO A HIGHER LEVEL!
Moses had already been at work through God. He performed miracles, he challenged a king, he parted the Red Sea, led thousands if not millions to safety, and all of this was through God and still burdensome. But Jethro is ultimately telling him that if he finds men willing to work towards the same goal they can lift up this GODLY BURDEN TOGETHER to NEW HEIGHTS!
Exodus 18:23 NRSV
23 If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their home in peace.”
· He tells him if he does this he will endure!
To persist- to continue to exist
“...and all these people will go to their home in peace.”
· And the people will experience shalom!
· This means to be without trouble. Eirinae in Greek and Peace in English
· If Moses follows this advice with a willingness to work with others then the people will experience SHALOM
Does this mean that trouble will not come? NO What it does mean is that they will be able to be without trouble in the midst of trouble!
Exodus 18:24 NRSV
24 So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said.
Shema
Listen AND OBEY!
“When given counsel consider that which is bigger than self. Consider what will allow the kingdom to advance to new heights!”
Exodus 18:25–27 NRSV
25 Moses chose able men from all Israel and appointed them as heads over the people, as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 26 And they judged the people at all times; hard cases they brought to Moses, but any minor case they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went off to his own country.
Exodus 18:25 NRSV
25 Moses chose able men from all Israel and appointed them as heads over the people, as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.
· There is no doubt that Jethro was used by God in order to instruct Moses on what to do.
God shows two cases of heathen in chapters 17 and 18. They can harm and there are some “heathen” that can be used to relay a message from God. You’ll need to know God to realize the difference between the two.
Exodus 18:26 NRSV
26 And they judged the people at all times; hard cases they brought to Moses, but any minor case they decided themselves.
ex 18
· This is proof that it worked!
· This is also an early show of organization among the people of God.
Titus 1:5 NRSV
5 I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you:
tit 1 5
1 Timothy 3:1–7 NRSV
1 The saying is sure: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. 2 Now a bishop must be above reproach, married only once, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an apt teacher, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way— 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil.
1 Timothy 3:8–13 NRSV
8 Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not indulging in much wine, not greedy for money; 9 they must hold fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them first be tested; then, if they prove themselves blameless, let them serve as deacons. 11 Women likewise must be serious, not slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be married only once, and let them manage their children and their households well; 13 for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 3:14–15 NRSV
14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, 15 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.
This is the WHY
Exodus 18:27 NRSV
27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went off to his own country.
The Man of God needs help in order to attain the higher purposes of kingdom work. No matter where you stand understand that you can be considered to be the greatest in your role by the whole world. But with humility to follow God he will lead you to a higher place so that people will see Him through you.
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