Is God working in your life? What commands your attention In Life?
The subject of today’s message is from Exodus 3-4 on how God works to get your attention and what he will do for you.
PRAYER: God of all creation, open our hearts and minds to give you our full attention. To learn from your word, the bible. Thank you for all you do in our lives. We pray for our community, peace in our country, strong churches, and for your will to be done. In Jesus Name, Amen.
In the Bible, in Exodus chapters 3 and 4 God meets with Moses. First, God draws Moses attention to a burning bush. Once he has Moses’ attention, he calls out to him. He tells Moses know that he has been watching over the Israelite people and that he wants to help them. Next, he sets Moses on an adventure with his people, gives him complete directions for this journey. The Lord also gives Moses the ability to provide miracles so that the Egyptian people will believe that God sent Moses.
From this story, you can be encouraged that if you learn to look for God working in your life, by paying attention for his signs, he will speak to you. He will speak to you in quiet words, through people, through scriptures or through signs. Also, when you feel weak or too weak to carry on, God will send family, friends or companions to help you through difficult times.
Every year, companies spend trillions of dollars in order to capture your focus (and the focus of your family and friends). They bid for our every emotion possible: fear, happiness, desire, even loneliness. This is because they know that if they have your attention, they can mold your mind. Once they have your attention it’s easy to persuade you in all sorts of subjects, make you choose them over more important matters and even get you to buy things you don’t really need. When your thoughts are dominated by movies, the news, politics, and the never-ending scroll of your social media, you’re not in the best version of yourself.
God is waiting for you to move in CLOSER before he calls you by name. What does this mean for you? In the midst of your routine, maybe when you least expect it, God will surprise you with an invitation to come to him. But you will have to be on the lookout for him.
There are many times in the Bible when people ignored God’s call because they were too distracted by other, less important tasks. Be on the lookout for God, and when he calls your name, respond like Moses can see, “here I am”. Once you respond to God, he will send you on a delightful journey. One of adventure, peace, joy, purpose, and everlasting life.
Meditation. Think about God’s interactions with Moses. Think about the guidance, miracles, and how God had been watching all along before speaking with Moses. Pray to him that you will move closer to Him and that you will act on his will for you in his life. Thank him for the upcoming adventure and blessings.
Scripture Reading: Exodus Ch 3-4
“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.
So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “ I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘ I am has sent me to you.’ ” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.
“Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ “The elders of Israel will listen to you.
Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go. “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.””
Exodus 3:1-22 NIV
“GOD said to Moses, “Reach out and grab it by the tail.” He reached out and grabbed it—and he was holding his staff again. “That’s so they will trust that GOD appeared to you, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
“So if they don’t trust you and aren’t convinced by the first sign, the second sign should do it. But if it doesn’t, if even after these two signs they don’t trust you and listen to your message, take some water out of the Nile and pour it out on the dry land; the Nile water that you pour out will turn to blood when it hits the ground.”
GOD said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, GOD? So, get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.”
GOD got angry with Moses: “Don’t you have a brother, Aaron the Levite? He’s good with words, I know he is. He speaks very well. In fact, at this very moment he’s on his way to meet you. When he sees you he’s going to be glad. You’ll speak to him and tell him what to say. I’ll be right there with you as you speak and with him as he speaks, teaching you step by step. He will speak to the people for you. He’ll act as your mouth, but you’ll decide what comes out of it. Now take this staff in your hand; you’ll use it to do the signs.”
GOD said to Moses, “When you get back to Egypt, be prepared: All the wonders that I will do through you, you’ll do before Pharaoh. But I will make him stubborn so that he will refuse to let the people go. Then you are to tell Pharaoh, ‘ GOD ’s Message: Israel is my son, my firstborn! I told you, “Free my son so that he can serve me.” But you refused to free him. So now I’m going to kill your son, your firstborn.’”
On the journey back, as they camped for the night, GOD met Moses and would have killed him but Zipporah took a flint knife and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ member with it. She said, “Oh! You’re a bridegroom of blood to me!” Then GOD let him go. She used the phrase “bridegroom of blood” because of the circumcision.
GOD spoke to Aaron, “Go and meet Moses in the wilderness.” He went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. Moses told Aaron the message that GOD had sent him to speak and the wonders he had commanded him to do.
So Moses and Aaron proceeded to round up all the leaders of Israel. Aaron told them everything that GOD had told Moses and demonstrated the wonders before the people. And the people trusted and listened believingly that GOD was concerned with what was going on with the Israelites and knew all about their affliction. They bowed low and they worshiped. Moses objected, “They won’t trust me. They won’t listen to a word I say. They’re going to say, ‘ GOD? Appear to him? Hardly!’” So GOD said, “What’s that in your hand?” “A staff.” “Throw it on the ground.” He threw it. It became a snake; Moses jumped back—fast!
GOD then said, “Put your hand inside your shirt.” He slipped his hand under his shirt, then took it out. His hand had turned leprous, like snow. He said, “Put your hand back under your shirt.” He did it, then took it back out—as healthy as before.
Moses raised another objection to GOD: “Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.”
He said, “Oh, Master, please! Send somebody else!”
Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said, “I need to return to my relatives who are in Egypt. I want to see if they’re still alive.” Jethro said, “Go. And peace be with you.” GOD said to Moses in Midian: “Go. Return to Egypt. All the men who wanted to kill you are dead.” So Moses took his wife and sons and put them on a donkey for the return trip to Egypt. He had a firm grip on the staff of God.”
Exodus 4:1-31 MSG
Genesis 3 Perceiving the Truth from the Lie.
Genesis 6 Having Faith to do what God asks.
Happy New Year! It’s good to be in 2021, a new year, and to leave 2020 behind. So many crazy, wonky events happened in 2020. Our whole way of life changed. Let’s all pray that 2021 changes course and improves. But as a reminder, no matter what happens, God is still in control. God is in control as long as you remain in him (John 15). Even any New Year’s resolutions you have our Heavenly Father is in charge. Are you thinking of any New Year’s Resolutions? Maybe dieting, exercising, spending more time with your family reading the Bible? If you read the internet, you will see posts about the high percentage of people who are never able to complete their New Year’s resolution. That could be why God has led me to talk about mindfulness and the Bible.
Scientists have shown that what you “think” of will be what you gravitate towards. If it’s a bad habit that you mull over and over, you could easily move towards that action. And since we have given the Self Control by God to master of our minds, we must be mindful and practice this. If you have a thought which isn’t in line with what the Bible teaches don’t let your mind take over. For example, Eve never would have thought to eat the apple on her own. She had the help of a clever snake to cause her to think about the apple and crave it. And the apple was beautiful to look at. And too bad she must have followed that craving. She ate from the tree of knowledge of a lie. And now because of her sin we all know there is a lie and the truth. And we let our lack of self-control of our mind get the best of us. We must understand that the lie is out there and use mindfulness. Lemmings are an animal who will follow each other to their death. When one falls off a cliff, the others will move together to migrate off the cliff just like the first. Adam did something similar; he followed Eve’s lead and did not follow his creator’s rule, he used no self-control or patience to wait to find God and talk with him. Thankfully, Jesus Christ came to this world to take our sins away to that we can walk with God again in the Spirit.
Declaration of faith. Thankfully, Jesus Christ came to this world to take our sins away to that we can walk with God again in the Spirit.
Let us review Genesis 1 of the story of Eve eating the apple.
1The Lord God made many wild animals. But the snake was the most clever of them all. The snake asked the woman, ‘Did God say, “You must not eat the fruit from any tree in the garden”? Is that really true?’
2The woman replied, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. 3But God said, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch it. If you do that, you will die.” ’
4Then the snake said to the woman, ‘No, you will not die. 5God knows that when you eat the fruit from this tree, you will understand things. You will become like God himself. You will know about good things and evil things.’
6The woman looked at the fruit on the tree. She saw that it would be good to eat, and it was beautiful to look at. She wanted to eat it because it would make her become wise. So, she took some fruit and she ate it. Then she gave some of the fruit to her husband who was with her. He also ate it.
7Then they understood things. They understood that they were not wearing any clothes. So, they took some leaves from figtrees. They fixed them together to cover their bodies.
8In the evening there was a nice cool wind. The Lord God walked in the garden. The man and the woman heard the sound of the Lord God. They hid themselves behind some trees, so that God would not see them. 9The Lord God called out to the man. He said to him, ‘Where are you?’
10The man replied, ‘I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I had no clothes. So I hid myself from you.’
11The Lord God said, ‘Who told you that you had no clothes? Have you eaten fruit from the tree that I said you must not eat?’
12The man said, ‘It was the woman that you put here with me. She gave me some fruit from the tree. So I ate it.’
13Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘Why have you done a thing like that?’ The woman replied, ‘It was the snake. The snake deceived me with a lie. So I ate the fruit.’
14The Lord God said to the snake, ‘Because you have done this, I will curse you. Among all the livestock and wild animals, you are the one that I will curse. From now on, you will move across the ground on your stomach. You will eat dust from the ground. You will do this for your whole life.
15I will cause you and the woman to become enemies. Your descendants and her descendants will always be enemies. One of her descendants will attack your head. You will attack his foot.’
16God said to the woman, ‘I will make it much more painful for you when you give birth to children. You will want to please your husband. But he will rule over you as your master.’
17Then God said to Adam, ‘You listened to your wife and you did what she said. You ate fruit from the tree after I told you, “You must not eat fruit from this tree.” Because you did that, I will curse the ground. You will have to work very hard to make plants grow in it for your food. It will be like this for your whole life. 18Thorn bushes and thistles will grow in the ground. You will have to eat plants that grow in the fields. 19You will have to work hard for a long time before you have any food to eat. You will do this for your whole life until you die. Then you will return into the ground. That is where you came from. I made you from the soil of the ground, and you will become soil again.’
20Adam gave his wife a name. He called her Eve. This was because she would become the mother of all people.
21The Lord God made clothes for Adam and Eve to wear. He used the skins from animals to make them.
22The Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us because he understands good and evil. So, we must not let him take fruit from the tree that gives life. If he eats that fruit, he will live forever.’
23So, the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden. To get his food, Adam had to dig the ground that God had used to make him. 24Then God put special angels to guard the garden. God put them on the east side of the garden. There was also a sword of fire that moved quickly from side to side. As a result, nobody could go near to the tree that gives life. (Genesis 3 Easy Bible).
Interpretation of Genesis 3 and the Craving of the Apple.
And so you see, Adam and Eve made choices. No one forced them to eat the Apple. But as you know, without the temptation of the mind, they would have left the apple uneaten. But they did, they entertained that evil thought and became separated From God.
You are in constant battle for your mind. That’s where the temptation begins. When God gives you an idea that’s inspiration. But when the devil gives you an idea, that’s temptation. Every day you have to choose which ideas you’re going to accept. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:17 . Accept God’s Salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. In other words, the Bible is saying if you want to overcome temptation you need to resist the devil, you accept God Salvation as your helmet. What does the helmet do? The helmet protects your mind and your mind is where the battle against temptation is fought.
Before you can say no to the devil, you have to say yes to Jesus Christ. congregation repeat after me. I say yes to Jesus Christ. I accept God’s helmet to protect my mind.
Congregation: I say yes to Jesus Christ. I accept God’s helmet to protect my mind.
Declaration of Faith. I will take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God and keep it close to my heart.
Exercising your use of the Bible.
The second step you would need to take is take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God and use it against temptations. This means you would review scripture to make temptation flee. If you only keep your Bible on your desk or on your phone but never pick it up and read it, what good will it be if you’re tempted at work, at school, and traffic? Wouldn’t that be like having a motorcycle helmet or a bicycle helmet and not wearing it while going 100 mph? You must review scripture regularly so that it is in your mind and your heart. The Holy Spirit will bring it back to your mind at the moment of temptation.
The Character of Noah (Genesis 6:9-14)
“This is the report about Noah and his family. Noah was a good man. He was the only person at that time who lived in a completely right way. He stayed near to God in his life. Noah became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth. God saw that everything on the earth had become spoiled. Everywhere, people were attacking each other. God saw how much the earth had become spoiled. Everyone was doing bad things. God said to Noah, ‘I am going to destroy everyone. That is what I have decided to do. Everywhere on the earth, people are attacking each other. Now I will destroy the people and also the earth. So, make a boat for yourself. Use wood from cypress trees to make it. The boat must have rooms in it. Cover the inside and the outside of the boat with tar.”
(Genesis 6:9-14 EASY)
“Noah obeyed God. He did everything that God had told him to do.”
(Genesis 6:22 EASY)
Declaration of Faith: Wow, Noah obeyed everything God told him to do. God help me, I pray you increase my faith. I want to obey everything you ask of me. I will be mindful to focus on your will in my life.
Have you noticed that the moment you establish a goal in your life you start hearing people put seeds of doubt in your mind? “Who do you think you are?” “Or that can’t be done. “The solution to the voice of doubt is to listen to the voice of God instead. Imagine all the critics in Noah’s life who said,” that guy Noah thinks God speaks to him, but he’s just messing up all of our property values by building that awful arc in his front yard”. The Bible tells us Noah listened to God. And what did he hear? Noah heard God’s warning that the world was going to be destroyed. Noah believed and acted on what he could not seek. That is the faith of a mustard seed. God is going to give you goals this year for your life, and some people won’t agree with you. But stay focused on what you know God has said to you through prayer and through his word. Go tackle that big arc.
God as we end our service, we are thankful for Jesus. He takes away our sins when we selfishly follow our ways instead of your will. We reaffirm that we wish to be more like Noah and so you will see goodness from us. We ask you to send Jesus in our heart. We know you are working behind the scenes for our purpose and we pray for the health of our country, for the leadership of churches worldwide, we pray for our local and national leaders that they hear and obey your will. We pray for favor and protection over our families this week. You are a glorious God and we love you! In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.
References: Rick Warren Open Doors, Easy Bible, Life Church Resources.