Sermon series: Make Your Life Count
As a young college student I often found myself low on cash. On the way back to my quarters one day, my car began to spit and sputter, I was alarmed and confused, until I looked down at my fuel gauge. I had run out of gas. That was the first and only time that has happened to me!
This series of messages is about the journey to a "better country" (11:16). Hebrews 11 describes men and women who walked with God through innumerable difficulties and life situations. They hung on to the promises of God in the face of incredible challenges to faith. The each lived out a promise-driven life!
Moses was one of those who walked in the promises of God. Through the verses penned by the writer of Hebrews, Moses and his parents portray the inner motivations of promise-driven people. Without these motivations, we will quickly run out of "gas" in our journey with God.
What is the motivational "fuel" of the promise-driven life?
1. A Courageous confidence (v. 23)
...they didn't fear the king's edict.
Amram and Jochebed (Exodus 6:20) are named together in the Old Testament, but only Jochebed is credited with hiding Moses for three months (Exodus 2:2). However, the parents of Moses worked together to hide their beautiful, precious child. The writer of Hebrews includes Amram in the effort to protect Moses.
The parents of Moses did not fear the king's command to hand over all babies for execution. They were confident in the rule of God over their lives. Obeying God was more important than obeying anyone else. Refusing to obey the king, they would rather submit to the rule of God and die.
Truly seeking the kingdom of God first in their lives, Amram and Jochebed are fueled by confidence in the sovereign rule of God over all things.
Confidence in the rule of God enables the children of God to sort out the difficult decisions in life, establish priorities, and face earthly tyrants without fear. Our God reigns!
2. A deep dissatisfaction (vv. 24-26)
...his attention was on the reward.
Promise-driven people live their lives with a nagging dissatisfaction with things as they are. They know there is something more "up ahead". Moses refused temporal pleasures and worldly treasures. When Moses rejected his adopted royal family, he experienced profound suffering, difficulty, and pain.
Moses was consistently looking away from "here" and riveting his attention on "there". Nothing "here" was going to satisfy is deepest longings. Promise-driven people can never be satisfied with "here".
3. A passionate pursuit (v. 27)
...as one who sees Him who is invisible.
In a decisive act, Moses left Egypt without regard for Pharaoh's reaction. Moses was intent on pursuing and pleasing only ONE person in his world. Promise-driven people willingly leave everything to follow the Savior. The essence of discipleship is summed up in Jesus' command to "Follow Me".
Jesus cannot be the greatest pursuit of our lives. He must be the ONLY pursuit. All other pursuits must be left behind "in Egypt".
4. A creative compassion (28)
...so that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
Directed by God to establish the Passover observance, Moses was intent on rescuing souls from judgment and destruction. Splashing blood on the doorposts was a visual, dramatic illustration of the awful cost that had to be paid for sin.
Promise-driven people will do whatever it takes to reach people for Christ. Creative communication will drive the truth home. The message of the cross alone has the power to change lives and restore broken homes. Promise-driven people carry a relentless burden for the endangered souls around them.
5. An infectious influence (vv. 28a, 29)
By faith he...
By faith they...
Moses modeled a life of faith to those who knew him and observed his walk with God. Moses influenced a nation to trust God and follow Him. Notice that verse 28 describes what HE did by faith. Immediately following, verse 29 describes what THEY did by faith. Moses alone observed the Passover by faith, but the entire nation passed through the Red Sea by faith.
Is your walk of faith infectious? Are others motivated to trust God because of your example?
Not content to settle for small pleasures and treasures, promise-driven people are motivated internally to press forward to an unseen kingdom and invisible Savior. Willing to do whatever it takes to communicate the gospel, promise-driven people infect others with their faith.
Get their attention!
One minister was determined to reach the poor men and women of his city. Realizing that more people were attending local bars than his preaching, the minister opted to capture their attention by using a marching band in the red light district! Then he would preach to them! The year was 1871. The preacher was William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army - a creative, "cutting-edge" ministry of the late 19th century.
No place seems like home
Several years ago an older pastor I respected moved to another state where the climate and terrain were radically different from where he had been. I asked him, "Do you ever miss home?"
He wisely and quietly responded, "The older I become, the less anywhere feels like home."
Related biblical texts
Matthew 6:21 - For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:33 - But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
Luke 10:27 - He answered: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
1 Corinthians 1:18 - For to those who are perishing the message of the cross is foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is God's power.