THE LONG WAY HOME
Date: Sunday, July 20, 2008
Scripture Text: Exodus 23:20-31
Purpose: Home is where you belong. Where do you belong? Are you there yet? This sermon is a directive to help you find where God wants you to be.
Sermonic Selection: Coming Home
1. Where do you live?
2. I am not talking about your street address
3. Home – A place where a person can find refuge or live in safety and security
a. An established place
c. A place of comfort (feel at home)
4. It is said that home is where the heart is
5. It seems possible to be at home and not really feel at home
6. It is a sense of disconnection
7. When one is not at home there is a longing to be there
8. We call it home sickness
a. It carries a mood of sadness
b. It brings a longing to be at home when away
c. No matter how luxurious the surroundings
d. There is truly “No Place Like Home”
9. There is no bed that sleeps like your bed
10. There is no easy chair like the one at home
11. What is it about home that makes it so powerful?
12. We talk about it
13. When we dream about it
14. When we grow up there is something about home that we just want to see it once more or even where it used to be
15. Because everybody knew where the Jones family lived
16. They knew that if you were a Jones, that is where you should be found
17. No matter where you went, if you were asked your name, you were also asked where you lived
18. If you got lost, the first that would happen is that someone would try to get you home
19. Even for those who tried to run away from home, sooner or later you would have to call and get someone to help you get home.
20. Home is valuable
21. Home is critical to your survival
22. Home is that place where you should be
23. I am not just talking about our heavenly home
24. Some need to get to the home of (Gal. 5:22-23)
a. Love – hurt too bad to love again
b. Joy- too many problems to be happy
c. Peace – Arguing day and night
d. Patience – Got to have it now
e. Gentleness – Learned to be hard to survive
f. Goodness – Self preservation is how I live
g. Faith – Been to the Lucky Place to be blessed
h. Meekness – I ain’t no wimp
i. Temperance – Extreme in everything
25. I know it has been a long time
26. You have to get home
B. It is Time to Go Home
1. It’s getting late
2. We did not mean to stay this long
3. The sun is going down
4. “It’s time to go home”
5. You hear Momma / Daddy calling you
6. Don’t act like you don’t hear God today
7. How long will you stay away?
8. Today we want to focus one how to get home
9. What does it take to get home?
10. Don’t let anything or anybody keep you from going home
II. The Journey Home
1. Israel Goes Home
1. . Here in our passage today, this is the first thing we see God telling the Hebrews: He will go before them in the land, and prepare the way before them.
2. For us here today, we need to know that God will go before us like He went before the Hebrews and He will prepare the way ahead of us.
3. The second thing we see in this passage is that God has a drawn out plan for our spiritual growth.
4. The people of Israel have been taken out of captivity and brought out into the desert.
5. There God established relationship with them and has established this relationship through the giving of the Ten Commandments.
6. Now, God, having established a relationship with the people, prepares them for entrance into the land he has promised them (HOME).
7. The Egyptians had for years tried to gain this land with varied success, and only after extensive efforts.
8. The Egyptian Military was one of the greatest at the time and they could not take the land –
a. What chance did the Hebrews have?
b. Because God is going before them.
c. In verse 20 we see that it doesn’t matter that stands before the Hebrews, because God is sending an angel before them.
d. What is the purpose of the angel?
i. To guard you and to bring you to the place I have prepared.
ii. What is this angel guarding them from?
1) Physical danger.
2) All kinds of calamity.
e. There is an evil that permeates the land before them, and it is more than physical danger that lays ahead.
9. The Hebrews will be successful and advance because of the angel going before them, not because the Hebrews are a capable people.
10. We se the same in our lives.
11. God goes before us and situations that are impossible,
a. Situations where we are incapable of securing a good outcome and
b. So we have to literally step back and let God go before us.
12. In the Bible we will see the Hebrews fighting hard to advance in the land.
a. They work hard, they sweat, they are wounded, and many even die –
b. It is not easy, and it does not take overnight.
13. Yet, the impossible is accomplished, why?
14. Because the Lord God has gone before them, and a situation that cannot happen, are should not happen, happens. __
15. When we see that God goes before us, that does not mean that everything is ready and waiting for us to walk in and sit down.
16. No, God goes before us and creates a situation where we can succeed and then there is a lot of work ahead of us.
1. It is not as easy as it sounds
2. You would think that leaving Egypt would be a no-brainer
3. Why would you want to stay in bondage?
4. Can’t you see what it is doing to you?
5. Yet when the children of Israel ran into opposition and uncertainty, the first thing they did was to complain
6. What do you have to leave to get where you ought to be?
7. Return to Galatians 5(AMP or Message Version)
8. Gal. 5:19 Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency,
9. Gal. 5:20 Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies),
10. Gal. 5:21 Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
11. They got comfortable in the wrong home
12. What makes leaving what is keeping you down so hard?
13. You are being abused - LEAVE!
14. You are not happy – LEAVE!
15. . It’s killing you – LEAVE!
16. LEAVE AND GO HOME!
III. The Long Way Home
A. Wandering and Complaining
1. God blessed the children of Israel for forty (40) years
2. Their clothes did not wear out
3. Their shoes still looked new
4. He rained bread (Manna) from heaven and fresh quail when they were hungry
5. They drank water from a rock when they were thirsty
6. He led them by a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day just trying to get them home
7. And still they complained and rebelled against God
8. What should have been a forty day road trip turned into forty years
9. The tragedy is that those who were set in their ways never made it home
10. They took the long way home
11. Again, why?
12. The answer is in verse 24 of Galatians 5 –
a. Gal. 5:24 (KJVS) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
b. Gal. 5:25 (KJVS) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
13. You can’t get home without God
14. You can’t get home holding on to the old home
15. Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature (creation) old things are passed away behold all things become new (1Cor 5:17)
16. They only way to get home is for the old home to die by crucifixion
17. Crucifixion is more than saying I quit
18. Crucifixion is direct, violent, passionate, observable
a. Nails placed in the hands – stop doing what you used to do
b. The feet were stacked and long nails bonded them to the cross – stop going where you used to go
c. Died in agony – a glimpse of the second death where suffering is forever
19. It was designed to make the person regret his sins
20. Psa. 34:18 The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent.
21. Psa. 51:17 My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.
B. God’s Calling You
1. Saul was on his way to Damascus when he heard the call
2. There is a call of God on your life to come home
3. The prodigal son heard him down in the hog pen
a. He left his father’s house to have a good time in the streets
b. He had plenty of money and good time friends
c. He spent all he had in riotous (wild) living
d. He had never worked or had to work, but found himself bound to a pig farmer
e. This was as low as a Jewish boy could go – feeding hogs
f. He would stay away from home a little longer to make enough money to go back home with respect and prove he was right
g. But one day he got hungrier than he had ever been in his life
h. The Bible says, “Luke 15:16 (KJVS) And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
i. Luke 15:17 (KJVS) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
j. Luke 15:18 (KJVS) I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
k. Luke 15:19 (KJVS) And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
l. Luke 15:20 (KJVS) And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
4. There is only one way to get home
5. There is none other name under the heavens whereby we must be saved
6. That name is JESUS
ii. Not Mohammed
iii. Not Allah
iv. Not Buddha
v. Only Jesus
4. Jesus came to a dying world because the Father said, I need someone to bring my children home
5. Jesus came down through 42 generations
6. .Just to bring us home to the Father
7. That still small voice you hear when no one is around is the Father calling you home to Him
8. This is not a call to heaven yet, but a call to:
c. Be converted
d. Be baptized
9. The time is now
10. There are no short cuts
11. Only a direct route
12. Acts 4:12 (KJVS) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
13. The matchless Name of Jesus
14. Come home now
a. Rom. 10:9 (AMP) Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
b. Rom. 10:10 (AMP) For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation.