Looking at the report…
Listen to these words…Report, Rebel, Restore, Revive, rebel and Remnant, and restoration..
What do all of these words have in common besides the obvious of starting with the letter R?
They are words that would describe what is going on right now in the world or what most would like to have happen right now in the world. We are trying to find reason and relief also!
I am glued to the news right now.
Every morning I go to the TV, not to hear of more devastation, heartache, but restoration.
I go wanting and needing to hear of a good ending, good report to another tragedy or a fresh exciting story of encouragement.
It is like hearing of a powerful earthquake in another country that has brought buildings down. You don’t listen wanting to hear of another dead body being pulled out…you want to hear of a child found alive, a story of survival, the heroics of someone risking life to do good.
They interviewed a pastor that moved to Las Vegas two years ago and this was some of his comments-
“The city has never been so open to the gospel.”
“The mass shooting has brought the city together more than anything.
In terms of blood banks, they’re at capacity. Everyone I know is collecting gift cards or food and passing out water.”
Las Vegas- known as “Sin city” not named that by people who oppose gambling and that lifestyle, but by the very people who live there and make their living there. To some that is the badge of honor.
“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” -cute advertisements of secrecy and hidden times of pleasure.
This millennial pastor down in the trenches of a city that has felt devastation- speaking words of encouragement in the midst of hurt- The city is open to the gospel, the city is reaching out and ministering to others, the city has slowed it pace and reflected on some things that are important.
When asked what his church has done to help the people in the city?
(Quote) They began going to the people and offering prayer and making themselves available- (unquote)
They are going and being Jesus with skin on.
They are praying and when they are done praying they are getting involved.
The two have to be together- pray as if God is the only one that could help and work like you’re the only one doing it.
Getting involved they meet a women who was on the street and told of having three kids- one in Puerto Rico, one in Florida, one in Houston.
Her whole family has been thrown upside down by current events.
She said that she thought of getting drunk because she saw no hope for the hopelessness of what has happened to her family.
Like I said awhile ago…give me a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus- Amen!
They asked this pastor-
What have you learned from this experience that you can offer to others who are trying to help others cope?
(Quote) Don’t be so quick to listen to their stories so you can tell them how Jesus can fix it!
Be invested in the person. (End quote)
Sure, spread the gospel message, but don’t just wound the person in front of you.
Jesus loved the one in front of him as much as those that were far off.
There was a reason I said this was a Millennial pastor. There are some things you need to know about millennials.
Born between 1980-2000
They are the largest group of people surpassing the baby boomers.
They are the most educated.
They invest in what they believe in and don’t get caught up in so much of the old time hype.
They are family oriented, but most don’t believe in traditional marriage and seek gender equality.
1 out of 3 will or has cohabitated before marriage because of witnessing bad relationships.
I say this to being us to our text this morning- we see tragedy and we see God has always had a remnant of people to minister to the people.
There is a short window after a tragedy that people are open to the things of God before they forget and get back to business as usual.
Most have the attitude of the prophet Elijah and believe they are the last of the remnant that God has to use to redeem a nation or a tragedy.
This is not the case and God has raised up people from all age groups and life experiences.
There are moments in our past that God has revealed himself in a tragedy for us to respond to His love for us.
President Kennedy being shot
War and the scare of war
Terrorism, first in other countries and now in ours
Las Vegas shooting
Turn to Numbers 14 and give me a minute to set this up-
God heard the prayer of a nation (Israel) that wanted to serve God and be able to worship freely.
God took over 6 Million people out of being oppressed by Egypt. In a way that cannot be called anything less than a miracle.
He feed them every step of the way including having their clothes and material things last till he brought them out.
He gave them a vision and a purpose and he was with them cloud by day and fire by night.
He never left them and never abandoned them.
Numbers 13 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan which I am giving to the Israelites. “
One from each tribe 12 of them-
10 come back with a report that says they cannot possess the land.
Big fruit like you said
The people are too big- too powerful
The city is fortified.
Only two out of twelve believed God/ the Millennial’s so to speak. The younger generation.
Caleb- “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
The rest had all kinds of excuses.
“We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Numbers 13:33
Did you grab unto that? They were their own worst enemy. They approached the situation with a defeated attitude even though God had already spoken and said that He would give it to them. They read the report, but forgot the report that God gave them.
“If only we had died in Egypt! Or in the wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?
Be oppressed in Egypt
Die wondering in the wilderness… was all easier and more believable than to think that God would keep his promise and deliver them and give them what He had told them
The old leadership Moses and Aaron fall to their knees.
Joshua and Caleb the new leadership fall to their knees and tear their robes and cry out to God.
“If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because he will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
The Lord is looking for some intercessors (Repeat)
Lord, do not wipe out this nation because if you do, they will say that you could not deliver on your promise and do not let their disbelief and disobedience stop you from keeping your promise.
Use your remnant to accomplish your purpose and promise.
Every rebel needs an intercessor!
Every family needs an intercessor
Every church, every organization needs an intercessor.
To stand before God
“I sought for a man (women) to… stand in the gap for me.”
An intercessor is a person willing to stand in the gap between God and man and intercede for them so that God would forgive and man would stop rebelling.
Who do you know that is rebelling?________ maybe your name has to go there this morning.
The issue with Israel was a rebellious heart- that heart motivated them to constantly reject God effort of reconciliation and restoration.
God counted! Israel had put me to the test now these ten times!
Complained to Moses- “We wish we would have died in Egypt.”
Blamed Moses- “A great chorus of complaint against Moses 14:1
Rejected Moses- Lets find a new leader and go back to Egypt. They tried to kill him.
What was Moses response? He interceded for the very people that were against him.
God’s reaction to their reaction- How long will they reject me?
Holy Judgment- “I will destroy them.”
There is that window of opportunity and we do not know how long it will be open. (we do not know the time of Jesus return, we know the season of His return and by that we know it could be anytime soon)
We must intercede and place ourselves in the gap for those that are away from God and believe that God will move upon their hearts.
Like the pastor in Las Vegas- we pray and then we respond and work in the strength and power of the Lord.
We do not close the window- we do everything we can to be the one in the gap.
We find common ground and let them know that we care for them.
We need to be known for what we stand for than only the things that we are against. (Repeat)
The Lord is looking for those that will have eyes to see what is possible not only what is before them.
Ones that don’t see themselves as grasshoppers to those that come against them, but as men and women of God who have purpose and operate in the realm that all things are possible with God and that anything worth doing must be done in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit so that it will be something that is bigger than we are and anything short of a miracle is self made.
In these chairs, We have the remnant of God’s mighty army.
We have a story of victory and a story of God’s goodness and mercy.
We have a story of why we do what they do.
With our testimonies, we speak and show our trust in the Lord that has come to our rescue.
It is much easier to see the impossible after God has done the impossible and you have etched it into your mind.
When I am at my lowest, when I feel the walls are closing in, I hold to the memories of God’s faithfulness and desire to put others in a position to see and experience the Lord that I serve.
It is why most do what they do. It is because God has been faithful to us that we want and desire to be faithful to Him.
Standing in the gap is to see what is going on and wanting God to do the impossible.
Those things that we cannot do ourselves without his intervention.
It is being a mediator between God and a person searching for God, needing to know a God that cares.
Praying for someone who is too weak or too hurt to reach out.
Interceding does not change God mind, it changes our minds, it puts people in a position to hear from God.
Egypt- sin and bondage
Wilderness- flesh and temptation
Cross- victory at the cross
We each need to go through those stages and interceding bring God into the process just like the cross.
These are the prayers we should be praying every day.- it hurts me to read articles that says most pastors pray an average of 3 minutes a day.
It is no wonder society is not praying. They have not been given a good role model.
Lord, I renounce my desire for human praise, for the approval of my peers, the need for public recognition. I deliberately put these aside today, content to hear you whisper, "Well done, my faithful servant." Amen
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
Father help us to stand in the gap for others so that they might hear and experience a God that cares for us and loves us, a God that is willing to invest in us. A God that desires to make Himself real to us .
That is the report we want to read and live out in our lives. We can look at the world report and we can use it as a guide to reach this world but let us not forget that you have a remnant of people in every generation who you will use in a mighty way if we would let Him. These generations can work together to see God’s glory and power reach people for Jesus Christ.