Summary: This fourth sermon in this series is about how God choses to use us inspite of our failures.

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Sunday October 6, 2002

Scripture Reference: Exodus 3:1-10


A. God Prefers Failures.

1. Did you know that? That God prefers failures? I know that it sounds strange and it goes against everything our society teaches us but it is true none the less. God prefers failures. Allow me to share with you some examples.

a) Abraham. Wait a minute you say Abraham was not a failure. He was even willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac because God told him to. He left the only place he knew as home and traveled as God lead him not even knowing where he was going. Yes but we also read in the story of Abraham where he lied, on several occasions to save his own skin. You will find those in Genesis 12 and Genesis 20. But even though Abraham did this he still came to be known as “The Friend Of God”. Failure isn’t final.

b) How about Jacob? He was a chiseler and cheat early on in his life. His name means deceiver. He cheated his brother out of his birthright and later lied about who he was to his father so that he could receive that blessing. Yet later on after a struggle with God he is renamed Israel and God used him mightily.

c) I won’t recall all the events of these people but what about David? An adulterer, a liar, and murder, who later was called a man after God’s own heart. Then there was Peter, he denied with curses that he even knew Jesus and yet God used him to raise up the New Testament church. So much for God not wanting failures on His team.

2. Let me share with you a true story about Thomas Edison: I suppose one might regard Thomas Edison as one of the world’s greatest failures. This man tried more than a thousand different light bulbs until he got it right. Have you ever failed at something a thousand times before you got it right? If you had, your name might be right up there with that of Thomas Edison.

Actually Edison didn’t think of these failed experiments as failures. He

regarded them as steps in a long process. But late in his life something

happened to Thomas that would have defeated a lesser man.

Thomas Edison’s son Charles, one-time governor of New Jersey, tells the

story. On the night of December 9, 1914, Edison Industries was virtually

destroyed by fire. Edison lost two million dollars that night and much of his life’s work went up in flames. He was insured for only $238,000, because the buildings had been made of concrete, at that time and were thought to be fireproof.

Charles was 24; Thomas was 67. The young man ran about frantically,

trying to find his father. Finally he came upon him, standing near the fire, his face ruddy in the glow, his white hair blown by the December winds.

"My heart ached for him," Charles Edison said. "he was 67 - no longer a

young man - and everything was going up in flames. He spotted me. ’Charles,’ he shouted, ’where’s your mother?’ I don’t know, Dad,’ I said. ’Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this again as long as she lives.’"

The next morning, walking about the charred embers of all his hopes and

dreams, Thomas Edison said, "There is great value in disaster. All our

mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew."

B. My friends, I don’t know what it does for you but it ought to serve as a source of tremendous encouragement to know that God’s preferred plan is to use people who are considered by most to be failures. That no matter what you have done God can and still does want to use you.

1. Before we move into the text of this message let me take you back to

that question I asked as we began this series. “How does God want to use you in this day?” Even if you feel that you are a failure, our God is a God of second chances. Let’s learn today how Moses was given a second chance to fulfill God’s destiny in his life. Let’s read Exodus 3:1-10 (read).

Trans. Notice with me first of all that this was a common place encounter.


Read with me again the words from V.1 (read). We would say that this was a day like any other day.

A. A Day Like Any Other.

1. Here is a place where I want to say to those of you who are familiar with this story that we need to try and read this as if we were seeing it for the first time. We tend to miss so much of the majesty and mystery of what God did here and what He wants to do in our lives because we are to familiar with some of these stories.

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