Summary: Where’s your fruit, Church? Maybe the world doesn’t see much fruit from us because we’re hiding out like Moses and making excuses instead of jumping into action. God sometimes asks us to do difficult things. Will we trust Him? Do we respond in faith or with excuses when God calls?
Last week, we heard a powerful message on the topic of faith and works... about how faith without works is dead. The pastor said, “Focus on God, and then He through you will produce the fruit... You can’t do anything for God... but God through you can do amazing, amazing, amazing things!” He then challenged us with the question, “Where’s your fruit, Church?”
That message really challenged me and the Lord redirected my heart toward today’s message... We’re going to explore last week’s question, “Where’s your fruit, Church?” a little deeper today... Is there something holding us back as believers? Something keeping us from being as fruitful as the Lord would desire for us to be?
I'm convinced we can gain insights into this question from how Moses responded to God's call in Exodus chapter 3... Please turn with me in your Bibles to Exodus 3:1-11... [READ]
1 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.
2 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.
3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 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.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
6 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.
7 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.
8 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.
9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.
10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
Let’s PRAY... [OPENING PRAYER]
When we reach the events captured in Exodus chapter 3, Moses is already about 80 years old... and he’s had a very interesting 80 years... He spent his first 40 years thinking he was really somebody... that he was going to be used in a mighty way by God to deliver the Israelites from their Egyptian slavery.
But Moses tried to do this all on his own, without waiting on God. So, after he kills an Egyptian, he has to run away into the desert and go into hiding. He then spends the next 40 years as a shepherd.
And now, Moses is 80 years old... He is an old man when the events of Exodus chapter 3 happen. He has spent the last 40 years thinking he’s a failure... He had received the best education... He was a member of the most powerful and most wealthy family in the world... He had been trained and prepared to be a leader of nations... But his efforts to free the Israelites was a huge failure, and he had to run for his life!
For 40 years, he was no longer a royal prince... He no longer led armies of men... He is now the leader of a flock of sheep... He no longer has wealth and power... Instead, he has become a simple man living a quiet life in the countryside... He’s given up on those thoughts of grandeur... He’s content... He has a comfortable life... He’s probably ready to retire and take it easy.
And then he sees this bush on fire but not burning up... When Moses goes to check it out, God calls out to him... It’s time to deliver the people of Israel out of slavery... Moses, it’s not time to retire... It’s time to get going! If God reaches out and calls you into action, wouldn’t you be excited?
But instead of being excited that God is calling him into active service, Moses makes one excuse after another. As we look at how Moses responded to God’s call, let’s examine ourselves... “Where is your fruit, Church?” Maybe the world doesn’t see much fruit from us because we’re hiding out like Moses and making excuses instead of jumping into action... Faith without works is dead...