Summary: We can be among God’s serious servants. Some of the most important principles for serving the Lord effectively are showcased for us in Exodus 13.
Getting It Right
1. Life has its serious moments.
2. SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP)- A 66-year-old Brazilian saved his grandson from the grip of a 16-foot-long anaconda by beating the snake with rocks and a knife for half an hour, police said Thursday.
"When I saw the snake wrapped around my grandson’s neck I thought it was going to kill him," Joaquim Pereira told the Agencia Estado news service. "It was agonizing, I pulled it from one side, but it would come back on the other."
While the boy was playing with friends, the snake attacked and wrapped itself around him, police officer Hudson Augusto said. Anacondas are not poisonous, but kill their prey by coiling around them and squeezing until victims suffocate.
"It brought me to the ground and bit me," the boy told Globo TV, which showed footage of the dead snake. "Then it started crawling up my neck and began suffocating me."
Mateus’ friends ran to get his grandfather, who reached the scene and battled with the snake until it released his grandson.
The boy was rushed to a hospital and needed 21 stitches on his chest where he was bitten.
Police said anacondas are not uncommon in the region, but attacks on people are rare.
3. I am sure when those boys ran to get grampa, he dropped whatever he was doing and put his all into saving his grandson.
4. This is different than living the Christian life; it is not a sprint, but a marathon. Our calling form God as Christians is vital and important, but it is also integrated into our lifestyles and schedules.
5. We see great differences among believers for many, many reasons: giftedness, training, family background, health, age, culture, IQ, inherited personality, etc.
6. But often the biggest differences are between those who take their calling as servants of Jesus Christ seriously and those who do not.
Main Idea: We can be among God’s serious servants.
Some of the most important principles for serving the Lord effectively are showcased for us in Exodus 13.
I. The Principle of PRIORITY (13:1)
A. Many Christians INCLUDE God
1. But many do not recognize the idea that God deserves our first and best
2. Israel was adopted as God’s firstborn nation:
Exodus 4:22: 22 "Then say to Pharaoh, ’This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son…"
3. The firstborn sons of the firstborn nation are also special to God
• all firstborn males …redeemed for 5 shekels (Num. 18:16); Levi
• donkeys were to be "bought back"
B. But only some EXALT Him to First Place
Proverbs 3:9 Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.
Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
C. Every born-again Christian is considered a "firstborn" and special property of God: "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect… (Hebrews 12:22-23)
We can be among God’s serious servants. This requires setting God as top priority and ordering our lives according to His will.
II. The Principle of Celebrating PURITY (13:2-16)
A. The Feast of MATZO symbolized purity
1. The Feast of Matzo lasted only a week, because personal holiness is a goal, an ideal that will not be achieved completely in this life
2. But aiming to be holy is a worthwhile goal.
3. It also reminded the Israelites that they came out of Egypt. We, too, need to remember where we came from, lost in sin before we knew Christ…
B. We tend to encourage what we CELEBRATE
1. Back when I was a teen, we used the word "Cool." It has turned into "Khuuul" but still means the same thing.
2. What you think is "cool" is where your mind is going to be
3. If you think walking closely with God is cool, you are more likely to walk with God… if you feel like your faith was forced upon you, you are going to think it is cool to rebel against God…
4. Your heroes, your aims in life…they greatly affect your daily lifestyle…is Tony Dungy cool, or the rock star at the top of the charts?
We can be among God’s serious servants. This requires PURITY.
III. The Principle of Working WITH Human Nature (13:17-19)
A. God makes a provision for WEAK faith (17)
• The false (liberal views) and true (conservative views) about accommodation