Summary: A Peter Marshall sermon adapted to my congregation and today.
How many young boys imagination are swept away by heroes. How many boys play at Superman, Batman, and Spiderman and even Han Solo or Luke Skywalker?
I remember wanting to be Spiderman and Captain America. Last night Josiah received a great thrill when we finally busted out his Batman bed sheets. He would have been fine if Jesus came back this morning because I believe that he has experienced all his little heart has experienced all he needs of this old world now.
Many men come to me to share their struggles with fatherhood. They believe they are not heroic. They do not think they can match up to their sons idols. Or they excuse themselves from stepping up to the plate and leading the family because they say they are not heroic.
Men, let me just pause here today and tell you that by default, especially those of you who are fathers by the birth and those of you who have stepped into fathers roles, you are by default heroes to your kids and the kids you influence. How do I know that? For one thing, when Josiah wants to play Batman, he does not call Commissioner Gordon, or put up the Bat signal, or dial the red phone. No, he comes to dad. He wants to play heroes with ME!
And I have seen many heroic men in our church. How do I know they are heroes? My kids talk about them. Abbey and Emma talk about the Bible stories they learned and how the teacher told the story. They talk about the games they played. And my kids talk about the ultimate hero.
Some of you expect to have a story told like a comic book concerning your heroics, that after every lesson, you will see the fruit. But, I can tell you that I had the pleasure of seeing one of our teachers meet a visitor in church one day. The visitor said, “You may not recognize me, but you taught me when I was in Sunday school. I have graduated college now and am grown up, but I remember you and the stories told….” Remember I told you that less than 1 out ten teenagers go to church now and we lose 1 out ten who go to church when they go to college. Well that hero helped keep that child in the Kingdom of God.
I salute you men who have offered to teach. Some have even taken off for a week at VBS to teach kids. Listen men, you are a hero when you come home every night and love on your wife and kids you are a hero. 40 percent of children in America will go to bed tonight with no father figure in the home. More than half the children growing up today will spend a significant amount of time without a dad in the home. Men when you love your wife and stand against the Devils temptation to abdicate your leadership, home and children, you are a hero.
Today’s sermon comes from the heroic stands Moses made against the temptation to compromise. It comes from a Peter Marshall sermon. It encourages me; I hope it encourages you heroes. Maybe someone here today says, “I have not been doing that, but I would sure like to try.” Well God will get you there, I promise. Let’s turn to God’s Word.
25 And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. 26 And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? 27 We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us. 28 And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me. Worship in the Land.
1. You can Worship, but do not go too far. (Exodus 8:25-28)
We hear this today in statements that sound like this: kick prayer out of school, keep the 10 Commandments off of public property; Corporate commands that employees say, “Happy Holidays,” ACLU lawsuits over Nativity Displays. You can act different for a day or two, but don’t really change the rest of the week. Keep your faith private. Again, folks, faith is personal, but true faith is never private.
The hardest Bible translation for people to read in America is the one that translates Sunday into Monday through Saturday. How many people go to church on Sunday only to apply the message to everyone else, except themselves? My friend Will O’Neil, a pastor down in Louisiana, talked with Ed Stetzer and asked why the church is seeing tremendous growth in the world, but America seems so stagnant in evangelism. The professor answered, “Because in other countries, they do church outside the 4 walls of the building,” and people catch it.