Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God can use the ordinary things in our lives for His extraordinary purpose. Also, this is a great sermon to finish the spiritual gifts study with.


"When God is ready to do what seems to be the impossible He takes what appears to be the improbable and transforms it into the improvable."

It has been said of the Church: "20% of the people do 80% of the work of the Church." It has also been said of the Church that: "20% of the people give 80% of the money to support the work of the Church."

Whether or not those are accurate statements should be tested in relation to many factors. However, the goal of God for His people is that everyone use the gifts He has placed in their hands. If in the life of Moses we learn "how to become the person God can use," it is also from the life of Moses that we learn "how to use what God has placed in our hands." And so, the serious question is:

"What is that in your hand?"

This is that potent question God asked Moses one day. Moses was in something of an argumentative mood as God was dealing with him about what God wanted him to do. He had just heard God say:

"I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go." (Exodus 3:20)

God had asked Moses to be the person to lead the Israelites out of the Egyptian captivity, and bring them into the Land of Promise, the Land of Canaan. The text of Scripture indicates clearly that Moses was not in favor of God's plan. Moses responded to God's statement of His intention with a very weak statement:

"But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.'" (Exodus 4:1)

Therefore we note the serious question God posed to Moses: "What is that in your hand?" (Exodus 4:2)

Moses' answer is interesting: "A rod." (Exodus 4:2) In essence Moses said to the LORD: "Just a stick!" He could have added: "It isn't really worth very much." For that is what he was saying to God.

And that is what so many Christians…Church people…say to God when confronted with the challenge to use their lives for the work of God's kingdom. But God's serious question remains: "What is that in your hand?"

How then shall we view this challenge from God? It seems there are three very evident observations that need to be made at this point. They concern the "what" to which God was referring, and that was identified by Moses in response to God. "Just a stick!"

But the message of Scripture is that the "stick" in the hand of Moses was:

1. Suited to the Person God would use – namely, Moses!

2. Secluded in the Plan God would utilize - deliverance for His people Israel!

3. Scheduled for the Purpose God would unveil in His time – the miracles for which faith and obedience were absolute necessities.

Therefore we come to deal with the issue of this message: "How to use what God has given to you."

Whatever God has placed in your hand, it is suited for YOU, and not to someone else!


"When God is ready to do what seems to be the impossible He takes what appears to be the improbable and transforms it into the improvable."

What was it that God had in mind when He asked Moses the question: "What is that in your hand?" It was only a stick, perhaps well worn with the years of use in the hands of Moses as he trekked across the burning sands of desert, as he herded the sheep for his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, or as he fended off any predators who would take some of the sheep. Just a stick; just a piece of wood…a limb broken off a tree, no intrinsic value, very insig-nificant. Just a stick…just a piece of wood.

And is that how we feel about what is in our hand? What is it that God has placed in our hands? In your hands? Probably only you know the answer to that question. Sometimes we do not even know what God has placed in our hands with His intention that it be used for His service. But whatever it is, it is important to God.

But back to Moses and his timeworn stick of wood…his broken tree limb. In response to the answer from Moses, God said: "throw it on the ground." Moses obeyed, and the stick became a snake! God said: "Pick it up by the tail." Moses obeyed, and the snake became the stick again. Here is the transforming power of God to take what is in our hands and change it that it might be used for His glory and according to His sovereign will.

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