Sermons

Summary: Leaders are generally pretty lonely people. How do you get past the "Lone Ranger" syndrome of trying to do it all?

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October 20, 2002

In the movie Awakenings Robert DeNiro is a 50 year-old post-encephalytic vegetable. Encephalitis caused Parkinson-like loss of motor control (tics). These tics accelerate until they freeze a person catatonically, within himself.

Robin Williams plays Dr. Sayer, who (self-admittedly) is just not good in relating to people. He is assigned the care of Leonard Lowe (DeNiro). Sayer theorizes that a certain drug might work, and tries different dosages with Leonard.

One night Dr. Sayer falls asleep next to Leonard’s bed, and wakes to find him gone. Searching frantically, Dr. Sayer finds Leonard in the game room, writing his name on a chalk board. It is the first time Leonard has moved in thirty years. He looks at Sayer and smiles, It’s quiet.

Sayers replies, It’s late; very late. People are asleep. Leonard’s smile increases, I’m not asleep.

Eventually, the side effects of the drug make it impossible to continue administering it, and, without the awakening drug, Leonard slips back into his sleeping existence. Like that drug, without the presence of God we are little more than the living dead.

Both secular and religious sources document the exodus of the Hebrew peoples from Egypt. The whole world pays respect to the name of Moses.

Muslims revere him as a forerunner of Mohammed.

Christians and Jews alike accept the Pentateuch (Genesis thru Deuteronomy) as the inspired Word of God, given through the pen of Moses.

If there is one common ingredient seen in the life of Moses (as with the other great men of the Bible) it is the presence of God. In Deuteronomy (34:10) Moses is described as a man who knew God face to face.

The burning bush was the experience that changed the life of Moses and the course of history. It affected every moment of Moses’ life. Even when he was saying goodbye to his people for the last time his prayer for them was the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush.

Things happen when you stand on holy ground, in the presence of a holy God....

FEAR IS REMOVED BY COURAGE

And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. Exodus 2:14 (KJV)

And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. Exodus 5:1 (KJV)

Before experiencing the presence of God Moses tried to do everything in his own strength. He was a Hebrew, but he was raised in Pharaoh’s house. When he found out about his heritage he attempted to force things to turn in favor of his new found people. That led him to murder an Egyptian. But things didn’t go as Moses planned. Everything backfired, and he became a hunted criminal. Doing things on your own – especially in ministry – is not a good idea!

After fleeing to Midian to escape from Pharaoh, Moses encountered the Lord in that bush, and he learned to serve in God’s strength. How different, more courageous is the Moses that stands before Pharaoh (5:1a) to say Let my people go.


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