Summary: This is the 19th sermon in the series "Moving With God". This is also a Mother’s Day sermon.
Sunday Morning May 10, 2009 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: “Moving With God (Exodus)” [#19]
[Video: “The Invisible Woman”]
Moses had been called by God to lead this group of people that were just impossible. These people were stubborn, hard-headed, hard-hearted, ungrateful, complaining, bickering, agitating, etc…
Every time something went wrong, it was Moses’ fault.
* If they were hungry- It was Moses’ fault.
* If they were thirsty- It was Moses’ fault.
* If they were tired of traveling- It was Moses’ fault.
* If someone did something to them- It was Moses’ fault.
* If one of the other people or God did something- It was Moses’ fault.
Moses had to feel like the Invisible Woman that was on the video. Moses had to send his wife and children to stay with his father-in-law, Jethro for a while. Jethro sent word to Moses that he was coming with Moses’ family to meet him. Moses met Jethro and they had dinner and worship together. The next day, Jethro watched Moses as he sat as judge over the people all day long.
On this Mother’s Day, I want each of us to pay close attention to the advice that Moses was given and apply it to our lives.
Exodus 18:13-18 (NIV)
“The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, "What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?" Moses answered him, "Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and laws." Moses’ father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.”
1. You need to be able to take criticism. I know that it is within our nature to not like criticism. The word itself causes us to put up our defenses; but without criticism we often don’t know when we are doing wrong. Now, we do need to understand that not everything you hear is correct or true. You do need to be able to trust those that are criticizing.
Exodus 18:19a (NIV)
“Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.”
2. You need to listen to advice. When you are doing everything you can just to survive from day to day, it is hard to listen to people giving you advice. I know that many people view advice as someone’s telling them they don’t know what they are doing, but that is not the case. God uses His Word, prayer, and circumstances to speak to us; but often times we forget that He also uses people that He has placed in our lives to speak to us on His behalf.
Exodus 18:19b-20 (NIV)
“You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform.”
3. You need to be God’s representative. Regardless of the place in which God has given you authority, you need to be His representative. You need to be a teacher of God’s ways. You need to be a picture of who God is.
Exodus 18:21-22 (NIV)
But select capable men from all the people--men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain--and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.”
4. You need to let others help you. You can’t do it by yourself. You can try, but you will eventually wear out. God has put others around you for a purpose. Let people help you in the areas that they are gifted and talented in.
Exodus 18:23 (NIV)
“If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied."
5. You need to remember your purpose. When you are following God’s plan and purpose for your life, it becomes your purpose. And, when your purpose and God’s purpose are the same, other’s purposes will be fulfilled through the power of God in their lives. It’s not about us, it’s about God.