Summary: Part 2 on leaving the land of WERE. Message focuses on how God gave us insight into what we can be through Christ if we accept it.
Painting God’s Masterpiece Part 4
Living In The Land of WERE Part 2
Scriptures: Deut. 4:9; 14; Matt. 13:54-58; Eph. 1:3, 11-14; Rom. 6:14-18
Last week in part 3 of my series “Painting God’s Masterpiece” I focused on living in the land of WERE (Where Every Remembrance Escapes). The foundation Scripture was taken from Deuteronomy 4:9 and 14 where Moses, after bringing the people out of the land of Egypt (WERE) told the people the following: “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons…….The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it.” Moses told the adults to remember what they had seen and what they had been taught. He also told them to teach their children about what God had done for them in delivering them out of Egypt. He did this so that when they got into the Promised Land, they would continue to walk with the Lord. Moses understood that should they ever forget what God had done for them they would turn their backs on Him. So it is with us and why we must leave the land of WERE for the land of WHAT SHALL BE. We must remember everything God has done for us.
My examples last week were taken from the Old Testament. Last week I shared with you the story of Abraham and Sarah and God’s promise to Abraham. Abraham believed God and immediately entered into the land of WHAT SHALL BE. Sarah on the other hand stayed in WERE until God moved her out of it to WHAT SHALL BE. When Sarah arrived, God fulfilled His promised and she bore a son – the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. The initial fulfillment of this promise was seen in the Children of Israel which served as my second example. God brought the Children of Israel to the border of the Promised Land and there they refused to enter in. Some even said that they would prefer to die in WERE, the wilderness or back in Egypt, versus going into the Promised Land. God honored their request and no one over the age of twenty, besides Joshua and Caleb, were allowed to enter in.
Two points were made in the message last week to help us see what it would take to leave WERE and enter into the land of WHAT SHALL BE. The first point was that if we want something bad enough, we must take one more step forward from where we have already stopped. Many times we stop before we get to the blessing – we just give up. To get to the land of WHAT SHALL BE we must continue making the steps – we cannot stop until we get there. The second point that I made last week was that faith begins where worry ends. When we start to walk in faith - as we remember what God has already done and what He has already promised us, the worrying ceases. Likewise, when we stop remembering what God has already done and we stop remembering what He has already promised us, our faith falters and worry starts up again. In order to leave the land of WERE where every remembrance of what God has done for or promised us escapes our mind we must begin to take the steps to move forward. One more step from where we have stopped. This week we will examine several Scriptures from the New Testament about others (including us) living in WERE.
Before we go into the heart of the message this morning, I want to take you back to the canvas – our portrait. When I started this portrait two weeks ago, I drew the cross which is where our lives started in Christ. Last week I stress the fact that grace and forgiveness was immediately available at the cross when Jesus forgave one of the thieves who was being crucified with Him. This morning I want to add in the third cross. This third cross will lead us into our examples today on those living in the land of WERE. As you recall from Scripture, at least two others were crucified with Jesus on the cross. One of these individuals repented and asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. The second thief however refused to leave WERE for WHAT SHALL BE. He saw Jesus as an opportunity, not for salvations, but an opportunity for escape. He looked at Jesus and told Him that if He were the Christ to save Himself and them. He was looking for a way off the cross, not for forgiveness of His sins. Today we will find that there are many who want to leave WERE in theory, but when it comes to taking a step to do so, to actually leave their comfort zone, they become like the Children of Israel who came to the border of WHAT SHALL BE and chose not to cross over. Let’s begin with Matthew chapter thirteen.