Summary: Are you shy about sharing your faith? So was Moses. He was "slow of speech." Learn how Moses would conquer that fear.

OPEN: A few years ago a man named Jens Overson was fishing for salmon in Norway’s Gaula River. But he apparently wasn’t ready for the strong current of the river, and was swept swiftly downstream. There was another fisherman named Wilhelmsen who saw him struggling and he knew exactly WHERE the current would carry the man. So, this 2nd fisherman ran across a bridge, and waited as the current carried Overson downriver. He later told a newspaper. “He seemed paralyzed. Only his face and the tips of his boots were above water. I decided to start casting.” All he had was homemade lure and a light line, but he hooked Overson’s rubber waders on the first cast of about 10 yards. The biggest problem was that Overson weighed nearly 250 pounds which is a lot of weight for a light fishing line. He used every trick he knew, knowing that if that line broke Overson would continue downstream… and he would die. (Collin Wimberly, “Fishing With Jesus” July 2001 - main story found on Wired


In our text today, we find Moses standing before God at the burning bush. And God says to Moses “I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10

The problem was, Moses didn’t want to go and he’s given excuse after excuse as to why he shouldn’t have to do what God wants him to do. And now we come to one of the most basic of his excuses: “I’m not able to speak well” he says. He implies that has a speech impediment and there’s some scholars who think Moses stuttered. “Moses said to the LORD, ‘Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.’” Exodus 4:10

Did Moses stutter? It’s possible! According to Mayo Clinic “Speech difficulties can appear after an emotional trauma (psychogenic stuttering).” That phenomena is rare, but it does happen. (

So did Moses experience an “emotional trauma” that could have caused him stutter? Well, yeah. Forty years before he’d been a man of power and prestige. But he lost all of that when he tried to defend a Hebrew slave and ever since that time, he’d been a fugitive with a price on his head. That might have been enough to make Moses stutter, or at the very least – it might have made him withdrawn and unsure of himself.

ILLUS: And Moses’ excuse about “public speaking” – it’s NOT a new thing. Jerry Seinfeld once said “According to most studies, people’s No. 1 fear is public speaking. No. 2 is death. So for the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

There’s people who have trouble talking about talking about certain things. And this is especially true about Christians sharing their faith with others. There’s lots of church goers who feel unsure of themselves. They might not stutter… but they feel “slow of speech.” And yet, sharing our faith seems to be the core of what Jesus wants of us.

In one of His parables, Jesus told the story of a King who said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.” Matthew 22:8-10

Who was the King? GOD; What was the King’s request of His servants: INVITE ANYONE YOU FIND; What did the King want? THAT THE WEDDING HALL BE FILLED. So, one of the things Jesus was teaching us: Inviting others is a high priority.

In fact, one the last things Jesus told His disciples was this: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (invite them in), baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

This was such a driving force in the early church, that Peter declared: “We are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20

Really? Why? Why is it so important that we would to invite people to come to Jesus?

Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. NO ONE comes unto the Father except by me.” (John 14:6) Peter echoed that: “Salvation is found in NO-ONE ELSE, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

The Bible is very clear that we can’t get to heaven by being a “good” person. We’ve ALL sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We don’t deserve heaven… we deserve hell. You and I can’t be good enough to be good enough to get into heaven. You can’t pay off the BAD STUFF of your life by doing GOOD STUFF.

But, Jesus died for your sins so that we COULD gain heaven. I recently saw a graphic that pretty much sums it up: “Good people don’t go to heaven. Forgiven sinners do.” That means that – without Jesus – we don’t have a promise of heaven. If people were to get what they (and we) deserve, we’d ALL go to hell. That is why it is so important that we invite people to Jesus, because – without Jesus – they’re lost!

So, let’s go back to our story (at the beginning of the sermon). We had a man who was moments away from drowning, and there was only one man could save him. And all that one man had to work with was a home-made lure and some light fishing line. A less determined man would have given up, after all he wasn’t prepared to haul in a huge man like Overson. But did that man give up? No. He took what he had and he used it to the best of his ability. His lure caught on the drowning man’s rubber waders and slowly but surely, the rescuer pulled Overson into shore. That day he caught something much more important than a salmon. He caught a man… and he saved that man’s life.

God has given us the same kind of marching orders He gave Moses. God told Moses to go and bring the people of Israel out of their slavery. And God says to you and I - “I want you to go and help bring people out of their sin.”

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them all that I have commanded you.

It’s called the Great Commission because God is commissioning us to do our part to give people hope. To change their lives; To bring them to Jesus.

But, how do we do that?

First, we need to realize that it’s not about US - it’s about God. You see, that was Moses’ problem. Moses said: “I have a speech impediment… therefore you can’t use me.” Now, you could ADJUST that excuse (modify it) by saying – “I don’t know enough”; “I’m not smart enough”; “I’m not important enough”; “I’m not… enough.” And you’d be right. You’re not enough!

In fact, that’s the kind of person God likes to use. Paul (one of the most powerful Christians who ever lived) was told by God “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore (Paul wrote) I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

But WHY would God make his power “perfect” in Paul’s weakness? In I Corinthians 1:27-29 we’re told “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

ILLUS: A man named Rick Burdette told about the 1st time he shared his testimony about Jesus. It was at a Lexington Christian Women’s Club Youth Luncheon and he said “I was so scared I threw up before going to the Continental Inn to speak. I was petrified and wondered why anyone would want to hear my story. When I got there they sat me at the podium next to a guy about my own age. His name was David. He was there to play his trumpet for special music. He looked at me and asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ I said ‘My mom roped me into this!’ The other boy said ‘Mine too.’ And then I just started talking. I told David about the drugs, dropping out of school, the car wrecks, being burned, hurting my parents. I told him my whole story and what Jesus had done to save me. And he started crying. I said, ‘Are you OK?’ And through the sobs he said, ‘That’s my story too…do you think Jesus could save me?’ I said, ‘I know He can.’ Just then they asked David to stand up and play. He was still crying and said, “I can’t play…but you all need to listen to this guy’ and I stood up and shared the exact thing I’d just shared with David.”

Rick Burdette had thrown up. He was scared and didn’t want to talk at this ladies luncheon. But God used Rick to make a difference in David’s life because in Rick’s weakness God showed His Strength.

Someone once said “If you really WANT to do something, you'll find a WAY. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.” (Jim Rohn) But that’s not what God said to Moses. God told Moses – “If I want you to do something, I’LL find a way, and I’m not interested in your excuses.”

Moses tried saying “I can’t speak well” and God replied “I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (Exodus 4:12) Do you think God is big enough to do that for you? Can God be with YOUR MOUTH and teach you what to speak? If you do… just open your mouth once in awhile and tell others about what Jesus has done for you, and let God take care of the rest.

ILLUS: They say that T.H. Huxley was with a group of men at a weekend house party. Huxley was an outspoken agnostic and critic of the New Testament. When Sunday morning came, most of the men were preparing to go to church, and Huxley he approached a man known for his Christian character saying, “Suppose you stay at home and tell my why you are a Christian.” The man, didn’t think he could match wits with Huxley, hesitated. But the agnostic said gently, “I don’t want to argue with you. I just want you to tell me simply what this Christ means to you.” So, that’s what man did, and when he finished, there were tears in Huxley’s eyes as he said, “I would give my right hand if only I could believe that!”

That man’s witness didn’t WIN Huxley… but it shook him. And he shook Huxley because the power wasn’t in that Christian… it was in God.

2ndly, the power is NOT you, it’s the power in the message. Do you realize Moses only had one message “Let my people go.” (Exodus 5:1; 7:16; 8:20) He repeated that to Pharaoh OVER AND OVER again: “LET MY PEOPLE GO!” There was no deep theology; No clever dialogue; No eloquent sermon. Just 4 simple words. “Let my people go.”

You see, God doesn’t want you to impress people, or out-argue them, or quote large sections of Scripture. Someone once noted that “Jesus never sought to win an argument. He sought to win the individual.”

People only want to know if Jesus works for you; that He’s made a difference in your life; and all they want to know is that you care for them;

CLOSE: There was once a man named Robert Reed who God used to share His message. If there was ever a person who could’ve offered Jesus an excuse, it would have been him. His hands were twisted and his feet were useless. He couldn’t bathe himself. He can’t feed himself. He can’t brush his teeth, comb his hair, or put on his underwear. His shirts are held together by strips of Velcro. His speech sounded like a worn-out audiocassette. Robert has cerebral palsy. Because of his disease he couldn’t drive a car or ride a bike, or go for a walk. But it didn’t keep him from graduating from high school or from Abilene Christian Univ. Having cerebral palsy didn’t keep him from teaching at a St. Louis junior college or from venturing overseas on five mission trips. And his disease didn’t keep him from becoming a missionary to Portugal. He moved to Lisbon, alone, in 1972. There he rented a hotel room and began studying Portuguese. He found a restaurant owner who would feed him after the rush hour and a tutor who would instruct him in the language. Then he stationed himself daily in a park, where he distributed brochures about Christ. Within six years he led seventy people to the Lord. (Max Lucado, “The Applause of Heaven”)

How could he do that? He did it by realizing that in his weakness God could be strong. And he realized the power wasn’t in him - it was in God and His message.