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Summary: What do Christ followers rally around? What makes the difference during discouraging times?

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Rally Around Life – 03.22.09

Introduction – You’ve heard the expression “Rally Around the Flag.” It is where our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner” comes from. Francis Scott Key, as a prisoner aboard a British ship, saw the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry in the early morning hours of September 14, 1814. Today we still use the “Rally Around” phraseology. Listen to these recent headlines:

Supporters Rally Around Property Tax Resolution

Tulsa World, March 19th

Fans Continue to Rally Around Morningside Champs

KCAU-TV, Sioux City, IA - March 18th

Neighbors Rally Around Mother After Home Invasion

NewsChannel 5, Nashville TN - March 16th

Scholars Rally Around Embattled Professor

The Jewish Daily Forward, March 11th

It seems there is always a cause or a person to rally around. And it seems like we need something special to get us to rally. My question for you this morning is this: What do you rally around when

it comes to your Christian faith? Do you rally around anything? Does it even matter? It seems as if Jesus thought so!

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:14,15

These two verses come immediately before the most famous verse in all the Bible: God so loved the world... But most of us don’t have any idea what Jesus means when he talks about Moses lifting up the serpent. Let’s see if we can figure out what Jesus was talking about.

STORY OF MOSES AND THE SERPENT:

Read Numbers 21:4-9

After the 40 years of wandering, right before entering Promised Land

Couldn’t take direct route - had to go around

Wilderness - only food manna.

Hard way to go - impatient; spoke against God and Moses

God sent poisonous snakes, bit people, many died

People admit their sin, Moses intercedes

God: “Make Snake on a Pole.”

When people looked at it, they lived.

When we think of this story, we ask wrong question: “How is Jesus like the snake on the pole?”

Bronze snake looked like a snake, but wasn’t. No poison - Jesus looked like a sinful man, but was without sin.

Snake lifted onto a pole, Jesus lifted onto a Cross

Bronze snake provided salvation - Jesus provides salvation

The RIGHT QUESTION we should be asking is this: “How are we like the people in the wilderness?” 7 Ways We Are Like Israelites:

#1. We suffer from ___DISCOURAGEMENT____

“...They set out ... to go around the land of Edom.” Numbers 21:4a

Life often doesn’t go our way. We come up against opposition. don’t see things our way. We are delayed.

#2. We suffer from __IMPATIENCE______________________

“And the people became impatient on the way.” Numbers 21:4b

When we become discouraged, we also get impatient. We don’t want to wait. We want it now.

#3. We suffer from ____A COMPLAINING ATTITUDE____

“And the people spoke against God and against Moses.” Numbers 21:5a


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