Summary: In the great adventure, God does not promise us that there will not be problems along the way, but He does promise to be with every step.
The Great Adventure
Text: Matt. 2:13-23
1. Illustration: The following ad once appeared in a London newspaper: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful." The ad was signed by Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer. Amazingly, the ad drew thousands of respondents, eager to sacrifice everything for the prospect of meaningful adventure.
2. There is no more meaningful adventure than the Christian life. Jesus promised His followers:
3. Illustration: Started out this morning in the usual way
Chasing thoughts inside my head of all I had to do today
Another time around the circle try to make it better than the last
I opened up the Bible and I read about me
Said I’d been a prisoner and God’s grace had set me free
And somewhere between the pages it hit me like a lightning bolt
I saw a big frontier in front of me and I heard somebody say "let’s go"!
Saddle up your horses we’ve got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace
Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown
This is a life like no other - this is The Great Adventure
Come on get ready for the ride of your life
Gonna leave long faced religion in a cloud of dust behind
And discover all the new horizons just waiting to be explored
This is what we were created for (From the song "The Great Adventure," by Steven Curtis Chapman)
4. In this great adventure:
• God calls us to step out in faith
• God promises to protect us along the way
• God will brings us to our destination
Proposition: In the great adventure, God does not promise us that there will not be problems along the way, but He does promise to be with every step.
Transition: First, we see that...
I. God Calls Us to Step Out in Faith (13-15)
A. The Lord Appeared to Joseph
1. After the wise men left, "an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."
2. Now try to put yourself in Joseph’s shoes.
a. "Okay, Lord, you asked me to take Mary as my wife, even though she was pregnant with a child that isn’t mine."
b. "Then you want me to go all the way to Bethlehem and stay in a cave with all of the cows, horses, and chickens."
c. "Now you want me to go to Egypt, because the Herod wants to kill the child."
d. "What next?"
3. There were some problems with going to Egypt.
a. The first problem was they were wanted. Herod had people everywhere looking for them, so it was hazardous.
b. The second problem was the journey itself. It was a seventy-five mile trip to Egypt, with a young baby and a woman.
c. The Nile made travel easy within Egypt, but the coastal road to Egypt from Palestine was not the finest, and Egypt would be even harder to reach from Bethlehem without traveling northward to Jerusalem (one would have to take the poorer route southward to Hebron—Bible Background Commentary
4. However, going to Egypt was a wise move.
a. A very large Jewish community lived in Egypt in this period. Perhaps one-third of Alexandria, located in northern Egypt, was Jewish; with a population estimated at about one million, it was one of the empire’s largest cities.—Bible Background Commentary
b. Egypt was a Roman province, but outside Herod’s jurisdiction.
5. We need to notice that Joseph didn’t hesitate, but trusted God. "When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt."
a. He didn’t even wait until morning.
b. Joseph and Mary demonstrated great faith, great trust in God. They acted and obeyed without question.
c. They knew that God had been with them this far.
d. They knew that God had never let them down before, and wasn’t going to start now!
B. Journey of Faith
1. Illustration: “I prayed for faith and thought that some day it would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith didn’t seem to come. One day I read in Romans that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” I had up to this time, closed my Bible and prayed for faith. Now I opened my Bible and began to study and faith has been growing ever since.” D.L. Moody
2. If the Bible says:
a. "I will never leave you or forsake you..."