Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Great Commission


Matthew 28

18 All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth.

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

20 Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

The Great Commission is a constant and continuing Mission of the Church …

The 3-Fold Mission of the Church

1. Evangelization

  > Evangelization will require - Preaching the gospel

* Not the social gospel  

* Not the political gospel 

* Not the woke gospel 

* But the Never-Ending, All-Powerful, Life-Changing, Soul-Saving, Eternal, Optimistic, demon-defeating, Unashamed, Blood-Bought Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

   > Evangelization will require - Reaching the lost

        * We must be willing to go where they are …

        * We cannot be afraid of sinners or of the situations in which they live.

2. Discipleship

   > Teaching the saints

   > Training the soldiers

        * The Apostle Paul said He:

                (1) Crucified his flesh; lusts; affections (Galatians 5:24)

                (2) Transformed himself by renewing his mind (Romans 12:2)

                (2) He brought his body into subjection (1 Corinthians 9:27)

One of the biggest reasons why people fight and struggle with their own besetting sins for years after they are born-again is because they never experience the power of discipleship.

What a waste of time, life, and opportunity.

Born-Again Believers in Jesus Christ who have become children of the living God continue to struggle having skirmish after skirmish, battle after battle, with the temptations and elements of this world year after year. They spend all of their life trying to fix their own lives instead of living a victorious life.

The reason why so many people struggle with the same sins and failures over and over is because they have never had one sharp decisive battle won by the sheer faith in God and their unwillingness to be denied. Instead of destroying the enemies of their past they pacify their flesh and put up with those haunting enemies only to repeat the failure and fall prey to sin over and over again.

Once converted, a born-again soul must decide to gain victory at all costs and to separate themselves from those things which offend God.

Many have been redeemed but not all have gained the victory over their enemies in this life. Snares of the devil continue to trick, trap, and torture people who have never paid the cost of discipleship.

Salvation is free however discipleship will cost. Discipleship will cost you your right to be:

·        Selfish

·        Drunk

·        Divisive

·        Gossip

·        Murderous

·        Slanderous

·        Carnal

·        Controlled by greed, envy, jealously, anger, bitterness, or strife.

Conversion without transformation leaves the born-again soul living in the shadows of the unsaved.

3. Church Planting

   > Birthing and supporting local congregations in every city we go to

   > Jesus died for the Church and is coming again for the Church

   > The Church is the one lasting investment we can make on earth

The Church is only and always one generation away from extinction. An unwillingness or inability to reproduce as a Church seals the fate and signals the soon coming demise of a congregation.

Congregations who refuse to be evangelistic will soon become cannibalistic.

It may appear that nations and governments are in some chaotic control of the world, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is God has a Master plan. He is pulling the strings behind the scenes, and nothing happens without his knowledge.

Evangelization -

* The world does not need to be educated but regenerated.


* One if the biggest problems people face is their besetting sins. They often struggle with battle after battle, skirmish after skirmish,

* What they are missing is discipleship. The committed journey that forms Christ within us and makes us face that one sharp decisive battle of the soul for the Lordship of a life.

* We must teach holiness and demand change from ourselves and from others.

* The great commission instructs us to go and make disciples - not - go and be a disciple. That step was a given.

Church Planting

* Everywhere the disciples went and everywhere the Apostle Paul went they evangelized, discipled, and planted a church.

* it is the church that carries on the gospel of Jesus Christ, not men.

* It’s the called out and called together Body of Christ that preserves the message and accomplishes the ministry of Jesus Christ.





Revelation 12:12 “Therefore rejoice, O heavens and you. Who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the seal! For the devil has come down to you , having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

The Church is well armed and ready for the battle.

Last night I returned from a trip that included stopping in or staying in major cities in the US and around the world. From Nairobi to Cairo, from Athens, to Newark, from Istanbul to Houston, from Corinth to Nakuru, and several smaller cities around the world. In every city and I encountered people who are boldly born again and openly sharing their faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I talked with people from Canada, from Lebanon, from China, from Turkey, from Kenya, from Uganda, from Rwanda, from Ghana, from Egypt, from France, and from Texas, just to name a few, each one proud to be a Born-Again, Bible Believing, God fearing, faith-filled witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Things are not as presented by the world media and their prophets and prognosticators of doom and despair. All over the world Jesus is reaching the lost, winning souls, making disciples, and meeting needs, all done by a strong and healthy Church which is the grown-up Body of Jesus Christ.

Well done … now let’s take a breath and get ready for the greatest revival ever seen on planet earth. Jesus is alive and He is coming for a victorious Church. The Bridegroom is coming for His Bride … we are that Bride!

In closing allow me to be direct:

·        Have you been born-again?

·        Have you experienced a life changing conversion experience?

·        Have you been transformed by the Word of God?

·        Are you still struggling with the same sins you struggled with before you were saved?

·        Are you ready to do something about it?

·        It may not be easy …

·        You will need the power of the Holy Spirit and a determination to win the war and not just a temporary battle of desire.

·        It will begin by surrendering your right to sin and failure.

·        You can do all things through Christ who will strengthen you.

Hebrews 12

1 ¶  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Altar call …

Sunday, February 20, 2022

What God Wants You To Know

Ephesians 1:15-19


Paul is currently in prison in Rome awaiting the verdict of what will be his eventual release. During this time he writes a few letters; one of which is to the church in Ephesus.


Paul planted the church in Ephesus during his second missionary journey (A.D. 51-52) (Acts 18:19). On his third missionary journey (A.D. 54-56), Paul spent two to three years teaching in the city. Paul would help grow and nurture these believers, but then eventually he departed.


About a decade later (A.D. 62), Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesians after receiving such a good report about them.


In chapter 1, Paul begins this letter by praising God. He informs the believers of who we are in Christ and the blessings we have because of Christ.


Ephesians 1:3

“Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”


Paul would then talk about:

-        The blessings we have in God the Father

-        The blessings we have in God the Son

-        The blessings we have in God the Holy Spirit


This is where we pick up in verse 15.


v15 - “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints…”


Paul commends the Ephesian christians for their “faith” in Christ and their “love” for one another.


In the same way, I pray that people will recognize us for our faith and our love. My hope is that people would see in us a genuine faith in Christ and an authentic love for one another.



v16-17 - “16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him…”


Paul was excited to hear this report. For this reason, he continually prays for them.


Paul's prayer is that God would give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation.


      Wisdom (Sophia) = Insight that cannot be obtained naturally.

      Revelation (Apokalypsis) = Something that was hidden and is now suddenly made visible


Why is he praying this prayer? So that, in the way NIV puts it, they would know God better (NIV). These are believers that Paul is talking to. Yet, his prayer for them is that they would know God better!


At times, we may think we fully know God. We may think we have God figured out. Paul tells us that there is even MORE for us to “know” concerning God.


This should be our prayer. That God would give us spiritual wisdom and revelation so that we can know Jesus better!


Our faith begins and ends with Jesus!


It’s amazing to know that there is more to know, more to see, more to understand, more to grasp concerning Jesus. In order for us to have a better understanding, we need God to pull back the curtain so that we can see Jesus more clearly.


Truth remains hidden until God chooses to reveal them to us. This is why Paul prays and asks God to give it to them.



v18 - “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened”


When God gives us spiritual wisdom and revelation, He gives us spiritual eyes to see what God wants us to see. Our natural eyes are not enough for us to perceive what Paul wants us to understand here. As believers, we need spiritual eyes to see what God wants us to see. So, what is it that God wants us to see?


What is it that God wants us to know?


18 “...that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might…”

  1. The Hope of “His Calling”

    V18 - “...that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…”

    Hope (Elpis) = Favorable and confident expectation concerning the future; confident assurance.

    Paul here is praying that they would be confident of their assurance in God’s calling. In other words, he is praying that they would be sure of their salvation. That they would not second guess their future in Christ; but that they would be confident in it.

    The purpose for hope of the future is to transform how we live in the present.

    When I am sure of my future, it gives purpose for today. It compels us, as Ephesians 4:1 says, to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”

    Are you sure of your salvation?
    Are you walking in a manner worthy of God’s calling?

  2. The Riches of “His Inheritance”

    v18 - ”what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints”

    As I read this, I began to look at it from different angles. I wrestled with this question: Is this referring to (a) the inheritance God has in us, or (b) the inheritance we have in Him?

    This reference could be either to the riches we have in God, or the amazing truth that God regards His people as His treasured possession.

    Is it our treasure in God or is it God’s treasure in us? What I’ve come to realize is that it is BOTH! It is two sides to the same coin.

    (a) - We are treasured by God as His special possession. You and I are special to God!

    (b) - There are riches we have in Christ that are worth far more than anything we give up in this world to follow Jesus.

    This would have struck some of the believers who left behind all of the magic arts they divulged in, burning all of their books, documents, necklaces, etc in the sight of everyone as a sign they were following Christ (Acts 19:18-20).

    They gave up their income and all their entire livelihood was based upon. Yet, Paul wants them to know that what they gave up pales in comparison to the riches they had in Christ.

    As Philippians 3:13 says, we too must “forget what lies behind” and “reach forward” to what lies ahead. Let us not give any value to our old way of living.

    Instead, let us reach forward to the future inheritance we have in Christ!!

    1 Peter 1:3-5
    “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

    God is protecting your inheritance in heaven, awaiting the day that you will retrieve it.

  3. The Greatness of “His Power”

    v19 - “...and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might…”

    Power today is measured by money, position, status, control, strength, etc. That is how power is measured in the natural. The problem is that at any time, any of these can be gone at any moment.

    That is not how power is measured in God’s kingdom. Instead, power is measured by the resurrection, the ascension, and the lordship of Jesus Christ. Verse 19 tells that this power is “immeasurable,” or “not able to be measured.” There is no number system, or scale, or anything that can measure the power of God.

    And “this” is the power that is made available to us as believers. It is an enabling power.

    It is His power that enables us to:

      To be saved (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18)

      To be used by God (2 Cor. 4:7)

      Be strong in times of weakness (Rom. 3:16)

      Have hope in times of doubt (Rom. 15:13)

      To persevere through suffering (2 Cor. 1:9)

      To be patient in joy through trial (Col. 1:11)
To do what God has called us to do (2 Thess. 1:11)


Let us allow God to enable us to do what He has called us to do.



  1. Walk in a manner worthy of God’s calling

    Ephesians 4:1
    I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…”

    If anyone had the right to say this, it was Paul. He was in prison because he was consumed by living in a way that would be worthy enough to hear God say to him one day, “well done.”

    The purpose for hope of our future is to transform how we live in the present.

    We must ask ourselves, “Is the way that I am living for Jesus now worthy in the way God has called me to live for Him?” Saying it another way, “Is God pleased with the way I am living for Him?”

    By keeping our eyes on our future hope of eternal salvation, it allows us to re-examine our lives in proper perspective. That one day, I will be completely saved!

    Let us allow the perspective of our future hope to affect the way we live our lives today.

  2. Follow Jesus and don't look back

    Let us not only keep our eyes on the future prize, let us “reach out” for it!

    If we know what we are running to, we have no need to question what left behind to chase it.

    The riches we have in Christ Jesus are far greater than anything we left behind in order to follow Him.

    The prize we are racing for is far worth it!!

    Therefore, don’t look back. As Paul says in Philippians 3:7-8,

    “7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

    Paul knew what he was leaving behind. It was like “trash!” This is because he knew what he was gaining in Christ was worth far more than anything he would lose in this life.

    Let us consider the things that once were “as loss,” in comparison to what we will gain in Christ!

  3. Allow God’s power to enable you

    Allow God to work in you to do what He has called you to do.

    Matthew 28:18-20
    “18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
    [b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””

    Jesus told His disciples that “all authority and power” had been given to Him. Then He told them that He would be “with” them. In other words, they would have access to God’s power at all times.

    In the same way, we also have access to this power as Christ lives in us (Col. 1:27). This enabling power will help us to do all that God has called us to do.

    Trust in the power of God that Christ has made available for you.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

The Process of Life


Today is Superbowl Sunday! An important day for so many in America. I wish I could tell you who is playing but I’m not up to date on that. Now if it were bowling, croquet, or the Arizona outdoor winter beach table tennis finals, I might know a little more about it.

What I can tell you about Superbowl Sunday is that Americans on average will weigh more tonight than they do right now. It is estimated that no matter who wins the game:

·        Over 100 million pounds of chicken wings will be consumed today.

o   That’s 1.25 billion wings …

o   More than 600 million chickens will give their lives for today’s game watchers.

o   And btw – according to a google article I read, prices for chicken wings have risen by 34% over the last year.

o   Grillable proteins are up 18%; 2-liter soft drinks up 12%; 12 pack of cans up 6%; making the overall cost of a Superbowl party noticeably higher this year over last.

·        1 in 12 Americans will order take-out pizza …

·        14 million hamburgers will be grilled and served today …

·        More than 8 million pounds of guacamole will be dipped with the more than 11 million pounds of chips.

·        By this time tomorrow antacid sales will increase by and expected 20% over yesterday.

·        1.2 million Americans will call in sick and stay home from work on Monday.

Kind of makes the mixed couples bi-state crocheting semi-finals look a little more appealing this year. Whatever you prefer to watch today, just remember the admonition attributed to King David in the Psalms.

Psalms 118:24  This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Don’t let who wins or who loses mess up your life, money, or relationships.

Life is a chance … Every day is an opportunity.

Last week we read a passage in the Gospel of Mark which gave some details surrounding a Young Rich Ruler whom Jesus met when He was on His way to the cross. This morning we are going to pick up there and discuss one of the biggest challenges Jesus faced with His disciples. It wasn’t that they didn’t love Him; it wasn’t that they didn’t respect Him; it wasn’t that they didn’t believe He was the promised Messiah … it was that they expected what they had read and been taught from the Bible was going to happen quickly and without much effort on their part.

Today, we will take our main text from the Gospel of Luke and the account surrounding a notorious sinner, who was also a tax collector named Zacchaeus from the town of Jericho. If you are not familiar with Zacchaeus, please read the whole story this week so you can get the full picture and have a greater personal grasp on what Jesus still wants us to learn from this story today.

(Briefly - The account of Zacchaeus)

Luke 19 NLT

9  Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.

10  For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Jesus came to look for and to save those who need help … (love it!) Salvation can be a process – one in which we need to participate.

11 ¶  The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away.

KJV – “appear immediately” – Then Jesus begins a parable …

12  He said, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return.

13  Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver, saying, ‘Invest this for me while I am gone.’

14  But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’

15  “After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were.

16  The first servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!’

17  “ ‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’

18  “The next servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made five times the original amount.’

19  “ ‘Well done!’ the king said. ‘You will be governor over five cities.’

20  “But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, ‘Master, I hid your money and kept it safe.'

21  I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn’t yours and harvesting crops you didn’t plant.’

22  “ ‘You wicked servant!’ the king roared. ‘Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I’m a hard man who takes what isn’t mine and harvests crops I didn’t plant,

23  why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

24  “Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’

25  “ ‘But, master,’ they said, ‘he already has ten pounds!’

26  “ ‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”

Jesus is talking about the process of life.  

Life is a process.

The disciples were wrongly imagining that since Jesus is the Son of Almighty God, and since they are connected to Him, that the kingdom of God would just appear immediately and without them having to be responsible for doing anything about it. Jesus had a different perspective however and He was doing His best to help them see it.

I love the way Jesus teaches in the Gospels. He tells a truth, then He tells a story or a parable to highlight the truth, then finally, if needed, He will be blatantly direct and say something like: “Get behind me satan … you’re only thinking of your own carnal desires and not about what God wants!”

I think I had rather open my ears, pay attention, be swift to hear and be slow to speak when Jesus is talking. You see:

Life is a chance - Life is your chance - Every day is an opportunity.

Today is an opportunity for each one of us to make a simple decision and adjust our lives just a little or perhaps a whole lot, and makes things better for ourselves and others.

We cannot expect things to get better all on their own. The disciples imagined the kingdom of God would just appear in their lives and provide a quick fix in their lives without them having to work on things … boy were they wrong.

The parable Jesus told His disciples concludes with the realization that If we don’t do something with what we have then what we might end up with is nothing.

Take relationships for example:

Relationships are a long game. In fact, relationships were originally designed by God to last forever.

However, just because we are born into family relationships, raised making relationships within a community, or enter into both contractual and covenant relationships during our lives does not mean we will have successful, fruitful, or fulfilling relationships.

Relationships take investment. “Invest this for Me while I’m gone,” Jesus said.

·        If we are unwilling to Cultivate, nurture, and repair relationships God gives us, they will never be the relationships He intends.

·        When God gives a talent, a gift, or an opportunity, He expects us to take care of it and make it into something more and better than it was when we received it.

·        Life is a process.

·        Success is more than a one step process.

·        When we don’t value what we have it won’t grow and to those who do nothing with the little they have, it will dwindle to nothing.

A Second Opportunity Involves Money

The day Jesus met Zacchaeus Jesus was looking for someone with money He could use to meet some needs. Evidently Jesus didn’t just need a little money that day, Evidently Jesus needed a lot of money that day.

Many people read the account of Zacchaeus and imagine the story to be all about him. However, Jesus had been on a search for someone with means to meet some needs long before He reached Jericho that day. I have no problem believing the Young Rich Ruler (Luke 18:18ff) was called by God to meet some needs of which we aren’t made privy in the story.

I don’t know who it was that was praying that day around the city of Jericho and what need they had or faith they supplied that moved the hand of God to draw the young rich ruler to Jesus. But I do know that when the young rich ruler said no to Jesus’s request, Jesus simply went right on down the road looking for the next person of means He could use to meet the need and who it was that was going to be listed in the Bible as a man who had great faith and became a hero for God that day. And I firmly believe Zacchaeus did not outgive God that day … He lives on as one of the heroes of the Bible and here we are remembering him once again.

Jesus promised true riches … Zacchaeus just needed to make an investment first. Life is a process … and that day was Zacchaeus’ opportunity to join the God and Son investment group.

A word about stewardship:

·        Money doesn’t just happen because we are Born-Again. We are admonished by God to pay attention to and take care of the resources God gives us.

·        The reason why you can’t buy what you want is because you bought what you wanted.

·        A dollar, or shekel, or shilling, or euro, it only spends once.

·        Saying yes to one thing will mean saying no to something else.

·        The quickest way to get a raise is to cut a bill.

·        One of our elders, Luke Bougeois, says: “Money problems are seldom a problem with numbers … “Money problems are most often behavioral problems.” Luke Bougeois

·        If at all possible, get out of and stay out of petty debt.

Three - Future

Jesus wants us to realize that the future is going to be pretty much what we make of the opportunities we are given each day.

Right now God is giving every one of you the chance to be Born-Again into His family. You can become a child of God by exercising the simple faith He has already given you. Or you can let this opportunity pass you by.

Nothing changes until something changes. Your life, marriage, family, finances, and future can begin a change for the better right now if you will put your trust in Jesus.

The changes you need may not all happen immediately or without you making some investment in the process. Right decisions must be made, and time given for things to change.

Anyone who has given God a chance will tell you it works. God will not disappoint you, but He will work with you to cultivate, nurture, and repair all the things that are broken in your life.

Life is a process … begin the process your new life affords right now!

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The Fear of the Lord Part 2-Omission

 Gtcotr ws02/09/2022

Galatians 1:15-16 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood …

After Paul heard from God, he did not confer with flesh and blood …

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

Tonight, we will find our place somewhere between those two admonitions.

*Tell the story of man in Seoul, Korea standing on the sidewalk screaming the message over a loudspeaker, “You’re going to hell!”

He didn’t need to be told to witness but he sure needed some counsel as to how to obey God. He should not have stopped witnessing because he was offending people, but he should have stopped screaming.

Perhaps Abraham and Moses also shared a similar dilemma. Should I do exactly what God said, and only what God said, the way God said, or should I listen to other people and allow them to add their opinions to the mix? In other words, how much should we allow other well-meaning people to weigh in on the call of God on our lives?

Let’s look at Abraham first …

Genesis 11:31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there.

·        Abraham was about 50 as best we understand, when he left Mesopotamia headed for Haran.

·        The best we understand, Abraham spent about 25 years in Haran.

·        He went with his father whose name was Terah.

·        Jones dictionary of the Old Testament proper names

                                Terah = Delay

·        Terah is also recognized in Biblical Hebrew to refer to a wanderer (one who turns aside or wanders and wastes time.)

·        Also likened to a wild mountain goat who is often foolish and distracted.

Genesis 12:1-5 1 Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the [a]people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.

·        God told Abraham to get away from his family and go to the land he would show him.

·        Abraham did not strictly do that.

·        Abraham almost obeyed God but ended up taking Lot.

·        If you continue to read the story of Abraham’s life, Lot was a plague to Abraham for the next 25 years and beyond.

·        In fact, God’s promise to Abraham did not come to pass until Lot and Abraham had finally separated.

·        By that time, Abraham was 100 years old.

·        Let me show you something many Bible scholars miss.

We don’t find out about this account in the book of Genesis, This account is given to us through by the Holy Spirit through Stephen, a deacon in the church of Jerusalem, just moments before he was stoned.

Acts 7:1 Then the high priest said, “Are these things so?”

And he said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’ Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell.

·        Abraham did not have the promised son until he was 100

(50-60 years later than was promised).

·        Now there is a delay – a terror - or Terah, if you will

·        We cannot know for sure how much it costs in time and other quantities for Abraham to not do things when God said, like God said, and no other way than God said.

·        Terah could have been used by God to get Abraham up and moving or he could have just been a delay. I tend to think he might have been a little of both.

Now let’s look at Moses and the element of the fear of the Lord and the sin of omission.

Acts 7:34 “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.”

Exodus 4:19-20, 24-26

19 Now the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.” 20 Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

24 And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” 26 So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a husband of blood!”—because of the circumcision.

·        Why Would God tell Moses to Go down to Egypt and then send an angel to kill him once he was on the way?

·        Evidently there was a problem.

·        Evidently God was not happy with something in this mix.

·        We find only 3 elements in this account that God deals with prior to Moses accomplishing the call of God on his life.

o   The first element: It is evident that Moses did not leave on his journey to Egypt when God first told him.

o   The second element: It is evident God did not tell him to take his wife and sons to Egypt.

§  We don’t know all the reasons. It could be like it is today when people in some foreign countries apply for a visa to leave those countries. They are often granted permission to go alone but they must leave their spouse and children behind. Why?

§  Perhaps, at least its imaginable, that Moses could have gotten comfortable in Egypt with his family.

§  Perhaps, its imaginable that Moses’ wife or children could have been threatened, kidnapped by Pharoah, held for ransom … all extra things that God could have fixed but may not have wanted to mess with.

o   The third element: It is evident Moses had not kept the law of God which required him to circumcise his sons when they were 8 days old.

§  Moses was God’s law giver. God could not allow Moses to be law giver while blatantly disregarding the law. (During the law, people lived and died and were stoned for breaking the law. Those who live by the law must be judged by the law.)

Why do we imagine one of Moses’s two sons had not yet been circumcised? Moses was 80 years old. He had been living in Midian with Zipporah and her family for 40 years. Most likely these were not little kids but rather grown men.

·        It is reasonable to assume that his firstborn had been circumcised.

·        It is reasonable to assume that Zipporah didn’t like it. Evidenced by her anger and resentment.

·        Zipporah did what she did at the end of a long hard battle, no doubt.

·        Zipporah was not a Jew … Moses was.

·        Moses was unevenly yoked with an unbeliever.

·        Perhaps Zipporah saw the pain and blood of the first circumcision and refused to allow the second son to be circumcised.

·        Moses was circumcised at 8 days old and in order to save the life of Moses, Zipporah circumcised the remaining son and then in anger and resentment threw the foreskin at the feet of her husband with exclaim.

This is the point, where the 2 boys and the mother, Zipporah, leave Moses and go back home to her daddy in Midian where they will wait until Genesis 18 to be reunited with Moses after he brings the children of Israel out of the wilderness and across the desert.

Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, in Genesis 18 brings Zipporah and the boys to Moses. Jethro also gives Moses some counsel and advice on how to incorporate some leadership principles in his life.

Moses was responsible for perhaps 2 million Jews and their welfare, as well as their spiritual growth and their problems.

Moses had God to talk to and Aaron who wore an ephod to help determine the way and the will of God. Yet, he took Jethro’s advice and we still take it today.

Sometimes, God tells you what to do by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and sometimes He gives you advice through others, like Jethro or even a donkey. And yet at other times, well meaning people like Terah and Zipporah can offer opinions that water down the will of God. Only you can make that decision. Is this good counsel that agrees with the Word of God or is it counsel from the flesh and blood of man?

This is why the word of God is so precious and so powerful for us. God did not leave us without witness … it’s the Word, rightly interpreted and in light of the one story God is telling.  

And for goodness sake, don’t omit anything God said.