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When We Can’t, God Can; When We Won’t, God Will January 23 Bible Study

SERMON SUMMARY In Sunday’s sermon we looked at greatness.  We looked at the greatness of Moses and we looked at the greatness of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  But, “greatness” is easily and often discussed.  These were ordinary men with flaws and failures.  Their “greatness” was found in following and submitting to God’s purpose on their lives. But, like most of us, they were sometimes fearful and…sometimes they failed to follow God’s direction. Sometimes in life we feel weary, as if we could go no further.  Our past or present mistakes or failings loom largely in front of us.  God knows our flaws.  He intends to use us and to use them.  He will neither leave us nor forsake us.  When we can’t, God can.  When we won’t, God will.  Be encouraged and trust God to take you further.

Mighty in the Hands of God (Deut 34:10-12) We see, in the same manner that we revere Dr. King, Israel revered Moses, the powerful man of God.

  • Recall and reflect on how Israel invoked his Moses as the standard-bearer for their community in our recent sermons about the transition from Moses to Joshua.  In the same way, reflect on how Dr. King is our 20th century standard-bearer.  What does it mean when we invoke these names?

At the same time, these men were – like us – very human.  Let’s walk with Moses and God as Moses wrestles against God’s call in his life in the Book of Exodus.  Does he remind you of anybody?

Who am I? (Exodus 3:11-12) God has approached and called Moses to purpose from the burning bush.  Does he immediately obey? No, Moses first asks the question we sometimes ask when we find out God wants to use us- who am I?

  • Do you ever find yourself asking this question?
  • Is it sometimes hard to believe that God will work through us?  Consider 2 Cor 4:7
  • What comfort and promise does God give to Moses and to us?

Who are You God? (v3:13-17)  Here we see Moses struggle with the question that we all struggle with from time to time.  Who is God?  What do I tell people about God?  Look at God’s response in Verses 14-17.

  • How do we see Moses struggle with this question in v13?  Do we sometimes struggle with who God is? And how to articulate who he is to others?

Verse 14 contains that great Baptist shouting text – God is the great I am.  This is a strong theological statement that God has always existed (“in the beginning God”).  Before anything was, God is.  But look at the rest of what God directs Moses to tell the people of God in 15-17.

  • When confronted with questions about who God is, we don’t always need theology, but what we need is testimony!  What do we see in Verses 15 through 17 that bears witness to this? What can we tell people about God?

What about the Crowd/Haters?(4:1-9) God is done with the first two questions/excuses but Moses still resists asking “What will the people say?”  Since the beginning of time there has always been a crowd of naysayers, doubters and haters attempting to discourage and distract the people of God.  (Consider Abel, Joseph, David, Nehemiah, and of course Jesus).  Moses asked what about my doubters/haters?

  • How often do we find ourselves concerned with what other people will say or think about what we’re supposed to do for God?  What types of doubts or distractions do these put in our head?
  • What happens to our plan when we focus on what people will say (“our haters”)?

We should not spend too much time focused on those who doubt or distract (haters).  They will get in the way of us doing the mission.  God will do wonderful acts and deeds through us.  (See 4:2-9)  They will speak for his power.

What about me Lord? (v4:10-12) Moses next speaks of his own weakness or lack of ability.  When confronted with God’s direction, we sometimes think about our own “shortcomings”.   Are these a good excuse?

  • What does God say to Moses about his “weakness”?  Is God aware of our abilities?
  • What are some of the things that we think make us weak?
  • Do we think God would give us a task and not equip us?  (Consider 2 Corinthians 9:8, Romans 8:30; Hebrews 13:21)

Moses Wanted to Give Up but God Didn’t (v13)/Deut 34:10-12 Finally, Moses gets to his last excuse.  He doesn’t want to do it.  Send someone else. Was he tired, was he weary Was he scared???  We don’t know but whatever it is . . . When we can’t, God can.  Even when we feel like we won’t, God will.  God has a call on us.  We are not perfect.  Neither was Moses.  Neither was David.  Neither was Joshua.  There is but one who is perfect.  That is Jesus Christ.  God does not give up on us even when we give up on God. Moses became who God had for him to be.

God was with Moses when Moses.  God was with Moses when Moses was weak.  God was with Moses when Moses resisted the call of God.  God was with Moses when Moses had even murdered the Egyptian.  God was with Moses when Moses was not with God.

And, in the same way, God is with us in the low times.  God is with us when we crawl.  God is with us when we struggle.  God is with us when we walk.  God is with us when we talk.  God is with us when we fly.  As I was with Moses so I will be with you.

And the thing is, when we look at the life of Moses, although Moses tried to give up on God … God refused to give up on Moses.  After denial, after denial, after denial God refused to give up on Moses.  He continued to push and nudge and draw Moses toward his calling.  He does the same for us.

Thus as God was with Moses he also will be with us.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  He will always be right there for us.  Even when we seem to give up on God, God does not give up on us.

God was with Moses when Moses. God was with Moses when Moses was weak. God was with Moses when Moses resisted the call of God. God was with Moses when Moses had even murdered the Egyptian. God was with Moses when Moses was not with God.

And, in the same way, God is with us in the low times. God is with us when we crawl. God is with us when we struggle. God is with us when we walk. God is with us when we talk. God is with us when we fly.  As I was with Moses so I will be with you.

And the thing is, when we look at the life of Moses, although Moses tried to give up on God … God refused to give up on Moses. After denial, after denial, after denial God refused to give up on Moses. He continued to push and nudge and draw Moses toward his calling. He does the same for us.

Thus as God was with Moses he also will be with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will always be right there for us. Even when we seem to give up on God, God does not give up on us.

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4 comments on “When We Can’t, God Can; When We Won’t, God Will January 23 Bible Study

  1. Pingback: Are You Sendable? | Mennonite Preacher

  2. Pingback: Exodus 3. God calls Moses. Moses at the burning bush | Bummyla

  3. Pingback: Do you wonder if God gets angry? « My View and Opinion

  4. Pingback: OVER COMING OUR FEARS WHEN WE MOVE FROM OUR COMFORT ZONE « VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES.COM

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This entry was posted on January 27, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , .

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