A quick update from the Athens Church of Christ

View this email in your browser

Sermon Follow-up for Sunday, April 5, 2020


Read EXODUS 14
In this chapter, we encounter the well-known account of Moses parting the Red Sea. It’s a story many of us have been familiar with since childhood, but how often have we taken time to pull from the event the spiritual lessons God wants us to learn.
From a humanistic perspective, Israel chose to encamp in the worst possible spot. They were now trapped between Pharaoh’s advancing army and the sea. The situation seemed dire, hopeless, in fact. Surely there was no way they would come out of this OK. But what does God tell Moses in verse 4?

God says that he will actually use the situation to glorify himself! That is what God does. He allows us to find ourselves in what initially seems difficult, if not hopeless, situations in order that he might glorify himself through our lives! 
What is something challenging you face right now? Perhaps, like Israel, you are even tempted to feel hopeless..
The Covid 19 pandemic?
Another health situation?
Your financial situation and/or the current pandemic’s threat to your job?
Some other life circumstance?

How might God glorify himself through your situation? You have to believe that you are already “encamped” where you need to be for God’s glory. You need only trust God enough to keep believing, keep obeying, keep clinging to your righteous pursuit of Christ!  And remember, the goal is to be like Christ, not to win deliverance from a set of circumstances. 
Read 2 Corinthians 3:18; 12:6-10; Philippians 3:7-10; John 12:27-28 {note how Jesus did not pray for deliverance from his situation, but rather that God would be glorified through it} 
Note how the people react when they see Pharaoh’s army. Do their words project faith or fear? Note how Moses responds. What differences do you notice?

Moses was a FAITHFUL PRESENCE! He inspired Faith that helped the people see God, rather than simply fueling fear with negative and faithless comments. That’s what someone who is a faithful presence does, they help others find their faith!  Are you being a faithful presence for your spouse, children, brothers and sisters in Christ, co-workers, neighbors…?
Someone who is a faithful presence displays: 
FAITHFUL DEMEANOR: They carry themselves with faith. They display peace and security in situations that would often fuel anxiety. Moses was quick to stand up in the midst of the people’s panic to turn their eyes to God rather than the Egyptians. Do you live with the demeanor of one who sees God or the “Egyptians?”
FAITHFUL WORDS: Do your words help people see God and find a sense of security in him during a scary time, or do they only heighten and contribute to fear, uncertainty, anxiety! Read Exodus 14:13-14 again. What did Moses say to the people? How might these words have impacted their faith?
FAITHFUL POSTS: What are you posting online? What words and images would we find via your social media? Do you share things that would build people’s faith, or which would contribute to anxiety and confusion? When you attempt to educate people about Covid 19 or anything else, is your goal to help or to shock? Do you spread rumors or truth?

No, Moses didn’t tweet before parting the Red Sea, and we have no record of him ever posting it on Instagram. But what if Moses had used social media? Do you think he would have posted things to help the people see and trust in their God… to remind them to be faithful and trust him at this challenging time and to have hope… or do you think he would have spread fear with comments about how imposing and threatening Pharaoh’s army appeared?
FAITHFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD: What enabled Moses to have such faith at such a desperate moment? Moses had been having an ongoing conversation with God for a while. If you want to see God and be a presence of faith for your family, church, friends when they need you most, you need to be walking with God and learning to trust him on a daily basis. What might you do to improve your walk with God so as to prepare you to have faith in the face of “Pharaoh’s army?” 
In verse 14, Moses tells the people they “need only be still.” What do you think he means? In what situations might God be telling you that you “need only be still,” trusting that the Lord will fight for you? 
Read Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:6-7, 12-13, 1 Peter 5:6-7. What do these scriptures teach us about “being still” when we face problems to which we initially don’t have the answers? What makes “being still” challenging? Why is it so important that we learn to embrace “being still” and trusting God when we don’t know what to do? 
Read verse 15 again. What does God tell Moses to tell the people to do? They are to MOVE ON! Just keep your faith moving! You may not know how God is going to fix the problems in your life or where you are going to end up, but you know you are supposed to be righteous right now! How might you “keep your faith moving” today, in your current situation?
It says that the people walk through the Red Sea with massive walls of water on each side. Imagine how terrifying that sight must have been, knowing that at any moment, if God chose to withdraw his hand, tons of water would come crashing down on you! It would be like staring at a tsunami which was frozen in place just a few feet from you! 
You would think they would not have been willing to walk through. After all, who would be comfortable being between walls of water which could easily crush and drown you? But they did. Why? Because of Pharaoh’s army! Sometimes, our faith needs to walk a scary path in order to get us to our Promised Land. If not for the challenging situation pressing down on you, your faith would not go where God is trying to take it. 
Read Acts 8:1-8. What finally compelled the disciples to have the faith to go to Samaria and eventually the Gentiles with the Gospel?
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-2, Paul says that by crossing the Red Sea the Israelites were “baptized into Moses.” Baptism is associated with salvation. What “Red Sea” have you crossed, or might God want you to cross, which you would not have (or won’t) if not for “Pharaoh’s army” (the challenging situation in your life that is forcing your faith to go to places it otherwise would not). 






Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list