Investing – Sermon Notes

By September 16, 2017 Sermon Notes

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Investing in the Next Generation

Life of Moses – Highlight four points that relate to call to invest in next generation

1) Moses’ was a sinner Ex. 2:11-12, “One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” – Next day, word was out that Moses was a murderer, Pharaoh tried to capture and kill him, but Moses escaped to Midian

Important to remember this is how Moses’ story begins – Moses is not all hero – Moses was a sinner – Reality: Apart from Jesus, the only type of people God has ever used for His glory are broken ones

One reason we can resist investing in next generation: scared of “messing them up” – We know we have flaws and we don’t want to “pass them on” – If parent, you probably know that feeling – I’m getting ready to be a dad and the weight of knowing I’m responsible for shaping this little life is sobering because I know that I have flaws – Expected

But biblical response is not to abandon children or neglect next generation – Biblical response: pray, lean into Jesus, and trust Him to fill the gaps with His grace as we press in and invest – Leads to next point

2) Moses was unsure but called, and God filled in the gaps with grace –Moses the murder flees Egypt – Tending flock of father-in-law out in Midian – Notices bush on fire, not consumed – Pretty fascinating – Check it out – God appears in burning bush

Ex. 3:7-10, “The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

God appears to Moses and tells Moses what He wants to do – Moses is resistant – Likely Moses wrestling with reality of sinfulness, insecurities, fears – Imagine conversation – Moses standing in front of burning bush – Shoeless because God’s presence has made the ground sacred – God speaking to Moses audibly – Moses has chin buried in chest because God’s presence is so thick that Moses can’t even stand to look up – Conversation, paraphrased, Exodus 3

God: “Go” – Moses: Wait, me? – Yes, you. I will be with you – But I don’t even know your name; I’ll look foolish – This is my name: Tell them that I AM sent you and that I AM is going to bring them out of Egypt into a land flowing with milk and honey – What if they don’t listen to me or believe me? – Then, I’ll give you miraculous signs; they’ll believe you – But I’m not very eloquent? – I’ll help you speak and teach you what to say – Moses, running out of excuses, almost comical: “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” – No. Go. And take Aaron with you. – Moses finally realizes he’s not getting out of this one, so he obeys

Moses was unsure but called, and God filled in the gaps with grace

God has called church to invest time/talent/ treasures for Kingdom – Jesus instructed: “make disciples”, baptize, teach – Making disciples requires investment – Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:2, “the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” – Paul wrote to Titus in Titus 2:2-7, Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good.

Clear: God has called His church to invest in the Kingdom, certainly includes next generation of Kingdom laborers – And we may be unsure – We may have fears, insecurities, doubts like Moses – But we cannot deny the call – We must lean in and trust God to fill in the gaps with His grace

Next Question: How? What does “investment” even look like? – Can look different – Principle: Apprenticeship

New favorite word to use – Mike Breen, “Building a Discipling Culture” –Apprenticeship embodies idea of “coming alongside” someone and showing them how to do something – Merriam-Webster for noun “apprentice”: one who is learning by practical experience under skilled workers a trade, art, or calling – Breen breaks down way Jesus taught into three unique methods: 1) Oral, lecture-style teaching, 2) Apprenticeship – He had the apostles walk alongside him and watch Him do ministry, then He would send them out to try for themselves and debrief with them, 3) Immersion – Jesus lived “life-on-life” with His apostles

Apprenticeship jumped out at me as I thought about my life/ministry – Lots of oral, lecture-style teaching and immersive relationships – But apprenticeship is really where the rubber meets the road in practical ways

Talked with several students first few weeks of school – They tell me that they are a Christian I ask, “So what does your relationship with Jesus look like on a day-to-day basis? Do you spend time in the Word? Do you spend time in prayer?” – Many say, albeit in different words, “No. I don’t really know how.” – Usually ashamed, but shouldn’t be – How would they know if no one never taught them? – Never been apprenticed

Been told “Go read your Bible” – Know it’s important – Never shown how to do that in a fruitful and beneficial way – The apprentice model says: “Let’s read the Bible together. I’ll show you how I do it. It’s certainly not the only way you could do it, but it might help you get started.” – Same can be said for prayer or evangelism or making disciples – Investment is simple – “coming alongside” someone to help them learn by practical experience how follow Jesus, be a good husband/wife, work for glory of God

We understand how this works – If you’ve taught a child how to ride a bike – You don’t say, “Go ride your bike” and expect them to figure it out – If they’re really determined and have high pain tolerance they might figure it out, but probably, they’ll just give up

But if you go out with them and say, “put your feet here, put your hands here, sit here, move your legs like this” – Encourage, give little cues, they’ll figure it out – And then one day they’ll get pedaling and they’ll look back and realize that your standing back at house – You’ve taught them a skill and now they can do it on their own – That’s not demeaning, that’s teaching, that’s apprenticeship – That’s investment

Not complex, does take time – It takes investment – Don’t have to be expert, just have competency – And if you’ve been walking with Jesus for 10 years and other person has been for one, you’ve got competencies they probably don’t – If you’ve been married for 10 years and the other person has been for one, you’ve got competencies they probably don’t – Same goes with parenting – Same goes with working for glory of God – Don’t have to be expert, just need competency – Doesn’t have to be complex, just takes investment

And as the person you are investing in starts to develop more competencies, then you give them a little more responsibility – You say, “Okay, now I want you to do this on your own” or “Okay, now I want you to go teach someone else to do this” – Privilege and responsibility – Invitation and challenge

Moses understood – Apprenticed Joshua – Exodus 17, Moses calls on Joshua to lead army against the Amalekites – Joshua faithful, Israelites won – Jump to Exodus 24:13 Joshua is described as Moses’ “aide” – Growing privilege and responsibility – And look what’s happening, “Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.” – Moses didn’t say, “Joshua, I’m going to meet with God and then I’ll come back and tell you what He said.” – Moses said, “Come with me. I’m going to meet with God.” – Moses had met with God before, Joshua had not, at least not in this way – And Moses invited Joshua in – “Come alongside me” – Exodus 33 – Again, Moses goes to meet God face to face at the Tent of Meeting and takes Joshua with him – Then, Moses sends Joshua as one of spies into Promised Land – Joshua was faithful – Moses apprenticing Joshua – He was investing in the next generation

4) Moses joined God in filling his own shoes

Already noted that Moses was sinner – One of consequences of Moses’ sin: not allowed to enter Promised Land – Allowed to see from across Jordan, but not enter – End of Moses’ life is powerful – Testament to commitment to next generation – Moses knew the people were going in without him – And he knew their success hinged on faithfulness to God – So his last act as their leader was to bring them in Moab, just across from Promised Land, remind them of terms of covenant with God, read the law publicly before them, and to appoint Joshua as his successor

Ex. 31:1-3, 7-8, Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: “I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross the Jordan.’ The Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land… Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

And I have to believe that Moses was confident in what he was leaving behind because: 1) He trusted God and knew that, ultimately, God would lead His people, 2) He’d been faithful to fill his shoes – And I have to believe that Joshua knew this was his time – He was scared, no doubt – That’s why God told him over and over, “Be strong and courageous” – But I have to believe that the apprenticeship had prepared him for the task – He, like Moses, unsure but called, and God would fill in gaps with grace

Then Moses climbed Mt. Nebo alone, God showed Promised Land, he breathed his last – Moses could see what God had next, but he could not go there – God had put boundaries around Moses’ physical life – But Moses’ influence extended beyond those boundaries and borders because he invested well in the next generation – His words would be in the minds and hearts of those who would go after him – Things that God had taught him, he’d taught Joshua, and Joshua would continue to teach the people – His life had boundaries, his influence exceeded them because he’d invested things of God in the people of God

Each of us has a Mt. Nebo – God has put boundaries and borders around our lives – We’re not going through them – Our influence can if we invest the things of God into next generation – If we wait until it’s time to climb the mountain, we’ve waited too long – Time to start investing is now

Even though we are imperfect and unsure and insecure, God has called us to the task of raising up the next generation of laborers for His Kingdom – And His grace will fill in the gaps

And so the application is, as you pursue Jesus, apprentice someone to do the same – Call someone to come alongside you in the process – And don’t just tell them what to do, show them – Entrust to them the things God has shown you – Invest the things of God back into the people of God – And be open to others doing the same for you

And you’ll have to talk to God about what exactly that looks like:

Might be apprenticing younger person how to walk with Jesus – Read Bible – Pray –Live in community – Confess your weakness and need for God – Invest in someone else

Might be apprenticing a younger person in workplace – Equipping them with some skills to be a God-honoring member of workforce – Providing experience – Talking through opportunities/challenges they might face and how to be prepared

Might be an investment in your family – You might be sitting there thinking, “I work full-time, come home, put food on table, get kids to bed, wake up and do it over again.” – Don’t overlook value of raising kids – You’re investing in next generation every day – Be strategic

Might be investing in college student, high school student, working in Super Church

Multitude of opportunities – Ask God what faithfulness looks like, do it – Invest – Because you have the Gospel and I guarantee you have competency that’s worth passing along – Invest the things of God back into the people of God

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