Notes from Fred
Sunday was (as predicted) a not-to-be-missed day – with our Children offering us a powerful and joyful Musical, asking the question: “What do you say when the Father calls you for something special?” Their answer was a resounding “Yes!’ And they led us to respond (eventually resoundingly) with “Yes” as well…
And this Sunday is also a not-to-be-missed day – with our VBS Children celebrating with us; the offer of a delicious “meal” from the menu of Meadowlake’s Ministry Café; followed by our Summer Bash, with the famous “slip and slide”!
Trust In God - To Grow Up
On Sunday, God called us to “grow up” to be the person He created us to be, to receive His plans that will prosper us, by trusting in Him in the ways Moses trusted in Him, beginning when Moses “messed up” – through revelation, learning His ways through His Word with the help of others; through submission, by letting God lead us from our self-centered lives to serve others; by transition, letting God continually move us from where we are to where He wants us to be, promising that He will never give up on us. (Exodus 2:11-22; 3:1)
- God wants us to grow up from the immature person we so often are to become the person He created and wants us to be. This journey begins so often for us, like it did for Moses, when we mess up. Moses messed up by responding to an injustice (an Egyptian beating a Hebrew) in the wrong way, in the way of the world – with a personal claim to power, with anger, with deceit to cover up his wrongful deed.
- We also mess up, and realize our need to grow up, when we mess up, living in the world’s way, with power (we do it because we can); with anger, unforgiveness, deceit; with self-centeredness and pride – You name it, all of the ways of the world that are not the ways of God.
- When we keep messing up, it is time to grow up – which can only happen when we trust in God. For God assures us in Paul’s Letter to the Romans: “God works for good in all things” (even we mess up); and in Jeremiah, who spoke God’s Word to the Israelites, who were in exile because they messed up, committing continual sins against God: “I have a plan for you that will prosper you, that will give you hope and a future!
- We focused (in summary fashion – in preparation for our Musical) on three ways that God grows us up to give us His plans that will prosper us. The First Way is this: Revelation! God grows us up through learning His ways through His Word. This why God led Moses to the desert of Midian, to followers of God, far away from the influences of the Egyptians. But God not only led him to Midian, He led Moses to Reuel, who was a priest (which means “connected with God”), and who was a special priest – with a name meaning “Shepherd of God,” with the role of guiding and protecting those entrusted to him. Moses was put in the presence of Reuel to be guided in the ways of God, to become connected with God.
- What God revealed to us through Moses is that we need others to learn the ways of God, to be connected with God. You will know if your are trusting in God to grow up if you are in a class, a small group, with your Pastor, learning God’s Word and way.
- And we will know if we are trusting in God to grow up, learning His ways, if we are not like Moses when he committed murder, looking all around before he did the deed; if we are not like the farmer who was about to steal his neighbor’s corn, looking all around, when suddenly his son said – “Dad, you forgot to look up!”
- I pray that you will trust in God to grow up, by learning from Him, being guided by him, with the help of others – and before you think, say, or do anything, look up…!
- If we look up and trust in God, He will grow us up in a Second Way – Submission! To submit means to humble our selves, to put our selves under a higher authority, to serve a higher authority. God shows us, through Moses, how we can come to submit. God taught Moses to submit by leading him away from his desires for himself in Egypt to humble himself, by serving others – in Moses’ case, by tending the sheep of Reuel in the desert. By serving others in the desert, Moses was serving God, and being prepared to submit himself even more to God.
- What God shows us through Moses is that we can learn to submit by praying for God to humble us, by leading us away from self-focus and comfort, out of our comfort zones, to serve others in their deserts. This is what our friend John learned, when he faced issues in his life that needed changing. He prayed for God to give him the will to submit. God led him to serve prisoners. John thought that this would be a burden, but he found it to be a blessing – “As I cared more for these prisoners, I began to care less about myself; began to care more for the others in my life; became closer to God, to let Him change me….”
- I pray that you will trust in God to grow up, by submitting to God to humble you by leading you to serve others in their deserts…!
- And if we trust in God, He will grow us up in a Third Way: Transition! Moses knew that he was in transition, because he named his son Gershom (“foreigner”), and said about himself: “I am a sojourner (“traveler”) in a foreign land.” Moses knew that he was not stuck in Midian. When he reached a level of maturity by trusting in God, God transitioned him by giving him a new plan that prospered him, and gave him (and, as we will see in our Series, a whole nation) hope and a future.
- This is the great good news – No matter who we are or what we have done; no matter how much we have messed up or are messed up just by life circumstances, we are never stuck with where or who we are. God is there with us, and, if we will trust in Him to grow us up by learning His Word and submitting to Him, He will give us a plan that will prosper us. This is the lesson learned by a young boy named Pete, who had Down Syndrome. He was in a class for many months, without responding to anything. One day the children were singing a song from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Suddenly Pete spoke his first words of the year, singing and signing: “He who began a good work in me, will not give up on me” – pointing to his chest and repeating with a smile, “on me!”
- I pray that you will trust in God to grow up – by learning and submitting, letting Him show you that you are not stuck, for He who began a good work in you, will not give up on you…!
- We concluded by turning to our children who taught us in word and song, beginning with the question: “Whadda you gonna be when you grow up” – and concluding with this affirmation: “He’s still workin’ on me to be what I oughta be; I’m a Promise!” That is a promise – of our God!
Connection for the Week. Let God begin growing you up – by becoming part of a class or Small Group in our church; praying for God to lead you out of your comfort zone to learn to submit by serving others in their deserts; and experience God moving you from where you are to where He wants you to be, giving you a plan that will prosper you and give you hope and a future.