Greg Laurie — A Second Chance for a World Changer
Father, as we're entering in now to this new year with new opportunities, and new challenges, and yes even some new trials. We're so glad that you will walk with us through it. And Lord we want to be used by you in 2017. We want to lead other people to you in this year. We want to be World Changers. So, speak to us as we look at scripture now. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
Hey, let's all grab our bibles and turn to two passages today. Hebrews chapter 11 and Exodus chapter two. We're back in our World Changer series. Hey, you know, I don't know about you, but I was not raised in the church. Which means, I never really knew about a God who loved me and cared about me and had a plan for my life. I'd heard it here and there but it never seemed to penetrate my youthful mind until one day in 1970, I heard the gospel articulated in a way that I understood and I believed in Jesus Christ. Okay, so just to think that God in heaven cared about me and loved me and had a plan for my life was mind-blowing. But then I heard that God wanted to use me. Not only that, I heard that God had commanded me to go into all my world and preach the gospel.
So I was about, oh I don't know, maybe a two month old Christian. I went out looking for someone to share my faith with. And I've told you the story before and you know it already probably but in case you don't. I found a middle aged lady sitting on a beach. I walked up to her cold. I hadn't even memorized the contents of the booklet I read to her. But much to my shock and delight, when I was done she said yes she wanted to believe in Jesus and we prayed there. You know she had asked me one even remotely difficult question, I would have collapsed like a house of cards but she didn't. She was responsive and I was excited. And then I said to the Lord, hey this is great Lord. I want to be used by you even more. You know what I found out? God takes prayers like that seriously. So I found myself out and about sharing my faith more and more, engaging people with the gospel and I loved that. But like most people, I had a fear of public speaking. You know I think you've heard it said that whenever studies are done, the number one fear of most people is public speaking. Sometimes, even before death, which I've always found insane. But we're all nervous about the idea of speaking to a group of people.
I remember when I was a non-believer hanging out at the beach in Corona del Mar there, called Big Corona, that there was some guy who would come down on Saturdays, dressed head to toe in black, complete with a black hat. He was some kind of preacher. Of course he had a black bible. He would stand out in the blazing sun and tell everyone to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus. And I remember as a young kid, I had hair then, really cool surfer wave, the whole deal. I'm standing there in my board shorts and t-shirt looking at this guy and I'm thinking, man if there's one thing I never want to be, it's that guy. Okay, now fast-forward many years. I'm a brand new Christian. I've been sharing my faith. And I've told you the story of when I first spoke publicly. It was actually at that same beach, not far from where I saw that crazy preacher dressed in black. And I was standing before a bunch of people that were up on the cliffs there at Little Corona Beach after I had shared the gospel with some girls and they had accepted the Lord and I baptized them and the Lord spoke to me and said preach.
What could have been the most terrifying moment of my life was one of the most exciting and exhilarating. And I realized that God wanted to use me. But here's the thing. God wants to use all of us. And here's my challenge for you in 2017. It's time to leave our comfort zones and say God I'll do whatever you want me to do. I'll say whatever you want me to say. I'll go wherever you want me to go. For you. I think it's time for us to take it to the next level in our Christian life. As I mentioned in my last message, one of the marks of spiritual growth is you see you need to grow a lot more spiritually. In other words, if you think you've reached some plateau and you're where you need to be and you don't need to grow any more, you are not growing at all. But if you recognize there's so much more to learn, so much more growth that needs to take place in your life, that's a good sign. And another good sign of a growing Christian is a dissatisfaction with where you are at at the moment. By that I simply mean that you want things to change in your life and you want to be used by God.
So we're back in this World Changers series. We're talking about men and women that change their world. And all of us need to be praying about how God can use us to change our world. Because every Christian is called to serve God. It's not just for preachers or missionaries or evangelists or others. Every Christian is called to serve God. I love this passage, Romans 12, starting in verse four it says, "Just as our bodies have many parts, each one has a special function. So it is with Christ's body. We're all parts of this one body and each of us has a different work to do and since we are all one body in Christ we belong to each other and each of us needs all the others. because", it concludes, "each of us has been given the ability by God to do certain things well". Here's a mark of spiritual maturity. When you come to church and say, Lord use me. Here's a mark of spiritual immaturity. I say I want everybody here at church to serve me. A mark of spiritual maturity is consistency in church attendance. A mark of spiritual immaturity is a lack of consistency in church attendance. It's when I'm saying Lord, I don't want to just be ministered to, I want to minister. And I'm telling you, God is looking for people to use right now in that capacity.
In Ezekiel 22, God says, "I look for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone", interesting phrase. "I searched for someone", God says, "to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn't destroy the land. But I found none". Think about that. God is searching. Right now, God is searching this room for someone to use. A man, a woman, a boy, or a girl. He's looking for someone to sort of raise their hand and say, "Here I am, send me". When I'm with my grandkids, I'll always have them raise their hands. Who wants to go out for ice cream? "I do papa", their hands will all go up. Okay, then we'll go. God's saying, "Who wants to be used by me"? Will you raise your hand and say, "I do, papa, I do Father"? Or will you hold your hand down? Because God will use you if you will let Him use you. Now you might say, "Well Greg", you know, "you have your super cool pulpit here that you stand behind that lights up and I don't have a pulpit like that".
Well listen, actually you do have a pulpit. It doesn't have to be a box like this. A pulpit is a platform. A pulpit is opportunity. A pulpit is your sphere of influence. No matter where you are. If you flip burgers, man, you have a pulpit. If you wash dishes, you have a pulpit. If you're a business executive, you have a pulpit. If you're in some other field, you have a pulpit. A musician, whatever it is. I received a letter from a school teacher the other day. In a public school, mind you. And I love what he wrote. And here's what he said in the letter. "Dear Pastor Greg, I'm a high school teacher in a pretty tough area. As a public school teacher, I have to find creative ways of witnessing to students and sharing the love of Jesus with them because Jesus is a very foreign concept to many of the students here. So I decided to give the students some extra credit assignment, extra credit assignment over the weekend. They had to watch the Harvest Crusade or go to the Crusade in person".
Man, I love this guy. I mean, can you imagine? Public school teacher, telling the kids for extra credit go to a Harvest Crusade. So he said they had to do a one page write-up on it and what they saw and experienced. Well he says, "I'm very happy to report that a few of the students gave their lives to Jesus and several were just asking me questions which is an awesome opportunity", he writes, "to plant more seeds. The Crusade got many of the students thinking about things they had never heard about in their homes. My prayer is that those who saw the Crusade and haven't made the decision, will make the final decision. No matter what, I'll keep in contact with those kids and continue to be a witness to them". Man, God bless this guy. And God bless every one of you that sees opportunities around you. You know, sometimes people say, "I want to go serve the Lord, I feel called to the ministry". Okay, opportunities are everywhere. Jesus said lift up your eyes. The fields are white onto harvest but the laborers are few.
Now I know some of you are thinking, "Oh please Greg", you know, "I'm not like you, I'm not outgoing. I don't have the gift of gab. And besides, I've made too many mistakes". Now I want to tell you what you're saying. Those are excuses, it's all they are. Now what is an excuse? One definition I like is an excuse is a lie dressed up for dinner. That's all it is. An excuse is a fancy lie. You know when someone asks you to do something you don't want to do, you make an excuse. And people will often offer up excuses why they can't be used by God. But if we learn anything from this series, in Hebrews 11, that I'm calling the Heroes' Hall of Faith, World Changers, we learned that these were super flawed people. They were far from perfect. In fact, they failed often. The folks that we read about here in Hebrews 11 are not there because they were great people. They are there because they had faith in a great God. I mean, consider some of the World Changers we've looked at here in Hebrews 11 and other places of the bible as well.
Remember Abraham, we learned all about him, the father of faith. Well we know that he lied twice about Sarah being his wife because, well, the man of faith lacked faith. His son Isaac did the same thing. Sarah, his wife, laughed at God's promise and then denied that she laughed. Jacob... lied and also connived. Noah got drunk. Samson was a very immoral man. Gideon was afraid. Rahab was a prostitute. Jeremiah and Timothy were too young, David had an affair and was a murderer. Elijah at one point was suicidal. Jonah ran from God. Job went bankrupt. John the Baptist ate buds and peed bugs. And Peter denied Christ. The disciples fell asleep while praying. The Samaritan woman was divorced more than once. Timothy had an ulcer. And Lazarus was dead. So what's your excuse?
Now think about it, these people messed up. But God gave to them second chances and that's why I've called this message A Second Chance for a World Changer. You see, maybe you need a second chance in this coming year. Maybe you've had a lapse of faith. You're like that lady in the commercial. "I've fallen and I can't get up", right? Well you can get up. And you can have a second chance and God can use you. Maybe you feel like your story is over because of a mistake you've made or a sin you've committed. But listen, get up and run again. Your story is not over. That's what Hebrews 11 is all about. Now, what is the key to these folks that change the world? One word, faith. The key is faith. Hebrews 11 starts off with these words, really a definition of faith. "Faith is a substance of things hoped for. It's the evidence of things not seen".
Remember I reminded you that faith needs to be used. Faith is like a muscle. If you neglect it, it will atrophy. It has to be in constant use. It comes down to this. Use it or lose it. So now we're gonna look at a man who really put faith into action. Our next World Changer on the list is a name you know well. I'm talking about Moses. Now for a lot of us, when you hear the name Moses, you think immediately of Charlton Heston because he portrayed Moses in that film "The Ten Commandments" many many years ago. To a younger generation they might think of Christian Bale who played Moses in the recent film that was called "Exodus: Gods and Kings". In fact, Christian Bale didn't seem to really understand his character very well because in an interview he said, "I think Moses was a terrorist to the Egyptians".
And also, Christian Bale said that he thought that Moses was maybe a little bit mentally disturbed. And I'm thinking, that's probably why Gods and Kings was such a lousy movie. But even more, I think Christian Bale is confusing Moses with Batman. You know he should have done the voice of Moses like Batman. I am Moses. You know, the point of it is, is that he was none of those things. Moses was a man who really didn't even want to do what God called him to do. He was reluctant, but God put his hand on Moses when he was a little baby. I love his story. It's almost like a fairy tale but it's 100% true. Now we all know how God providentially protected the little baby Moses in his little waterproof basket, floating down the Nile river. And ultimately he could have become the next Pharaoh of Egypt but when he could have zigged he zagged. And of course we know that Moses had his problems and Moses made his mistakes and we'll look at a few of those in a moment but let's just get the big picture of who this guy was.
Let me just sum it up this way. Moses was a man of God. I didn't say he was a perfect man because no one is. No woman is either, though they often think so. No, Moses is described in the Bible as the man of God. What a great description. That's Deuteronomy 33:1. Man if nothing else was said about you. If someone could just say you know what, that is a man of God or that is a woman of God. I can't think of a higher compliment. A flawed man, yes, a man of God also, yes. Remember earlier in this series I asked you the question, "Are you a thermostat or a thermometer"? A thermostat basically just tells you what the temperature is, right? I have one of these thermostats that has a mind of its own. It's called a Nest Thermostat. You know, it kind of drives me crazy because sometimes it just decides, based on past history, that I want it warmer when I don't. Or in the middle of the night, The Nest decides it should be much colder and The Nest thinks it should be in the 40s at night. Wait, I come down to, what's wrong with you? It has a mind of its own, but basically a thermostat sets a temperature. A thermometer in contrast just tells you the temperature and I asked the question earlier, you may recall, "Are you a thermostat or are you a thermometer"? In other words, do you set the pace or are you affected by your surroundings?
Moses, no question about it was the thermostat. In fact, we know because of his life and his Godliness and his integrity. He effectively kept three million people plus from idolatry. The reason I bring this up is as soon as Moses left them to go receive The Commandments from God up at Mount Sinai, these people went crazy. Worshiping false gods, all kinds of insane stuff. But the point is, when he was around, the lid was sort of kept on things. Now that is a man who was a World Changer. But he is also a man of great paradoxes. So, let's dig into our scripture now. Go to Hebrews 11. "By faith, Moses when he was born was hidden three months by his parents because they saw he was a beautiful child and they were not afraid of the King's command. By faith, Moses, when he became of age refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. He esteemed the reproach of Christ, greater riches, and the treasures in Egypt, for he looked forward to the reward". We'll stop there.
Now, just sort of a little backdrop historically. Things were really hard for the Jewish people at this time. You remember the way the Jews got into Egypt goes back to Joseph. Remember his brother sold him into slavery and he spent time in prison there and because he could interpret the Pharaoh's dream, he became the second most powerful man in the kingdom in charge of the food supply. Well, to Pharaoh, Joseph was a hero. So the Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Hey, come and live here and bring your family with you". And so all of Joseph's brothers and his extended family moved to Egypt. Now time passes and his family has grown larger and now we have a lot of Jewish people living in Egypt. But that Pharaoh who favored Joseph has now died and passed from the scene. And another Pharaoh is in his place. And the Bible says, this Pharaoh of Egypt did not know Joseph. He did not care about the Jewish people.
In fact, he despised the Jewish people. He felt there were too many of them. In fact, this Pharaoh was so wicked, he wanted to eradicate the Jewish people. So he gave a command to the midwives who were involved in delivering the babies. If it's a Jewish baby boy, kill it. I don't want any more boys born into this culture. Pharaoh was sort of a precursor to Adolf Hitler with his own version of a final solution. Okay, enter a Hebrew couple Amran and Jochebed. Now Amran was the father, Jochebed was the mother. And she gave birth to a baby boy. And there was something special about Moses from the start. The Bible actually tells us he was beautiful. Now, when the Bible says someone was beautiful or well built, or tall, or whatever distinction it brings out, it's saying it for a reason.
Now I know that we all think our babies are beautiful. But you know they actually aren't. We don't usually say it but you know you see a baby every now and then you go, oh, you know. They'll grow out of it. But then you see babies that are beautiful at birth and then just become more beautiful or more handsome and that was Moses. We have a couple in our church, Mike and Crystal, they just had their first baby. Mike is involved in our children's ministry at Harvest Orange County. And I was looking at their baby last night. I mean, this baby is so gorgeous. You know, beautiful eyes and perfect little face, and just giggling and laughing and smiling until I came along, then the baby started crying but that's okay I'm not that sensitive, no. But seriously, that is one beautiful baby and I thought of Moses, what he must have looked like as a little baby. In fact, over in Acts seven, Steven adds a little commentary and he says he was exceedingly fair. And it's interesting because the phrase that Steven uses doesn't just mean that Moses was an attractive baby physically, but the word he uses implies that there was a special mission for him or a purpose from God. Do you know that God chose you before you chose Him?
It was the great preacher Spurgeon who once said, "It's a good thing God chose me before I chose Him, because if He would have waited, He would have changed His mind". You know what, the truth is, He chose you before you were born. He chose you when you were still in your mother's womb. Hey, He chose you even before that. You say, well what if I was born out of wedlock? Well you were still chosen by God. You know I found out later in my life that I was conceived out of wedlock and the guy I had thought was my father for years actually was not. And that's sort of a discombobulating thing to hear I have to say. But then I was reminded, no, God chose me and God always knew that I would come and he had a plan for my life just as He has a plan for your life.
I love what the psalmist writes in Psalm 139, "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid up before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts toward me Lord. They're innumerable". Now that should lay to rest any idea as to when life begins, right? Life begins at conception. Every little baby has a right to live. And God has a plan for their life. I love how David said, "Your thoughts toward me are innumerable". That could freak you out a little if you think God's thoughts are negative. But in fact, they're the opposite. Because God says in Jeremiah 29:11, "I know the thoughts that I think towards you", says the Lord, "They're thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope".
So yeah the Pharaoh wanted to kill all the Jewish baby boys but God had a plan, especially for little Moses. And maybe... you were not expected to live. You know sometimes little ones face childhood diseases or through life you have a close brush with death and somehow you survived that. You wonder why, 'cause God is preserving you, and He has a work for you to do. Now the story here's amazing of little Moses. Little Mo, you know? His mother places him in almost like, well, a miniature ark. You've heard of Noah's Ark, it as like Moses' Ark. Just a little basket covered with pitch so it would float and she put the little baby, the beautiful baby don't forget, in the Nile river and just gave it a little push and he's cruisin' up the Nile and this happens to be in the same area where the Pharaoh's daughter, the princess effectively, would go each morning. And almost as if on cue, the beautiful baby cries and the daughter of Pharaoh hears and walks over and says, "Wow, look at this baby". Her maternal instincts kick in, she loves this little baby immediately and wants to make him her own son. So, God was putting everything together.
Now of course this was all a plan hatched by the mother of Joseph and the sister, mother of Moses, let's not get our characters mixed. The mother of Moses and his sister Miriam that they were hoping this would happen. Now I bring this up because sometimes we don't understand that you can be practical and spiritual simultaneously. You know, some people they think everything's spiritual, it never involves human effort, it just happens. And other people think everything is practical and we should never expect God to do anything. Well the truth is, the spiritual and the practical can work together. You know when Nehemiah went to rebuild the city, he started with a plan. And then he prayed about it and then he started working.
You know, when we did our Harvest Crusade last year at the AT&T stadium, we were so thrilled with what the Lord did. It was the largest single evangelistic event, one day evangelistic event, in American history. I mean, we never thought that would happen. But we gave God the glory. Now did we work on that crusade? Every single day. Did we plan for it? Yes we did. Did we pray about it? You better believe it. But then God blessed. But there's a place for God blessing and human effort as well. You know sometimes people might be out of work and so you ask them, "Well have you put your resume out there"? and they'll say, "No, I'm just praying about it. You know, just staying at home and praying. Sitting, well kind of laying back actually in the old lazy boy and praying for a response".
Well you better start praying about where you're gonna get your next meal. Because the Bible says if a man doesn't work he shouldn't eat. And the point of it is, is that you need to get out there and be practical. Let people know you're looking for work and so there are things that work together. The practical and the spiritual. So, Moses cries on cue and a babies tears were God's first weapon in His war against Egypt. Well as it turns out, this young lady, this princess of Egypt can't properly nurse and raise Moses. So Jochebed, his mom happens to be nearby, and Miriam says, "Hey, here's a lady that could nurse him". And so the Pharaoh's daughter hires the mother of Moses to nurse her own child.
So... Jochebed had three precious months with her little baby then she had to let him go. That must have been hard. It's always hard to let our children go isn't it? So Steven fills in some gaps here in Acts 7:20. He says that the time Moses was born, a beautiful child in God's eyes, his parents cared for him at home for three months when at last they had to abandon him. Pharaoh's daughter found him and raised him as her own son. Moses was taught in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and he became mighty in both speech and action. You know, it's interesting that Jewish historian Josephus believes that Moses was being groomed to become the next Pharaoh of Egypt. And I think this is possible because interestingly when Steven in his commentary on Moses said, "Pharaoh's daughter was raising him as her own son".
It sort of implies that that's what he was being groomed to become. I mean think about Moses. He goes literally from rags to riches overnight. From the low-rent district to the very lap of luxury. Bible commentator, H.I. Holoman said this of Moses and I quote, "The life of Moses presents an antithesis. He was a child of a slave but he was a song of a queen. Born in a hut but raised in a palace. He inherited poverty and he lived in royalty He was the leader of armies and the keeper of flocks. He was the mightiest of warriors and the meekest of men. He was educated in the court and dwelt in the desert".
Very true. And Moses had the finest education imaginable. At this time, Egypt was an incredibly advanced... culture. They had and amazing grasp of so many things, including astronomy and art, and music and painting and philosophy. And of course they built edifices that are still standing today. So Moses meant he was like in the Oxford of Egypt. He was eating the finest food, wearing the most amazing clothes and being groomed to probably become the next Pharaoh. But inside of that Egyptian exterior was a Hebrew heart. He knew that he was a Jew and he cared about his fellow Jews and he wanted to help them.
And so now we come to Hebrews 11 again, drop down to verse 24. "It was by faith that Moses when he grew up, refused to be treated as a son of Pharaoh's daughter". This is really interesting, "He chose to share the oppression of God's people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah than on the treasures of Egypt. He was looking ahead to the great reward that God would give him". I love that passage. Moses had it made in the shade. He had everything you could want but he knew this is not what God wanted for him. And I find it interesting that that passage talks about the pleasures of sin. "He chose to suffer rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin".
You know sin can be fun, momentarily. But it comes with a huge price tag. There are moments of pleasure, moments of excitement, moments... when we sin that we may enjoy, but then the punishment and the guilt, and the repercussions are gonna come down on us like a ton of bricks. You know it's interesting, I was reading, I don't know how I found myself looking this up, but I was reading about how to kill snails. And there's something they have to kill snails, I'm not making this up, it's actually called a beer trap. Here's what you do. You fill a saucer with beer or a bucket. And the snails go up, drink the beer, become drunk. I didn't know snails could get drunk, did you? The snails get drunk and then they drown.
Well I've heard of some humans that have done this as well. So I'm just thinking how does this work in Snailsville. You know the first snail smells the booze says, "Hey guys, I'm gonna go party, come on". and they're headed there, you know, "Let's go", they're all going, "Yeah, let's go"! Month later they've moved an inch. You know, two months later they move two more inches. Finally they get there, they climb up the side of the bucket, and they start drinking the beer, and they're having a great time, you know, Celebrate good times come on in a snail kind of way, and then they fall into the beer and then they drown. That's just like sin. Oh it's fun at first. It's exciting and then the very thing you were enjoying kills you. Moses said, "I don't need the pleasures of Egypt. I don't need the luxuries of Egypt. I'd rather suffer with God's people".
Listen to this. God's worst is better than the world's best. Let me say that again. God's worst is better than the world's best. Let me explain. What is the world's best? Well I guess it's all the pleasures, all the experiences, all the possessions, whatever this world can offer. That's the best and then you die and then you face judgment. God's worst, what would it be? Well, maybe being ridiculed for your faith in Christ? Going through trials associated with your faith? For some even being martyred for your faith? That's the worst thing that can happen to you as a Christian. But God's worst is better than the world's best and here's why. Because the world's best only lasts for a few moments in light of eternity. But God's best comes with rewards. So even if I suffer in this life, I know there's a reward on the other side. But you know what else I found? Whatever pleasures you give up to follow Christ, what God gives you in their place are so much better, you don't even miss that stuff anymore. So, don't be like the stupid snails. Be like Moses and make the right choices in life.
Well, let's see what happened. He got a little carried away. He had the right idea. I think his heart was in the right place but he took matters into his own hands. Let's go over to Exodus now. Exodus two, here's what happened. So here he is, you know, he's the prince of Egypt and he's a very powerful man but he's a Jew and he wants to help the fellow Hebrews out there. So our story picks up Exodus two verse 11, "It came to pass in those days when Moses was grown that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens and saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brothers. So he looked this way and he looked that way and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold two Hebrew men were fighting and he said to the one who did the wrong, 'Why are you striking your companion?' He said, 'Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?' So Moses said, 'Surely this thing is known.' And when Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses but Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian and he sat down by a well". We'll stop there, wow.
Now God did not tell Moses to do this. He took matters into his own hands. Now, true this was an injustice where an Egyptian is beating a Hebrew. Maybe Moses could have used his influence to bring a stop to it but he thought this is wrong. And he kills the guy. I find verse 12 interesting there in Exodus two. It says, "He looked this way and he looked that way". That's pretty much a good indication that what you're doing is not right, when you're like this before you do it, right? He should have looked up because the Lord was watching.
Reminds me of a story of years ago when we were having a work day at the church and I told you before I have no mechanical skills whatsoever. Hey, right, I was born out of wedlock, I never had a dad to tell me basic things, like here's how you tie a tie, here's how you work with tools. I never had any of that so I'm clueless. And so we're having this work day and I'm looking for something to do and someone had a hedge cutter actually out laying by the hedge and I thought oh I'll do that I'll trim the hedges. And so I fired it up, and I'm going across the top of the hedge. And all of a sudden, I wasn't paying attention, I cut right through the cord of the hedge cutter. It just stops. Oh, whoa. And here's what I did. I looked this way, I looked that way. I set it down and I walked off. I didn't tell anyone I'd done it.
Years later, years later, a friend of mine, Dennis Davenport. He used to be on staff at our church and now is a pastor of his own church said, "I was up on the roof on that work day and I looked down and I saw that happen". "I thought 'What kind of a pastor is this?'" A stupid one who doesn't know how to use power tools, that's who it was. But you know you look this way and you look that way. Oh, I've covered it up you think. That's what Moses thought, but you know, he wasn't a very good sinner because the Bible tells us he buried the guy in the sand. Just a quick tip, if you're gonna bury a body, don't bury it in the sand. Because think of the Egyptian sand, the wind's blowing, and all of a sudden there's the evidence of what you did. So he was found out quickly and already his fellow Jews were talking about it. "Hey, who put you in charge? You're not the boss of me. You can't tell me what to do".
And word got to the Pharaoh and now Moses was a wanted man. His picture was hanging in all the post offices. Wanted: Moses, and so he headed for the hills. He should have waited for God's timing. Listen to this, it's not enough to just do the right thing. You need to do the right thing in the right way at the right time. I think sometimes we grow impatient with God and we want to take matters into our own hands. Maybe you're a wife married to a non-believing husband. I don't know how you got in that place. Maybe you disobeyed God and just married this guy even though he wasn't a Christian. Maybe you became a Christian after you were married. But here's the bottom line. Now you're married to this guy and you're thinking, "How do I reach him"? So you're thinking, you know, "I'm just gonna pester him every day. I'm gonna nag him into the kingdom of God". Trust me, it's not gonna work. No man will ever be nagged into God's kingdom. No woman for that matter either.
Actually over in First Peter three it tells you how to win your husband to Christ. It says you win him without a word by the way that you live, as you have a Godly life and the man sees it. So my point is simply this, we need to pray about things and we need to trust the Lord and wait on his timing. And when the timing is right, the Lord will direct you, and that's when you need to act. Moses was way ahead of schedule. Moses' life has been summed up as follows. He spent 40 years in Pharaoh's court, finding out he was a somebody. 40 years in the desert, finding out he was a nobody, and then 40 years finding out what God can do with somebody who finds out they're a nobody. Yeah, he had to go off into exile. So he went from being a prince to becoming a shepherd.
By the way, being a shepherd back in these days, as far as the Egyptians were concerned was a disgraceful position to hold. So Moses fades into complete obscurity. Once the heir to the throne of all of Egypt, now he's a common shepherd to someone else's sheep. He meets a family, they let him take care of their sheep, and he ends up marrying one of the daughters. And so it looks like, wow Moses, way to crash and burn. Way to wreck everything. If you would have played your cards right you could have been the top dog in Egypt and maybe done some good but you messed everything up and you killed that guy, then you tried to cover it up. Well that's all true, Moses failed I said earlier. We fail, but he failed forward. What does it mean to fail forward?
Well hopefully it means to learn from your mistakes. If I burn myself touching the stove as a little child, I learn in my little child brain, don't touch hot stove again. And that goes through life. If I learn this is wrong, well don't do the wrong thing again. So Moses just waited upon the Lord and we'll find out what happened to him when God spoke to him next time, through a bush that would not stop burning. But he was still, remember, Moses, the man of God. Listen, we all fail in life. We all have lapses. Look at Simon Peter. Man, you want to talk about crashing and burning. Openly denying the Lord but God gave him a second chance didn't he? Jesus recommissioned him at the Sea of Galilee and said, "Go feed my sheep". What about Jonah, he messed up? He ran from God. God kinda got his attention in the stomach of a great fish. Jonah came to his senses and was given a second chance. God gives second chances. That's why I've called this message, A Second Chance for a World Changer.
Do you need a second chance today? Have you messed up in life even as a Christian? Done something you're ashamed of? Something you deeply regret and you say, "Well that's it for me, God will never use me". Why would you say that? If we've seen nothing else we've seen if God can use a guy like Moses he can use you. And what about those other people I mentioned earlier? Sure, we mess up. But God can recommission you. Learn from your mistakes, admit them, repent of them, recommit your life to the Lord and He will give you a second chance. Hey, maybe some of you are running from God today. You've been running from him your whole life. Because you think God's out to get you.
You're thinking, "Man, if I become a Christian I'll never have fun again, I'll never smile again, life would just be boring and dull". Nothing could be further from the truth. Becoming a Christian is like going from black and white to color. And to be biblical, it's going from death to life. And quite frankly, from a future in hell to a place called heaven. I heard a story about a lawyer that was trying to deliver an important paper to a man and this guy avoided him at all costs because he thought it was some kind of a subpoena. So he took great efforts to avoid that attorney and do whatever he could to not have any contact with him. This went on for years. And the attorney could never get to this guy. He kept evading him and avoiding him.
And then one day, 14 years later, this man who had been running from the attorney found himself in a hospital dying of cancer and who's rolled up into the bed next to him but the lawyer. And the man laughs, he says, "Well you know what, I don't even care now. I'm dying of cancer. Go ahead and serve me the papers". The lawyer said, "What are you talking about? I wasn't gonna subpoena you, I was trying to inform you that you had inherited 14 million dollars". Get it? This is us running from God. Oh, God's out to get me. God's out to ruin my life. No, He loves you.
Remember the story of the prodigal son who sinned against his father? And when his father saw him at great distance he ran to his son. Yeah, God is running to you to save you. And there might be some of you, in closing, who don't have a relationship with God. And you've been running from God. You didn't know that God loved you. You didn't know that God's plan for you was better than your plan for yourself. I want to help you get right with God. In a moment we're gonna pray and I'm gonna give you an opportunity if you have never asked Jesus to come into your life to ask Him in and so you can be forgiven of all of your sin. And I'm also going to extend an invitation to some of you who've messed up, who've fallen into some kind of sin. But you need a second chance. I'll give you an opportunity to pray and ask God to give you that second chance. So think about what you're gonna do as we close now in prayer. Let's all bow our heads and everyone pray please.
Father, we thank you for your word to us and we thank you for your love for us. And we thank you that you are a God of second chances. And I pray Lord for everybody here and everybody watching and listening who does not yet know you. Help them to come to you now, help them to believe in you. Help them to know that there is a God in heaven who loves them, who's calling to them, who's running to them, not to hurt them, but to express His love.
Hey, while our heads are bowed, and our eyes are closed, maybe you would like God to forgive you of your sin. Maybe you would like Jesus Christ to come into your life. If so, wherever you are, if you want to know that you'll go to heaven when you die, if you want Jesus to come into your life, would you just pray this prayer with me, right now? Wherever you are, just pray this prayer. You can even pray it out loud if you would like.
Pray this, say Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner. But I know you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin. I turn from that sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward.
Hey, while our heads are still bowed, maybe some of you need to make that recommitment to Christ right now. You've messed up, you've sinned, maybe you're facing the repercussions of your actions. Maybe you're terrified of when those repercussions will come. Right now, just call out to the Lord. He'll forgive you. He'll give you a second chance. Just pray this with me.
Lord give me a second chance. I've messed up, I've sinned. I'm sorry, I want to fail forward. I want to learn from my mistakes. Thank you for forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.