MORE (New)

Sermon Summary:

There’s a significant difference between a religious relationship with God and the relationship He desires to have with us. Sometimes we trade in the More for other things that seem like they are better. We can easily become distracted and allow our priorities to shift from what Jesus taught, which was to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…” Moses helps us refocus our attention back to what is the most important thing we can do with our lives. His life gives us a great view of what it looks like when we take matters into our own hands, what it looks like when those plans fail, and what our amazing God can do with the life He gave us when we choose to make Him our everything and pursue His plans for His glory.

Discussion Questions:

Read over the passages Acts ch7:17-23,29,30-34; Exodus 32:9-10; Matt 6:33-34

1. What do you want more of?

2. When Moses had all of God in ch 33 or more of God really than anyone else and had a chance to ask for one thing. He said let me see your glory because I want more of you God!  What would you ask for?

3. What is taking up the position of More in your heart?

4. What do you need to let go of in order to let God have more of you and for you to have more of Him?

5. What would your life look like if God was your MORE?

Full Sermon Notes

When I was 17 years old my mom started a Roth IRA for me and she told me to set aside money every month .... so that I could deposit $2,000 each year into that account and when I was 25...  I could stop adding money to it.... and it would be productive enough for me to retire on.... when I reached the age of retirement. But you see when I was 17, I wanted a really nice system in my truck... and I wanted to go out and do I never got around to putting money each year I would think about how I should've put money in the  account...but I just hadn’t done anything about it, so, I would think next year I'll put money away to invest in the IRA…At 17 I wasn’t thinking about retiring or really past the end of my nose... so I didn’t add money to that account.

It wasn’t until I was after 25 that I began putting money into that account...and unfortunately I will have to continue putting money into that account for the rest of my working life...In order to obtain the same return on the investment if I had just put the money in like she told me… Why do I tell you this…I tell you that story because it is true and it happened and it also ties in to our message today…Im not going to be talking to you about investing in the market… But I am going to talk with you about the importance of investing somewhere else… your  spiritual lives…see many of us have received incredible advice or challenges from scripture... that we don't don anything about... and we may have even been directed by God to do something.... that we never ended up doing.

Maybe as we got more seasoned in our walk with God we settled more for a religious relationship with Him and maybe even in our pursuit for more we chose not to keep Him as number one. I know this is not going to be your ordinary graduation message...because I don’t want the majority of you to tune out and miss an incredible message from God today.

We have a senior breakfast coming up on the 20th and I will be sharing a message specifically to them... but I wanted to present something to you all today that will benefit everyone in the room., not just the graduates. But graduates I want to encourage you to grab this because just like the advice my mom gave me about my IRA, if you grab onto this truth you will see some incredible results that others of us who are more seasoned will have to work a lot harder to obtain. Regardless of where you are... there is something significant to be gained from the application of God’s word today… That will move us beyond a religious approach to God

Religion is really about you coming to God and trying to get from God what you want. It's not really centered on God it's centered in you; that's the essence of religion…and for many people even their Christianity is wrapped up in how do I get more from God. See what I think we desperately need is a revival or an awakening in the Christian community…. an awakening or a revival is when you  figure out...but not just figure out; but it rises up in your soul…a fire or a passion explodes from the inside out… That God is not the means to the more,... God is the more! And when God does that inside you it changes everything! When you figure out that God is the more, that becomes your spiritual soul or your spiritual center, and so your spiritual values make all of your material decisions. the essence of an awakening... is that now you manage the material world around you... based on the spiritual truth within  you. See how you define more,... defines how you manage everything in your life... relationally  and financially …and until that happens... you don't have the revolution.... and there's no revival in you… And that revival is... God is the "More" Where can we learn this kind of thing, I think we can learn it from Jesus,

In fact, we can learn this truth from all over scripture ...even way back in the old testament; I think the old testament gets a bad wrap... like it’s the Old part of the bible.... and we want new stuff so we spend a lot of time in the new testament…but I think the old testament is exciting and sometimes a little scary… one exciting place we can learn from, is if we go back to Moses and we go back to the old testament we discover some truths from the life of Moses  I think if we spend a little time in the life of moses we'll discover that God is the more! So that's what we're gonna do we're gonna go all the way back to the old testament and spend a little bit of time in the life of Moses I think that if we spend time looking at the life of Moses we can better understand and embrace this idea... that God is more, (say it with me God is more) Let's take a moment to look at the life of Moses… now for those of you that might not be aware….

The first five books of the Old Testament; Genesis Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; they are called the Pentateuch. The Pentateuch; the first five books of the Old Testament is the summary, or the beginnings of the nation of Israel. This is what they would study and in it was the Law. Moses was the author of those first five books under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and Moses’ story begins in exodus and it’s a long story. So we would have to read the first five books of the bible in order to get an understanding  of Moses… and we don’t have time for that… What you may not know is the the cliff notes version (the shortest most concise and clear summary of the old testament Pentateuch... and even all the way through king David and Jesus is in one chapter of the Bible. It’s in acts chapter 7. So in order to get a better understanding of the O.T. We’re going to read from a chapter in the new testament. Here as the New Testament is launching, Stephen is in the emerging revival of the early church and Stephen a follower of Christ is speaking to the Jews and explaining how history from the old testament to Jesus comes together to make sense. And in the process he gives an overview from Abraham to Moses to King David to Jesus. And we’re going to interrupt in verse 17.

Acts V17-22 As the time grew near…

17“As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased.18Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’19He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would  die. 20“At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. 21When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. 22Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. Acts 7:17-22 (NIV)

Lets pause for just a moment here…

Moses is born as an Israelite while the Egyptians are enslaving Israel and then he's put outside the home, and the daughter of pharaoh finds Moses and decides to adopt him and make him an Egyptian. Some how Moses is an Egyptian though he is born an Israelite and look what it says verse 22-23

22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. 23“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. Acts 7:22-23 (NIV)

This was the first 40 years of his life and for the first 40 years of Moses might've been under the impression “I am something” "oh my gosh I am special" "I am powerful my name means something"; "I am to be reckoned with" and when you say the name of Moses anywhere there's fear and trembling because he is somebody. Moses lived 120 years, and we're gonna look at the first 40..., and then the middle 40.... and then the last 40 so lets jump back in. Moses lived for 40 years and thought he was something, but then it begins to describe a break down... Moses had a moment See Moses had this idea since he was something, and that God had chosen Moses to be the rescuer of Israel… maybe Moses needed to help God out… because after all Moses is a pretty big deal…

So he took things into his own hands. One day Moses witnessed an Egyptian mistreating an  Israelite and Moses literally killed the Egyptian to save the  Israelite, then he buried him in the sand so that no one would know. And a little bit later he sees two Israelites fighting and he says the two Israelites fighting; why are you fighting, you’re brothers…. and they say what are you going to do kill us to like you killed that Egyptian; (and it just got real) now Moses knows his secret is out “he’s a murderer, now he's in trouble. Pharaoh and all of Egypt are going to turn on him and that's what takes us in to verse 29

29When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.   Acts 7:29 (NIV)

Some of yall got scared when I told you we were going to be going through 120 years of Moses’ life.... but the scripture just fast forwarded and made the middle 40 pretty quick… just in case you missed it… he went to the desert for 40 years and had 2 sons... 40 years had past… Isn’t it funny how scripture can just take someone's 40 years and just (*snap) fast forward Here's a summary for those 40 years… I am nothing my name means nothing; I've left all I was, now I'm nothing,… I live in the desert; I've become nothing, I’ve fled, I'm exiled…. I'm nobody,….. nothing. I'll live out the rest of my time herding sheep and just getting by…

I missed my chance to be used by God… That’s the middle forty years of his life. The story picks up in v.30 where an angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a burning bush near Mt Sinai.

30“After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount  Sinai. 31When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: 32‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look. 33“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’  Acts 7:30-34 (NIV)

“I’m going to deliver the Israelites through you” stop right there for a moment…this was the beginning of the next 40 years of Moses’ life... these forty years were packed with incredible moments. So what was the most defining moment of Moses’ life? Some might say oh it was right there, the burning bush, Or oh when God used him to bring all the plagues to Egypt, Or maybe when God said lift up your hands towards the water when they were trapped between the shore of the red sea and the Egyptian army coming to destroy them and God allowed them to walk through on dry ground and they crashed the waters down on the Egyptians to save the Israelites once again…

Maybe it was the 10 commandments… he is on Mt. Sinai and gets the 10 commandments… I think that was an incredible moment for him but, I think his most defining more moment was in Exodus ch  32-33. So we have to go all the way back to the Old testament… turn back there with me So now we are going to camp out in Moses’ most defining  moment…This is an incredible picture where God is speaking to Moses read ch 32:9-10

9“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” Exodus 32:9-10 (NIV)

Here’s  what’s happening… Moses is on the top of Mt Sinai getting the law that is going to come down to the nation of Israel - on how to experience life to the full and get more… and while Moses and God are having the conversation after God has already rescued the people out of slavery… they go and make an idol and worship it and call the idol their God…Just complete idolatry.... Dismissing God They make God 2nd, 3rd, 4th... if not remove Him from their life... and it is such an offense to God that He says I’m done… and He tells Moses listen I’m all done with them, I’m going to wipe them out… and I will make a great nation through you! Can you imagine what that means?!!! This is huge! "Now I’m going to make your name great…" "Remember how you were once  something?" "You’re going to be something again!  " I’ve gotta be honest with you I think I would have taken the offer….You know I don’t blame you God, I'm kind of tired of these people  anyway… lets wipe em out and go make me great! Give me the more…

Because most of us that’s what we’re chasing… And the moment God offered Moses all the more… it’s Moses’ response that’s so defining. Moses says, no let's not make my name great,… this is about you God, you’re already great…because God’s name is more… God’s name is more than mine, I’m here to protect you "oh God" and make your name great…to make your name known… Does that blow your mind? God’s name is the more…

Moses had figured out that God is the everything…(God is what “everything”) And if we could figure that out… that truth will revolutionize our lives… See I think most people get caught between two beliefs in our faith journey…  I am something  -  I am nothing. We’re all trying to be something... and sometimes we feel like  nothing… Like don’t you know when you’re at the end of middle school and you’re something and then you get to high school and you’re nothing…. Then you get to the top of high school and you feel like you’re something and then get to college and you feel like your nothing… and then you get to the top of college and you feel like you’re something and then you graduate college and get into the workplace and feel like you’re what… nothing… It never ends…And most people spend their whole spiritual journey... trying to get God to help them be something and we battle between something and nothing... and Moses was wrong about both… Moses was wrong about being more and he was wrong about being less...  it wasn’t even about Moses, it was about God... because God is everything And as soon as you figure out, that God is everything you will do as Moses did… when Moses had all of God in ch 33... or more of God really than anyone else and had a chance to ask for one thing….He said let me see your glory because I want more of you God! What would you ask for?

See Moses figured out that God is the more…

What is taking up the position of More in your heart?

What do you need to let go of in order to let God have more of you and for you to have more of Him?

I want to be really practical.... so I want to give you something to put your hands on…If you’re serious about God being the more in your life…You can learn it from the new testament from the life of Jesus because Jesus lived 30 years on earth of which we know little of about His growing up and then became a rabbi. And for the next 3 years He took us through the sermon on the mount as kind of beginning of His teaching, His theology and doctrine. And in the midst of that he took us from the old testament law to reinterpret it in Gods original intent. Its often called "moving from the law to love" And in the midst of that Jesus taught us what it really means to live for God... and it means that God will be first….

(God will be what? “first”)

So turn over to Matthew ch 6

And just for a moment, even if its familiar to you…As you’re turning there in Matthew ch 6. Jesus talks about how you will give bc that would be your heart…and that more than just give you would engage in prayer because that would be your heart... because God really is the more... and that you would fast and pray bc God is the more... and that you wouldn’t lay up treasure on earth, bc your real treasure is what?.... God is the more…And as the whole world has to wrestle with material world kinds of  stuff, you would live differently from anybody else And listen to what he says in v33

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV)

First! Seek First HIS Kingdom!!

I think the greatest thing that we can do with this information is to allow it to sink into our hearts... and become the truth that guides our lives… Why do I care that you would get this…graduates… because if you truly grab onto this you will be sent out as missionaries to your campuses or jobs…Parents teachers, lawyers, doctors, mechanics, contractors, cpa’s whatever your job is…. because if we truly embrace this idea that God is the more… our church would start a revival in this community, and our country... and it would radically impact the future generations... standing in line to take our places when we’re gone… So what do you want more of?

More furniture, more house, more stuff, more money,… more what? When I was in highschool... I didn’t believe that God could really give me a better life and more purpose and meaning for living so I chased everything the world had to offer… I ended up broken and wandering in the desert...Maybe for some of you that means inviting Jesus to be your Lord and savior for the before I realized that God was the more! What would it look like for you to put God first? Would it mean you had to say no to yourself about something? Would it mean you reprioritize your life and decisions to put Him back in first place in your heart? first time in your life... it doesn't matter if your 7 yrs old or 70yrs old... its never too late to make that decision... I pray that you don’t spend another day seeking for more  anything….

Other than More of God Let’s pray