What Is In Your Hand?
Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 3 · 2 years ago

What Is In Your Hand?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

When we feel like we aren't enough God reminds us that in Him we are more than enough. We can serve others with whatever God has given us. He just asks, "do you trust me with what is in your hand?"

All right. Well, I get to preach a short message to you called what's in your hand? What's in your hand? Every time we get together we want to teach the word of God in a very real relative way, just explain it and show how life changing it can really be. And so I hope we can do that tonight and I encourage you to participate in whatever way you feel led to do, to answer my questions, to tell me something is good, or whatever the case may be, by listen well and engage in that way. It's it makes it the experience better for everybody. So our mission at connect US churches to get you to God's next step for your life. We want to reach out, to invite all people to connect to a gospel community and challenge you to take God's next step for your life. So we want to reach out beyond these walls, beyond where we're at, reach out to our friends and our family and our neighbors, and we want it then invite them to connect to a gospel community, to to a large gathering of people that are excited about getting to know Jesus better and all of that he has done for us and how that changes our lives. But also into smaller environments and two smaller groups where we can engage with one another on a just more personal level, because we really value the personal, personal touch. And so then we want to challenge you to take guy's next step for your life. Like we mean that challenge is a strong word, but we really want to help you do that in a real, real way. And so if we accomplish this mission, then what will happen, and that answers and sort of a vision statement, is that we will multiply more and better disciples. So what that means is will provide an exciting and thriving experience when the church gathers together something like this, something exciting, something life giving, something inspiring, and we will partner with God in the communities that will be involved and what God is already doing in amongst the people that are not a part of what we're doing. We Value Church planting because once you multiply more and better disciples, there's more and better people, more people to reach, and you do that by starting a great way to do that as by starting new churches. And we'll multiply disciples and churches across central Pennsylvania and beyond. And so you know when when the Gospel goes forth and people you know, get excited about their faith and then turn reach out to other people. It doesn't matter where you are. We want to come alongside of people to do that and do that well with them. So this is a big vision and you get to be at the ground floor of that vision. But we believe we can accomplish this vision because God is with us. We want to be focused on Jesus. Everything we do is to the glory of God,...

...at Church and outside of Church. We just believe that God is in this and it's good. Only going to happen if he's in it. And so, as we talked about serving tonight, it's not we serve to earn God's approval, but we serve other people because we are already approved by God. So God has a proof of us and from that approval we then serve other people. That's all about what God has done for us and in return we say thank you, we share that good news, we reach out to other people, and so we want this church to be helpful to you. We value you and one of the ways that we want to be helpful to you is we want to help you be generous. We want to plan to put others before ourselves and give our time, talents and money for others. And you say, how is being generous helpful to me? Well, that's a good question, because it doesn't always feel that way, right. I mean, doesn't it feel good to get stuff, like I got a new car, or I got a new house, or I got a new pay hey check that I wasn't expecting, or like? It feels good to get things, but it was someone really important that one said it is more black asked or more happy, better to give than to receive. That person was Jesus, and so if he said it, then there must be something to it. What does it mean to be generous, to give of ourselves, and how does doing that make our lives better? Well, it just puts other people for us. So that's we plan to do that. And what does it mean? The plan? Well, you you make a decision. You know, you're sitting at your house, you're talking with your your friends, you're talking with your your spouse or significant other, and your you're making a plan to say, okay, how can we best take what God has given us and use it to bless other people? Another part of planning is giving a percentage of your of what you have, because the more you make, oftentimes the less you give away, which is crazy to think about because you're like, if only I can make Fivezero, but if only I can make fifty, if only I can make and every time we think that we actually end up giving less, usually if statistics are true. And so we think about percentages, because if you got ten dollars, you give away one or ten percent right, or or you make a hundred thousand dollars, or's that? You know ten percent of that. And so every time God gives you more, you work in percentages, and so it just always is that way. And so we plan for percentage. And then another important P word is priority. And so where does God, giving to God, giving back to...

God, land on your priority list? How do we plan to give the honor God to serve others? Is it first? I think God deserves our first and our best, and so when we give, is it the first of why God has received? We receive something from God, and what can we in turn give first to him? And so we plan the percentage of the priority and we do that and put others before ourselves. We want to be humble. We want to we want to love and serve and care for others, and we can do that by giving our time, our talents and our money for others. And so one of the scary things about being generous is sometimes we feel like we don't have anything to give. And that's really a difference of mindset, and they call it the difference of a scarcity and an abundance mentality. And so in a scarcity of mindset is there's a limited number of resources and I'm going to hold onto them as much as I can and not let anything go because it's very limited. The abundance mindset is God is a god of more than enough and I cannot outgive God, and I do this and God, in return, takes care of me somehow. And so it's just a different way of looking at the same situation. You know, there's a number in that bank account that you have, there's a number of your investments that you have, there's a number of things that you have, but how you look at that makes all the difference in the world and I want to encourage you that our God is a god of abundance, of more than enough. But the default position is really a scarcity position. And so one of the guys that I want to introduce you to today in the Bible, his name was Moses and he had a scarcity mindset, a scarcity mindset Moses did you don't know who Moses is? Moses is in the Old Testament of the Bible. It's like right at the beginning. If you open the Bible at the beginning, you'll see genesis and then there's exodus. And so Moses's ancestors had been in the country of the nation, the Kingdom of Egypt, for four hundred and thirty years, and so it's into that that Moses is born. And during the time when Moses is born, the king of this of Egypt, the Pharaoh, he saw Moses's ancestors, his people, they were growing in number, like there was lots and lots of these people, the Hebrew people. They like people and they were so many of...

...them. And, as the Pharaoh often were, as the leader of anything does, they're like, all these people are coming and they're going to take over, so we better enslave them, and so we want to control them. And so that's what Pharaoh did and he put the Hebrews into slavery work, you know, take you know, really really was oppressive and abusive in many ways, and so one of the things also that the Pharaoh did to limit the growth of this people group inside his country was he was going to kill all of the newborn babies that were being worn by throwing them into the Nile River. And so when Moses was born, he should have been killed, but his parents put them in a read basket and floated him down the Nile River. And you remember who picked him up in the river? Pharaoh's daughter. And Pharaoh's daughter found this little baby and was said, oh, he's so cute, we got to take care of them. And so she's of course, is too wealthy, you or to you know, important to take care of a little baby. So she goes to find somebody to take care of Moses, who just so happened to be Moses's mom, which is an incredible part of that story. But Moses grows up under the care of his mom in the Palace of Pharaoh, and so this is the upbringing of Moses and Moses. Then when he's forty years old, Moses has a he is a knowledge of who his people are, he has a knowledge of the oppression and the slavery that they have endured, and he sees an Egyptian abusing one of his brothers Ares, you know, one of his Hebrew people, and so Moses gets upset and he actually kills this Egyptian guy. So Moses runs away. He goes through the country of media and there he finds a woman and gets married and he works with his Fatherin Law, jethrow, and he does that for the next forty years. And so he's no longer in Egypt. He's shepherd out in the countries. He's taking care of his sheep and, you know, he started a family and he's working for his father in law and now he's eighty years old and he sees God, actually, for he knows it's God. He sees a Bush start to burn and he's out in the field and he says, what is going on here, and so he looks at it. He comes over and he looks at the burning Bush and the Bush begins to speak to him. It's like okay, now some crazy is going on, and the voice from the Bush says, I am God and I've got a special mission for you. So you would think that if God spoke to you in an audible voice in a burning Bush that wasn't being consumed, that you would listen and that you would want to do...

...whatever it is God told you to do. That doesn't always work that way, but Moses, he was eighty years old when this happened and God gave him this specific mission. And so often we let time get in the way or be an excuse to do what God has called us to do. So for some of US maybe it's wow, I'm a little old and I don't know if I can do this anymore and say glow. God called Moses, when he was eighty years old to go back to Egypt and to take his people out. It's like there's no time that's given to you by God, that isn't your time to give and give back to God and to serve and the other people. And so I encourage you, no matter how old you are, that God's got something for you. And so often time today is probably the biggest commodity of them all. I mean, we're so busy, was so many things, and we talked about sacrificing money or or sacrifice. It's usually when we talk about we's talk about sacrificing, but when is the last time you sacrifice your time because time is so valuable? Like, I need to sleep, I need to work, I need to take care of my kids, I need to clean the house. But when's the last time you gave up some of your time for the benefit of others? I mean, Moses had his family, he had his kids, he had his job, and God's like, all right, I got something new for you. You give it all up to do that. So Moses eventually, eventually did that. One of the practical ways that I remember thinking about living in Valley College with Matt was you got to study to pass your classes. Right, at least most people have to study, and it takes time to study right. And so when you've got a Bible study on Thursday night for an hour and a half and you've got a big test coming up the next day, it's real attractive, real tempting to just stay home and study, because that's that's your time that you have to take it all in and do the best you count on that test the next day and you know that little phrase. Your time is support, because we think it's our time, but really it's God's time that he's entrusted to us and I was a firm believer and certainly there's times where you gotta, you know, not go to Bible Study and study for the big test the next day, and that's, you know, that's really a born and you got to do that. But I was a firm believer in if I can take an hour to give to God and be a part of a community of people that was encouraging and praying for me and and I can learn about, you know, strengthen my faith, that I could give an hour to God that I think he would bless the other time I spent studying the more than if I just decided I don't need that this...

...week. I can you know, I got more important things to do. So I was always a big believer in that you got a big time to be with God and his people. So we want to be generous with our time. So Moses eventually accepts this responsibility to go and to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt, to be the leader of the exodus. But it's not not easy. So at Exodus Chapter Four, if you have your Bible and encourage me to turn there again, the verses will be on the screen. But it wasn't like God showed up and he obeyed. Moses said he's protested again. What if they don't believe me or listen to me? What if they say the Lord never appeared? To you, Moses is so worried that the people aren't going to believe him. This is was his answer. The Lord asked them, what is in your hand? As the person next to you, this is interactive time. What is in your hand? Come on, everybody, what is in your hand? No, say what is in your hand? There we go. Say it again, Nder, what is in your hand? There we go. What is your hand? Practicing? What is in your hand? God asked Moses, and Moses is like a shepherd's staff. I mean, that's my job, it's normal everyday life. This is what I have in my hands. God, why are you asking me this? And God wanted to show Moses something. You said this. Throw it down to the ground, the Lord told us. So Moses threw down the staff and it turns to a snake. It Moses Jump Back, pretty miraculous, and then the Lord told him reach out and grab its tail. So Moses reached out and grabbed it and turn it back into a shepherd's staff in his hand. So I don't know about you, I'm not a big outdoorsy person and I don't like snakes, but I do know that you're not supposed to grab a snake by its tail, right, because if you grab it by its tail, what will happen? That the head is gonna whip around and bite you. Right, God tells Moses to grab it by the tail. And so often in life we grab things by that head because we want to control it, we want to be a charge of it, we want to hold it. And God saying, do you trust me with what is in your hand? Do you trust me? Do you want to hold it by the tail? And so I believe that whatever God has given to you, he's asking you that same question. Do you trust me with what I have given to you, or are you trying to do it...

...your way? God's way is better than your way. Let's do it God's way. But that wasn't good enough, that special sign. There was other signs there. That happened in Moses said, Oh, Lord, I'm not very good with words. I never have been and I'm not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue tied at my words get tangled. Moses is like, yeah, you, you might be who you say you are and you might give me this, but it involves speaking and I don't speak well or I don't speak good. But God wants to remind him that what I had given you is enough, what I've given you is enough. But Moses is like he still doesn't get it so well, the Lord asked Moses, who makes a person's mouth? Who speaks, whether people speak or do not speak here or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now Go, I will be with you as you speak and I will instruct you in what to say. We think I'm not good enough, I don't speak well enough, I'm not smart enough, I'm not this, I don't have enough. In God's like, I am enough, I am smart enough, I am good enough, I am this for you, even though we might not feel that about ourselves. And so in Christ we are more than enough, we have more than enough. And so Moses doesn't get it and he pleads Lord, please send anyone else. He just had enough of it. He's like, God, I can't take this anymore. Please send anyone else. And God, Look at God's response. The Lord became angry. With Moses. I don't know about you, but I don't want God to be angry with me because I'm not getting it, to stubborn, I'm not understanding all that. God is trying to tell me that what's in your hand, it's enough, it's do you trust me with it? And eventually God's like come on, man. So finally God says, I'm going to send your brother, Aaron, to go with you, and it's like, Moses, this is going to happen whether you you do it or not, and so you might as well just do it. And I think he says that's us, a lot of types to God's on the move, he's working, he's moving, he's doing stuff, and it's like he's going to do it with you or not, and so we want to be. I want to be a board with what God is doing. So finally Moses gets it and with the staff in his hand, Moses took his wife and his son's put them on a donkey and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff...

...of God's interesting. Now this thing that's in his hand is now he recognizes whose it is and with the staff in his hand, he goes and he says what the Lord says, I will show you that I'm the Lord. Look, I will strike the water of the Nile with this staff in my hand and the river will turn to blood. And so Moses performs all these signs of these miracles with his staff in his hand. And then Moses says that people were ready to leave. Moses raised his hand with that staff over the sea and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind, and the wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. God wants to take what's in your hand and do some amazing, miraculous things with it. So what's in your hand is your talents, your abilities, which you got, is gifted you with, and so we want to be generous with those things. Is the last thing that we've talked about of being generous was with our money. And what's really interesting is that we don't see anything in this story about Moses giving of his financial resources to fund the Exodus. We don't see Moses giving of this way, giving being generous in this way. But I want to show you maybe the reason why that was the case, because ultimately we are generous because God is generous to and so look who was generous in this story with their money. That practically funded the exodus of the Hebrew people of Egypt. This is exodus twelve, thirty five. And the people of Israel did, and Moses had instructed, they asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold, and the Lord caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites and they gave the Israelites. People left Egypt with all of the treasures, all of the material all of the funding of the Egyptians. God provided for Moses. This God provided for the people through their enemies, and God provided and was generous to his people in this way. And so we just in return, say God, you have been so gracious to us, so generous to us, you've given so much to us. How can we in turn be generous back to you and to others? And we need to be generous with our money. So what is in your hand? God has given you specific talents that only you...

...have, and we really want to help you use those talents, use those gifts, use those abilities to do what God has called you to do, and God has gifted you, given you time and we want to encourage you to give that time for other people and serve other people, be there with other people, make time for other people. And God has given you financial resources and we want to encourage you to be generous with what God has entrusted you, because he has been so generous to us and so we can be generous to other people. And so again we might think I don't have enough, I'm not good enough. What God ask that simple question. What is in your hand? And it's more than enough.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (108)