We have moved to www.martinamcgowan.com




Sunday, March 20, 2011

Before the Promise, Sermon notes 3-20-11

Text: Numbers 32:5-9

We are at the end of the children of Israel's 40 year journey in the wilderness.

In their exodus, God has them pause to examine themselves.

The first generation that left Egypt has died off, because of their unbelief.

The children endured famine, and God supplied quail. They gorged themselves on the quail, and God had to remind them that He is not only the God of the feast, but also of the famine.

Be careful not to waste all your living, in excess.

Before the Promise, there is always a test, a tribulation and a trial.

The children even tried to back away from God. When Moses went to Mt. Sinai to commune with God and receive His laws, the people decided to party-on since God had forgotten about them.

Even though the struggle of your trial and the test of your faith has become difficult, just hold on to God.

Here, the children face one last trial as they ask the question, "How shall we possess the blessing?"

God's blessings come out of His grace. And what is grace? The unmerited favor bestowed on us because He loves us so much.

Just as with the current crisis in Japan, we question the validity of God in the light of our current circumstances. Why does He allow suffering?

Just because you are struggling now, does not mean that you will struggle always.

We must summon the faith to make it to tomorrow.

We must remember that God loves us in our ugliness, shame, filth, frailty, limits and in our less.

We need the love of God most when we are at our bottom.

Grace moves God's love into action. Goodness travels on grace's highway.

Some of us do not try to secure God's blessings because we feel that we do not deserve it.

At those times we want to rely on God's "common" graces; on the grace that He gives to all people.

[We become fatalistic] We say, "If God wills it, it will happen," rather than asking for His blessing in our prayer life.

The enemy keeps us bound up. He accuses us before God and before the brethren. He tells us that we do not deserve God's love.

We don't want to position ourselves only for God's leftovers. We want to be in a position to receive God's best!

"I deserve God's best blessing!"

God can be moved by your condition.

It matters whether we perceive God as a mountain of granite or a mountain of grace.

We must climb to that mountaintop to get God's blessings.

The God of the Old Testament is a God of cooperation. He'll work with you if you work with Him.

In the text, we have the Twelve Tribes of Israel. All 12 tribes did NOT go into the Promised Land. Moses becomes upset with the people and begins to pronounce woes on them.

They have corrupted the blessing Of the Almighty God. He feels they have become like the first generation that left Egypt who did not truly believe that God would bless them. The Lord's anger mirrors Moses'.

The Lord says, "They have not wholly followed Me."

Two of the tribes want to get their blessing beforehand!

But God gives a counteroffer. Before you get your promise, you must help your brothers first.

It's not all about you.

Are you willing to help someone else secure their blessing before you get yours?

"If there is anything I can do to help you get your blessing, I'll be there for you."

They begin to work for the blessings of other people, and the Lord's anger turned to favor. God blessed them because of their willingness to help others.

If you're willing to help someone else, God will look in on your "stuff."

Illustration: The Smile-Smile taxi company in Japan.

Here is the link -  http://marketplace.publicradio.org/standard/display/slideshow.php?ftr_id=90144

Will you help someone else while your own life is in shambles?

God is a movable mountain of grace.

Illustration- Drake- Yoda Yoda Best, LORD; Best I ever had, LORD!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK YOU SAID BE CAREFUL NOT TO WASTE ALL YOUR LIVING , IN EXCESS, WHAT EXACTLY DOES THAT MEAN?

AND ANOTHER THING I'M YOUNG AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT I'VE BEEN THROUGH HELL AND BACK IN MY 17 YEARS OF LIFE AND I DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWER , BUT A GENERALIZATION AS A TEENAGER , WE ALL HAVE ISSUES AND PROBLEMS THAT WE GO THROUGH
A DAIY BASIS, BUT I GENUINELY FEEL THAT MINES ARE DEEPER. I'M NOT SAYING WORSE BECAUSE THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE WHO IS WORSE OFF THAN ME, JUST TO CLARIFY THAT. YOU SAID "BEFORE THE PROMISE, THERE IS ALWAYS A TEST A TRIBULATION AND A TRIAL. AS A TEEN HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN ITS THE TEST THE TRIAL AND TRIBUALTION FROM GOD/FOR GOD, WHEN ITS A DAILY OCCURENCE FOR ME. AND ITS NOT EASILY FOR ME(OR ANY OTHER FAITH-BOUND CHRISTIAN) TO HOLD ON WHEN THINGS GET ROUGH BECAUSE I/WE DON'T FULLY UNDERSTAND AS WOULD AN OLDER MEMBER OF CHRIST OR THE PASTOR. ALL THE WHILE I'M REALLY WANNA KNOW"WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING?" YOU SAID "JUST BECAUSE YOU STRUGGLE NOW, DOESN'T MEAN YOU WILL ALWAYS STUGGLE. BUT WHAT IF STRUGGLING IS ALL YOU KNOW OR FACE AND ALL YOU BELIEVE?
AS TEENS WE GO THROUGH MORE THAN THAT MEETS THE EYE, MORE THAN WHAT PEOPLE BELIEVE. I GET TIRED OF OLDER PEOPLE SAYING YOU AIN'T BEEN THROUGH NOTHING. I'M NOT SAYING THAT WHAT WE GO THORUGH TODAY IS WORSE. YES YOU MAY HAVE WENT THROUGH SLAVERY AND I APPRECIATE YOU FOR IT BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE NOT GOING THROUGH. AND I SAID THAT TO SAY THIS YOU SAID WE NEED THE LOVE OF GOD MOST WHEN WE ARE AT OUR BOTTOM AS TEENS WHEN OUR TRIALS BECOME TO HARD TO BARE HONESTLY WE DON'T IMMEDIATELY THINK ABOUT GOD'S LOVE, AS MAYBE YOU WOULD.
IN ALL TRUTH I THINK THIS QUOTE IS FOR ME"SOME OF US DO NOT TRY TO SECURE GOD'S BLESSINGS BECAUSE WE FEEL WE DON'T DESERVE IT." AND HALF THE TIME I DON'T EVEN RECOGNIZE WHEN THERE'S A BLESSING BEFORE ME SO I JUST DON'T THINK HE SHOULD KEEP SUPPLYING ME UNTIL MY FAITH GROWS AND I GET A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.

I DON'T WORRY MYSELF OF GETTING MY BLESSING FROM GOD CAUSE ONCE AGAIN I DON'T DESERVE IT BUT YOU STATED THAT GOD GIVES A COUNTEROFFER. BEFORE YOU GET YOUR PROMISE, YOU MUST HELP YOUR BROTHERS FIRST. I JUST WANNA KNOW DOES THAT MEAN I PUT MY ISSUES ON THE BACK BURNER AND HELP SOMEBODY WITH THERE'S EVEN IF I NEED HELP WITH MINES. I DON'T DEAL WITH MINE ISSUES BUT I ALWAYS GOT MY PEERS ASKING ME TO HELP THEM WITH THIS OR WITH THAT AND I HELP, IS THAT A GOOD THING?
LASTLY, BUT NOT LEAST, WHEN WILL GOD LOOK IN ON MY STUFF? I DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS AND I'M NOT SAYING THAT YOU DO BUT YOU HAVE ORE THAN ME SO IF YOU CAN JUST LET ME IN ON YOUR WISDOM.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reaching out
Real and Genuine ;)
Okay excess means to waste and not use wisely, your time, your talent, or your money.

Recreation is not excess
God rested on the 7th day (not literally)

Example: Do kids need to have an xbox,wii,and ps3.
Do you need evry color tennis shoe
in the rainbow.

Real hip-hop is about creativity not dumb and stoopid stuff!
That's me I grew up on the real rap
not some of this gansta and disgusting garbage that passes now!!
Sorry that sounds preachy but I am a preacher LOL
Okay next the test, trial, temptation part of my sermon.
Here is an example;
You got a job interview at 7:00 am
Your people come at you and say let's go out and hang the night b4 the interview, What do you do? Test
Same example but your tryin to go to sleep but mom and boyfriend are arguing half the night and you can't sleep. Trials come at you
Can you soldier it up pray and still do your best at 7:00 am
Same example
You crew is teasing u about your interivew at quick maid inc
Sayin that ain't a real job
Can you stand the criticism
If it is going to help you put money away for some other thing.
Some folks put their kids through school cleaning toilets for someone else.

Feel me :)

Finally sorry to u been through a lot. But that means ur a survivor and you got something going on
Stay bullets kill innocent people all day, U ain't dead yet.

Holla Back at me and let me know you read my reply.
I'll drop you some more stuff next week. I'm prayin 4 u!
Peace & Love
Praiseinaction - team

Doc said...

“…GOD GIVES A COUNTEROFFER. BEFORE YOU GET YOUR PROMISE, YOU MUST HELP YOUR BROTHERS FIRST. I JUST WANNA KNOW DOES THAT MEAN I PUT MY ISSUES ON THE BACK BURNER AND HELP SOMEBODY WITH THERE'S EVEN IF I NEED HELP WITH MINES. I DON'T DEAL WITH MINE ISSUES BUT I ALWAYS GOT MY PEERS ASKING ME TO HELP THEM WITH THIS OR WITH THAT AND I HELP, IS THAT A GOOD THING? LASTLY, BUT NOT LEAST, WHEN WILL GOD LOOK IN ON MY STUFF? “

No, I don’t have all the answers, and I never will, but I am happy to share my thoughts.
Yes, we are meant to put our stuff aside to help our family and friends. We live in a society and not in isolation, so by the same token, when we need help we can be expected to reach out to them.
The best example I can think of at 17 is that if a friend asks me to help with homework, I can do that. But I am not justified in doing it to my own destruction. I cannot abandon my own homework, and potentially my future, claiming that I am helping someone else get ahead. We must use the common sense we have.
Another important life lesson, as demonstrated in today’s series, is that some people just don’t really want to be helped. They want to stay where they are and use others. This is human nature. We must be able to eventually figure out who these people are. I can help you, but you must show me that you are honesty making some kind of effort to help yourself and to show me that you value my help.
When will God look in on “your stuff?” I cannot give an easy or glib answer to this. I know the pain of awkward and troubled teenage years. We have to learn to trust God and His timing. As a teenager, I thought life would never ever get better. It eventually did, but I had to keep focus, keep faithful and work hard. Am I ever going to be super-rich or have it all together all the time? No, but I have attained a certain level of peace about who I am and who I am not.
My best bit of wisdom here is that we continue to explore the talents that God has given us and the doors He opens for us, and who knows where it will lead us?

Doc said...

“…GOD GIVES A COUNTEROFFER. BEFORE YOU GET YOUR PROMISE, YOU MUST HELP YOUR BROTHERS FIRST. I JUST WANNA KNOW DOES THAT MEAN I PUT MY ISSUES ON THE BACK BURNER AND HELP SOMEBODY WITH THERE'S EVEN IF I NEED HELP WITH MINES. I DON'T DEAL WITH MINE ISSUES BUT I ALWAYS GOT MY PEERS ASKING ME TO HELP THEM WITH THIS OR WITH THAT AND I HELP, IS THAT A GOOD THING? LASTLY, BUT NOT LEAST, WHEN WILL GOD LOOK IN ON MY STUFF? “

No, I don’t have all the answers, and I never will, but I am happy to share my thoughts.
Yes, we are meant to put our stuff aside to help our family and friends. We live in a society and not in isolation, so by the same token, when we need help we can be expected to reach out to them.
The best example I can think of at 17 is that if a friend asks me to help with homework, I can do that. But I am not justified in doing it to my own destruction. I cannot abandon my own homework, and potentially my future, claiming that I am helping someone else get ahead. We must use the common sense we have.
Another important life lesson, as demonstrated in today’s series, is that some people just don’t really want to be helped. They want to stay where they are and use others. This is human nature. We must be able to eventually figure out who these people are. I can help you, but you must show me that you are honesty making some kind of effort to help yourself and to show me that you value my help.
When will God look in on “your stuff?” I cannot give an easy or glib answer to this. I know the pain of awkward and troubled teenage years. We have to learn to trust God and His timing. As a teenager, I thought life would never ever get better. It eventually did, but I had to keep focus, keep faithful and work hard. Am I ever going to be super-rich or have it all together all the time? No, but I have attained a certain level of peace about who I am and who I am not.
My best bit of wisdom here is that we continue to explore the talents that God has given us and the doors He opens for us, and who knows where it will lead us?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reaching out
Real and Genuine ;)
Okay excess means to waste and not use wisely, your time, your talent, or your money.

Recreation is not excess
God rested on the 7th day (not literally)

Example: Do kids need to have an xbox,wii,and ps3.
Do you need evry color tennis shoe
in the rainbow.

Real hip-hop is about creativity not dumb and stoopid stuff!
That's me I grew up on the real rap
not some of this gansta and disgusting garbage that passes now!!
Sorry that sounds preachy but I am a preacher LOL
Okay next the test, trial, temptation part of my sermon.
Here is an example;
You got a job interview at 7:00 am
Your people come at you and say let's go out and hang the night b4 the interview, What do you do? Test
Same example but your tryin to go to sleep but mom and boyfriend are arguing half the night and you can't sleep. Trials come at you
Can you soldier it up pray and still do your best at 7:00 am
Same example
You crew is teasing u about your interivew at quick maid inc
Sayin that ain't a real job
Can you stand the criticism
If it is going to help you put money away for some other thing.
Some folks put their kids through school cleaning toilets for someone else.

Feel me :)

Finally sorry to u been through a lot. But that means ur a survivor and you got something going on
Stay bullets kill innocent people all day, U ain't dead yet.

Holla Back at me and let me know you read my reply.
I'll drop you some more stuff next week. I'm prayin 4 u!
Peace & Love
Praiseinaction - team