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May 4, 2020 8:44 am
Georgia Benatar is as I have as you fired these wonderful songs of God's goodness of his grace of his omnipotence. I thank you Matt for that wonderful testimony and privilege to serve with the outstanding pastors. Last week we had robberies. His testimony and tonight, as I sat and listened to Matt we had before, but hearing it afresh. I marveled that God would take this young man save him George Foreman and call him into his service, and of all places to join us here at Calvary church ministry not only to middle schoolers, to the families and indeed to the whole congregation so I ask you to pray for our pastors or elders or deacons as we give leadership as we try to shepherd the flock at this time of the COBIT 19 crisis, but with me as we pray together.
Father, we thank you that you are able to do all things the snowstorm to doctors also wrote to deep. There's no situation to heavy for you, your God, who can do the impossible. You speak in this Donya command in the stands fast, your God and God alone. There is none like you, your unique and so we bowed humbly before you and thanking you that not only a great God, but your God of great grace, we see that in the life of Martin's Renée Thompson but you are a living God, and we pray that as your word is proclaimed no as we look to this ancient Scripture which is ever alive that we will learn humbly and so follow more effectively more closely more lovingly, our Savior, who loved us and gave himself for us to that and we pray in Christ name, amen. Last year the World Health Organization much in the news today, but they will put the World Health Organization listed bar night as an occupational phenomenon. They describe our night and I quote as a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that is not been successfully managed but not increasingly reasonable nightmare of people being stressed at work and I think the stay at home mandate for many has increase the stress level signs of burnout were told may include lack of focus, people of difficulty to focus constant fatigue and inability to shut off the mind just keeps going and going and going and sometimes of the barn if they burn under severe a kind of numbness, a kind of mental and perhaps even physical paralysis.
Let me remind you that God did not make us as machines.
Matt Thompson got advice from his father.
We've had work hard and play hard. Well, that's not the whole truth is it yes we are to work hard. That is true, but one of the 10 Commandments we thought of one earlier today, one of the other ones is remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy sick day Signet six days you shall labor and do all your work and is amazing as you look at the Old Testament that on the Sabbath, the seventh day. Even the animals were to rest. Now I realize as I said earlier in the cities of Matthew were not under the Mosaic law is a code of conduct, but the Sabbath was given by God, and it was given not as a burden to restrict people sometimes regarded as that. But no, the Sabbath was a gracious gift by God to his people. It was a day to the light to those a day to focus on the Lord a day to reflect on his goodness and his grace I did particularly to worship them into enjoying the fellowship of the people of God. Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man that is it's made for our benefit and for good is a good thought. Yes, it's good to work in my God wants you to work in the Bible. Laziness is condemned so the advice that Matt receives from his father. What card is good as far as it goes.
There is certainly nothing demeaning about working. God wants you to work part. My father also told us six sons to work hard. One of his favorite Scriptures was from first Thessalonians 321 is not willing to work let them not eat and he would say you eat at my table and I want you to work. Women older. He says it would say to us you eat like man but do you want to work like insult my father like Matt's father believed in work and that's good prior to the fall. The Lord God took the man, Adam, Genesis 2 verse 15 and puts him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it before the fall. Here is Adam in the garden of Eden, and he's working there at least keeping it. So God wants you to work. However, it is applying to. When you get God does not want us to work all the time. The necessity of rest from work is an intricate part of the creation order last as well as work is important. Rest is for our blessing for mental, physical and emotional and spiritual well-being. When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. There was no day off. No day of rest, no Sabbath in Egypt.
No Focht a day not know 40 hour week.
They worked all the time, but under the Sabbath as they redeemed as they go through the Red Sea as God gives him the time as God gives Moses the 10 Commandments, the Decalogue here is a gracious provision in one of the 10 Commandments of the Sabbath. Everyone under the Sabbath, whether the servant with her the slaves within the poor with other immigrants. As I say, even the very animals rested from work one day is a very wise provision is good for us. We need a break from work a break from the routine, a day to catch our breath is what a day to be refreshed the day of rest the day of worship in our society.
It seems to me that fewer and fewer people know how to be sterile on her to rest our men tonight@that song and then that they quoted the words of the large in Matthew 11, unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you practice rest for the really many of us operate almost under constant time pressures deluged by emails and cell phones and text messages, and noise and seemingly endless meetings. The drug companies make billions of dollars producing tranquilizers on sedatives to deal with want to deal with stress to deal with anxiety was the answer slowed on simplify your life or learning that that this they will mandate the simplify your your life, rest, vacation.
If you have too much going on in your life you'll find it harder and harder to enjoy life. The world will not clap your business will not clap your office will not collapse when you have time off my get on very very well. In fact, perhaps by that if you've gone God is in control were singing about that God and God alone. God is in control, not you. And when we work with are to break we try to do it all will become physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted, tense, irritable, sale and voting.
Do anyone who always talks about the work seems to be the only topic of conversation is there work what they're doing and the rest of that us. We try to be polite, but we find it rather boring doorway were glad we don't live with a person like that that eventually can lead to burnout and even break down very interesting in the cities and the life of Moses we come this evening to Exodus 18 and if you got your Bible, we determine where just throw the father-in-law of Moses is concerned with the workload of Moses in particular is concerned with the procedure in Israel for the settling of disputes.
The major burden is falling and Moses. Moses is an incredible man wise experience able to give leadership to the people of God. But it's all falling on him. So Jethro says to Moses in ex this 18 verses 17 and 18 were greeted in a minute. What do you what you're doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourself out for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to bear it alone. So let's look at this passage and see seven principles above. Note can be avoided. Will see how it was set up in ancient Israel during the life of Moses will think of it, then in the life of the church will think of it in our own lives here at Calvary and in the local church. Exodus 18 then verse 13 asked this the second book of the Bible the next day Moses sat to judge the people and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening, when Moses father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people he said, what is this that you're doing for the people. Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening defined in life that sometimes a close relative of friends husband or wife or gives you a straight and here is the father-in-law of Moses not a member they knew each other. Moses had been 40 years in the wilderness had moderate Jethro's daughter. So Jethro knew his son-in-law and he deals with him straight. Verse 15 Moses said to his father-in-law because the people come to me to inquire of God when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws. Another words, Jethro human understood all that I've got going on. Verse 17 was his father-in-law said to him what you're doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out for the thing is too heavy for you, you're not able to bear it alone. That will be my voice. I'll give you advice and God be with you. You shall represent the people before God and bring the cases to God. Initial warn them about the statutes of the laws and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people man who fears God were trustworthy and hate a bribe and play such men over the people as jeeps of thousands of hundreds of 50s on the fence and let them judge the people at all time every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves, so it will be easier for you and they will notice this and they will bear the burden with you.
If you do this God will direct you. You will be able to ensure and all this people also will go to their place in peace. So Moses listen to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said Moses Josie able men of all Israel made them heads over the people, jeeps of thousands of hundreds of 50s on the fence and the judge the people at all times any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart and you went away to his own country to find that very intriguing passage of Scripture here in X. This chapter 18. Burnout was avoided in Israel through the plurality of leaders. But the problem Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses is concerned that the total responsibility of being Israel judge was falling on Moses and Moses also made known. Very importantly, the statutes of God and his laws. So whenever there was a dispute between people how to interpret a certain situation perhaps a conflict in law, a misunderstanding of the law, confusion of the law it came to Moses and he adjudicated but he was doing it all and the impact of this was twofold.
First, people had to wait a long time for their case to be decided because all of it was coming to Moses. Secondly, all of this was just too heavy for Moses.
He was not able to do it alone. So was frustrating for the people because they had to wait a long time for the case to be decided is also very difficult for Moses because all of the responsibility fell on him actually work very, very, very long hours as you went to bed probably all of this was still in his mind, but the problem is solved. Jethro's advice to Moses is that his primary responsibility was the spiritual direction. Moses, verse 20 should continue to warn them about the statutes and the laws and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do Moses that you responsibility you in the sense of this mediator between God and the people you got to know the statutes of God and the laws and you need to focus on that reminds is doesn't it. In the early church in acts six. When a problem arose a question of taking care of the widows and it came out to the church and the apostles did something very wise, similar to what Jethro is doing. They said no. We need to appoint deacons. We need to point men, but a godly man to take care of the situation with with widows, but we are going to divorce ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the work. Our focus is apostles is not a practical matter of making sure windows are fed. That's important yet very spiritual man to take care of that. But we need to do something and that is the board ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word delegation of responsibility so here in acts. Check here in X. This chapter 18, godly and competent man are selected who are going to give leadership to the thousands to the hundreds to the 50s and the tens they must be competent, they must meet godly they must be trustworthy and honest to do notice that in verse 21. Look for able men competent from all the people man who fears God that's essential isn't it. Not just anyone but men who fear God, who is trustworthy, faithful, and he's a bribe monogamy bribe the love, money, and then play such men over the people system is developed so that the smaller cases the easier cases are dealt with by these men. Responsibilities are delegated to them and then they're going to bring the difficult cases to Moses. Verse 22. Let them judge the people at all times.
Every great matter they shall bring to you within a small matter they shall decide for themselves.
So be easier for you and they will bear the burden with you. The responsibility, the burden instead of it falling all on Moses is not distributed to others. Plurality of leadership. And God is going to direct Moses who is going to be able then to continue leading the people I remember Moses is 18 years old as he is leaving the people through the Red Sea, and if you follow this practice Jethro Singh to Moses, and Moses agrees that this is going to be a matter of great blessing to you and to the people. Small cases dealt with by these able able men who fear God were trustworthy. Don't take a bribe, who are competent, known to the congregation and they will handle these cases and this will make it much easier. The people will gather cases dealt with quicker and you will have. Not all the responsibility of new, but the burden shall be shared. Notice the actions implemented to prevent burnout and Moses first delegation of responsibilities, you're not going to do it all. Moses others are going to do it. You've got to focus on the statutes and laws, and the very difficult matters.
Delegation of responsibility. Secondly, prioritizing some things are more important than others and you responsibility Moses is the deal with the statutes and the laws and the very difficult cases and then third a very careful selection of leaders delegation prioritizing and careful selection of leaders. All three principles are important are never incorporated into our business life on the people it helped. And Moses is going verse 23 to be able to injure others that is not going to buttoned out is not to be frustrated by the die and leave a heart attack is going to be able to enjoy.
So burnout is appointed in ancient Israel through the plurality of elders, but Bernard is avoided in the church of Jesus Christ through the plurality of leaders in the New Testament in the church is not just one leader that is a plurality of elders.
So in the New Testament, there is no suggestion that one individual is the sole leader of the church, but see that acts chapter 14 for example your Bible there at home, you must have a Bible at home. Take a moment in time.
There acts chapter 14 verse 23. Notice what apostles do and when they had appointed elders plural for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Acts chapter 20 verse 17 and from Miletus seeing the apostle Paul sent to Ephesus we know forever. The church at Ephesus and call the elders plural of the church to come to him and when they came to him, he said to them, and saw elders plural Titus one verse five. So, my fellow pastors recently preached to Titus. Titus one verse five, Paul is saying to Titus.
This is why I left you in Crete so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every time as I directed you when James gives instructions regarding the individual who is sick in the church. What this he or she do call for the elders plural of the church to come. So within the church of Jesus Christ. That is to be mutual accountability.
God raises up in the local assembly leaders are not all of these leaders of the same gifts of the same aptitudes have the same energy levels that drew where they are to function as a team under the Lordship of Jesus Christ the leadership in the church according to the New Testament, has plurality. It has a quality and diversity. No one person can do it all. What is required. Delegation whether the pastors and the elders to do their rule of law there to feed the flock and they are to shepherd so Peter writes in first Peter five verses one through four.
He says I exhort the elders among you as a fellow elder and the witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed. Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you not for shameful gain not taking a bribe, but eagerly not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory so leaders in the church. They must know the word of God. They must be authentic and mature followers of Jesus Christ. How can people leave the church of the don't know the word of God that they don't know which direction to go and some elders, some pastors within this plurality will have a special gift and the ability in preaching and teaching.
Paul says that in first Timothy chapter 5 verse 17 he says let the elders who rule well important that we hold in leadership not only little bit rule well let elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. So within this plurality of leaders, some of them are going out the special gift special focus of labeling in preaching and teaching that is so important, so that the church of Jesus Christ is conducted in a way which honors God and is in accordance with this book, the holy Scriptures. They are also all to be to be man of prayer, so the person who is sick calls the elders why do they call the elders, though this incident maybe don't call the faith healer recall the elders why call the elders because the elders are to be man of prayer, mature men, men who know God, men who have seen God answered prayer, and who could cry out to God on behalf of those who are sick and weak and struggling to leaders in the church must be selected on biblical and not worldly criteria not selected because of their success in business or profession, not because of a lot of money not because they're influential not because that a popular kind of individual who claps everyone on the back.
Not a people pleaser, elders, pastors raised up by God the Holy Spirit with an example here in our brother Mike Thompson saved by God.
Learning the word of God, called by God, so that as an elder pastor is a pastor teacher he can lead the flock and instruct them in accordance with the word of God and so that is shared. I can say is a pastor here at Calvary. It's a joy to side with others to think I can visit every sick person think I can call everyone doing I can conduct every funeral or or widening of course not impossible. So God brings us a team of pastors of elders of deacons of gifted men and women in the congregation so that together we can shepherd the flock and we can guide so that this church, Calvary church is a church which is rooted and funded than the word of God and gives glory to God.
So burnout in Israel was avoided through the plurality of elders but not in the church is avoided through the plurality of leaders, but Bernard in the church is also avoided. Please hear this through each member using their spiritual gifts you might be presenting a home and say well done this very very nice black dog called a people like Mike Thompson, like Tim Hathaway, like Rob Reese and John Monroe and others at Toledo says that's wonderful that these are here at Toledo's but I'm not called. I've not been called as you recall, John orders Matt has called has been called while it's true that everyone is called to full-time ministry, but each follower of Jesus Christ is gifted and is called to serve God and others see this in first Peter chapter 4 this is one of my great joys to see men and women. Yes boys and girl students serving at Calvary for the services pastor hath not Hathaway and I were chatting everything a wonderful was this morning to see students, college Summit high school serving the Lord here at Calvary as the leaders in worship. Wonderful to see young children singing predicates that they are participating in the life and ministry of Calvary but of all ages that together we are giving glory to God. How wonderful to be part of a church that has involvement of so many so that last week when we ask people to give blood. Others, such a response, the Red Cross have to send the second bus in terms of food we can be inundated with it to the congregation and God's grace that once the sound that brings glory to God and I tell you as a leader. As a matter of great joy, my fellow leaders would rejoice at the hundreds and hundreds of people involved in ministry at Calvary and that's the way it should be listened to Peter in first Peter four verse 10 as each has received the gift use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's very grace whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God.
Whoever serves as one who serves by the strength that God supplies is wonderful in order is a goal in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever man.
Matt said during his testimony that his goal is to do as John the Baptist said regarding Lord Jesus. He must increase and I must decrease as what Peter is saying as you serve God, not us. God is glorified bidders is saying here in verse 10 as each has received the gift gift is a supernatural ability for Christian service given by God to every believer and these are the greatest gifts as good stewards of God's very grace the Lord in Greek here is charisma from which we get charismatic everyone of us has received a charisma has received the grace gift is wonderful. God in his grace saves us, God in his grace calls us and God in his grace and his all of his grace gives you and me spiritual gifts.
This gift is grace.
Surely amazes us you have received, my brother, my sister, a special gift. We don't choose our gift is sovereignly given to us, but you are to use it says what Peter is saying. As each has received the gift use it for what your own legal needs so that we think you're wonderful. No use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's very grace God's multifaceted rates in the left Calvary church of God. People from all over the world people are very very different come from different backgrounds and evidence as we come together of God's multi faceted race God calling us in gifting so that together we can praise God so you should give Paul says in first Corinthians 12 know you are Christ's body, and individually members of it that is a dyed varsity that is an interdependence. We are interdependent and interconnected, and we therefore impact one another in profound ways. I need you and you need me. We need each other and that during the go with 19 crisis when Mrs. don't we.
We miss that connection. We miss seeing each other. I we miss encouraging one another face-to-face as we meet in this week. Warship is just not the same for me to preach the camera is not just the same for these three men who led us in worship to to sing before an empty sanctuary. How much wonderful when we come together as the people of God, helping one another encouraging one another feeling one has one another's burden. And Peter says in that way.
God is glorified, the beautiful when you use your gift as God intends it and use it in conscious dependence upon God for stealing gifts Peter mentions is the gift of those who speak in the gift of those who serve speaking gifts and the seven gifts and all of them must be exercised in conscious dependence on God you serving God you sound, says Peter by the strength that God supplies God calls you to talk to that neighbor God calls you to decide of and and and champ God calls you to be part of the worship ministry and you say I am not sure if I could do that and I'm very hesitant to him and we can't just an ordinary person.
All of that is true. But remember this, God is giving you a supernatural gift and he's going to give you all of the strength that you need as you use that gift for his glory and for the benefit of others, and Peter, I love the way he finishes this in a tremendous doxology. Why do we do this so that we avoid burden height so that we encourage one another so that the ministry shared in the joy is shared as we served together in being is making authentic followers of Jesus Christ. Once the result since Peter in order that in everything we seek to do that Calvary in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Just think of this, but what were doing impacts the eternal God, and it is forever and ever, our worship of God as we glorify God as we use our gifts to edify one another and to prevent one person being overburdened we praise God, and that praise will continue forever and ever.
Someone in children's ministry they been serving for years and we take them for granted someone in the nursery could be my go to the barn out there. Could it be that they feel could be wonderful if this was shared, brother, sister, could you come alongside that person and say could not help someone who is been a coach a chime for many many years that they love the children but meant another assistant need some help wonderful when someone comes along beside us and says can I help you, I'm privileged to work with pastors with elders with deacons who say to me from time to time. John is there anyway I can help you what they're saying is there any way we can help you bear that burden not just me but for others in the congregation you know them, they work so hard you could come alongside of them and say could help you what we could encourage you to pray for you could be part of this ministry. Why, so that in everything God is glorified through Jesus Christ to these principles in ancient Israel a very wise as we delegate as we share the responsibilities so that burden I attend bitterness are prevented and that God is glorified God in his wisdom has given the local church under the Lordship of the chief shepherd the Lord Jesus Christ gives us under shepherds. He gives us pastors who will guide us and help us and we have the incredible privilege of praising him, not just now but for all of eternity and that is all old you to his amazing grace, don't you agree that this part of God's grace to gift and to give you the privilege of serving him, and that you do that, not out of obligation, but you do that because you love Christ, and because you love others, and because you love the church of Jesus Christ and his all of that amazing grace. That grace that saves us that grace which sustains us that grace which gifts us, and that grace which one they will either safely home so that in all things are great God may be glorified eternal God and the father we thank you for your grace.
It does amaze us that that's his incredible we could never from the depth of that grace. The grace which saves us which saves a selfish pro-young man like Matt Thompson and transforms his life so that no heat is serving middle schoolers spending his life in pointing them to the Savior and helping them grow in their faith and reaching out to the families grace. I thank you for that evidence of your very grace and the congregation here at Calvary than many other churches so that as people come and see us worship and interact with us but will see something different and will see something of that amazing grace. Father I pray for those listening right now who may not be saved. We may never have experienced what's all of us have experienced your grace, saving us sort pray that we will come from their sin and cry out to the Savior, and that those of us who know him will be motivated to settle for more and more as we reflect on this amazing grace. Thank you. In Christ name