Category Archives: Sermons

Christ Community Church of the Nazarene Audio sermons

October 15, 2017 – Moses: Whose Story Is This Anyway?

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Key Points:

  • Moses was not permitted to enter the Promised Land for his disobedience to God.  In providing water, Moses failed to give glory to God and drew attention to himself. (Numbers 20:7-13)
  • Recall: we struggle in obedience to God because of our inability to let go of worldly concerns and desire.  We create idols for visible representation of God.  The Israelite tended to worship Moses.  Moses act above drew attention to himself.
  • Moses failure resulted in him not being able to enter the Promised Land.  He watched the Israelite enter the Promised Land before passing away.
  • This was not about Moses, but about God.
  • God takes the messes of our lives and make it a masterpiece.
  • Three take-aways:
    1. Moses failed big. God took Moses’ mess
    2. This life is not all that there is.  If it was, this would be bad story.  But this is not the end.  God did amazing thing through Moses’ faithfulness and anointed others to lead the Israelite beyond Moses’ end, but to continue works for God.
    3. If we are faithful to God, despite the mess, people will see God will turn the mess into a masterpiece.

October 8, 2017 – Moses: Misplaced Worship

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Points:

  • Moses has been up in the mountain to be in the presence of the Lord for a long time, the Israelite feared he was not returning.
  • The people, still new in relationship with God, had seen Moses as a tangible representation of God.  They are still learning to worship the one and only God.  (Recall they had many gods in Egypt.
  • Did they began to worship and idolize Moses.  The people needed something to replace what Moses may have represented to them, calling for a creation of the golden calf.
  • Possible God did not intend for one person to speak for Him forever.  It can be corruptible, easily.  Example, Moses struck the stone a second time to provide water, on his own direction, rather by God’s direction. The act became about Moses.  Other example where a single high priest can be corruptible: cults.
  • In making the new idol, the people were not looking to replace God, but replacing Moses.
  • The golden calf was fashioned out of the gold the Israelite had taken from Egypt, the provisions of wealth God has blessed them with.  The calf was made of thing that served as a reminder of God’s blessings.
  • We have examples of where our relationship with God becomes corruptible. Look at the flags of nations.  We have many.  Do the nations and the people automatically translate a bad.  No, but it can be corruptible.
  • Family: who doesn’t love their family.  But it is not God and family.
  • Slogans: Faith, Family, and Football.
  • Sports: People get emotionally invested in sports.  Sport inherently is not bad, but they can compete for our attention and allegiance.
  • Prosperity: Temptation to fall for a gospel of prosperity, the belief that God wants us to prosper, you focus on comfort.  Becomes the road block to helping and serving others.
  • Rights: stringently hold on to rights, we are owed things.  Can be divisive, focused on self.
  • In the end, remember it is not God and xxxxx (in Exodus, God and Moses).  We cannot have two masters!  We are to worship God alone – no other Gods.  Moses is not fundamentally bad.  Family, Slogans, Family,  Sports, Prosperity, and Right – all not fundamentally bad alone, but they cannot become our idols.  Cannot be worshiped.  Cannot be worshiped alongside God.
  • Take away:
    1. Israelite were trying to replace Moses, whom they worshiped alongside God.
    2. We have things in our lives we are tempted to worship: Family, Sports, Prosperity, etc.
    3. Moses intercedes and

 

October 1, 2017 – Moses: Survival Guide

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Exodus 20:1-20

Key Points:

  • The Israelite have been led out of oppression in Egypt, led into the wilderness.
  • There was a need for order. God calls on Moses, who goes up the mountain to commune with God.
  • God gives rules to Moses to extend to the people – 10 Commandments.
  • The following pertain to our relationship with God.
    1. Honor God alone.  There are not other gods.  Note: through all assimilation, false gods were introduced and created for many situations.  This was a struggle to deal with then, as today.
    2. Do make an idol; do not worship idols.  Tends to reflect how you want God to appear, and do for you.  Can be viewed as a reflection of self.
    3. Do not use the name of the Lord.
    4. Remember the Sabbath; keep it holy: we are created to produce and work.  We need rest – that’s what society wants of us.
  • Commandments about our conduct:
    1. Honor your mother and father
    2. You shall not murder (do not take a life)
    3. Do not commit adultery – any sexual relations/conduct outside the confines of marriage.
    4. Do not steal.
    5. Shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.  Learn to get along with your neighbor (all people).
    6. Do not covet your neighbor’s possession.  Learn to be happy with what you have.  If there’s something you want, work for it.
  • Moses gives the Israelite the Commandments – to test and put the fear in the people so they do not sin.  Why would God do this?
    1. Give visual of God’s holiness – clouds and fire.  They witness God’s power.
    2. God wanted them to follow rules – one that will benefit them.
    3. If they live by these rules, they live towards what they were meant to be.
  • Because of sin, we are always faced with temptation, which can be consuming, leading to destruction.  God provide the 10 Commandments to remind us of the sin’s destructive consequence.
  • 10 Commandments are like a survival guide.  Do not look at the 10 Commandments are rules that can become a checklist with religious acts, but rather a guideline.  We live them and become transformed into what God meant us to be.
  • As we live by this – we live as a community.
  • Take Aways:
    • Why they are rules, view the Commandments are guidelines – teach you how to live, to lead you to what God for us.
    • They provide order, safety.
    • Take us toward deeper truth – that we are meant to be God’s children.

September 24, 2017 – Moses: Perfect Provision

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Points:

  • The Israelite have been let out of slavery and oppression of Egypt by God.
  • Now in a new land, the people begin complain of hunger, forgetting God’s deliverance of Israel, losing trust.
  • God heard the complaints and commanded Aaron to remind the Israelite the meat they eat in the night and flakes of dew (manna) were God’s provision.
  • Yet again, the people complained of thirsty, questioning why they had been lead from Egypt, though they were treated brutally.
  • God again heard the grumbling and provided the people with water, having Moses strike a rock upon which water would flow.
  • Again, the Israelite needed to be reminded God provides.
  • In times we experience moments of need, potential desperation. It’s important remember that God provides.  Give your predicament to God and trust he will answer, will provide “manna.”
  • Israelite are impatient, want answers and provisions immediately.  They continually failed to humbly ask God for their needs, to trust him.
  • Take away:
    1. God knows what’s going on in your life and has the means to meet your needs.  May not be what you want.
    2. Pray when in need.  Take a moment to ask for God’s direction.
    3. Blessings will come when you trust God. When they come, what will you do with them.  Will you be good stewards of the blessings.  Will you in turn bless others with what you’ve been blessed.

September 17, 2017 – Moses: The Exodus

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Point:

  • Pharaoh is broken and let’s the Israelite go, leave Egypt.
  • Pharaoh then changes his mind, despite witnessing God’s greatness and might on display.  He decides to rally his army and pursues the Israelite.
  • The army witness the formation of pillars of fire, signifying God’s presence and protection over the fleeing Israelite.
  • The Israelite reach the Red Sea, trapped with no where else to go.
  • Likely, Moses and the people of Israel are scared and discouraged.
  • God empowers Moses to part the Red Sea and provide the people a corridor to escape.
    • Note: the sea is noted as chaos through out the Bible, something fearsome, dangerous.  God is order and protection against the chaos and danger.
  • Pharaoh’s army goes in pursuit, into the parted sea, even though knowing God’s promise and protection of the Israelite.
  • As the Israelite reach the other, God directs Moses to restore the Red Sea, crashing the parted waters on the army, washing them away.
  • Take away:
    1. Hopelessness: without God.  With God, there is always hope.
    2. Make good decisions.  Pharaoh ignored God’s power and chose to continue his pursuit of the Israelite.  In this case:
    3. God is the primary actor/character: God is in control.
    4. Lead with faith: Moses and the Israelite were fleeing in fear. Moses had to lead, trusting God’s direction to go into the Red Sea.  God delivered the Israelite.

September 3, 2017 – Moses: What is in a Name?

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Points:

  • Moses came to the burning bush and came to the presence of the Lord.
  • The burning bush:  God and creation can co-exist (God present in the physical – burning bush is ever-maintained by God)
  • Symbolism: The bush represents the people (Israel, us individually) and the fire represents God’s fuel.
  • Angel of the Lord: is thought to actually represent God’s presence
  • Moses: going to the people to led the Israelite, he had hesitation, questioning his worthiness.  God assures Moses He will be with him.
  • God: Tell the Israelite “I AM,” all being.  The God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob. Stating that He is the same as the relationship with his ancestry, from the beginning.
  • Take-aways:
    1. Being itself.  Creation itself.  God is.
    2. God’s name is a story.  Israel.  Jesus.  The Cross.  Deliverer, Redeemer.
    3. God’s name is an embodied name. It’s a person. God and Moses becomes synonymous.  God becomes embodied in Moses.  Later seen in the prophets, then in Jesus.  Amazingly, embodied in the Church (as we are the hands and feet of God’s, taking God to the world – in family, homes, work, school, etc.
  • God is what God does.

August 27, 2017 – Moses

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Points:

  • Moses was not a remarkable person, on his own.
  • What makes him special, people and God blesses him throughout his life.  Lead him to be faithful to God and enables him to do God’s work.
  • Recall the end of Dirty Laundry series: Joseph forgives his brothers, brings them into Egypt where they are cared for. Generations later, the new pharaoh of Egypt did not know of Joseph and the favor placed on the Hebrews, instead seeing the Hebrews as a threat and placed them into slavery.
  • Fearing the growing number of Hebrews, Pharaoh ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill newborn males.
  • Midwives feared God and refused to adhere to Pharaoh’s orders.
  • After giving birth, Moses’ mother hid him until at 3 months it was impossible to keep him hidden.  Desperate, she but Moses in a basket, placed in the river and let him go, trusting God would protect him.
  • Pharaoh’s daughter pulled Moses out of the river.  The midwives intervened and saved Moses, by bringing him back to his mother to nurse, while being raised under safety of Pharaoh.  Like with Joseph, God demonstrates faithfulness, using the situation to bless Moses, his mother, and the midwives.
  • Takeaways:
    • Figuratively, parents put their children in the river, letting their children go.
    • In many ways, parents are putting themselves in the basket, trust that God will provide.
    • We as a Church need to be willing to go into the river.

August 20, 2017 – Dirty Laundry: Undeserved Forgiveness

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Points:

  • Joseph is a forgiver.  Went from a hated child, stripped and sold, to becoming the second most powerful person in Egypt.
  • He had no reason to forgive.  From the world perspective, he had every right to imprison his brother. Instead, he forgives them.
  • God desires reconciliation, opposite of the world.
  • Joseph’s act of forgiveness is a precursor to the New Testament: Jesus forgives his enemies, those who opposed and persecuted him.
  • We all have an opportunity to forgive. Live a life of unforgiveness.
  • Who do you need to forgive?  You won’t be able to be free is you don’t forgive, instead being shackled to bitterness, anger.  Who do you need to ask forgiveness.
  • Video from Les Miserables: Valjean’s Soliloquy

August 13, 2017 – Dirty Laundry: Sold

Pastor Rusty Brian

Commentary and Prayer of Charlottesville Violence

Scripture:

Key Points:

  • Many years have passed since Jacob’s struggle with God, becoming Israel. (Crippled but blessed)
  • Joseph is the youngest of Israel’s sons and is favored by his father.
  • Joseph’s brothers are jealous and conspire to be rid of him.
  • Joseph is sold into slavery for a bag of silver.
  • Into today’s world, slavery still exist (21 million people): servitude, sex trafficking and exploitation (women, children)
  • How is it this is still happening?  Where is God is in all this? Why do bad things happen?  God doesn’t want this.  Not because you deserve bad things to happen.  The reason: sin is in the world, spins out of control.  Who can defeat sin?
  • Bad things do happen and sin appears to win.  But that is not the end of the story.
  • With Joseph, God’s will takes over.  God will work.  God will win.
  • Take aways:
    • Human trafficking is a real problem and we need to take action.  It’s everywhere.
    • Bad things do happen to good people, to the best people, but not because God wants it to happen.
    • God will be bring good out of evil.  We need to be open to see that.