Broken Pasts, Limited Futures, and New Life

1310598_43430592On Sunday we explored the story of Moses but looked at it from a different angle. We looked at it from a failed past angle. Moses was surely thought to be the man to bring salvation to his people. His story from the very beginning seems  destined for greatness. He was miraculously saved in an ark, grows up in Pharaoh’s court, and seems to be a man of limitless potential whom God will use to save his people.

Fast forward to when he is older, and ready to step up and be the hero. The story in Exodus 2 jumps to his moment when we think he will save his people. But what ends up happening is that Moses makes a rash and impulsive decision and kills an Egyptian burying him in his sand. This leads to Moses fleeing from Egypt leaving behind his destiny to live in the desert.

It’s at this place that we catch up with Moses, a man whom we must assume has many regrets. He was raised in the lap of luxury, and is now a man alone watching sheep as a shepherd in the desert. My guess is that if we were to ask Moses what his future was like he would say dim. That he would assume that his past is limiting what God can do with him in the future. That even though he once had potential his failures define his future.

But what I love about God is that our past is never ever wasted with him. That our past never defines our future. Our God can even transform our pasts into new futures for us.

So God comes to Moses and says, “go to Pharaoh and speak to him and save your people.”  This is amazing because Moses is probably the only Israelite person in the world who can actually get to Pharaoh. It’s like you or me trying to get a personal audience with the President of the United States – it’s just not going to happen. But Moses grew up in the court, Moses might have even grown up with the current Pharaoh, Moses knows the ins and outs of political landscape. He can get to see Pharaoh.

And so Moses thinks that his future must limit God, but God wants to use Moses precisely because of his past. His past doesn’t limit God, but actually allows God to do something amazing through him.

And I think this is true of all of us. Our pasts with God are never wasted, instead God can use them, transform them, and build on them to accomplish something amazing through us. Through Moses and his checkered past God saves all the Israelite people. And through us no matter what our past is like, God can use us as well.

The question is this: do you believe that God can use all of you?

Do you honestly believe God can use all of you?

Because this story points to the fact that your past doesn’t limit God. Your poor decisions, awful events, hurtful encounters doesn’t stop God. In fact, God can use your past to bring about a new future for you and for others.

So the question is “do you believe that God can use all of you, no matter what you’ve done? And if so are you willing to be used?”

We ended up on Sunday with the challenge for each of us to carve out some time and go to God and give him all of ourselves. To offer to him all of us, broken pasts and everything, and invite him to use us. I think it’s the right way to start. Moses encounters God in the burning bush and everything is changed. So today why not go and encounter God and discover that he can change and transform your past and your future. Because that is how great our God really is.

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Your past is never wasted

Take Aways…

  • We don’t drift into making a difference
  • One of the single biggest obstacles to finding God’s future is often our past
  • We have an assumption that God works best with perfect people
  • Moses is gifted with amazing potential
  • In Moses we see someone with unlimited potential, falter and fail
  • We end up rehearsing and regretting our failed decisions
  • For many of us decisions in the past decide and determine our future
  • Our God can change the past
  • We often feel like our past limits God’s future for us
  • God chooses Moses because of his past, not in spite of it
  • Your past is never wasted
  • Will your story be one of regret or transformation?
  • Do you believe God can use all of you?
  • Give God all of yourself

Adult / Group Discussion Questions:

What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it?

Have you ever deeply regretted a decision? What happened? How come you regretted it? Have you ever felt like you were destined to do something important? In the sermon could you relate at all to Moses regretting an impulsive decision?

What in your past have you wished you could let go of? How might God be wanting to redeem and use your past for his good? How might God want to transform your past, so that you might transform others today?

Do you believe God can use all of you? Share your thoughts on this question.

Plan a time to spend with God giving him all of your past

Discussion Questions for Young Families: Take sometime to talk with your kids about how with God he heals our past. Ask your kids if there has ever been a choice they regret or something that really hurt them. Talk to them about how with God he can heal our hurt pasts. Talk to them about how we can go to God with all we have in us and find peace. Spend some time with your kids praying, and bringing to God anything they have.

Challenge for this Week: Give God all of Yourself

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