Faithlife Sermons

Hello World!

Notes
Transcript
Handout

Welcome & Introduction

Welcome! My name is Elliot. Glad you’re here!
Connect Card
Pray!
Honor our Seniors
Pray over them!

Engage

Question: What do you remember right after a big transition?
Illustration: First year of college, parents sold my house, killed my dog, never told me about it. I decided to move to St. Louis

Tension

As I look back, the decisions I’ve made in and around transitions have shaped who I am today.
Times of transition feel like goodbye. It can feel terrifying. Abandoned. Isolated. People leave home, also leave faith.
Times of transition feel like goodbye. But, this is a hello. You’re saying “Hello, world.”
Even then it can feel terrifying. Abandoned. Isolated.
People leave home, also leave faith.
But, this is a hello. You’re saying “Hello, world.”
Transition: Israel felt the same way, and God showed up in a couple important ways for us to remember.
My hope and my prayer, is that Israel’s transition could shed some light on the changes coming up in your life. We don’t want this to be a goodbye. This is a hello. You’re saying “Hello, world.”

Truth

Background

We’ll start in . Page 55.
Tell the exodus story up to here. Adam/Eve, creation is messed up. Abraham’s family will fix it. Israel survives, but is now enslaved. God is up to something. Calls Moses. Rescues the Israelites.
Exodus 13:21–22 NLT
The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.
Transition: This pillar represents God’s presence with the Israelites. But, we’ll get to that in a minute...
. This pillar represents God’s presence with the Israelites.

God Is Behind You

Exodus 14:19–20 NLT
Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.
Something
In the most uncertain time they had ever faced, when everything felt like imminent disaster, the fire and cloud appeared, guiding God’s people through the wilderness. But when they were in danger, it stood BEHIND them, protecting them from harm while they crossed the sea into what was next. It was a buffer a wall, a sign they were not alone.

God is behind you

God is behind you

Graduates, parents, families, anybody going through a transition:
Just like that, God is behind you. He is there to protect you. To shield you. To be a buffer from life. To be an anchor in the storm.

We Are Behind You

And we are behind you. You have a history here with us. You have a past here. You’re family, even if you’re new to the family. We’ve been here. We will be here. We want to act as an anchor for you. To support you in the tough times of life. We see you, and we’re watching you - in the best kind of non-creepy way possible.
When you know someone is behind you. When you know someone has your back. It can make it feel like you can take on anything. You can face whatever comes your way, because you’re supported.
Illustration: I called my parents for help so much when I first got to college! They were behind me, and it helped me to feel better about what was ahead.

God Is With You

Transition: Fast forward from the Red Sea. The Israelites have camped out in the desert for about a year. Built a giant tent, called the Tabernacle, which was basically a temple that God’s presence was supposed to live inside of.
Exodus 40:34–38 NLT
Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.
Exodus 40:
In the Exodus story, the pillar of fire and cloud moved to the front of the crowd of terrified travelers and stayed there, right with them. When the fire and cloud moved, the people moved. when the fire and cloud stayed, the people stayed. It was a sign that God was WITH them.

God is with you

Graduates, parents, families, those of you facing something new:
God is with you. This next season might feel a lot like Exodus - leaving everything you’ve ever known and wandering in the desert. But you are not alone. God is with you. God is right there by your side. Every step of the way. He will never leave you. He will never abandon you.

We Are With You

We will be with you. It’ll be different - we won’t be doing the same things we’ve been doing together, week after week, in the same ways. We won’t have the same amount of time together. With you in prayer. With you through the phone.
But we’re with you in prayer.
We’re with you in all the ways our smartphones make possible.
Just like you have a past here, you have a present with us. We may be separated geographically. We may be in different time zones. But, always remember that you have a family that loves you. And is with you.
Look at your phone today and make sure a leader or two are in your favorites list, especially to remind you who you can reach out to when things get hard. Because they will.
Illustration: I may not live with or near my parents/family anymore. I know they still love me! Now, I also have my in-laws who are my family with me! We all need somebody that’s there with us to help.

God Is For You

Transition: Israelites make it to the promised land, and start to doubt whether God can deliver on his promises. Wander around in the desert for 40 years. That takes up the first five books of the Bible. Moses recounts the story in Deuteronomy, his farewell address.
Deuteronomy 1:26–31 NLT
“But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God and refused to go in. You complained in your tents and said, ‘The Lord must hate us. That’s why he has brought us here from Egypt—to hand us over to the Amorites to be slaughtered. Where can we go? Our brothers have demoralized us with their report. They tell us, “The people of the land are taller and more powerful than we are, and their towns are large, with walls rising high into the sky! We even saw giants there—the descendants of Anak!” ’ “But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them! The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’
Psalm 1:1 NLT
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
The Exodus story isn’t really a story of trust as much as it’s a story of doubt, fear, and the human inability to manage their circumstances - or God.
The book of Exodus isn’t really a story of trust as much as it’s a story of doubt, fear, and the human inability to manage their circumstances - or God.
But it’s also a story of God’s ridiculous faithfulness to his people despite all of that. All of it. It was like over and over you could hear God whispering, “No matter what, I’m for you. It’s Who I Am.” That’s grace.

God Is For You

Graduates, parents, families, people on the precipice:
God is for you. There will be doubt on the journey ahead - maybe doubt you never expected. There will be times that are full of fear. Add to that failure you’ll face. But doubt is not the end. Fear is not the end. Failure is not the end. They’re moments of opportunity to lean into God’s faithfulness, love, and grace.

We Are For You

And we are for you. We’re nervous, anxious, and excited about what lies ahead of you. Some of those expectations will be met. Some won’t. You’ll want to throw in the towel, and call it quits on your whole future because something hasn’t gone right. Don’t! Don’t give up on what’s ahead because something in the present is standing in the way.
Illustration: Ryan + Throttle Cable
Just like you have a past here, and just like you have a present, you have a future with us. No matter what! Grace says, “You’re always welcome back home!” No matter what you’ve done. No matter what’s been done to you. We are for you. You’re welcome here. Always.

Application

We want to remind you: God has been at work in you. The Gospel of Jesus has been planted in you, and we have been fortunate enough to watch it blossom over the years. Our hope and prayer is that you would continue to live by that Gospel. Continue to let Jesus drive your life decisions.
Always remember:
God is behind you, and we’re behind you!
God is with you, and we’re with you!
God is for you, and we’re for you!

Inspiration

In the middle of any difficulty you go through, you have an anchor. And you have the cross of Christ and resurrection of Jesus behind you.
In the struggles with stress and anxiety, you have our prayers. And you have the Holy Spirit with you all the time.
If you happen to mess up (or when), you always have grace. And God is always ready and willing to welcome you home, no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve been.
Bottom Line: When everything changes, God stays the same.
Bottom Line: God, and all of us, are always BEHIND, WITH, and FOR you.
Bottom Line: Something
Bottom Line: Something

Action

Parents

Something

Adults

Pick a student and pray for them. The seniors are listed in the bulletin, circle one and make a habit out of praying for this this coming year. This is your chance to be the church family for these graduates. It’s time for us to show them that we are behind, with, and for them. One way to do that is through prayer.
If you are the parent of a graduate, you get to choose another.
But maybe some of you are ready to take an even bigger step. To shape the teenagers, students, kids who are the church now. Brandi and the Kids Ministry in the back needs help. Myself, and the other youth sponsors need help. This is your chance to shape the next generation, and to impact the church of today. Find me after church.
It’s time for us to show our these graduates that we are behind, with, and for them.

Students

In the Bible you grabbed earlier, there’s a note card. Get somebody’s phone number. (Not your parents.) Save them as a favorite in your phone.

Decision Song

I’m going to invite the band to come up, and we’re going to sing that last song they did one more time. While they come up:
Graduates, Parents, families, anybody who is facing something new and uncertain on the horizon:
Everything is about to change. Right now I want to give you a moment to reflect on the God who is behind, with, and for you. To let him guide your hearts, minds, spirits, and steps.
If you need prayer, there are some people working their way to the sides, you can come up if you need to pray or to be prayed for. If you need to talk.
Pray!

Communion

We’re going to celebrate our God through what we call communion. This moment in history where God demonstrated how much he’s fighting for us. By living with us, by sending Jesus. And with the cross behind us as an anchor, we can face whatever changes life throws at us.
Tray passed down your row, the bread represents Jesus’ body. The blood represents his blood. We take these in remembrance of him.
Pray!

Announcements

VBS. Help still needed. Sign up in the back lobby.
VBS
1 Thessalonians Series starts next week.
Panama/IDES Offering begins this week (Envelope, Online)
Panama/IDES Offering begins this week (Bob Moore)
Invite seniors up for closing prayer.

Closing

Leave you with a prayer from Paul:
Ephesians 3:14–21 The Message
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!
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