The Dream of Beginning Again
Winston Churchill had nearly reached the height of political power in Britain early in his career; by the age of 33 he was a cabinet minister and one of the nation’s most popular speakers. Yet a series of events and unpopular positions caused Churchill to lose his political standing and become a subject of ridicule and rejection. By the early 1930s, he had been excluded from the seats of power. Churchill’s prophetic warnings about Adolf Hitler were ignored by an English public that preferred to hear comforting words of peace. When Britain was plunged into World War II, Churchill was already 65 years of age, eligible to retire on a government pension. Yet that is the moment when the nation turned to him, and Churchill became the prime minister who inspired the British people to remain firm during the darkest days of the war.
Introduction: Have you written your New Year’s Resolutions yet?
A. Annual Decisions…
1. To slim down, shape up, sort through, and generally get our lives back in order?
2. There’s something about starting a new year that drives us to make resolutions.
3. We like the idea of leaving behind an old year, with its mistakes and frustrations, and beginning afresh.
The Dream of Beginning Again
December 30, 2007 - PPHC
Scripture: Exodus 2:11–15, especially verse 15: Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.
I. Background of Today’s Passage
A. Moses Needed a Fresh Start…as he sat by that well in Midian.
1. He’d been miraculously adopted into the family of Pharaoh, with access to the best schools in antiquity.
2. He was prince of Egypt.
3. Now at midlife, he found himself alienated by a well in Midian. Ever been by a well, wondering what went wrong in life?
B. His Exile:
1. Caused by His Own Impetuous and Violent Reactions
· Sometimes we find ourselves by those wells because of things we’ve done.
· Maybe we intended the best, but a combination of our actions and other circumstances caused a disastrous outcome.
2. Caused by Others
· No one was watching before he killed the Egyptian, but the story got out…How?
· The very person Moses risked himself to save had disclosed the incident.
· Moses took up residence in the desert, married, and became a shepherd. Forty years passed, and the story resumed revealing some vital truths that can help us as we seek to begin again. Scripture: Exodus 3:1–4, 10.
I. Moses’ New Beginning - Initiated by God’s Call
A. God Sought Out Moses
1. After four decades in the desert, Moses didn’t go looking for God; God sought out Moses.
2. Lord isn’t interested in our sitting by wells the rest of our life.
a. Has tragedy disrupted your life? It’s often after those events that God uses us most.
II. Moses’ New Beginning - Made Possible Through His Own Response
A. Everything that was about to happen was dependent on Moses’ willingness to act on God’s call.
· Illustration: EXCUSES
1. At first, he resisted. Notice his excuses:
· I’m nobody (3:11).
1. Have you ever felt like saying, “I won’t amount to anything”? The Lord replies: “It doesn’t matter who you are; all that matters is who I am, and I’ll be with you” (3:12).
· I don’t know enough (3:13).
1. “I don’t even know Your name, God.” God’s response: “I’ll tell you what you need to know” (3:14–15)
2. In following Christ, we don’t know everything that’s coming.
* Faith moves on the information already given; and trusts Him to provide the knowledge we need as we need it.
· I’m not a good speaker (4:10).
1. “I’m not ready for a new beginning, God; it might require something I’ve never done before.”
2. God’s response: “I’ll help you speak, and I’ll also give you a helper to speak for you” (4:14–15).
* God will provide whatever we need to carry out His call.
III. Moses’ New Beginning - Faced Barriers
A. God Gives Us Fresh Starts
1. There are barriers to overcome, but they can be overcome with God’s help.
· Age can be overcome
1. Think you’re too old to change? Moses was 80 when he experienced the dream of beginning again.
· Uncertainty can be overcome
1. All his excuses reflected uncertainty about the future.
2. In the face of uncertainty, God assures us He’ll not send us anywhere without going with us.
3. Nor will He call us to a challenge He doesn’t equip us to meet.
IV. Moses’ New Beginning - Required Two Things
A. Beginning Again Requires Putting the Past Behind You
1. Things that bound you in the past must be released to move forward into God’s future.
· Have you experienced broken dreams, broken relationships, broken promises that left you by a well in Midian?
· “The past is a rudder to guide you, not an anchor to drag you. We must learn from the past but not live in the past.” Dr. Warren Wiersbe, Sermon Illustration
B. Beginning Again Requires Just That…..Beginning
Illustration: Babe Ruth was an all-time home run champion, with 714 major league home runs. Did you know he was also the all-time strikeout champion? He struck out almost twice as often as he hit home runs. He knew that he had to risk striking out in order to hit those home runs. When asked for the secret of his success, he replied, “I just keep on swingin’at ’em!”
· After all is said and done, you have to act. You have to keep on swinging.
Only you and God know the pain of your past. But He does know, and He’ll help you to overcome any barrier that stands in the way of a new beginning. A new year is beginning, filled with amazing potential. Make it a new chapter in your life. Allow God to produce a new beginning through the power of His love and grace.[i]
Adapted from a sermon by Michael Duduit
[i]Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook : 2003 Edition