Morning. My name is David Sorn. I’m the Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church. Morning to you.
This has been an exciting time at Renovation Church.
It feels like every week there are 1 or 2 exciting new things to tell you about, and this week is no different.
I’m thrilled to let you know that we have officially hired a Children’s Pastor for our fast-growing Children’s Ministry, Renovation Kids.
Her name is Alissa Speck.
At this point, I’d like to ask Alissa to join me on stage and our Director of Ministries, Rachel Cheney as well.
We did a thorough search, conducted many interviews of people both inside and outside of our church, and we are honored to announce Alissa as our new Children’s Pastor
We’ve had to opportunity to watch Alissa grow in leadership here for years in her many roles as a small group leader, preschool teacher, and the absolutely phenomenal job she’s done in leading our café the past few years, so we know she’s well prepared for this.
I also want to publicly thank and honor Rachel Cheney.
Rachel has worked her way up here for the past 7 years now.
She started in 2010 as our unpaid, volunteer Youth Pastor.
And has done basically anything we’ve asked her to for the last 7 years.
As her position grew from unpaid, to part time paid, to full-time paid, she now leads our:
Youth Ministry, directs all of our volunteer Teams & Leaders, oversees all of our mission work, she oversees all of the organization for our large events, and on the side, has been running our children’s ministry as well. All at the same time.
When she started overseeing Renovation Kids, we had 20 or so kids a week, and now there are over 100.
So, we’re excited both for Rachel to be able to pass off Children’s Ministry and move up in her role as she begins to oversee some staff at our church as well.
And we’re also excited for Alissa to come in and devote more hours and time to this growing ministry in our church. It’s an exciting day.
Will you just join me in thanking and honoring these women? (clap)
Thanks, you guys can have a seat.
GRUMBLING TO GRATITUDE
We are rejoining our Rescue series on the Book of Exodus today.
So far, we’ve seen God deliver the Israelite slaves from Pharaoh and the oppressive hand of Egypt, brought them through the Sea, and now they are beginning to trudge through the Sinai Peninsula.
When we last left off, they had just crossed through the Sea.
Now, we rejoin them only 3 days later, and they’re already to beginning to lose trust in God.
(Exodus 15:22-25) – NIV
22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”
25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.
This is the first of three stories we’ll see today where the Israelites grumble because they don’t trust the Lord will provide for them
They’re thirsty and there is no good water in sight…yet what does God do??
He graciously provides for them.
But of course, you can’t just drink water, you gotta eat!
Turn to Exodus 16 now
(Exodus 16:1-3) – NIV
The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
So now they’re not just grumbling about water, but food too!
Keep in mind they’ve just witnessed the 10 plagues, God parted the sea for them, and He just turned bitter water into sweet water
But still they grumble and complain.
And our first reaction is often to roll our eyes at the Israelites, and yet, how much has the Lord blessed us, and yet we complain??
God has been so good to us here, especially here in America, and yet we can’t stop complaining….about the weather, politics, our health, our job, traffic, you name it.
We invent new things to complain about every day.
“I can stream any show I want in the world, but it’s buffering for 2 seconds…unacceptable.
The battery life on my phone, which has the power of like 100 supercomputers from the 1970’s in it, runs out too fast.
And we don’t just complain to others, we complain to God.
We ask Him:
“Why would you do this to me?”
“If you are truly God, how come I’m suffering? Why aren’t you fixing this?”
And we grumble, just like the Israelites
Why do we do it?
In large part, we grumble when we lose our perspective on who God is and what He’s done
I’m reminded of something I read from Richard Stearns once.
Richard Stearns is the President of World Vision and the writer of the very good book “Hole in our Gospel…” definitely recommend it.
He was once visiting Haiti 12 months after the deadly earthquake of 2010.
Sidenote: I was actually, personally, in Haiti the exact same time.
It was my first visit there, and at the time, over 1 million of Haiti’s 10 million residents were living in tents.
In fact, here are a few pictures I took of a “city” that had 50,000 people living in tents
Richard Stearns was visiting a church, which at the time was a just tent made of tarps and duct tape, in one of those tent cities.
Here’s how he described his visit…he writes:
“In the front row sat six amputees ranging in age from 6 to 60. They were clapping and smiling as they sang song after song and lifted their prayers to God.
No one was singing louder or praying more fervently than Demosi Louphine, a 32-year-old unemployed single mother of two.
During the earthquake, a collapsed building crushed her right arm and left leg.
After four days both limbs had to be amputated.
(tent City Photo2)
She was leading the choir, leading prayers, standing on her prosthesis and lifting her one hand high in praise to God .…
Following the service, I met Demosi's two daughters, ages eight and ten.
The three of them now live in a tent five feet tall and perhaps eight feet wide.
Despite losing her job, her home, and two limbs, she is deeply grateful because God spared her life on January 12th 2010 …
Stearns then writes, “It makes no sense to me as an "entitled American" who grouses at the smallest inconveniences—a clogged drain or slow wi-fi.
Yet here in this place, many people who had lost everything … expressed nothing but praise
He finishes by saying, “I find my own sense of charity for people like Demosi inadequate.
“They have so much more to offer me than I to them. I feel pity and sadness for them, but it is they who might better pity me for the shallowness of my own walk with Christ”
We have all that we need, yet we can’t stop grumbling.
The Bible tells us not to
(Philippians 2:14) – NIV
Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
But most of us could use a 12-step group for complaining, because we are addicted to it.
So how do you stop?
We must learn to trust God daily. To see His Goodness, daily.
This is what God is going to teach His people.
Look what happens next after they complain they have no food
(Exodus 16:4-5) – NIV
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
He’s going to rain down bread from heaven for them to eat.
By the way, this bread he rains down from Heaven, is called Manna.
Which is Hebrew for “What is that?!” ☺
The book of Numbers tells us they would often grind the manna down, cook it in a pot, and make it into loaves…kind of like you see on the screen
And God tells the Israelites that He’s only going to give them just enough manna for them to eat at each day.
And they’re going to have to trust Him on that.
And yet, at first, the people aren’t so good at this:
(Exodus 16:19-20) – NIV
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
God also tells them that on Friday’s, He’s going to rain down twice as much, because on Saturday, which is to be their Sabbath, they are to rest.
And they’ll have to trust Him that He has indeed provided twice as much on Fridays.
And yet, that wasn’t so easy for them to do either.
(Exodus 16:26-27) – NIV
26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.” 27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none.
But as frustrating as this would have been, God is growing them spiritually here.
He has stripped away so much, right?
No water…no food.
And He’s going to provide for them what they need.
But they’re going to need to learn how to trust Him…daily.
And that’s a challenge.
And it’s a challenge for us too.
Don’t we do the same thing?
We struggle to trust that God will be all that we need, so we too want to hold on to things too long…or we go out on the 7th day looking for more, when God has already given us all that we need.
By the way, there’s a deeper principle here for the spiritually mature.
If you truly believe that God is providing for you daily…
Then you don’t have a problem taking a Sabbath…a day off.
Then you don’t have a problem tithing or being generous with your money.
Because you know that God has provided
We don’t have to hoard it overnight…or go back out there every day.
God will provide.
So how do you move from grumbling to gratitude?
Let me give you a few things we see in the Word here.
For One, you go out looking for Manna every day.
The Israelites ate it every day, for 40 years in the desert.
One of the best ways to combat a grumbling spirit is to fill your heart with gratitude instead.
Gratitude and Grumbling are like polarized magnets.
One will push the other out.
And so realize that when you catch yourself complaining a lot, that means there’s not a lot of gratitude in your life.
Complaining is symptomatic of a lack of trust.
When you complain, there ought to be a red flashing light that says, “You’re losing your trust in God’s daily bread”
So, every day, at the end of your day, when you lay in bed at night, look for the manna in your day…the “daily bread”
Lindsey and I do this with our kids
Every night when we pray, they have to say, “Thank you Jesus for ____”
And they’re four, and they can do it every day.
“Thank you Jesus, we got to play outside today”
“Thank you Jesus, we had Pizza today!”
And my hope is, as a parent, that I’m teaching them to “look for the daily bread”
To see God’s movement in their lives every single day.
A second way you can move from grumbling to gratitude is this:
When God does something amazing, do whatever it takes to remember it.
This is a principle I’ve really been trying to teach you over the last year or two.
We once again find this Biblical principle in Exodus 16 as well.
Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’”
And they actually kept some Manna in the Ark of the Covenant, right next to the 10 Commandments.
I’ve shared with you this year, how I’ve begun keeping a prayer journal to write down some of my prayers…and then write down when God answers them.
And I’m doing it for this exact purpose.
So that I would have a “monument” that would inspire daily trust in God.
Back in the winter, I wrote down a whole series worth of prayers regarding our land negotiations and purchase.
Prayers that seemed like long shots, but prayers I still prayed because God is “The Master of Long Shots.”
And I waited until the end of this week, to mark them down as answered
Despite trying to grow my faith, I’m still a “don’t count your chickens before they hatch kind of guy”
3. If you haven’t heard yet, 3 days ago, on Thursday, we officially closed on our land on Lexington and 125th in Blaine. We are land owners!
(Show Picture of Closing Signing)
Thank you for this.
Thank you to so many of you in this room who sacrificed so much, financially, to get us here.
Your giving was not in vain.
God will use this immensely.
After we finished the closing, I drove right to the land, to the place where I went for so many cold mornings last winter and begged God to move…and I thanked Him for moving.
And then the next day, I opened up my prayer journal and started filling in the answered prayers.
(Back to Daily Bread)
And I want to take a minute to read a bunch of my prayers to you
This is out of my personal journal, so you’ll see my humanness, my lack of faith, and a big God ☺
October 14th, 2016: “Lord, the price of the land on Lexington seems so high. Help it come down. You can do anything.”
Answer: He can. He really can.
October 24th: “God, the price is $6.00/sq. ft. I pray you can give it to us at a price we can afford. Like $4.50/sq.ft..”
Answer: He gave it to us at $3.85/sq. ft. (note: pray bigger prayers) 🙂
November 1st: “Please help the sellers want to work with us. It doesn’t seem like they’re interested right now.”
Answer: They called while we were fasting, and said they wanted to work with us!
November 15th: “We’ve started negotiations, and it looks like it going to be really hard to afford enough land to have enough parking for everyone. God help us be able to purchase enough land where parking isn’t a problem.”
Answer: By the time it was all over, we ended up getting 1.5 acres more than we originally even asked for. That’s another 130 parking spots!
November 17th: “God help us know how much land to ask for in our next counteroffer. Is there some way, God, that we could get the pond for free or something?”
Answer: At the end of the deal, they ended up throwing in .63 acres for free. That’s $164,000 of free land.
And the list goes on and on…
God is faithful, is He not?
And that list for me, that journal, is a monument of faith.
It’s like what they did when they kept the manna in the ark of the covenant.
Because I know I’m going to doubt in the future. I’m human.
But when I do, I’m going to look that up…and it’ll teach me to rely on daily bread again.
Find a way to do that in your own life.
And find a way to go out and look for His manna every day
And know that if you don’t, your Father in heaven, because He loves you, will do what it takes to teach you daily faith…how to live off of daily bread.
So many times in our lives, He works this way.
He strips away the things we’re relying on in order to teach us daily reliance on HIM.
In fact, Moses says exactly that in the book of Deuteronomy when he’s reflecting back on when the manna first came
(Deuteronomy 8:3) – NIV
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
God wants to teach you daily reliance.
This is the same major principle you can find right in the Lord’s prayer.
That many of you prayed every Sunday growing up in the Catholic or Lutheran Church of what have you…
“Give us this day our daily bread”
It’s undoubtedly inspired from this story.
They went out daily and got their bread from heaven.
CHRIST IS THE WATER, BREAD, AND THE ROCK
And each of these stories in Exodus are, eventually, about Jesus.
Even the third story of our day.
After the Israelites complain about the food and God sends them daily bread, in chapter 17 they once again travel to a place without water, and shockingly, they grumble, again!
Then this happens:
(Exodus 17:5-6) – NIV
5 The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.
And I want you to see that Jesus Christ is in all of these stories.
Just as the Israelites depended on the water, the bread, and the rock, so Jesus is those things for us.
Jesus is our living water that we depend on. The Bible says this multiple times:
(John 7:38) – NIV
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Jesus is always our daily bread.
Our manna even…
Look at this conversation Jesus has with a crowd. They say:
(John 6:31-35) – NIV
31 “Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ 32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Jesus is our daily bread.
And Jesus is our rock that we drink from.
Paul says this explicitly when he writes to the church at Corinth about the Israelites in the Wilderness.
(1 Corinthians 10:3-4) – NIV
3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
Think about the imagery here.
The rock that was struck provided them with water.
Jesus (the rock), who was struck on the cross, provides us with living water through his death.
Every word in the Bible matters.
Everything has a purpose.
And today, as a symbol that we need to rely on Him daily, we want to take communion together as a body of believers.
Because Jesus is the bread of life…the true bread who came down from heaven.
And when we celebrate communion, we recognize that it is because he came down, and was broken for us, we have life.
In the NT, Paul writes this about the reason for communion:
(1 Corinthians 11:23-26) – NIV
23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
And that is what we will do. But Paul also writes in this passage that we ought to examine ourselves before taking communion.
To 1) not do it in vain. To only do it if we truly believe it. And if you’re still just seeking, that’s ok. You’re on a journey. 2) Communion is an opportunity for believers to examine themselves (ask yourself some tough questions)
In the back, there are 2 tables….with pieces of bread and a bowl of juice. When you’re ready, you can get up take an individual piece of bread and dip it in the juice. However, take some time to examine yourself before you go back.
Sometime to remember what He’s done and what He will do
And when you’re ready, at any time during the next few songs (if you need to wait, wait), you can go back and take communion.
If you would like to pray while you’re back there, we encourage you to do so. With each other, by yourself, or our prayer team will be in the back to pray for you as well (POINT THEM OUT)
We really just want you to encounter God during our service. Let me pray.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.
AUGUST 13, 2017