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Mar 29, 2020

The Burning Bush of Today

The Burning Bush of Today

Speaker: Dennis Gallaher

Category: Sunday Morning

How can we know that we are in the middle of a burning bush experience?

Matthew 24:37-39 For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

In the days of Noah, the people didn't understand the signs of the times until it was too late. Today, this pandemic has snuck upon us as we are going and prospering - people going about busy without a bother. The point of Jesus' Words is that as unaware of the disaster coming in Noah's day so shall the last days be. Our lesson for today: Don't think that God is not involved in all of this. Don't discount His hand and don't forget that God is loving and merciful, His loving-kindness is everlasting and He is also a holy and sovereign Lord. 

What does this mean for us, the church, today? The posture of the church should be humility, a simple faith, and a love and passion to share the love of God that we haven't yet experienced. It seems as we have just experienced the calm before the storm - the excitement that comes when a storm is on the way. These events are lining up in front of us so that we will reorder our lives in different ways. We will get through this. Every societal event is a step closer to the coming of the Lord; therefore, these events demand our spiritual attention so that we are not like those in Noah's day but like the sons of Issachar. 

I Chron 12:32 (NLT) Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do. 

We need to be the church that understands the times and knows the best course to take. The history of the world is told through moments like these...the great flood of Noah's time, the exodus from Egypt, Nehemiah's wall, Daniel's vision, Esther, Rahab, Samuel, David, Nathan, Joseph's dream, Mary's submission...ordinary people called in extraordinary times to be empty vessels filled with God's glory. God's sovereign moments collide with these simple clay pots - burning bush moments.

Exodus 3:2 The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of bush, and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. 

David Wilkerson says, "God couldn't use Moses until He tore him away from his worldly attachments." Some people let bitterness or the saneness of the day rob them of wonder or God moments. The bush was ordinary - one out of thousands with nothing to set it apart but the touch of God. How do you know if you are in the middle of a burning bush experience? Wondering if this is really God? How do we know that we are standing in front of a burning bush? Some of the most ordinary positions of our lives can be burning bush moments because the glory of God inhabits it.

How can we tell a burning bush moments?

1) It demands your attention. Exodus 3:3-4 So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 

Burning bushes demand our attention. When Moses saw it, he turned. God has put a burning bush in front of all of us. Call it Coronavirus or something else but the Lord wants to have a conversation with the church. Are we listening? We have a choice to turn and look to see the glory of God in it. It is then that God then speaks.

2) It's a burning bush if it defies reason. Exodus 3:2 The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of bush, and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. "Behold" means we ask what's going on? or recognize that there is a God moment happening. It defies reason:

  • The bush was not consumed.
  • 3 Hebrews that were in a fiery furnace and we not burnt or even singed.
  • 120 disciples with tongues of flame on their heads at Pentecost.
  • The Apostle John was ordered to be boiled to death in a pot of boiling oil and yet John preached from within that pot. 

God loves to take dried up old bushes and light them up to draw attention to the hope of glory within. 

3) Burning bushes are places where you make a commitment with God. Moses went on his own 40 years before and nothing came of it, but God didn't forget Moses and called him at the burning bush. 

God wants to talk to us and care for us within that burning bush. Exodus 3:5 Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Recognize the burning bush and realize that God wants us to commune with Him. Take off our shoes...Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Did you mess up? This is for you. Callings are irrevocable!! God doesn't change His mind or take back His gifts. When in the middle of a burning bush and God is speaking, then take off your shoes. He doesn't want anything between you and Him. Let His Holiness permeate.

There is a purpose in burning bushes...Exodus 3:12 Certainly, I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.

Burning bushes are a beginning and not an end. Today is not the end, but the beginning of what God is going to do. Are you being called to renew your service to ministry, to marriage, to kids, to community? The goal is not the burning bush but the goal is worship! Worship = Serve! 

II Corinthians 2:14-15 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Have you been around a big stack of burning brush? Do you come away smelling like smoke? God's intent of the burning bush is that we come away smelling like God. 

Exodus 4:1-2 Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” 

Do we doubt God too? In Moses' hand was the shepherd's staff that had been in his hand for 40 years. God had been preparing him all of those 40 years...God wanted Moses to lead His flock to the Promised Land. Don't turn away from the burning bush - God is talking. God has prepared you for the task ahead. Stop making excuses and worship Him here and now.

Our days are no less ordered by the Lord in these difficult times. When God presents you with a burning bush, let it tell you something. Today is the day. God wants to use what you think is a dried-up bush. Step out to what God has done. Read the Word with a new understanding. Walk ahead because God has a purpose for you and your life. Turn and ask God to speak. Go to the news of the Good News and ask God to speak to our church and then follow through with what God instructs us to do.

Prayer for Salvation:  

Dear Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I believe that on that cross You took my guilt, my sin, and my shame and You died for it. You faced hell for me, so I wouldn't have to. And You rose again to give me a place in Heaven, a purpose on Earth, and a relationship with Your Father. Today, Lord Jesus, I turn from my sins to be born again. And now, God is my father, Jesus is my Savior, The Holy Spirit is my helper. And Heaven is my home. Amen.

Are you seeing or in a burning bush moment personally?

How do you see the church responding in this time? What is our posture?

Like God used the ordinary shepherd's staff in Moses' hand for 40 years, what do you have that God can use?

Is there something you think is dried up in your life that needs renewal?