Today is Youth Confirmation. It is the day that youth in our church family confirm their faith in Jesus and promise to hold onto their faith in Jesus throughout their lifetime.
It’s also the restart of our EXODUS sermon series. A series about the people of Ancient Israel and how they went through some serious challenges in their lifetime.
At first, those things don’t seem to mesh.
There was not Confirmation Sunday at the time of Exodus.
But there were still teenagers.
Teens who had been told about their LORD.
Teens who had been trained in faith since a young child.
Teens who had grown up and said, “I will hold onto my faith in God throughout my lifetime.”
Some Egyptian soldiers showed up at the ceremony.
The teenagers were forced to enter the slave force.
They made bricks in the hot sun.
Their baby brother is ordered to be put to death.
Their workload is increased to making bricks without straw.
They watch as one of their classmates is whipped by the Egyptian slave drivers.
Is this worth it?
Is being faithful to God worth this?
I. Focus on the Faithful
Today’s lesson aims to answer that question. It is not from the book of Exodus, but it is a commentary on Exodus. We’re in Hebrews chapter 3: “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, focus your attention on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” (3:1)
Focus your attention on the section that says you should focus your attention.
God wants you, confirmands to focus your attention on Jesus.
God wants you, future confirmands to focus your attention on Jesus.
God wants you, former confirmands to focus your attention on Jesus.
He is called an Apostle. Jesus himself had apostles. These were the men whom he had “commissioned to go and speak his words.” (Mt. 28:18)
Jesus is called The Apostle because he was “given a mission” to go and speak God’s Word.
He is also called a high priest. The high priest was the Old Testament religious leader who sacrificed animals for the sins of the people.
Jesus is called the high priest because he sacrificed himself for the sins of the people.
The Bible calls for us to focus in on Jesus.
The High priest.
But focusing can be difficult.
In the movie UP, there is a character called Dug. Dug is a golden retriever. He is well meaning, loyal, and caring.
But Dug also has a problem with focus. Oftentimes, he will begin to speak -- through the special dog collar that translates his thoughts into words – only to have his thoughts be completely interrupted by…
It’s a running gag.
Whenever Dug tries to focus, he is distracted by…
We’re a lot like Dug.
God has given us direction to focus on Jesus.
But there are plenty of distractions…
“Come Lord Jesus, be our guest and…ding…do you want to join me for a game of CULTURE? One of my friends just logged in.”
Jesus is my Sav…me a spot next to that cute boy in chemistry.
It’s time to focus in on God’s Word and read a little devotion and…Did you see the Tik Tok video that Arianna Grande just came out with?
It is so easy to lose focus.
In fact, you may have even been distracted as I delivered those thoughts!
Our world is filled with distractors.
But more than that. Our world is filled with detractors.
I worked at a restaurant when I was in high school. High school was also the time that I began to seriously consider going into the ministry. I remember being in a class about sharing your faith and getting excited to share my faith at the restaurant that weekend.
I started with my fellow bus boy.
He was only a year older.
“Hey man! Can I tell you about Jesus?”
“Oh no. Don’t tell me you are one of those Bible bashers. Dude, Phil. Don’t talk about that with me. How can you believe that junk?”
It is hard to stay focused on Jesus when others attack your faith in Jesus.
If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will.
Someone will question you.
Someone will make fun of you.
Someone will call you names.
Someone will make it their goal to have you denounce your faith in Jesus.
Jesus is worth it.
Jesus was faithful to the one who appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in God’s whole house. (v.2)
Moses truly was faithful! After his initial refusal to serve in his calling, Moses eventually went. You’re going to see that over the next couple of weeks.
Despite Pharaoh’s threats…
Despite the people’s complaints…
Despite his own sinfulness…
Moses listened to God.
He was faithful.
As faithful as Moses was…
Jesus was more.
Jesus was faithful to GOD.
Not that they had Catechism at Jesus’ time.
But they certainly had youth instruction.
Jesus was like the perfect Youth Group student.
He always learned his memory work.
He correctly answered all the questions.
He did better at Bible trivia night that the teachers!
He lovingly welcomed that new kid to the group.
He kindly rebuked his peers for making fun of the new kid in the group.
He asked the teacher to pray for that new kid and his family.
Jesus was faithful to God as a youth.
And it continued into adulthood as Jesus completed God’s plan.
Do you know what God’s plan for Jesus was?
He sent Jesus to live perfectly when you couldn’t.
He sent Jesus to die innocently in your place.
He sent Jesus to rise triumphantly to assure you of your salvation.
Jesus was faithful to God’s plan.
Since God’s plan was you…
TRUTH:Jesus was faithful to YOU.
When Jesus was suffering on the cross…
He could have ended it.
He could have come down from that cross.
He stopped storms.
He drove out demons.
He brought people back to life.
Coming down from the cross would NOT have been difficult.
Because of you.
He stayed in pain.
Because of you.
He breathed his last.
II. The Faithful House
Jesus is worthy of greater glory than Moses, in the same way that the builder of a house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, and God is the one who built everything. (v.3-4)
If you’re touring a home during the great housing shortage of 2021, you might say,
“This home is great!”
I love the open concept.
I’m a big fan of the back yard.
And the shag carpet is divine.
But really you are complimenting the one who put it together.
The designer who developed that open concept.
The landscaping team that did the backyard.
The installer of shag carpets that made the shag carpet so…shag.
The Builder is greater than the house itself.
The builder had the plan in his mind.
The builder had the skill in his hands.
The builder had the money in his wallet.
The builder had the passion in his heart.
Jesus is greater than the house he built.
Because he faithfully built the house he built.
And that house?
It isn’t brick.
It isn’t mortar.
It isn’t aluminum siding.
The house he built?
Jesus Faithfully Built THIS House
He faithfully brought you into his house through the waters of Baptism.
He spoke Jesus’ words to you through your parents.
He taught you Jesus loves me at Precious Lambs.
He taught you the story of Moses at Garden Kids.
He taught you about God’s love at Youth Group.
He has worked faith into your heart.
And built you into his House.
But that’s not it…
Most builders build and then move on.
They pull down their Oakley sunglasses.
They get in their F150 Ford truck.
They had to the next client.
The next house.
The next job.
Moses was faithful as a servant within God’s whole house by testifying to the things that would be spoken. But Christ is faithful as a Son over God’s house. (v.5-6)
Please notice the present tense.
Christ was faithful in listening to God’s plan.
Christ was faithful when dying on the cross to you.
Christ was faithful in building you into his house.
Christ is faithful to you…even now.
Even…whenever you read these words.
TRUTH:Christ IS faithful to you.
Even when your first boyfriend dumps you, Christ is faithful.
Even when you fail a test, Christ is faithful.
Even when you get cut from the varsity squad.
Even when your friends tempt you to use drugs…
Even when someone bullies you on social media…
Even when you aren’t approved for financial aid to attend university…
Even when you feel alone.
Even when you are depressed.
Even when you deal with anxiety.
Even when you sin… Greatly.
And feel like He can never forgive you.
When we are faithless, he is faithful because he cannot disown himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)
He has promised to faithfully hold onto you.
III. Be Faithful
Hebrews describes the faithfulness that God desires from us in this way, “We are his house, if we hold on firmly to our confidence and the hope about which we boast until the end.” (v.6)
Have you ever been on a roller coaster?
Some of them are very fast.
They can reach up to 80 mph.
They can go upside down.
Do corkscrew loops.
And hair-pin turns.
If you are about to get onto a roller coaster and you have on a pair of sunglasses, what do you need to do?
Take them off.
Hold on to them.
If you want to keep that pair of sunglasses for after the ride, you’ll need to hold on tightly.
Not with two fingers.
Not hanging off your index.
Not with a loosey-goosey grip.
You need to hold firmly.
Do the same thing with your faith.
Hold on tightly.
Here’s how you do it:
Come to worship regularly.
Attend youth group regularly.
Read your Bible regularly.
Do devotions regularly.
Discuss the Bible with your parents regularly.
All of these things are ways that you can hold onto your faith.
Hold onto the message of Jesus tightly.
Because the truth is that our hands are weak.
We are just human.
We will get tired of holding firmly.
But God works through the Words of the Gospel.
He reaches out and puts his hands on our hands.
His hands don’t get tired.
His hands don’t grow weak.
His hands strongly help us hold onto him.
This is what God did for the Youth at the time of the Exodus.
He held onto them.
He kept his promises to Moses.
He gave them reason to keep their faith in him.
Over the next week’s you’ll see it.
He transforms all the water into blood.
He summons hordes of locusts, flies, and gnats.
He takes away what the evil Pharaoh held dear.
He splits the waters of the Red Sea to provide safe passage out of the danger.
God was faithful.
He had the Israelite youth in of his hands.
He did not drop them.
And over the next years of life, I hope you’ll see that is true for you.
God is faithful.
He has you in his hands.
He will not drop you.