The loud clanging jarred the quiet night, waking us both from sound sleep. It took a moment to realize it was the telephone. Two a.m.! Only an emergency in the family or Protective Services would call at such an hour. Sure enough, it was Protective Services for our state.
We never knew when they called what was going to be the story, but it was never pretty. Normal children did not end up being taken from their homes in the middle of the night. This was no different.
A young set of twins had been removed from their home; one had a broken leg and broken arm, and the other was unharmed (physically speaking). We were used to the traumatized babies and toddlers, and along with our own pre-schoolers, lived a life full of stress. Being a home where Protective Services could come, day or night, with an abused child was something our own children experienced on a regular basis.
It took great endurance to get through the first few days as a new child settled in. Even though they were abused, the familiarity they had known was taken away, replaced with different voices, different routines, different food: their whole life was uprooted and crying was their major outlet.
Were we perfect at doing the chaotic lifestyle? By no means. Many days we got so tired of hearing little ones screaming, or toddlers breaking items for attention, or fighting, or a million other examples, that quitting seemed a good solution. Other days we felt we could make it! But looking back, there were so many times and so many situations we wish we could have handled differently. As in any care-giving, the books address the “norm” but seldom does one encounter it in real life. Thinking on those days, we wish we could do it all over, but with the wisdom and experience that we didn’t have at the time. I didn’t feel like an “Overcomer” at the time!
Being victorious as life throws curve balls is what we all wish for! It’s being an “Overcomer” and making choices that keep you from wishing you had done it differently. This is a good time to stop and watch the sermon from Thomas Road Baptist Church for Sunday, July 3, 2016, before going further with the Sermon Study below. Go to (or possibly click on) http://www.trbc.org/service-archive, and click on Select for the correct date. After watching, get your notebook, grab a coke, and start the study. If you have a friend who can watch and study with you, that’s great–or your family. Use it for the week, or do it in one sitting. Either way, enjoy the benefits of being an Overcomer for the Lord.
A common expression is “You’re either going in to, coming out of, or in the middle of a crisis at all times.” Life brings trials! We all want to come through in victory—no matter how small or great the test. Can you think of an example from your own life?
This week Thomas Road begins a new series, “What It Takes To Be an Overcomer,” examining the qualities we need to be victorious as we go through periods of trouble. We will focus on the life of Moses, a man who went through ordeals from his birth to his death, yet God called him to do great (and difficult) things, and later said he “was the most humble man on the earth.” Let’s look at what made Moses an overcomer, and what we can learn from him.
Think About or Discuss:
- Read Hebrews 11:23-29. In these few short verses, Moses took a stand several times that showed extreme courage. What were they? Keep your notebook handy to write in, and list these. Each was a huge choice.
- How would you label Moses’ character—was he more concerned about pleasing God or having people like him? Can you yourself be an overcomer if your goal is to please people?
- How did Moses determine his course of action each time? Why was that important? Is that important to you?
- Read Hebrews 11:1. The definition of faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or a strong belief in God) is described further here. What role did his faith play in Moses’ decisions? What about your decisions–are they based on faith?
- We do not know how Moses knew the God of his fathers, or how he knew he was Hebrew, but what were some of the things he gave up to do God’s will?
Looking to God for Significance
- Read verse 24b-25. It is so easy to get your support or “validation” from your friends. Who do you look to for approval? Have friends ever led you astray? How do you learn that only God’s promises can be relied on?
- In what ways does the faith of Moses challenge you in your daily life?
Recognition of What Matters
- Read verse 26. Can you think of something you have given up recently because you desire to honor God more than treasures on earth?
- How conscious are you of serving Christ as you go about your daily routine?
Moses was definitely an overcomer! Born of humble beginnings at a time when Pharaoh decreed all Hebrew boys be killed at birth, to leading the Israelites for forty years, he faithfully kept his eyes on God. As you think on his life, write down times you’ve failed to be victorious because you looked to friends or acquaintances for help, rather than Christ. Pray for victory through the trials, as no one walks the Christian life without troubles, and all circumstances need prayer. Be alert to choices as challenges come your way, and make the decision beforehand to be an overcomer this week. Be conscious of the desire to be triumphant in your walk (2 Cor. 2:14).
Memory Verse: Exodus 2:24: “So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.”
Focal Passage: Hebrews 11:23-29.