Participants: Michael Kontes
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000412
00:30 Hello, friends my name is Michael Kontes,
00:32 and I wanna welcome you to Faith Chapel.
00:34 Today we're gonna talk about being duty bound,
00:38 but first let us pray.
00:41 Father, we come to thee now.
00:42 And we thank thee for the opportunity
00:43 of being able to break open the bread of life.
00:46 Help us to look at this story and to realize
00:49 that nothing is more important than for us
00:51 to do your will, in Jesus name, Amen.
01:00 In the operating room of a large hospital,
01:03 a young nurse was completing her first full day
01:07 of responsibilities. You've removed eleven sponges
01:12 doctor, she said to the surgeon.
01:16 We use 12, I removed them all declared the doctor,
01:21 we'll close the incision now.
01:24 No, no, no, the nurse objected, we use 12 sponges
01:34 I'll take full responsibility, nurse.
01:38 The surgeon, said Grimly, you can't do
01:44 that blaze the nurse, that's wrong,
01:46 that's not right, that's unethical,
01:48 that is wrong sir. The surgeon smiled
01:55 and lifted up his foot and showed the nurse
01:59 the 12th sponge, and said you will do,
02:07 you will do. There are times
02:10 when God calls us to fulfill our duty to him,
02:16 though the whole world around us is
02:19 calling for us to do otherwise.
02:23 Today, I'd like for us to open up our Bibles
02:25 and go to the Book of Exodus.
02:27 And look at a story that reveals an individual,
02:31 one of God's heroes, one of his champions,
02:34 someone who would not let any relationship
02:38 specifically, especially in this story
02:42 interfere with doing the will of God.
02:45 Exodus chapter 32, let us turn to the
02:49 Book of Exodus, "And it came to pass,
02:52 as soon as he came nigh unto the camp,
02:55 that he saw the calf, and the dancing:
02:58 and Moses' anger waxed hot,
03:00 and he cast the tables out of his hands
03:03 and break them beneath the mount."
03:08 Now, friends there's many things we can talk
03:11 about in this passage, we can talk about dancing,
03:14 and breaking things, but specifically I want to share
03:20 with you today, Moses' duty to God
03:24 came first even before his relationship
03:28 to his brother. You see,
03:32 Moses had put Aaron incharge while he
03:34 was up in the mount. And while up at the mount,
03:37 the people got restless, they came
03:40 to Aaron, they did not know what
03:43 happened to this leader Moses,
03:45 and Aaron believing that Moses,
03:51 Moses' government and the way Moses treated
03:56 the people might have been a little bit too harsh,
03:58 he decided to institute a new type of leadership,
04:02 one that would give into the people,
04:03 in turn he asked for their jewelry
04:06 and lo and behold, they're dancing around the
04:09 graven image. "A Christian must be willing
04:14 to stand alone, if called so by God.
04:18 Now, I wanna read to you a quote from a
04:21 19 century Christian writer, some of you have heard it,
04:24 but there is one line I especially want us
04:26 to focus on it and that is, I will highlight it for us.
04:31 That, the quote comes from Signs of the Times.
04:34 It reads, "The greatest want of this age
04:37 is the want of men. Men who are not
04:41 bought or sold. Men who are true
04:45 and honest in their inmost souls.
04:49 Men who will not fear to called sin
04:52 by its right name. Now, I'm gonna highlight
04:55 the next line here that we don't find 'cause there is,
04:58 these, this, this quote floats around in
05:00 many different forms, but I found this one
05:02 and this blew me away the next sentence.
05:04 It says, Men who will not fear to call sin by
05:09 its right name and condemn it, in themselves
05:13 and others. And then it goes on, men whose
05:18 conscience is as true to duty as neither to the
05:22 pole, men who will stand for the right
05:24 though the heavens fall." You see,
05:27 what made Moses distinct and what made
05:31 him a Bible champion is that Moses was
05:34 not only able to condemn sin in himself,
05:38 but he was able to condemn sin around
05:41 the people that he also loved.
05:43 This is very difficult in the day and age
05:46 that we're living in today because if you go
05:48 forth to a family member, a brother or sister
05:54 in the church and we begin to share things
06:00 that need to be called out, automatically
06:04 we look like we're judging, and we're condemning,
06:08 and we are the, we work for the accused
06:10 of the brethren, but literally the Bible shows
06:12 us many instances where people have been
06:15 able to walk up and call sin by its right name.
06:19 Nathan walking up to David and saying,
06:22 you're the man, here we notice that Moses
06:28 was able to come down and go forth
06:31 to the children of Israel and be able to stand
06:35 forth and call sin by its right name.
06:37 Now, notice a Christian should never
06:40 put any relationship in front of his
06:46 or her relationship to God or in front
06:49 of their duty to God. Matthew chapter 10,
06:52 in the gospel of Matthew chapter 10 verse 37,
06:56 we read, "He that loveth father or mother
07:00 more than Me is not worthy of Me;
07:02 and he that loveth son or daughter more than
07:05 Me is not worthy of Me." Friends we can add on
07:13 this point not just mother and son, father, daughter,
07:17 but we could add brother and sister to this point.
07:20 There should be no earthly relationship that,
07:24 that becomes first in our lives, than the relationship
07:28 with our heavenly Father. Now, a point I would like
07:31 to bring out at this time is, notice in
07:33 this story nowhere, where? Nowhere in this story,
07:38 does it say that Moses had to have a prayer
07:42 before he did his action here on Sinai.
07:49 Basically what I'm saying is when Moses
07:51 came down from Sinai? He didn't have to get on his
07:54 hands and knees and say, Oh! Lord what do you
07:56 want me to do? I don't know how to deal with this
07:57 and so on. Sometimes, sometimes friends
08:01 we need to do what is the right thing to do.
08:05 Meaning simple things are simply done,
08:08 the reason why Moses was able to do
08:10 what he did is because, he didn't have prayer
08:12 just every so often he was consistently in prayer
08:16 and knew what God wanted him to do.
08:18 Now, also let me clarify and illustrate,
08:24 if my son is playing out in the street in front
08:29 of my house. And I see a semi truck
08:32 driving down the street.
08:34 Please forgive me friends, but I'm not
08:36 gonna get on my hands and knees and pray and ask
08:38 God, if God wants me to go grab my son or not.
08:42 I don't think any of you would do that either.
08:46 There are some things that are absolutely blatant
08:49 in the word of God. For example, in the
08:51 first chapter of Isaiah, the Israelites
08:54 are bringing sacrifices, they're celebrating festivals
08:57 and God says to them, I detest your festivals,
09:00 what happened to the homeless and the orphans?
09:02 What are you doing to them?
09:05 Kind of like I should say good point now is,
09:08 the Good Samaritan.
09:11 Here someone was wounded on, an Israelite
09:15 on the side of the road, did anyone really need
09:19 to have prayer to go help that brother?
09:21 Or the Good Samaritan in that story who
09:23 represents Jesus came straight over to help.
09:25 Simple things are simple to do.
09:28 We must be duty bound to God.
09:31 Now, I would like to go further on in the story
09:34 now and see certain things that Moses said
09:36 to his brother Aaron, and how Aaron replied.
09:44 "And Moses said to Aaron, What did this people
09:49 unto thee that thou hast brought so great a sin
09:53 upon them? And Aaron said, Let not the anger
09:57 of my Lord wax hot: thou knowest the people,
10:01 that they are set on mischief.
10:05 For they said unto me make us Gods,
10:08 which shall go before us for as for this Moses,
10:11 the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt,
10:15 we wot not, what has become of him.
10:20 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold,
10:24 let them break it off. So, they will,
10:27 so they gave it me, then I cast it into the fire,
10:31 poof there came out this calf."
10:36 Friends, this is so cheesy.
10:39 In fact, let me say that this is Pizza Hut cheesy.
10:43 This isn't a small cheese pizza, this isn't a medium
10:46 cheese pizza, this isn't a large cheese pizza
10:49 that Aaron said. This is a party size, extra large,
10:53 cheese pizza with cheese in the crust.
10:56 What kind of excuse is that Aaron said,
10:58 poof all of a sudden this calf just came out?
11:01 Like Aaron's hands did not fashion it, like Aaron
11:05 did not spend time fashioning this calf into
11:09 the God of the Egyptian Gods.
11:11 Friends, I want to share something with you.
11:15 Sometimes, yes, it is difficult to stand up alone,
11:20 but ultimately for a Christian.
11:22 The Christian is never alone, anytime a Christian
11:25 takes a stand for God. God is there with him,
11:29 with her, giving them the strength to stand.
11:32 I would like to share an experience with you.
11:35 When I first became a Christian in 1996,
11:39 after I was baptized, maybe after, right be, a little
11:42 bit before I was baptized.
11:43 And one of my supervisors, I worked at UPS,
11:46 and one my supervisors, where he was at UPS
11:48 now for 8 or 9 years and I was one of the
11:51 top guys on my shift with seniority.
11:52 And during this time, my supervisor came over to me.
11:56 Now, I wanna share with you, I'm, I'm
11:58 from Greek descent, which means wherever I
12:00 go I share things. Before I was a Christian
12:03 I shared about the Dallas Cowboys
12:05 and bass fishing. Now, that I'm a Christian,
12:07 I share about Jesus and bass fishing.
12:10 Somethings don't change, but I share with you,
12:12 when I work there UPS, supervisor came over
12:14 to me one day said, Mike we want you
12:17 to stop talking about Jesus during the shift.
12:19 This, we don't want you to do this,
12:22 you're talking about spiritual things and
12:24 because you're talking about spiritual things
12:26 we can't have that on the shift.
12:28 Now, friends pardon me, but once again
12:31 I didn't going to prayer at this time.
12:34 God wants me to talk about God.
12:36 And I told my supervisor, I go brother,
12:38 if Jack can talk about the 49ers and Steve Young
12:42 or if Simon can talk about the St. Louis Cardinals,
12:47 I can talk about Jesus and that's how that's,
12:50 that's how it's gonna be?
12:52 My supervisor looked at me, kind of
12:55 squinted and said, okay, that's fine.
12:57 No talking for anyone, a moratorium.
13:01 That lasted the big 2½ hours.
13:05 Afterwards he came and pulled aside and said,
13:08 Mike, okay do me a favor.
13:10 And if you're gonna talk about Jesus,
13:11 talk about Jesus so your, your hands
13:14 are not always in it, talking with your hands.
13:16 Now remember I'm Greek,
13:17 and sometimes my hands go up.
13:19 And I said, I can deal with that statement.
13:22 Friends, even at the workplace,
13:25 there are times when God calls us to
13:27 exclaim his praise and when he calls us
13:30 to show his glory to others.
13:33 In words, as well as deeds.
13:35 Now, I wanna share with you, it's very difficult
13:37 because for some people this is difficult
13:40 for the mere fact that they don't know
13:44 when they should do this.
13:46 At this point you have to led by the Holy Spirit
13:48 and know when it's the right time,
13:50 and when it's not the right time.
13:51 When is the Holy Spirit leading you, and then
13:53 when it's your flesh leading you.
13:54 Because, yes, I can say, there were times
13:56 when I wanted to stand up for God and I did
13:58 stand for God. And when I stood up,
14:00 it was because of, you could call it my own
14:02 self righteousness so to speak.
14:05 I wanted to proclaim God when once again
14:08 when I'm the only, I'm the only Christian
14:10 in my family, Adventist Christian.
14:11 And when I first became the Adventist Christian
14:14 I would go to my family and all my goodness,
14:16 I would tell them so many things,
14:18 I fed them so much you know,
14:21 most people they sit down to dinner, they just have
14:22 a couple things for dinner, I fed them
14:24 30 course meals, spiritual meals.
14:27 Not knowing when to stop.
14:29 There are times when God also tells us to sit down,
14:34 be quite and be still and listen to his voice, Amen.
14:37 We have to be able to discern when he's calling us
14:41 to speak for him, and when he's calling us
14:44 to listen to him. Now, notice in the story,
14:49 Moses said, what did you do to this,
14:54 to these people that you made them sin?
14:57 Notice how serious Moses took his duty.
15:01 Moses took his duty to appoint
15:05 where he would not allow the relationship
15:09 with his brother to interfere with what God
15:14 wanted from his people.
15:16 Now, some of us with our family and friends
15:19 we give in, when they come around to us
15:22 and they, they share things with us.
15:25 And we kind of give in and we break
15:27 and then we compromise our own beliefs.
15:29 And in turn when we compromise our own beliefs.
15:34 We in turn walk away sad and feeling guilty
15:38 that when we should have stood for God.
15:40 I remember, once again my own personal experience.
15:46 When I was first a Christian and I was
15:51 studying all the truths that the Bible had to say,
15:53 I was wanting to take my children to church,
15:56 and my wife was going to a
16:00 different church at the time.
16:01 We were both going to a different church,
16:03 but then as I started gravitating over
16:05 to the advent message. My wife didn't
16:09 like that too much in the beginning.
16:11 And I remember we had a discussion one
16:13 Saturday morning. And I told that I'm gonna take
16:17 the kids to church and she looked at me
16:19 and she said, you're not gonna take the kids
16:20 to church. And I said, I'm gonna take the kids
16:22 to church. She was, no you're not gonna take
16:24 the kids to church. I said, I'm going
16:26 to take my kids to church, I have never
16:27 stopped you from taking the kids to
16:29 your church, which was my church at one time.
16:32 And I'm not gonna have you tell me that
16:34 I can't take my kids to the church that I'm
16:37 going to now. I wanna share something with you.
16:40 Because I took that stand, my wife
16:44 started studying out the things that I was
16:47 studying and seven months later,
16:49 she realized that the things
16:52 that I was studying was Biblically grounded
16:54 and founded. That they were true
16:56 and because I took my stand and was so firm,
17:01 she realized that she herself had to make
17:06 decisions that God wanted her to make.
17:10 Now, sometimes there is also horror stories.
17:13 And so I wanted to share with you once
17:15 more that it must be, you must know when
17:18 God is calling you to put your foot down
17:20 and not put your foot down.
17:23 There are many stories in the Bible of people
17:25 being able to stand alone.
17:27 In the Book of Samuel, we see that here
17:30 the Philistines had surrounded the camp.
17:33 Here the Philistines were mocking Israel
17:37 and no one; no one was willing to take
17:40 a stand. So, what God had to do, is God had to bring
17:44 forth a young lad by the name of David,
17:48 who would not worry about how tall Goliath.
17:51 was? Or how strong Goliath. was?
17:55 Or would he even be successful.
17:59 All David worried about, is that Goliath
18:03 was basically talking down to Israel,
18:09 basically blaspheming the God of heaven
18:11 and David wanted to stand up for God.
18:15 In fact David's brothers couldn't even stand
18:18 that he was there. And he basically hadn't
18:21 even put his brothers in check and when his brothers
18:22 didn't want him to stand up against Goliath.
18:25 David stood still up to Goliath, why?
18:30 Because at this point in David's history,
18:33 David was duty bound, David was willing
18:37 to do God's will, he was duty bound.
18:40 Are you duty bound? Are you duty bound in home?
18:46 Are you duty bound at church?
18:49 Are you duty bound at work? I believe
18:56 that God is calling us to be duty bound.
19:01 Not to necessarily run people over,
19:04 we're to love people more than we love ourselves,
19:07 but God is calling us through Christian divine
19:14 infused love, to be able to show people
19:18 what it means to serve God. Even under very tough
19:20 circumstances. Once again while I was working at
19:25 United Parcel Service, I was baptized
19:28 and I was changing shifts.
19:30 And as I was changing shifts I went from a
19:33 twilight shift to a pre-load shift,
19:35 which means I'll be working in the mornings now.
19:37 And this was supposed to take place after
19:40 my baptism, after baptism I went up to
19:42 Black Hills, a school of evangelism for a month
19:45 to be trained and how to do evangelism and
19:47 by the time I was coming back from Black Hills,
19:49 I was supposed to be on the pre-load shifts.
19:52 Well, when I came back lo and behold
19:54 paperwork fell through and as the paperwork fell through.
19:58 My supervisor called me and said, Mike we need you
20:01 on this Friday, we need you to be able to,
20:03 you know, we haven't your shift yet.
20:06 So, you need to come in to work. And I told my
20:08 supervisor I said, you know, John I'll be more than
20:11 happy to coming to work, but you know,
20:14 right before sun down happens I just want to
20:16 let you know, that I'm done working for the day.
20:19 The situation has taken place, I was promised,
20:21 I was promised that I would be switched that
20:23 I would not have this problem, I have shared with
20:25 everyone here in this organization.
20:27 I've had with the hub manager, I have shared
20:30 with him my convictions about keeping the Sabbath
20:32 and I need to take my stand on this, and I
20:34 cannot vary from this. He says, well let me see
20:38 what I can do, are you sure that that's really
20:40 what you want to say, and what you really you know,
20:42 how you feel? And I said, yeah that is how what,
20:45 how I feel and you can share that with anyone
20:48 who needs to know that? I'm willing to come in,
20:49 I'm willing to work, but I'm not willing to break
20:52 my principles in this area.
20:53 I'm committed to God and I'm committed to God
20:56 first before I'm committed to United Parcel Service.
21:01 He came back to me and he said you know,
21:02 Mike, we can facilitate that for you,
21:06 we'd like for you to come in, in five minutes before
21:09 sun down takes place we're more than happy to
21:11 let you go because the, the, the paperwork
21:14 has fallen through, it was not your fault, it was
21:16 our fault. And in fact friends I wanna share with you,
21:19 you guys, you will laugh as I share this with you,
21:21 you'll see how good God is? As I share
21:26 this with the supervisor, and he came back to me.
21:28 I went and talk to the manager about my religious
21:32 convictions for 45 minutes. I was able to share
21:37 my convictions, and he was blown away.
21:40 You see, because I took a stand.
21:42 God was able to take that situation
21:47 and allow others to say, what's going on in
21:50 this guy's life? I want to talk to him
21:52 and see what's taking place.
21:53 There are many people I can share with you,
21:56 there are many people at your work,
21:58 at your church, maybe even in your home,
22:03 maybe you have a spouse that's not a believer
22:07 or children that are not believers.
22:12 And they're observing and watching and
22:15 evaluating and analyzing, is mom, is dad,
22:20 and are they true to their religious convictions.
22:23 And sometimes our children and ours spouses,
22:25 our family and friends will push us
22:27 and not just to see will we hold steadfast
22:33 to the principles that we exclaim from our lips.
22:36 Or will we falter and crumble understand.
22:40 Anytime that we take a stand for God.
22:44 Once again, the principle God says in
22:47 First Samuel 2:30, "I will honor them that honor me."
22:50 God will honor us. David took a stand against
22:55 Goliath and God honored him.
23:01 Moses took stand with his brother,
23:03 God honored him.
23:07 Aaron did not have the same disposition as Moses.
23:10 Aaron was more giving, we know that from
23:13 other stories in the Bible because his two sons,
23:15 he allowed his two sons to get away
23:17 with terrible tragedies there in the sanctuary.
23:21 So, this was a common thread with Aaron,
23:25 but I believe that God was giving Aaron
23:28 the opportunity to watch his brother
23:31 and to admire his brother and to say
23:34 that's a part of my brother's personality
23:36 that I want to be able to incorporate through the
23:38 grace of Christ. All of us are make differently,
23:41 all of us have are made up with different fibers,
23:44 so of speak, a different DNA, but you know,
23:48 when I come across someone who makes me
23:51 stand back and take a look and see that
23:57 they are honoring God in a special way.
23:59 I pray to God and I say God,
24:02 I would like to see this characteristics
24:07 that Larry has or that Ben has or that
24:12 Sandy has. I'd like to see you cultivate that
24:16 characteristic in my life. Now, when that
24:18 takes place, friends. God's gonna put
24:21 you in situations that are gonna absolutely against
24:24 what your natural inclination is to do.
24:26 So, if you want to be bold for God,
24:29 and you're praying God, help me to be more,
24:30 help me to be, I wanna be more bolder for you.
24:33 I want to be able to stand for you.
24:36 God's gonna put you in situations, he is gonna
24:38 put you in your spiritual Sinai's.
24:40 So, that you can take a stand.
24:42 And sometimes that will be a stand to your husband,
24:46 to your wife, to your children to your church pastor,
24:50 elder, whoever? And if we continue to
24:57 pray that prayer, God will continue to bring
24:59 that test around till we have completely leaned
25:04 on his strength and we are able to stand up
25:08 boldly for God, amen.
25:10 Now, as we're closing I would like to share
25:15 with you a quote from one of my favorite authors,
25:19 on Aaron and on Moses on this situation.
25:23 Aaron had thought that Moses had been too
25:25 unyielding to the wishes of the people.
25:28 He thought that if Moses had been less firm,
25:32 less decided at times, and that if he had
25:36 compromise with the people and gratified their wishes,
25:42 he would have had less trouble,
25:46 and there would have been more peace
25:48 and more harmony in the camp of Israel.
25:54 Do you see friends that we can never ever,
25:58 ever compromise being firm
26:03 and unyielding for God? God calls us to stand,
26:08 stand straight, firm strong, and confidently for him.
26:18 Not weak, not wavering like a reed,
26:22 and not giving in to what the people around
26:25 us might think. We are living in what I
26:31 believe the Bible calls the final days,
26:33 the last days. I believe that we are in
26:36 the toenails of the image of Daniel chapter 2,
26:40 and because we are living in these times
26:43 there are people thirsting, hungry,
26:49 starving to look at someone who will take a stand
26:56 for God. Because many times,
26:59 when they see someone taking a stand,
27:01 they are able to feel inspired and encouraged
27:05 and strengthened to take their stand for God.
27:09 So, what happens is we as a church collectively,
27:13 corporately need to take our stand on God's principles.
27:18 As individuals we need to take our stand on
27:21 God's principles, and not waver, not shake,
27:25 but stand steadfast and ultimately we will
27:32 draw more people to the foot of Calvary.
27:35 We will draw more people to the base
27:38 of the Cross where Jesus will be able
27:42 to say to each and every son and daughter
27:45 of God. This is my beloved son, and this is my
27:51 beloved daughter whom they trust in me,
27:53 and have allowed me to use them
27:55 as a light in a dark world.