Joseph and Moses: No More Excuses

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Read: Exodus 3-4 (Use the Bible App for Kids by You Version for a fun, younger-kid-friendly version of the story)

Have you ever felt like there was something you were not very good at? Maybe you don’t have a lot of skill in soccer. Or maybe you have trouble taking tests at school. Can you think of something? Moses had something he felt he wasn’t very good at, yet God used it anyways to do something really crazy! The problem was, Moses had a lot of excuses and almost missed what purpose God had for him.

Moses was leading his father-in- law’s flock (a group of sheep) when he saw it: a burning bush. The burning bush was full of big fiery flames! Moses thought that was interesting so he went to see the fire. Then a voice spoke, “Moses! Moses!” The fire from the bush was God, and he was ready to speak to Moses!

How would you feel if you were Moses? Would you be scared or surprised? God, from the burning bush, asked Moses to take off his sandals in honor of holy ground. He said to Moses, “I am the God of your father the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”

God came to see Moses for a specific purpose. Do you remember the Israelites, God’s people that were slaves to the Egyptians? God was in the process of delivering His people to freedom. So He wanted Moses to be a part of that deliverance! How cool that He wanted Moses to play a part in helping set people free!

Did you know God does that with us too! He doesn’t have to use us in His story, but he chooses to do so! He has purposes for every person; He simply wants to work with us in relationship! Moses’ purpose was to help deliver the Israelites! That seemed like a pretty big job to Moses, so he made a lot of excuses.

Have you ever made an excuse? An excuse is when you give a reason to not do something. Like if your mom asked you to eat your vegetables and you said, “but I’m really full! I couldn’t eat another bite!” Or if your dad asked you to clean your room and you responded, “I can’t clean it up tonight because I have too much to do!”

Those excuses make a lot of sense, just like Moses’ excuses, but it was still an excuse.

God asked Moses to help lead the Israelites. And Moses had a good excuse. “What if they don’t believe me?!” Moses exclaimed. But God told Moses He would be with him. He still wanted Moses to do what He had said, even if it was scary!

Moses had another good excuse though. Do you remember when we talked about not being very good at something? Moses was not very good at talking! Moses told God, “I am slow of speech and tongue!” But God said explained He was the Father and Creator of every good gift and He would help Moses know what to say and give him the ability to talk.

Moses had a lot more excuses for God. Again, none of the excuses were wrong. Moses probably wasn’t a very good talker. But God didn’t want to hear Moses explain everything that he couldn’t do. Why? Because God can do so many great things, impossible things! He wanted to hear about that! God does impossible things, and He wants us to be a part of those things.

Anything that may seem scary or really hard to you, like talking in front of a lot of people, or possibly doing something you may not be very good at, God can make it possible! He has purposes for you, but you have to let God share His purposes and be willing to obey Him.

The great news is, God doesn’t ask us to do something and then just leave us! He works with us, so we are never alone and we can do impossible things! So let’s not make excuses! We should believe when God tells us our purposes and do what He says!

Questions: Are there things you are not very good at? What was something Moses was not very good at? What did Moses use as his excuse? How did God want Moses to respond? How should we respond when God says he has a purpose for us?

Parents: Pray and ask the Lord to give you just a glimpse of some purpose He might have for your child. It may not be anything big, or even a full picture (it most likely won’t be), but share what you hear with your children. Maybe you hear from the Lord that your daughter is ‘compassionate.’ Share that with her- it’s a gifting and a part of a greater purpose He might have for her. We want our kids to be prepared to say ‘yes’ when God gives more direction on purpose, so let’s help foster this now! If you feel your child is ready, ask him or her to ask the Lord for a word of purpose. God doesn’t just speak to adults; if this is something your child might want to do, help guide them in hearing the Lord’s voice.

Commit

Place Exodus 4:11-12 on your refrigerator, on a mirror, or anyplace you look frequently! Commit to memorizing what the Lord said to Moses when Moses said he was not an eloquent speaker. “Then the Lord asked Moses, ‘Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or not speak, hear or not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak and I will instruct you in what to say!”

Create

Spend an evening together as a family- try a game night! But make it an ‘excuse free’ night. Even if there is a reason we lost a game, or a reason we can’t help do the dishes, let’s try our best not to use them! Make a tally anytime someone makes an excuse. At the end of the evening, gather together and ask the group a couple of questions. Was it easy or hard to not make excuses? Did you start to recognize what an excuse was when you heard it? When was it the hardest not to make an excuse? Make it fun, and enjoy some quality time together!

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