Jethro Advises Moses—Exodus 18:13-27

We’ve all had times when we thought that, without us, everything was going to fall apart. 


So we had our hands in everything—the little things and the big things. We dashed from location to location, from job to job, doing everything and complaining that no one would help.


True be told, there were people who would help, if they knew what to do; if someone would take the time to train them. There were also people who could help, if we would let go of our need to to control every aspect.


Part of being a leader—whether a church leader, or a leader at your work, or even as a parent—is to train and lead people to take over for you.


This is the lesson that Moses discovers.


Read: Jethro Advises Moses—Exodus 18:13-27

Complicated Choices—Matthew 1:18-20

We all have to deal with complicated choices from time to time. 


There are complicated choices that we get ourselves into. We make wrong choices that lead to more difficult decisions, especially because other people will get hurt. 


There are complicated choices that come simply because life works out that way. A job layoff, a medical condition, the choices of a friend or family member—or even the will of God.


How do we deal with complicated choices? More importantly, how do we deal with them in a godly manner? In a way that pleases God? 


Read: Complicated Choices—Matthew 1:18-20

Christians Need And Need To Be Mentors – 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

I was nineteen, working as a dishwasher in a small-town restaurant, and wondering what was going to become of me. Then Debbie, one of my employers, shared with me how she came to know Jesus and what he did in her life.


Something in my heart was triggered. After work, Debbie and I prayed together and I placed my trust and my life in Christ. I had gone through the motions before, at things like Vacation Bible School, but this time was different; this time was real.


Debbie, in a way, was my spiritual parent. She helped me come to Christ. But she also knew that she couldn’t disciple me, so, in a way, she gave me up for adoption the very next day. She had Pastor Lynn Holm come to the restaurant and sit down with me and talk. 


Pastor Lynn encouraged me to start reading the Bible and to confess my sins quickly when I committed them. He also invited me to have private Bible study with him. For the first year of my Christian walk, I spent time with Lynn, both in his office and also in his wood shop making things.


Lynn was my spiritual father, or, as we’re more apt to say today, he was my mentor. Here in our text today, we discover that Paul was the spiritual father to the Corinthian Christians. He was God’s instrument in bringing them to Christ, and a mentor to them during their first formative months of being Christians.


Read Christians Need And Need To Be Mentors – 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

Grandpa Jethro Gets Saved — Exodus 18:1-12



A. Why Did They Go To Grandpa?


Exodus 18:1 When Jethro [Reuel in 2:18], the priest of Midian, Moses’ father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt; 

Exodus 18:2 Then Jethro, Moses’ father in law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back, 

Exodus 18:3a And her two sons…


We don’t know exactly when Moses sent his wife and children back; they did go to Egypt (4:20), but whether he sent them back before the plagues, during, or perhaps while they were journeying south after leaving Egypt, we aren’t told.


Why did he send her back? Was he afraid she would get hurt? What would that say about his faith, not to mention his leadership? 


Did Moses and Zipporah have a falling out, perhaps after the circumcision issue in 4:24-26, that led to a separation?


Read Grandpa Jethro Gets Saved

Sermon: Our Response To God’s Rescue And Relocation Operation

Colossians 1:12-14

Levi Durfey

20141116FBCAM—Fall Harvest Sunday




Fall Harvest Sunday is like a Thanksgiving Day just for our church. We take a special offering; we have a large, wonderful, fellowship meal together. But it’s all about giving thanks to the Lord. 


What should we give thanks to God for? The Bible says everything, but often we focus on thanking the Lord for our family, or for providing the physical necessities of life. Those are fine things to thank God for, but here in Colossians 1, we will find the most important thing to thank God for.


We’ll be looking at verses 12-14, but we need to step back a couple verses to get the context.


9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (Colossians 1:9–11)


In this chapter, Paul has been praying for the Christians at Colossae, and one of his prayer requests is, in verse 10, that they “walk worthy of the Lord.” 


A worthy life, he says, will be “fruitful in every good work…increasing in the knowledge of God…Strengthened…according to his glorious power.” But that’s not all. A Christian living a life worthy of the Lord will also be…


12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Colossians 1:12–14)


Paul prays that Christians walk worthy of the Lord, in part, by… Continue reading

Sermon: You Are So Full Of Yourself!

1 Corinthians 4:6-13

Levi Durfey





Pride. It’s one vice that, if it didn’t exist, the world would be a much nicer place. Can you imagine any sin that we commit that doesn’t have pride somehow involved in it? I can’t…you can run every sin down to pride if you look hard enough.


Pride keeps us from thinking that we need a Savior, or if we manage to think that we need a Savior, pride makes us think that we can earn his help in saving us. Overcoming our pride and kneeing humbly before the cross is what it takes for us to be saved and become Christians.


Christians, however, are not immune to pride. We can be like the Pharisees and proud of our spiritual growth. We can look at others and say, “I’m so impressed with how much better I am than they are! They hardly do anything right!”


It’s this spiritual pride that the Corinthian church was struggling with. It was, in fact, dividing them.


6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. 7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. (1 Corinthians 4:6–8)


We have talked how the Corinthian church was divided over matters like who was the best—Paul, Apollos, Peter. What was behind those divisions? It was pride, spiritual pride. These were… Continue reading

Sermon: Fight and Pray

Exodus 17:8-16

Levi Durfey

20141030FBCTH & 20141102FBCPM




In our study of Exodus, we’ve seen the Israelites face the Egyptians, hunger, and thirst. They faced the Egyptians by having the faith that the Lord would fight for them and then doing what he said, namely, walking through the parted Red Sea


Hunger was faced by trusting the Lord to bring manna each day and then going out each morning and gathering it. 


Thirst was faced on two occasions by trusting the Lord, but Moses also threw a stick into the water at Marah and struck a rock at Rephidim. 


In each case, faith was accompanied by human involvement and action. We’ll find the same balance of faith and works (of Divine and human involvement) in the next account given to us in Exodus.


Exodus 17:8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 


Amalek (or Amalekites) were nomadic people descended from Esau (they were not the same Amalekites found in Genesis 14:7, who were wiped out):


12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife. (Genesis 36:12)


These Amalekites would be trouble to Israel all the way through the time of king David. Being nomads, they wandered over a large territory from southern Canaan to deep into the Sinai Peninsula. They were raiders, dashing in, killing and capturing, and then leaving. We see an example of their work in 1 Samuel 30:1-2 (roughly 400 years later)—


1 …the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag [a Philistine city given to David], and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. (1 Samuel 30:1–2)


They probably never had more than a few thousand men (if that) in their raiding parties, moving and striking quickly, then leaving. This seems to have been their strategy against the Israelites in the wilderness. We aren’t told much in Exodus, but in Deuteronomy we learn what they did:


17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; 18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. (Deuteronomy 25:17–18)


According to Moses, it’s the lowest form of warfare to attack civilians, but they probably did so because they were far fewer in numbers than the Israelites. However, they would have had camels and weapons, so it was easiest to strike from the rear and pick off the Israelites piecemeal.


Moses knew that he had to do something, and at 80 years old, his fighting days were over. That was okay, however, because he knew that, to defeat the enemy, it would require both fighting and praying.

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Sermon: The Litmus Test Of A Leader

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Levi Durfey





In school, I remember getting to play—experiment—with litmus paper. Litmus paper is able to distinguish between an acid or a base. For example, if you put a drop of lemon juice on it, it would turn red or pink, indicating an acid. If you put bleach on it, it would turn blue, showing that bleach is a base.


Litmus paper has been around for hundreds of years, and the phrase “Litmus Test” has come to be used for more than just testing acids and bases. It came to be used to point out the decisive test of a person’s character or ability. Someone might say, “The war on poverty was the litmus test of his presidency,” meaning that it was the decisive test of his leadership.


What’s the litmus test of a church leader—a pastor, deacon, missionary, Sunday school teacher, and so on? That’s what we’ll discover in 1 Corinthians 4—


1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. (1 Corinthians 4:1–5)


Paul brings his discussion of the divisions in the Corinthian church full circle. They were declaring that Paul or Apollos or Peter was the best to follow, he said (in 3:21) not to boast in men. 


Now, here, he tells them why—because they don’t have the right test for who is the best and, furthermore, they are not the ones who can give the best judgment of a leader anyway.


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