Sharing The Burden

A Study of Exodus 18:13-26

Defining Missions



I.         Introduction - Background


A.      It is not been two weeks since the children of Israel had left Egypt

B.       They were headed to Mt Sinai to get a Book (Ex 19,20)!

C.       Moses: A sheep-herder for the last 40 years - turned Leader of God's people, is beginning to settle into the day-to-day operations as Judge.

D.      At this point, his father-in-law drops by, and teaches a very important NT principle way back 1500 years before Christ!


II.       Message


A.      Moses' Responsibility To The People (18:13-16) Notice his daily burden:


1.        So many people - the whole nation!  1 1/2 million!

2.        So little time - from sun-up to sun-down (18:13) to get it all done

3.        So great a task (18:15,16)


a.       Represent God to the people - Ambassador

b.       Clearly discern between right and wrong - Judge

c.       Teach statutes and the Laws of God - Instructor, Teacher

d.       On top of all that, be a father, and husband


B.       Jethro's Rebuke (18:17-19)


1.        You will wear-out Personally - One man cannot do it all!

2.        You will wear-out the People - Bottleneck - long lines

3.        You will lose God's Power - He will not be in your efforts, no matter how noble (18:19)  Because:


a.       It will affect your attitude towards the people - See Num 20

b.       It will affect your approach to God - You won't have prime time for Him! Have you noticed this happening as you get over-involved?


C.       The Recommendations (18:19-23)


1.        Dedicate yourself to staying close to God - Prayer and study (19)

2.        Delegate/Deputize others to do the work with you (21,22)

3.        Disciple the people (20) Train them to handle problems themselves

4.        Display your life as the example for all of Israel to follow - Moses needed to be able to recommend his own lifestyle (23)


D.      God's Result (18:24-26) Teamwork


1.        The task was spread throughout the congregation

2.        The task became substantially easier to endure

3.        The task produced both supernatural peace and fruit


III.     Application


A.      Like with Moses, Jesus gave us an impossible task in the Great Commission (Mt 28:19,20) This is the burden of Christianity! The Burden of Calvary!


1.        So many people - to every creature - 5.6 billion!

2.        So little time - John 9:1-3; Our Lord's soon return!

3.        So big a task - reaching, training, baptizing them! Acts 1:8 We believe that there really is a hell, and that men must be saved from it by faith in Christ


B.       Jethro's Rebuke still holds true today


1.        We will wear-out Personally - One man, one church, or even a few churches cannot do it all!  Doing it all yourself doesn't make you more spiritual, it only makes you more temporal (more prone to die young)!

2.        We will wear-out the People - Bottleneck, so little soul-winning, so few salvations, so many going to Hell!!! When the world doesn't see Christ in Christians, it turns to other religions.

3.        We will lose God's Power - He will not be in our efforts, no matter how noble because God designed us to work as a body!


4.        Understand: People wear themselves out for souls because the world needs Christ, and they see so few care! But there is a better way!


C.       Our Needed Reorganization - Share in the Burden


1.        We have an inability individually that can be overcome as a team collectively (Bible calls it working together as a BODY, Rom 12, as a team)

2.        We must get in the "yoke" together for a common purpose - the winning, training and baptizing of people the world over! Missions! Determine to be a part of this common purpose.

3.        The steps are as follows:


a.       Dedicate yourself to staying close to God - Get back to dealing with the Lord first (Your FIRST love, Rev 2:4) - Acts 13:1,2; 2 Tim 2:4; Acts 6

b.       Delegate/Deputize - Authorize someone to GO in your place if you are not called to go! Jesus did with His 12 disciples, and then 70 disciples.

c.       Disciple - Train people to do the work of the ministry (Eph 4:11,12; 2Tim 2:2). Be involved in nurturing Christians to be strong in the Lord!

d.       Display - Be thou an example - Show the people how to live (1 Thes 1:5). Make this church an example of what a Mission's-minded church ought to be!


D.      God's Result - Will Be The Same as with Moses and Israel!


1.        The task will spread throughout Christianity

2.        The task becomes substantially easier to endure - before, it was an impossible task!

3.        The task begins to bear supernatural fruit in God's harvest, and supernatural Peace among God's people. The world again encounters Christians who are interested in them finding Jesus, not church, baptism, religion or good works


EX: Feeding of the 5,000


IV.    Conclusion - Rom 10:13-15


A.      The Sinners Need, is always met by Christ - Are you saved?

B.       But the Sinner must first Hear (10:17)

C.       The only way for them to hear is by a Preacher/Witness

D.      The only way a Preacher is going to effectively preach is if He is Sent!  No man goes to war at his own expense (1 Cor 9:7).  There are some "Lone Rangers", and some "Rambos," but that is not God's best way - the church sending preachers to the uttermost is God's way!

E.       The only way to send out the Gospel message, is to work together:


1.        Personally going soul-winning yourself - I can't fulfill your responsibility, and you can't fulfill mine! Share the burden.

2.        Participate in Faith Promise Missions giving - sending out missionaries

3.        Potentially becoming a Missionary yourself - Make yourself available to God's service! Right now!