3 Parts | By: Ed Young
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This message opener was created to promote Ed Young’s series “Hop, Skip, and a Jump.”
Hop, Skip, and a Jump “The Art of Skipping” February 25, 2017 By Ed Young
INTRO: I love to skip. It’s really a great workout because what’s amazing is as kids we do it naturally but as adults we stop skipping. Today I’m going to argue that children of God, you and me, should not stop skipping. I’m going to talk about the art of skipping. I’m going to talk about how important it is to make a hop, a skip, and a jump. A hop, boom, a skip, and a jump. Whoo! Wears me out.
I was thinking about that because it’s so, so vital in our culture today as we live our lives to skip things. When you skip you’re in the air just for a while and when you’re in the air you have a unique perspective. You can see things you normally wouldn’t see. Then you hit the ground and when you land the trick is you don’t stay on the ground too long because you’re skipping, right? You’re skipping. The same is true with hop and the same is true with a jump. We’re always skipping, we’re always skipping, we’re always – if we’re doing what I believe God wants us to do – skipping. We need to understand that we skip the superfluous and land on the significant. Because when we land on the significant our lives will be magnificent. So if you want to understand what your priorities are, they’re already written down in Scripture, in the Bible. If you’re not a follower of Christ, if you want to read the best book ever penned on priorities, read this. And I always say, and sometimes people do the pushback, I always say if you’re praying about what your priorities should be that’s really a dumb prayer. I mean, you’re wasting your time, you’re wasting God’s time. Because the priorities have already been set forth for all of us. Prioritizing your life is about skipping.
I love to think about the children of Israel because back in the Old Testament you’ve probably heard of the account before, the Israelites had been slaves in Egyptian bondage for hundreds of years. It was a very difficult plight, it was a difficult situation that they found themselves in. God picked someone to lead out, someone to be the head skipper, because he is going to understand the importance of skipping. His name was Moses, and you’ve probably heard of Moses before. Moses walked into Pharaoh’s office, the man of Egypt, the leader of Egypt, and basically said, “Let my people go.” And he said no. Then God rained 10 plagues on the Egyptians and these plagues pounded the people. Because of that and because of an act of God and many supernatural things the children of Israel were free. They were emancipated. I want you to think in your mind 2 million Israelites following Moses. Two million people, and this is the context of the whole situation, the context of skipping. Two million people who have just been freed up, they’re following Moses. And God does this stuff like parting the Red Sea, feeding them from Heaven, providing water from a rock, just crazy, crazy stuff. A cloud guided them in the day, fire by night, and these people complained.
Isn't that just how we are? We love to complain. We love to murmur. We love to go negative. God had given them a great vision, yet these people were like vision vandals. Any time someone has a cool idea usually or let’s take this hill or let’s do this or that or let’s make that change, what happens? Well, I’m not sure we can do that. We’ve never done that before. And that’s where I’ve always sat. And we’ve always had things like that around our family. Yeah, we’ve always related as a husband and wife in that manner. Well, we complain. We do the pushback.
Hop, Skip, and a Jump “Jumping Rope” March 5, 2017 By Ed Young
INTRO: How do you like the new hairstyle? This hairstyle is not intentional. I got hair transplants. I’m serious. They took, like, thousands of hairs from the back of my head and transferred them to the front of my head. And I’ve documented all of this and we’re going to do a series several months from now, hopefully if the hair grows, and we’re going to call it Bloom Where You’re Planted, or something like that. Now, I love the shaved head. I might just stay with this but I’m just telling you I had hair transplant surgery and it was really interesting. Lisa didn’t really want me to do it so it was just for vanity reasons. Now before you say, “I can’t believe you had a cosmetic procedure!” Well, did you put makeup on today if you’re a lady? Guys, have you ever had any dental work done? All those are cosmetic procedures. Today, though, I want to do that. I want to think about what’s in the back of our minds, maybe in the back that should be in the front. Because when we move some things in the back that should be in the front we’re going to experience some growth.
We’ve been talking about a hop, skip, and a jump around here. We’ve been looking at the life of Moses, one of the great leaders ever. Moses was some kind of cat, man. The guy grew up in Egyptian royalty. He was really handpicked for the presidency of Egypt; yet God tapped him on the shoulder and God said, “Moses, you’re going to do something different. Moses, I’m going to give you a momentum, a leadership scheme, a vibe like the world has never seen before. You’re going to lead my people, 2 million of my people, out of Egyptian slavery into the Promised Land.” That was a serious task, was it not? Leading 2 million Jews who’ve been enslaved for 400 years to the land of milk and honey. That’s what they called the Promised Land. It took someone who understood a hop, skip, and a jump.
ILLUS: Back in the ninth grade I had the opportunity to play some basketball and our coach was a former Marine. And he would always get onto me because he said I had slow feet. So he would yell at me, I mean drop F-bombs and pick them back up, and drop the F-bombs again and pick them back up. I won't use those as I quote him but I will say what he said to me. “Ed, move those ninth grade feet! You’re too slow! Why don’t you start skipping rope? Why don’t you start skipping rope?” So I did. Here’s a jump rope. Bear with me because I have some boots on. It’s not going to be that easy. I need some love! Well, I learned how to jump rope and my foot speed really increased. And now I have pretty quick feet for someone especially 55 years old, but I was known as kind of a quick person when I played college and all that. And it’s due to this contraption called a jump rope.
To jump rope you need some momentum. To jump rope you need some coordination. To jump rope you need some endurance. The rope is sort of the standard that helps you to leap and to land. That’s the secret of jumping rope. You jump rope. It’s a hop, skip, and a jump and it’s good for you.
All of us are leaders, because all of us influence someone. Leadership is influence so we have something in common with Moses. No, we’re not leading 2 million people but maybe you’re leading several toddlers, which arguably might be more difficult than what Moses did. You’re leading in a marriage. You’re leading at school. You’re leading at the club. You’re a leader, maybe you’re a teacher. You’re a leader, everyone leads. Everyone leads.
Leadership is about a hop, skip, and a jump. What are you landing on? What are you leaping over? Because we need to land on the significant. We need to skip the superfluous and land on the significant. Because when we understand what the significant is, then our lives will be magnificent. I want you to understand me because as a pastor, as your pastor, I want the very best for your life. Now why can I say that? I can say that because God wants the best for your life. I’m simply passing along what’s been passed along to me. When I give counsel, when I encourage you, or when I talk about difficult things, I’m talking from a biblical perspective. It’s not my opinion, it’s not culture’s opinion, it’s not this group or that group, it’s what the Bible (and the Bible is called the Word of God because it’s the breath of God that people wrote down). I’m giving you just what Scripture says about living. Understand that God wants you to have an amazing life, not an easy life. This standard is a standard of pain. The jump rope, I mean it’s a painful process. If you really start jumping rope try jumping rope uninterrupted for 10 minutes. Pain. Living the life that Christ has for you and me, that God wants, it’s not always just a walk in the park. There is definitely some pain to it. And as we look at the life of Moses we go, “Oh, Moses! Wow, so glamorous, so amazing, so unbelievable!” Yet, isn’t it true that we don’t see, we don’t really understand the pain that he dealt with. And in today’s text, Exodus 18, we’re going to peek into the pain, into the angst that he dealt with.
Hop, Skip, and a Jump “Follow Through” March 12, 2017 By Ed Young
A hop, skip, and a jump. That’s what we’ve been talking about her at Fellowship. Thank you so much for being here during this cold weekend. Wow, it’s unusually cold, is it not? Also, it’s spring break for a lot of people. Yes! You’ve got to love spring break. I had slow feet growing up athletically and coaches, they kind of got in my grill and told me I needed to purchase a jump rope, which I did. And I started skipping rope. How many people in here enjoy skipping rope? Well, not very many because it’s really hard. I understand that. It’ll mess you up. Ten minutes of jumping rope will wear you out. I thought I would try to jump some rope today and show you a trick that a boxer taught me several years ago. Well, I can tell you’d like for me to demonstrate. I can tell from your enthusiasm, but, I’ll go ahead and do it. Now these are shoes, too, dress shoes. You got to help a brother out. That’s it. So today, for a 55-year-old, my feet are pretty quick. They are. Jumping rope.
The rope is the standard. In other words, when I use this rope it pretty much flies under my feet and because it flies under my feet that means I’m in the air. So I jump and I land. I leap and I land. This is the standard, the Bible is the standard, for what we should land on and what we should leap over. It sounds a little bit unique but when you really consider it, it’s not. Most of us don’t jump right. Most of us don’t skip enough. Most of us don’t hop through life. This book, the Bible, teaches us in no uncertain terms how to land on the significant and skip over the superfluous. Isn't it true that a lot of us spend too much time stuck in the secondary of life and we miss the primary? If we go through life, if we follow what God wants for our lives, and God wants the best for our lives, we will have the discernment and the opportunity to skip over the superfluous, land on the significant, and the significant will always lead to the magnificent.
One of the things I love about Scripture and this Bible is my standard and your standard, the thing I love about Scripture is the Bible comes out and just gives us our priorities. Really, when it comes to what should be important in your life and mine, we shouldn’t really pray about it. It’s really wasting our time and God’s time as well. It’s kind of a dumb prayer, I know that sounds weird but it is. Because the Bible says our priorities basically are God’s principles and we should commit – it’s your choice and mine – to carry these things out. So God’s principles are my priorities, whether I like them or not. And by commitment I carry them out. When God says no in your life and mine, he says no for your protection. When God says yes he says it for our perfection. We have to know the no’s and know the yes’s.
Well, there’s a guy in the Bible named Moses, and many times when we think about Moses we think, come on, Ed. Seriously? How can I relate to this guy? Movies were made about him. People name their kids after Moses. He’s in the Hall of Faith. He was one of the great men of God to ever live and all that is true. Yet, the Bible tells us that Moses struggled with some of the issues that we all deal with. And today I want to kind of get into some of those issues, because he had a tough time skipping. He had a tough time hopping and a tough time jumping. Someone was able to get up in his grill and tell Moses, “Hey, Moses. Here’s what God has in store for you. And if you wake up and smell the coffee, if you begin to allow the Bible to be your standard, you can land on the most important stuff, the primary, and skip over the secondary. But Moses,” this guy said, “you’re stuck in the secondary.”
Israel, God’s chosen people, the Jews, had been freed up from Egyptian slavery. They’d been enslaved for 400 long years. Moses led them through the Red Sea. God parted it, and they were on their way, the Bible says, to the Promised Land. What’s so funny about this trip is it would take a couple of guys backpacking maybe two days to walk from the Red Sea to where Moses was camped, but it took the Israelites two months. And if you want to talk about followers on social media? Like that Moses had 2 million followers. They were just following after him. And you would think the people would be so excited. You’d think they’d be going, wow, this is the greatest thing ever! We’re freed up from slavery! But people get negative. Have you ever noticed that? If you get people together anywhere, any time, we have a tendency to go a little bit rogue, to complain, to whine. And God’s people, the children of Israel, it was like taking your kids, mom and dad, on a road trip.
Have you ever realized that life is never static? The truth is, our lives are a continual journey of up and down, back and forth, here and there. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, we are in constant motion, moving from one point to another. It’s true in our relationships, careers, education, finances, and every other area. The question we have to ask is, “Am I deliberate about getting where God wants me to be?” This new series by Pastor Ed Young will help us all be intentional in our journey. As we will discover, the next destination in life is often just a hop, skip, and a jump away!