He spoke with the cutest accent.
Like a leprechaun-for-Jesus, he shared stories that included “wee trolleys” and all sorts of other adorable phrases not normally heard in American sermons.
Our youth group fell in love with Patrick Mead this weekend, and if you’re looking for a fresh voice to inspire you and pull you closer to Jesus,
I highly recommend listening to one of his sermons by clicking here.
One of Patrick’s messages at ICOM this weekend centered around the question,
“To whom are we bowing?”
He shared the story of Moses approaching Pharoah about letting the Israelites go, and how every time Pharoah defiantly replied with a one-word answer –
Pharoah refused to release the Israelites.
Pharoah chose to turn his back on God and cling to the gods of Egypt, so
God sent plague after plague to demonstrate his power over the Egyptian gods.
Again and again,
God showed the Israelites how the god of frogs, beetles, the earth, fertility, light, and on and on had no strength or power when placed next to Him –
the one and only Living God.
Again and again,
they resisted and finally, as a last resort, God sent the angel of death to take the firstborn sons of every family in the land.
There’s nothing quite like the death of someone we love to get our attention,
draw us back to the core of our existence,
cause us to stop and truly look at our life and ask,
“To whom am I bowing?”
We can all remember exact days and times and even places that mark the spot where we heard the news that we had lost a friend, a family member, a neighbor.
We can even remember where we were when many famous people’s lives ended,
because even though we had never met,
they had shared life with us through their work either as a musician or actor or politician.
For me, the list is long.
I hold many specific memories in my heart that involve loss,
but none are as poignant as the losses of my daughter Adrienne or my son Nick.
In those two moments,
my life changed direction forever and in both instances I was left with one question,
“To whom am I bowing?”
If I chose to bow toward anything but God,
I found myself coming up short because death needs answers, and I’ve found nothing on this planet or no one on this earth who can hold a candle to what God offers in the face of death.
I think Pharoah realized this too when he woke to find his oldest son dead on that morning long ago in Egypt.
I think he knew in a very deep sense that he was up against more than “just another god,” and if he had any kind of intelligence,
he’d better release the Israelites……………….and then deal with his grief.
Crying out to the god of frogs or beetles surely seemed pointless in that moment.
I have to believe that for at least a few minutes,
Pharoah found himself face-to-face with the one true and living God and in that brief encounter realized there was really nowhere else to go.
Have you lost someone you love?
Have you had to face your worst nightmare?
And in those moments of anguish and all the days following them,
I have learned that bowing to God is the only option that makes sense.
He is the author of life and death.
He gives and takes away.
He sees our every tear and is close to us in our brokenness.
But most of all………………………..
He is the author of eternity and He offers hope that goes way beyond our lifespan.
He stands with arms wide open and offers eternal life……………..eternal peace.
Today, we all have a choice as we move forward with life.
To whom are we bowing?
Money comes and goes.
Careers do too.
Friends can let us down without even trying.
Family can too.
Life is fleeting.
Death will come and it will demand answers.
There are so many ways we can choose to bow, but in time they will all come up lacking.
Bow towards God today.
He will deliver you.
He will free you from anything that is holding you back in this life.
He will give you freedom from any type of bondage you are facing.
He is the great I Am.
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’”