Title:  Conversion


Summary:  God redeems his people to himself so that they can be what they were meant to be.  God say that of everything he has created, we are his special treasure and have been set apart and dedicated as a kingdom of priests for him.  As Christians, we fulfill this God-given purpose through caring, sharing, and serving.


Text:  Ex 19:1-6


Scripture Reading: 2 Tim 1:8-10



1.  Ever had lobster?  What do you think of with lobster?  Sign of prosperity

          a.  Learn about about Lobster on lobstering fishing trip in Maine

          b.  New shelled lobster the best, sweet, not survive transport, so local

               fisherman catch for local restaurant

          c.  Who ever thought of eating lobster the first time?

                    - Exoskeleton - Basically sea bugs, not appetizing looking

                    - Originally eating lobster seen as a sing of poverty

                    - Used as bait or fertilizer, but only poor people at them

                    - Poor people saw them as a gift from God, free, plentiful food

          d.  Found it to be tasty, not people pay extra for good lobster

2.  Cut of meat - "Little belt", diaphragm muscle of cow - considered worthless

          a.  Thrown away, or scraps for dogs or sold to pet food companies

          b.  1950s, Mexican cowboys worked in Texas, fed cheaply as possible

          c.  A Mexican cook noticed them throwing away little belt

                    - Asked if he could have it for his ranch hands

                    - Found a way to marinate it and tenderize it

                    - Became a hit among the Mexican ranch hands

          d.  Later featured it at fairs, grilled and wrapped in tortillas

                    - Immediately a hit everywhere he went

                    - Everyone wanted more of the "little belt/strap" meat

                    - Mexican word for "little belt" --- "Fajita"

3.  Interesting how something of no value becomes the rage and desirable

          a.  This is what God does for his people

          b.  Went from a despised slave class to the people of God

          c.  God extended his favor to them redeems them

          d.  God cares for them after crossing of the sea with water, manna, and

     military defense

4.  Now they are at the mountain of God where he recharacterizes them

          a.  No longer slaves, no longer aliens with no land or home

          b.  (Text - Ex 19:1-6)

          c.  God tells them who they are now that then have been redeemed

          d.  This tells us how we are recharacterized when redeemed


I.  A Holy Nation

          A.  You are not average, not nobody, you are holy

          B.  What does this mean?

                    1.  Means Different, set apart (1 Cor 6:9-11)

a.  Such were some of you, but you were sanctified

                              b.  Sanctified means to be made holy

                              c.  No longer act, think, or speak in the same way

                    2.  Means Dedicated, devoted to

                              a.  Not change because it is nice, but for God

                              b.  Sometimes see phrase, "Holy to the Lord"

                                        - Means devoted, dedicated to the Lord

                                        - It has been repurposed for God

                              c.  (2 Tim 1:9) - saved us and called us with a holy calling,

     not according to our works, but according to His own


                              d.  If holy to the Lord, then we serve his purposes

                    3.  This is why we call it "conversion"

          C.  ILL:  (2 Tim 2:20-21) We have many kinds of vessels in a house

                    1.  v.21 - Some a "sanctified" vessels.  What that mean?

                    2.  Some are dedicated, devoted for a specific purpose

                    3.  In our house

                              a.  Pink sippy cup - That is for Rae Rae

                              b.  No one else to drink from it

                              c.  Not use for dog dish

                              d.  Keep it clean and ready for Rae Rae to use

                    4.  This is what is means to be holy

          D.  We have been made holy, converted, repurposed for God

                    1.  We no longer what we were before

                    2.  We are different

                    3.  Next point gets into what our purpose is to be.


II.  Kingdom of Priests

          A.  This is God's way of telling them he has a specific purpose for them

          B.  But I thought only the Levites were priests?  Calls them all priests!

                    1.  What is God communicating to them?

                    2.  What is a priest? 

                              a.  Priest is was set apart - Ex 28:36-37

                                        - Turban said hwhyl ?wdq - "Holy to Yahweh"

                                        - Set apart to fulfill God's purposes

                              b.  Acts as a bridge between people and God

                                        - Ex 28:6-21 - Wore names of 12 tribes on two onyx

                                           stones on his shoulders on ephod

                                        - Lev 16 Offer sacrifices to bring people and God


                                        - Lev - Inspected for purity, clean and unclean and

                                           prescribed means of purification by Torah

                                        - Mal 2:4-7 - Levites & priests to instruct the people

                    3.  So the people/Israel was to be a bridge to God?

                              a.  Look at purpose God stated for plagues

                                        - Ex 6:7 - That you shall know I am Yahweh

                                        - Ex 7:6 - Egyptians shall know I am Yahweh

                                        - 9:16 - To proclaim my name to whole earth

                                        - Through Israel, God will make self known

                              b.  We see an instance of this in Ex 18:7-12 with Jethro

                                        - Was priest in Midian, probably served other gods

                                        - Moses told his all the God had done

                                        - 18:10-11 - "Blessed be Yahweh who delivered you

                                          from Pharaoh and Egypt, Now I know that Yahweh is

                                           greater than all the other gods"

                                        - Then Jethro offered sacrifice to God

                    4.  God's people would be a light for God in the world

                              a.  Started with the promise to Abraham

- Gen 12:3 - In you all the families of the earth will be


- Gen 22:18 - In your seed all the nations of the earth

   shall be blessed

                              b. He would give them Torah, his instruction to live by

                                        - This set them apart, the Torah was different

                                        - Most humane of laws of the nations at the time

                                        - Reflects a God who cares for people

                              c.  God had the whole world in mind when he chose Israel

- Ps 86:9 All nations whom You have made shall

  come and worship before You, O Lord, And they

  shall glorify Your name.

- Mal 1:11 - From the rising of the sun even to its

  setting, my name will be great among the nations

- Is 42:6 "I am the LORD, I have called You (my

  servant) in righteousness, I will also hold You by the

  hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as

  a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations,

d.  Ezek 36:20-36 - Israel, God's servant, failed

Ezek 36:23 "I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD," declares the Lord GOD, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.

- They profaned the name of God among the nations

- God promised he would cleanse them and give a

  new heart & put his spirit in them & they would obey

- Then the nations will know he is Yahweh

- Fulfilled in Christ who cleansed us & sent the Spirit

                              e.  This is what it means to be a nation of priests - make God

                                     known among the nations/gentiles

          C.  ILL:  Might be best to think of us more as a sign rather than a bridge

                    1.  Why?  Jesus is the mediator, he is the bridge, 1 Tim 2:5

                    2.  A sign just shows the way to the bridge

                    3.  All along journey are various kinds of signs showing where to go

          D.  Bible says that the church is God's priesthood - we do same thing

                    1.  We are the road sign to help people find the bridge

                    2.  How do we do this?  By following example of our High Priest

                              a.  Jesus served people in many ways

                              b.  Fed the hungry, tended to the sick, loved people

                              c.  Shared the word of God with them

                    3.  This is part of purpose of food pantry

                              a.  Trying to do as Jesus did

                              b.  Feed the body, so can have opportunity to feed the soul

                    4.  We are God's priesthood, set apart to serve his purposes which

     involves the world


III.  My Treasured Possession

          A.  Other translations - My own possession, peculiar treasure, special


                    1.  Idea is something of special value

                    2.  hL*g|s= segulla3h Examples of use in other places

                              a.  1 Chr 29:3 - David said "The treasure I have of gold and

                                   silver I give to the house of my God."

                              b.  Eccl 2:8 - "I collected gold and silver and the treasure of


                              c.  "Treasure" is something valuable

                    3.  God calls his people his treasure

                              a.  Dt 7:6 - Yahweh has chosen you to be his treasure

                              b.  Dt 14:2 - Yahweh has chosen you to be his special

                                   treasure out of all the peoples on the face of the earth

                              c.  Dt 26:18 - Yahweh has affirmed/declared you as his

                                   special treasure

                              d.  This passages in Dt is referring to Exodus 19

          B.  God is saying that you mean a lot, you are precious to him

                    1.  Bible uses many ways to express our value to God

                    2.  One way is through image of marriage (Isa 62:3-5)

                              a.  God uses marriage to express how important you are to


                              b.  Not a date, not betrothal, but commitment of marriage

                              c.  Not just marital love, but YOUNG marital love

                                        - As a groom delights in his bride

                                        - God will delight in you like that

          C.  ILL:  For many married couples, things not the same as when young

                    1.  There was a couple, married for awhile, wife became depressed

                              a.  There was no light in her eyes, she moped around

                              b.  She was not the same person she used to be

                    2.  Husband took her to see Psychologist, who could tell the

                         problem after visiting with them

                              a.  Doctor stood, walked to her chair, had her stand

                              b.  He took her hands, looked into her eyes a long time

                              c.  Then he gathered her into his arms with a warm hug         

                    3.  Could see the change in her almost immediately

                              a.  Her mood softened, she relaxed

                              b.  Her eyes brightened up

                    4.  Doctor turned to the husband, "see, that's all she needs"

                              a.  Husband nodded, and was deep in thought

                              b.  Husband replied, "Okay, so I'll bring her in on Tuesdays

                                   and Thursdays, but I play golf on the other days

                              c.  No wonder whe was depressed

                    5.  Young love seems almost effortless, sweet, delightful, don't

                         have to work at it

                              a.  Many want to rekindle it when it cools off

                              b.  Sometimes we see young couples and say, "Remember

                                   when we were like that?"

                              c.  Then we talk about, "Why are we not like that any more?"

          D.  God says loving you will never get old - delight in you like newlywed

                    1.  Think about the imagery

                              a.  Can tell how long couple married by reaction when

                                   spouse walks in a room

                              b.  Young couples are delighted to wake up next to each

                                    other in the morning

                              c.  Can't wait to get off on Friday so can go out with spouse

                              d.  Spend a lot of time concocting ways to surprise and

                                    delight your spouse

                    2.  God says that is how it will be between his people and him

                              a.  That's why his calls his people his bride

                              b.  Ps 17:8 You are the apple of his eye

                              c.  Hos 11 - You are his child whom he loves

                    3.  Isa 49:16 - I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands

                              a.  Ever known anyone who inscribed a name on selves?

                              b.  ILL:  Uncle Arch - "Rose" on arm, but aunt name is Yoshi

                                        - Asked him about it.  It was a girlfriend

                                        - Thought she was the one

                                        - He said never to get name tattooed on you

                                        - Eventually had it surgically removed

                              c.  Not with God, your name inscribed on his hands

                              d.  He will never forget you

                    4.  You are precious to God



1.  You are much more valuable that a fajita or a lobster dinner

2.  God paid more than cost of expensive dinner, paid with blood of his son (inv)

3.  If you have obeyed, you are precious & set apart as part of God's priesthood

4.  (1 Pet 2:9-12) You are God's holy possession, royal priesthood

          a.  Proclaim his excellencies - share Jesus with others, tell Gospel story

          b.  Do so in your speech, in your behavior, compassion for others

          c.  Look at our motto in the bulletin, it expresses this - We are a Christ

     centered family, learning, caring, and sharing