Moses Shines – Exodus 31-34

Read Exodus 31-34

While Moses could not see it, his face shined brilliantly when he descended from the mountain after forty days and forty nights in God’s presence. I have had a picture in my mind of Moses’ face shining brightly since I first read this account as a young boy. It is easy for me to recall, even now. It must have been a remarkable thing for the Israelite people to see. Moses’ face was bright because of God’s glory.

Throughout the pages of Scripture, you’ll find the glory of God is revealed to the people of God. For example, Jesus appeared in His full glory before three of His disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration; it was a breath-taking sight to behold. In today’s reading, God comes down at Mount Sinai and the people see a cloud. God speaks out of the cloud, and everyone is afraid. So Moses goes up the mountain alone and he prays, “Show me your glory, your perfect, brilliant, bright, infinite greatness and unimaginable beauty.” God responds to Moses: “and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen” (Exodus 33:22-23). Again, Moses’ face radiated because of His time alone in speaking with God (Exodus 34:29).

What is the glory of God? The glory of God speaks of God’s splendor, beauty, magnificence, or radiance. For example, Psalm 19 says the heavens tell of the glory of God, the stars tell us something of the glory of God, the ocean tells us something of the glory of God. They’re all signs of the glory of God. But they are nothing like what we see in today’s story.

Compare Jesus’ Transfiguration for a moment with Moses’ experience seeing God’s glory. While Moses reflected the glory of God, Jesus produces the glory of God. Where Moses reflected the glory of God like the moon reflects the sun, Jesus produces the glory of God for it emanates from Him.

Jesus is the exact representation of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). He is not a reflection of God’s glory. Instead, He Himself is the source of the glory of God. Jesus is the ultimate way to understand who God is. Nothing surpasses Him. Jesus is the exact, perfect, unsurpassable, final representation of who God is. He is not a partial radiance of God’s glory; He is the exact radiance of His glory.

There are two ways to see the glory of Jesus. One day, we will see His glory by sight when we enter into eternity, but now, believers see Him by faith (see 1 Peter 1:8). We don’t get to see all of Him here on earth, but we get a preview and taste of Him and what is to come. Yet, no person gets to see the glory of Jesus in eternity who has not first seen His glory on earth by faith. You need God’s grace to see God’s glory. Where the soul is not previously seasoned with grace and faith, it is not capable of seeing God’s glory. Do not deceive yourself: if you do not see a sneak-peak of His glory here on earth, you will not see it in the hereafter.

A Prayer Following the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

Dear God,

Great and awesome God, there is no one like you. Your power is unlimited and you are good to your very core. Everything about you is holy and perfect. You are just and righteous in all your ways. You are clothed in splendor and majesty. You are in control of everyone and everything – nothing escapes your purview.

Your people have sinned. I have sinned. We have done wrong and rebelled against your commands. We have turned aside from your law and we have called what is wrong right (Isaiah 5:20). Your words have been read in our churches, in public, and in our homes and yet we have spurned your grace and kindness in order to go our own way. You spoke in order to save us from despair but we thought we knew better than you. We have not listened or obeyed you. We have pushed you away.

We confess the sin of pride, adultery, and divorce. Your way is for a man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife so that the two become one flesh (Mark 10:6-9). Your commands were given as guardrails to prevent us from careening into the caverns of our misery and depression. You have told your people that you hate divorce and yet we have divorced our husbands and wives and we have acted unfaithfully. We trade partners like it is nothing. Our schoolteachers are asked to educate children who come from broken homes. They are asked to do miracles with test scores when the children do not even know whom their fathers are – the modern day equivalent of making more bricks with less straw (Exodus 5:7-8). We have made a mess of our families so that many younger people refuse even to marry in favor of living together. We have a generation that suspects that no one can remain married for a lifetime, refusing the vows of marriage in favor of a lifetime of serial monogamy. The cynicism of this generation is ours and ours alone. We have forsaken your way. We deserve to pay for our sins.

We confess the sin of pornography and lust before you. Nude and seminude images are everywhere in our day. Marketers cannot sell cereal without appealing to sex and parading pornographic images in front of everyone. Erotic images are in checkout stands, splashed across Internet pages, and paraded in front of television screens. Men have treated woman as if they are playthings and women have suffered the consequences. We confess the sin of violence and domestic abuse that our evil fantasies have produced. We confess mothers refusing to teach their daughters decency, wearing clothes in public that are not appropriate. We confess the sin of lust. We confess our worship of sexual pleasure. We have lost decency itself. We deserve to pay for our sins.

We confess the sin of pride and homosexuality. In past days, there was a clear line between what was right and wrong but that is no more. Today we have blurred these lines and teach our children to be gender-neutral. We have refused to make moral judgments and traded your standards for a revolving door of moral opinions. We live in a day where truth is “spinned” and we refuse to blush. You made us in your image as man and woman but we have rejected and spurned your way, feeling like we are smarter than you. All across our land we celebrate our sin and flaunt it. We confess our pride and arrogance before you. We as a nation are committing moral and spiritual suicide. We have reached the lowest rung on the moral ladder and broken through it, hell-bent on inventing new evil. Satan is delighted with us and we deserve to pay for our sins.

We confess our arrogance and lack of love for sinners. Just like the Pharisees, we have lifted up ourselves as better than others. We have failed to recognize that pride can slip in the back door and make us “moral” self-righteous sinners. We have thought of ourselves as morally superior to others and spoken hateful things to hurting people. Many of us have perversely enjoyed discussing how deplorable society around us. We have truly failed to understand that if were not for the grace of God we would be miserable wretches. We have failed to truly grasp the power of your grace. Our churches have failed to reach out to the hurting and offer them the hope of the gospel of your grace. We have turned inward in selfishness with inflated egos of self-righteousness, refusing to welcome sinners. Instead, we have looked down our noses at other sinners thinking we are better than others. We deserve to pay for our sins.

We recognize that there is pain and misery in our midst. Families are hurting, couples are suffering, and singles are often lonely and bewildered. All of this sadness while our children go abandoned. We hang our heads in shame and know that the consequences and misery of our sin is ours alone (Galatians 6:7). We confess that your wrath is just and righteous. Righteousness belongs to you but to us belongs open shame (Daniel 9:7). We confess that each one of us have rebelled against you.

But we plead with you to forgive us, Lord, for we are ashamed of what we have become. We blush to even lift our faces to you for our sins rise high above us (Ezra 9:6). Please do forsake us. Please do not give us what we deserve. We weep before you and turn to Jesus for forgiveness, for hope, and for help. For your sake, we ask that you save us from our sins and give mercy to your people. Make your face shine upon us again. Lord, pay attention to the prayers of your people.

We beg you to make our nation’s laws reflect your principles. Give us justice based on your laws. Grant us judges that are courageous and truthful. Give us men and women of God who seek the best for our nation by humbling themselves before you. Do not let wickedness rule in our land so that poor are marginalized and the helpless have no solace (Proverbs 29:2). Do not delay, Lord, but hear our cries for mercy.

Restore us to walk in your way and grant us repentance (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Turn your people, your church, and our nation back to walk in sexual faithfulness. Turn us away from wandering eyes and move our hearts to follow after you in faithfulness to one another. Rid us of lust, pornography, divorce, adultery, and homosexuality. Lord, hear our cries for mercy. Do not delay but act for your sake because we are your people, who are called by your name.

Place your hand on our marriages and make them strong again. O Father, give us godly families! Raise up fathers and mothers who humbly confess their sin before you and seek your grace. Cause husbands to love their wives as your Son loved his church (Ephesians 5:25). Be merciful to the women and wives of our land and provide them meek, loving fathers who will protect them. Give us wise sages for mothers who teach modesty and inner-beauty to the next generation of young ladies. We ask that you compel us to restore the hour of family worship throughout the nation. Lord, we ask that you do not delay but act for your sake because we are your people, who are called by your name.

Shine brightly in our churches so they would welcome sinners with your love. Provide us leaders who speak, live, and breath the gospel of your grace and righteousness throughout our land. Give us men who are more afraid of offending you than suffering the displeasure of others – we do not need more people pleasers! Steel us against suffering that evil men bring our way and give us strength to stand for righteousness and truth. May your very presence descend on us as we read the words of God (Isaiah 55:11). Live again in your people with power and conviction as we long to see the muscle of the Holy Spirit in our churches again! Do this, Lord, for your glory so that many people may worship you. Speed up your coming to us, O Lord, for we are in desperate need. Lord, hear our cries for mercy. Do not delay but come quickly to help your people. For your sake, revive us. For your glory, shape us.

In Jesus’ Name I ask you for this,

Amen.

Praying for the Lost by Name

The Bible consistently speaks of two groups of people, those who know Christ and those who have rejected Christ (Matthew 25:31-41; Romans 1:16). To know Christ is to experience His love and mercy by acknowledging your sin and placing your faith in Jesus Christ’s death on the cross (Romans 5:1-2). Jesus died for sinners to experience God’s grace rather than suffer the torment of hell itself (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). This is foundational to the gospel message. Evangelical believers everywhere believe that God has commanded them to share the good news that Jesus died for sinners so each person can have the opportunity to love God and to experience His mercy (Matthew 28:18-20). We cannot rest until everyone knows the life-changing message of the gospel.

Because it is so urgent that everyone would know Christ and His mercy, I am leading our church to pray for three friends, co-workers, neighbor, or family members by name. There is maintenance praying where we pray for the physical needs of Christians and the church. But there is also frontline praying, where we pray for a zeal to spread God’s grace to the unchurched. I am calling on our church for frontline praying, where God stirs our heart and soul to see a revival His grace among people who have yet to call on Christ as Lord and Savior.

So, I am asking each person in our church family to join me in praying for three unchurched persons. Specifically, these are three people who have yet to place their faith in Jesus Christ. This time of prayer can by done as a family, with a prayer partner, or even as you walk through your street, business area, school, or neighborhood. You can pray at home or join together during Sunday morning Bible study groups. In essence, this is a quiet time when you push away from the world to seek the Lord on behalf of your friends.

Our time in prayer is designed to invite God’s Spirit to move against Satan who desires to deceive and distort people to the truth of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4). This time is also designed for you to pray for your sensitivity to others. Yes, we are asking the Lord to draw our unchurched friends to Himself but we are also asking the Lord to grant us a renewed sense of compassion and boldness to share God’s love. I encourage you to ask the Lord to give you wisdom to know what to say when opportunities present itself (Philemon 6).

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The Cross at NRHBC

As you enter our building, you will see a cross with names on the top of it. These names were placed on the cross during a special Sunday evening prayer time on September 8. This time was devoted to praying for our unchurched friends and love ones. The names are just some of the people we are praying for in the next few months.

I invite and challenge you to add the names of your friends from school, co-workers, family members, and neighbors to the cross as well in the coming days. I want to see this cross completely filled in the coming days. Place the names of children who have yet to know Christ. Write down the names of people through our bus ministry who have yet to profess Christ. Or, jot down the names of Spanish-speaking friends who are near to you that God may add to our Spanish-speaking service at 10:45.

So take a few minutes before or after worship in the new few Sundays and quietly place the names of people you are praying for on the cross. Write the names down on business card and place this in a prominent place to remind you to pray for them regularly. Join me in asking God to draw much of the mid-cities of Dallas/Fort Worth to Jesus Christ in the days to come (John 6:44). Examine carefully the cross as you pass by it and consider it a holy place, dedicated to God. Pray with me for the names found there and pray that we would experience a revival of God’s spreading God’s rich grace toward sinners (Matthew 9:35-37).

Let’s saturate our community, streets, businesses, schools, and family in prayer. Let’s ask the Lord to give us a compassion and zeal to reach the lost in the DFW metroplex. Let’s see an awakening where multitudes of people experience the grace of God in the coming days.

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