Glow in the Dark
There are many “rooms” you can spend your time in as a Christian. Listen and find out the room that will help you best glow in this dark world.
(Start with Rescue Series Slide)
Morning. My name is David Sorn. I’m the Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
Morning to you.
Thanks for coming to pray for the Vikings this morning.
You know, we have a long-time member of our staff, actually an original Launch Team member of our church, Ryan Speck, who is a die-hard, Eagles Fan.
He even has Eagles SOCKS and SHOES on this morning.
And so, if you could also pray for him this morning, that he would see the light J
Before we get into Exodus this morning, I want to update you on our next outreach.
We are PASSIONATE about finding creative ways to reach people for Christ and make your invitations easier for your friends who don’t know Jesus yet.
So we are once again doing our successful event, Polar Picnic this year…just 3 weeks from today, on February 11th
(Polar Picnic Slide)
On that day, we will be offering a FREE Jimmy John’s Lunch for everyone after each of our THREE services that day…with free jimmy john’s sandwiches, chips, fruit, and cookies.
But new this year, we will be offering, FREE Horse Drawn Wagon Rides after every service!
How cool is that?!?
I know that you know some families, that don’t know Jesus yet, and their kids would LOVE this.
It’s not something you can find just anywhere.
It’s something fun to do in the dead of winter.
And, let me let you in on a little secret: We’re not doing this for you.
Please come, but we’re doing this…as a way to help people feel more comfortable about trying church again...and meeting Jesus!
So, please, start praying about whom you can invite.
Let God use you to change someone’s life!
INTRODUCTION / THE PASSAGE
(back to Rescue series slide)
All right, let’s get in to the Book of Exodus.
Sadly enough, this is our 2nd to last week in the Book of Exodus
We’re going to finish Exodus up 2 weeks from now, as next week, we have a VERY special Guest Speaker coming in.
Titus Wafula Wanyonyi will be here.
Titus is one of most liked and listened to Guest Speakers of all time here at Renovation.
Titus is actually from Kenya, and is now in the United States for a little bit.
He’s known for having the deepest voice in the world, and he brings an incredibly challenging perspective on the Word of God.
DO NOT MISS that next week.
It’s an honor for us to have an African Pastor speaking the Word to us.
This week’s message is a bit of a continuation of last week’s…as we dive deeper into the topic of God’s presence.
Last week, we took a look at the first half of Exodus 33.
God had rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, but as they got impatient, they decided to “revise God” and worship a golden calf instead
Then God threatened to not go with them to the Promised Land, and Moses and the people begged God.
Their prayer was, “Not without you. The promised land isn’t the promised land…without you”
And we’re going to pick up today right where we left off last week
Moses is begging God for His presence to go with the people to the Promised Land, and God says He will go.
Then, Moses makes a bold request regarding God’s presence.
Check this out:
(Exodus 33:18-23) – NIV
18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
(Start showing “Glow in the Dark” slide)
So Moses prays, “Show me your glory!”
Glory, in Hebrew (the language in which this is written) means “The splendor of God. His unmatched magnificence. His incomparable power.
God says, “Okay, you can see my glory, but you’re going to have to hide behind a rock when I come by…and only look at my back…
“Because my Glory is so magnificent, it would consume you if you saw it in its fullness”
We then read in the beginning of Chapter 34 that God does indeed pass by…and afterwards, He gives Moses more commands for the covenant…and reiterates some other commands He has already given.
And Moses stays up on the mountain for ANOTHER 40 days with God.
When he comes back down after these 40 days, here’s what happens:
(Exodus 34:29-35) – NIV
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.31 But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. 32 Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai.
33 When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord.
So every time that Moses meets with God…he comes back down the mountain and his face is glowing. .
The people can VISIBLY see that He is different; that he’s been meeting with God.
And the Bible wants that to be your story too.
Some of you maybe grew up in churches that did benedictions at the end of the service.
Where the pastor or priest would raise his hands and bless the people as they went out.
One of the most famous benedictions comes from the Book of Numbers
(Numbers 6:24-26) – NIV
24 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
It’s the same idea of Exodus 34.
That if you’re in God’s presence, your face should glow.
Jesus teaches the same thing in his Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament.
(Matthew 5:14-16) – NIV
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
ROOMS WITHOUT LAMPS
Throughout Scripture, the Bible is incredibly clear in its teaching that there is ONE way to shine your light and let others see your face glow.
In order for us to shine, we need to first spend time in the presence of God.
Just like with Moses, God is the one that turns us into a light…that makes us glow
When I was a kid, I LOVED glow in the dark toys.
My parents even gave me a GLO WORM as a baby…
I was obsessed with glow in the dark toys as an elementary kid.
I’m not sure my kids are as impressed with glow in the dark technology…but it’s not like we had the internet in the 1980’s.
But I can remember taking my glow in the dark toys, and sitting, for what felt like hours, while I held it right under the lamp…
Holding it so close my mom most likely said, “Don’t light the house on fire!”
And then, I would run into the bathroom, slam the door shut in complete darkness, and paydirt! Your toy would amazingly glow in the dark!
Friends, this is how Scripture says our relationship with God is supposed to work.
We sit…at his feet…in his presence.
We say, like Moses, “Show me your glory”
And when you do this…you spend time, quality time in the presence of God…you will glow.
You will glow in the dark.
This world seems to get darker each year, and what it needs, is for people like you and I to glow.
But here’s the thing, so many of us are going about this the wrong way:
I believe that our intentions aren’t all that bad…
I believe many of us truly do want to grow in our relationship with God
I believe many of us truly do want to impact the world.
But our process isn’t all that Biblical
Think of it like walking down a hallway.
(SHOW HALLWAY DRAWING)
There are four rooms you could enter, but only one has light.
There’s the “Accomplishment Room,” and many Christians spend a lot of time in this room.
Thinking, “God, I can impact this dark world…if I just do a lot for you.”
If I serve others, if I’m hospitable, if I’m generous, if I start this and do that
There are a lot of busy Christians out there.
“If I put in my time on the set-up team, and volunteer in children’s ministry, and I once in a while take out the trash at work……”
But there is no light in the “Accomplishment Room”
If you try and change the world with your own ideas and your own strength, people will not see you glow.
They will only see you.
They might even wrongly give YOU the credit.
Others spend most of their time in the “Morality Room”
Christians have really struggled with this over the centuries.
We want to show this dark world that we are different, and so we surmise that the best way to do it is by working really hard to be “moral”… to be “good”
And so we…cancel HBO, clean up our language, put filters on our computers, and dump our alcohol down the drain…
And may the world notice how different we are!
And yet, there’s no light in that room either.
Often, the world sees those in the “Morality Room” as simply people with their noses in the air.
Others spend most of their time in the “Education Room”
They think, “If I could just study, take every School of Theology class, if I could just learn everything about God …then, I could impact my world”
And, yet as the scripture says, “knowledge (by itself) seems to just “puff up”
Puff up our pride.
Because there’s no light in the “Education Room”
Still others get closer to Throne Room.
By the way, Christians often use the terminology of “The Throne Room” to describe the process of deeply seeking God’s presence.
That we picture God on the throne.
And we come to Him prayer and ask…just for Him.
Some of us get close to the Throne Room, but still not quite there.
We leave the other 3 rooms, but we still stand in the hallway and yell demands through the door!
“God, I want this, I want that, fix this, change that…”
But that’s not it either.
There’s no light in the hallway.
If you want to glow in the dark, you’ve got to get to throne room.
That’s what we see from Moses in Exodus 33 & 34, and that’s what we see in the pattern of Scripture
All of those other rooms, are good, and important, and even HOLY things…but (hear me very clearly) only in the right order.
There’s no light in those other rooms without going to the throne room first.
But if you go to the throne room…
And every day, you’re getting in the presence of God…you’re seeking Him out.
You’re saying to him each morning, “not without you” today, God…
Then guess what…
Like a “glow in the dark” object…when you then move from the throne room into the other rooms throughout your day…
You bring the light.
You’re still glowing.
And now, there’s light in the education room.
God’s glowing within you…
And God’s Word is illuminated to you…it’s not just words
And now, there’s light in the morality room.
God’s empowering you to live for Him
It’s not just you going, “I should, I should, I should…”
And now, there’s light in the accomplishment room
God’s empowering you to do His will
Where people used to think we were just putting on a show, now…they see a Godly glow.
But it all starts, just like it did for Moses…it all starts in the throne room, where the light is.
Is that your strategy?
Are you spending time in the throne room…seeking His presence under the light?
This is why I love what Moses says in Exodus 33:16. Look again at verses 15 & 16 from last week
(Exodus 33:15-16) – NIV - Leave verse up until it says “glow in the dark slide”
15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
What else will distinguish me?
It His presence!
It’s HIM…glowing in you.
(Back to “Glow in the Dark” slide)
When you come to Him first…and every day…you Seek His presence, things can be different in your life.
And for many of us, that starts with a complete rethinking of our prayer lives.
That yes, you would still, ask Him for things…
But what if that was the last 5% of your prayer time…instead of 100% of it.
What if you could incorporate in worship music to your prayer life…and Seek His presence…and Give Him praise.
What if you would first go through all the things He’s already done for you, instead of just asking Him to do more for you?
What if…we would just be quiet…instead of talking?
Most of us…are NOT very skilled at seeking His presence.
But you won’t truly glow in the dark if you’re just shouting from the hallway.
And you won’t truly glow in the dark if you’re never still.
If I take a glow-in-the-dark toy, and instead of holding it steady under the lamp, I just wave it around…it won’t glow.
And for so many of us…that’s us!
We never stop moving!
What if you just STOPPED…and sat at the foot of his throne for a while when you prayed?
Nowadays, if you look online or in a Christian bookstore for how to connect with God, you’ll mostly see things catered to the typical American.
“Connecting with Jesus on the Go!”
“How to pray on the run!”
And yet, most of us, just need to stop, sit down, and say, “SHOW ME YOUR GLORY”
I’m not saying those other things are bad (pray w/o ceasing), but they’re just not conducive to intimacy and transformation.
WHAT GOD CAN DO THROUGH GLOWING PEOPLE
Are you going to the right room?
Are you sitting under God’s lamp…and letting that glow permeate the rest of your life?
Are other people seeing His glow in your life?
And think again of the glow in the dark toy, no matter how much time the toy is under the lamp, eventually, it still starts to go dark, if it doesn’t get back under the light.
We all need a plan to be seeking out God’s presence…saying, “Not without you”…every day.
Let me tell you something…God wants to do so much in and through you.
But you gotta get under his light first
It reminds me of one of my favorite people from history, George Mueller.
I read his fascinating biography last year.
Mueller accomplished more for Jesus than almost any other person in the 1800’s
Mueller traveled all around the world, sent Bibles to the far corners of the earth, and in his area of England, he started 117 schools, and most famously, started a number of orphanages that eventually cared for more than 10,000 orphaned children in his lifetime.
And he did ALL OF THAT… without ever asking a single person for money.
He did it…through prayer.
Every day, some days for hours at a time, Mueller would go to throne room.
And he would meet with God…and He’d ask God to provide.
And God did…time after time.
There are countless stories in his biography of where he would start the day, look at his staff and say, “We don’t have any food to feed the orphans today…and we don’t have any money.”
One of those days…where they didn’t have any food, he gathered all the orphans together for breakfast, and they all gave thanks to God for the food…even though there was nothing to eat in the entire house.”
And with nothing to eat, they just prayed.
And as they finished praying, the local baker knocked on the door and said, “I’ve got some extra bread today…enough for all of the kids…if you need it”
And later that day, the milkman’s cart broke down in front of the orphanage, so he ended up just giving all the milk to the kids…because he couldn’t get it out to the rest of the people.
And there are so many stories in history like this of men and women who were used so mightily by God.
But I find there is ONE THING that is EXACTLY the same in every story of the great men & women believers from history.
All of them…all of them, just like the great man of God, Moses, went first to the throne room.
They are people of prayer.
Because the light…is in the throne room.
God wants to do so much in and through you.
But he’s not going to do it if you’re in the wrong room.
This morning, the only thing holding us back from walking into the right room, and starting to glow more in this dark world, is us.
Would you make a commitment, that starting this week, you will seek, more than ever…his presence…and his face?
I believe that if you do that…you can’t even imagine what God will do, in and through you!
WORD COUNT GOAL: 3210
This morning, before I step off stage, we are going to receive our Annual Haiti Special Offering…
(Show Haiti Special Offering Slide)
If you’re new around here, we don’t normally take TWO offerings a service…just once a year.
This is something we do just about every January, to help support our team going to Haiti…as our team will be headed there in just 9 days.
This year, along w/ sharing their faith, our team of 11 people will be helping to build a Public Restroom
In Williamson, Haiti, where we work, VERY few of the 16,000 people have access to a bathroom, and almost none have access to a shower.
And therefore, most people are forced to go to the bathroom, somewhere in the trees, or bathe in the river.
We think this is a great way to bring health and dignity to the community
It’s also a powerful way to share our faith.
One of the most common questions I’ve been asked in Haiti is “Why would you come here…to my country…and help us…I don’t get it”
As we go from door to door and walk down the streets to tell people about Jesus…this is an incredibly tangible way for people to see that we really do care.
And the reason, we care so much, is Jesus.
THIS…is an opportunity…for them to see us glowing.
To see Jesus in us.
And so, our God-sized goal this morning is to raise $12,800 TODAY.
That would allow us to construct a Public Restroom Facility with 8 toilets and 4 showers.
On the screen behind me, you can see there are a number of specific ways you can help in this project…
And you obviously don’t have to give one of those numbers either.
I think what’s great about this is that you’re not just giving some large organization here.
This is something that WE’RE doing. That our team is LITERALLY going to go and start this…in 9 days!
This is an opportunity for us to use what God has blessed us with immensely to serve those in need and advance the mission of Jesus Christ.
So I encourage you…be a world changer this morning.
In just a second, we’re going to receive the Haiti offering.
If you don’t have cash or check on you today, you can give online, and I just encourage you to do so right now actually, as they pass the buckets.
Go ahead and get your phone out (if you don’t have cash or check)
You can give through RenovationChurch.org or through our app.
Just make sure you select the “Missions-Haiti” fund when you give
If you weren’t ready to give today, you can still give online up until Wednesday
Last logistical thing: Make checks out to Renovation Church if you write one.
So let’s just pray, and then we’ll put our trust in God and hope that He can CONTINUE to do incredible things through our church. Here and around the world!
Let me pray for the offering.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
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