Our God, who is a consuming fire, will be impossible to get anywhere close of without getting burned up unless you come to the consuming God through the doorway, the only way that He designed.
Starting in chapter 19 verse 16, let’s stand together. As you stand, I’m going to read from verse 16 of Exodus 19 down through verse 20. Especially I want you to notice when we get to verse 18. I don’t want to stop, but I’m going to emphasize it with my voice.
Mount Sinai was completely in smoke. What we are reading, 603,000 family units witnessed. There were probably upwards of 2.5 to 3 million people watching this. The mountain they camped at, the base of, was completely in smoke as the Lord descended on it surrounded by fire. The smoke began to descend like the smoke of a furnace. The whole mountain began to quake. You know what I would have been doing? Backing up. That was exactly what God wanted in their minds.
Let’s start in verse 16. “Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.” Verse 17, “And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.” Verse 18, “Now the Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.” Verse 19, “And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.” Verse 20, “Then the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.”
Wow, let’s bow for prayer.
Father what an awesome moment, in sacred history, you have given to them. As we read these words, we know that these are exactly, verbatim, the same words that Jesus Christ read for 30 plus years as He attended the synagogue, as He held the scrolls, as He read from the scrolls. It’s exactly, without a doubt, the very same. Word for word. We’re so thankful that you have given us your word. We’re so thankful that Jesus held in His own hands, that word and the book of Genesis, and the book of Exodus, and every other book of the Old Testament. He held, He taught from, and He said, this is holy Scripture. This is the Bible you can trust. This is the book that captures the voice of God. It’s the Scripture. I pray that this morning, that the reality that we’re hearing the very voice of you O God speak to us will cause us to pause and to listen, and not merely hear but do according to your word. In the name of Jesus we ask all that, Amen.
You may be seated. As your seated, God’s trying to give a message and the message is our God is holy and all powerful. Sometimes that seems distant. Yeah, I believe in a holy, powerful God. God wanted to illustrate how holy, how powerful He is to people with finite capacity to understand. He said, I’m going to let you see what happens when I come down near to you. When God came down to the Earth, it was like the Earth began to be consumed by the holiness of God. As God came down the mountain began quaking.
I don’t know if you were watching the news and the pictures coming from Chile. They had an 8.3 magnitude earthquake. It was classic to look at the faces of the people in Chile captured by photographers as they were standing with an 8.3 magnitude earthquake. It wasn’t even where they were standing, it was offshore quite a ways away, but it was shaking their country, and their lives, and the terra firma; the ground under them. The looks on their faces is what I would imagine it looked like at Mount Sinai. It’s amazing to think of.
What’s the first point? God is absolutely holy. When God describes what happens when an absolutely holy God comes down to a fallen, sin infected world it always talks about flaming fire, and quakes, and smoke. It’s almost like the consuming fire of God begins to be revealed. Whenever you talk about it, it’s just words. But what God wanted to do, is for them to see it. That’s what the Old Testament was about, seeing what God was talking about. Each time the scriptures portray the holy atmosphere of Heaven surrounding our holy God and His throne, God always brings up the same elements. Clearly, each of these elements surrounding God’s holy throne speaks of a scene so awesome and so massively powerful that frail creatures like we are as humans realize immediately we would have trouble surviving in His presence. He’s a consuming fire.
You’re in 19, turnover to 24 with me. What we’re doing is, we’re tracking forward. The essence of where I want to get you to is what God says before the Tabernacle is built. He actually gives a narrative about how to come in the pathway before Him. That’s what we’re going to study. There are actually seven statements He makes about how to approach, but before we look at those statements, look what it says in verse 17 of Exodus 24. “The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.”
Remember they’ve already, in chapter 19, heard this piercing trumpet. All of a sudden as trumpet piercingly sounds, a burning fire like the sun approaching. It’s just flaming like all those science fiction movies where we’re an asteroid is burning and coming before whoever saves the Earth, Superman or someone. It’s that same burning and falling to the Earth, only God comes enveloped by fire, burning and flaming, and touches the top of that mountain. They’ve already watched that, and they’ve seen it explode into fire, like a blast furnace. Then, the mountain starts shaking and quaking. Like I said, they started backing up. It didn’t go away, we’re five chapters later. It’s still there. It’s still ominously consuming the top of that mountain. For most of us that’s a distant thing, but for them I think it just scared them to death. These people witnessed God.
They’ve already come out of the plagues. Have you ever thought about that? These people are the ones that saw the plagues on Egypt. They saw the darkness. They saw the wailing of the first born being killed across the nation of Egypt. They have seen God providing, and splitting the sea, and leading them with that pillar of fire, and the pillar of cloud. Wow. But now, it hasn’t never been this close.
When Bonnie and I were newlyweds, we’re still newlyweds, but when we were earlier newlyweds, the sixth year of our marriage, I finally got a break from pastoring. I was out pastoring in California, and they said, you need to take your vacation. I said, honey, we’re going to go see the Sierra’s, we’re going to visit the sequoias. We bought this minivan because I was teaching in the seminary, and I told her as a trade-off for all those hours we’ll buy this minivan. We put the kids in, we had two little, tiny kids. We even bought a cam-corder. That was in the 80’s. Those were hot and we were filming everything. Do you remember those days? If you look back at your films or your parents’ films, the videos. We meandered around, camped all through the sequoias.
On the last day I said, honey, I want to go up to the ridge and I want to film all the sequoias, and all the Sierra’s and everything else. We went up to this overlook and it was getting late in the day. By the way there was a forest fire, just like there is now, there seems to be a lot of them in the Sequoia National Park, burning that way. I said, honey, I’m going to get up there. I want to get pictures of the smoke, and fire, and the trees in case they all burn. She gingerly took the kids out of their car seats, and they were playing around. I was filming and everything, and everyone was leaving the rest area of the overlook. She finally said, honey, it’s getting a little dark and it’s windy. I said, okay, let’s go. We put the kids in their car seats, and I packed up that giant camcorder and got in. I stuck the keys in, I turned the key, and the car was as silent as that. Nothing even lit up. There wasn’t even that familiar red oil and alternator light. Being the great mechanic that I am, I always remember my dad went out and would open the hood. So, I opened the hood and I looked. She said, what do you think? I said, doesn’t look good.
I’m not mechanical. I don’t even know where the water goes in the lawnmower. I just stood and looked at the engine and that was B.C. before cell phones. Everyone had left the lookout. The sun, now after my failed attempts, was setting and all we could see was the fire. You could see the fire as it got dark enough. You could see the red burning of the trees and you could just see the smoke going in. All the people left the rest area because they said, as it gets dark all the bears and other creatures that are driven by the fire overrun this area. We were at the top of the mountain, 25 miles from anything, and alone. I opened the other end of the car and got out the tire iron. Oh boy, because I had to protect the family. I slept sitting up in the driver’s seat with the tire iron like this. I didn’t really sleep. All night long I was watching the fire thinking, where do you go? It was all the way, like an arc, around us. I thought, do you run down the road? What do you do? Do the bears chase you as you run down the road? All that night was a horrible night. By the way we survived. If you didn’t know, the happy part of the story is Bonnie and I survived and we learned a good lesson, that I need to take mechanic classes. But no, not really. I know the feeling of watching a fire. Watching it and wondering when it’s going to come that way. That’s what these people we’re experiencing at the mountain. They wondered, what is God doing?
This isn’t unique. Let’s turn to Daniel because I want you to see this. This is how God is. Daniel chapter 7. You go to the middle, Psalms. Go to the right, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel. There we go to chapter 7 and watch this; do you remember how Daniel saw God’s throne? He saw it exactly the same way. This isn’t just because the people of Israel were having a bad day. This is God. He is a consuming fire, holy God. It says in Daniel 7 verse 9, “I watched…” Daniel’s recounting this, “…till Thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; and His garment was white as snow.” This should sound familiar; this is Daniel 1. Jesus is called the Ancient of Days and Jesus, notice what it says, His garments were white as snow. Continuing in verse 9, “The hair of His head was like pure wool.” Again, that look of ancients, of great age. He’s the Ancient of Days.
By the way, why does Jesus look the same way? Because Jesus is the exact representation of God. Jesus is the God that we can see. God the Father and God the Spirit are invisible. They are. Jesus reveals God. He displays God. He is the exact representation of God. When you think of God, look at Jesus, that’s what God looks like. Jesus, His garments are white as snow. He’s the Ancient of Days. His head was like pure wool. Look at this, this is the part that we forget. Here is the Ancient of Days seated and the throne is burning. He’s sitting on like a gigantic fiery throne and it’s burning. “His throne was a fiery flame. It’s wheels…” by the way, these wheels doesn’t mean that it could move, it’s not a portable throne. The wheels speak of the motion, of the movement, that there was fire that was moving. It wasn’t just static fire. It wasn’t painted on like a plastic picture. It was actually burning and there was some type of circular motion around the base of it. It’s like a moat of twirling fire. But it doesn’t end there.
“A fiery stream…” a river of fire, “…issued and came forth from before Him.” Do you get the consuming fire? God is a consuming fire. Nothing unholy, and nothing tainted, and nothing fallen can get anywhere near Him He’s saying, except through the doorway. That’s the only way, it’s amazing. Coming to God’s throne is a bit like visiting the surface of our sun. It would be amazing, but we would get consumed by the visit. Every description of God’s throne reinforces the distance needed for reverence.
Those elements are, number one, smoke. Remember you’re always told, where there’s smoke, there’s fire? There’s this smoke, which means this fire. Always when God is represented, both in Exodus 19 and other places, the smoke and furnace are there. It first shows up in Genesis 15 when Abraham sees the lamps smoking, coming between the cloven pieces of the sacrifices, and that flaming smoking lamp goes between them, representing God.
Then we see it with Isaiah, when smoke filled the temple as in Isaiah 6. He sees the Lord, but it isn’t just smoke, it’s quaking. This quaking of the mountain reminds us that, again in God’s presence, when God comes down, the Earth convulses. The creation knows that it’s fallen. In fact, Romans 8 says, all the universe is groaning knowing that sin has been rampantly flowing throughout the universe. When the creation gets near the creator, it begins to convulse.
Then, there’s that fire. If you want to turn back with me to Deuteronomy 4, I want to show you part of what the fire represents. It represents God’s wrath against sin. The fifth book of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, chapter 4 and look at verse 23. Remember, Deuteronomy. Deutero means second. Nomos means the law. Deuteronomy is the second time the law is given. The first time was an Exodus where we were in 19. That generation that came out of Moses, out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership, died in the wilderness and their children grew up over the 40 years. The ones that were rescued and were born after the Exodus, those had to have the law given to them a second time. God presents the law a second time through Moses and that’s what Deuteronomy means, the second giving of the law. He’s telling them verse 23, just like He told their parents, “Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you.” Probably they can still remember what they saw when they were as little kids, remembering that fire, and the quaking mountain, and the trumpet sound, and all that stuff.
But why does God say that? Look back at verse 23. “…and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which LORD your God has forbidden you.” He says, don’t forget that fiery, consuming fire event when God said, I don’t want any idols, I don’t want any images, I don’t want anything other than what I prescribed. There’s only one doorway to Heaven. Don’t make your own and don’t do anything that I’ve told you not to. Then, look how He concludes. Look at verse 24. “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” One of God’s attributes is jealousy. We think of jealousy as negative. It’s positive if you are God. God says, I am jealous. You must totally, exclusively focus on me, and obey me, and follow my wishes. I’m jealous of you having any affections or any love for the world. The world is fallen, and I am your creator. I am jealous that you attend to me and not to the fallenness.
The bottom line is this, God says I’m absolutely holy. We’ve talked about all the Old Testament stuff. Let’s go to Luke chapter 5. New Testament, third Gospel, Luke chapter 5. I want to show you what happens in the New Testament when people get close to that almighty, awesome, holy God and see Him as He is. That’s what happens in Luke chapter 5. Peter expresses we each need to respond like he did. We each need to see how holy, awesome, and powerful our great God and Savior is because when we see it the first response should be what Peter does. What does Peter do? Falls down in front of Christ’s knees. That is such a picturesque event. Peter, when he realizes that Jesus the friend, Jesus the great teacher, Jesus the nice guy is that God of the Old Testament in human body, he falls right down in front of Him and He says, depart, I’m sinful. The more we see God, the more we see our sinfulness.
It reminds me again, back in New England when Bonnie and I were serving there, we used to have this couple that every Sunday night invited us over, with our children to their colonial house. They had a house that was from the Revolutionary War. It was one of those that they could have filmed any of the Revolutionary War movies using it. It’s so picturesque. We always went after church, it was always dark, and was always by candlelight. It was amazing to go into that 200 year old house by candlelight, it just made everything look gorgeous. We would eat there after church every Sunday night with our kids, and we’d talk with them and everything. Finally, one time after a couple of years of doing this, they invite us over during the day. Oh man, I’ve never seen so much dirt, and dust, and cobwebs. It was terrible. It started me. I started getting queasy. I started thinking, was that on my plate? Do you know, I learned a lesson. If you want to really entertain, turn all the lights out, have candles. You don’t even need to clean the house, just leave it like it is and put candles up. It just makes everything look really nice, until the light comes on. That’s where you see the cobwebs, spiders, the dead bugs, the dust, the dirt, and everything.
Did you know, most people like the darkness. Didn’t Jesus say that men loved darkness rather than light, why? Because our lives are cobwebby, and dirty, and our deeds are evil Jesus said, but He came to turn on the lights. When He turns on the light, we see our sin. Either we try and turn off the lights, that’s what they did. They didn’t want Jesus, they wanted to extinguish the light. Or we do what Peter did, watch what he did. Verse 4, Luke chapter 5. “When He…” that’s Jesus, “…had stopped speaking…” Jesus was teaching from Peter’s boat, “…He said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ “ You’ll notice I’m reading the New King James, and there’s a variant here. The majority texts, the western manuscripts, the Bible that is most seen in all of the apostolic, post apostolic world they have it plural. It’s, Jesus commanded Peter, “…let down your nets…” in the plural form. It’s interesting, what Peter does. He says, let down your nets and Simon says, “Master…” verse 5, “…we have toiled all night and caught nothing.” In other words, I know this lake, I’ve been fishing it my whole life, I know where the fishing holes are. Where you are speaking, this is not the fishing hole. I’ve already folded my nets and dried them on the shore. I’m ready for going out tonight. I don’t want to get them wet again. Then, I have to spread them out and dry them again. I know what I’m doing, but… isn’t that how we obey the Lord? But… “at Your word I will let down the net.” It’s singular in the Greek text and then interesting, it’s a grudging partial obedience.
You know what that shows me? God wanted to bless Peter, with every net he had, bursting with fish… like a going away present. He’s starting the ministry and Peter grudgingly, not knowing what the Lord is doing, not knowing His power, only put out one net. Verse 6, “And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net…” notice it singular, “…was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came…” brought the boat over. You can just imagine the commotion of this. Fish are flying. As fast as they’re getting them out of the net, they’re throwing them in. There’s just more, and they filled their whole boat so now they’re filling the boat next to it. Both boats are starting to sink and are getting dangerously close to the water coming into them. That’s the scene. Right in the middle, verse 8, “When Simon Peter saw it…” Fish were flying, everyone’s excited, I’m sure the other disciples were counting. Wow, this is a year’s worth of catch. They’re calculating and everything. All of a sudden one member of the group isn’t fish throwing. He’s looking at Jesus and it says, “…he fell down…” verse 8, “…at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’ “
Did Jesus say anything about sin? Did Jesus rebuke him for not throwing all the nets out? For not obeying Him completely? Does Jesus bless even partial obedience? Any blessing is from the Lord. How He wanted to show Himself to Peter, even to Peter’s grudging, partial obedience, He showed Himself, why? For that response. See, the light came on. I think Peter was candlelight listening to Christ, but all of a sudden, the light came on and he looked at himself. He said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” His complete response was to fall humbly at the knees of Jesus. He said, I’m not worthy to be anywhere near you. I know who you are. The more you know the Lord, the more I know the Lord, the more we see Him in His word, the light gets brighter. We have to regularly come and say, I’m not worthy but I fall at your feet. That’s the humble, contrite heart that God blesses.
By the way keep reading. Verse 9, “For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid…’ “ Don’t be afraid of me in your partial obedience and in your giving me a hard time, “From now on you will catch men.” That’s what the Lord wanted to show him, how exceedingly abundantly he could pour out His power on his life in ministry.
Look at the response, verse 11. “So when they had brought their boats to land…” which must have been quite a feat. Overloaded, just barely taking on water and sinking, “…they forsook all and followed Him.” Amazing. That’s the response of seeing God up close. Seeing His awesome holiness. Seeing our utter sinfulness.
Point two, God who is absolutely holy, this God invites us into His presence. The one that can quake the mountain, the one that can burn the top of the mountain, the one that can make a flame, furnace, tower of smoke that scares people to death, he says, I want you to come to me. Think for a moment what’s going on and let’s roll back to Exodus now. We’ll pick up here next Sunday because I can tell we won’t get into the seven statements that He makes in Exodus 25. I’ll show them to you, but we’ll see them next time.
It says in Exodus 24:16, the Lord says, “Now the glory LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire.” That’s the setting. That God who is absolutely holy invited Moses to come into that quaking, burning, smoking mountaintop. He said, Moses, I want you to come up and I’m going to show you how you, as my servant and a group of men, can make a doorway for all those millions of people down below and anybody else that wants to come into my presence.
Think, before we go, of just one thing. If you’re on top of the hill 3,500 years ago, in the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula, you would have seen perhaps the largest encampment of people ever on the face of the Earth. One camp with 3 million people was a sight to behold. Too bad they didn’t have drones back then, but better than drones God was recording it. He gives us a perfect record. There were 603,000 families who came out of Egypt. If you only had five per family, that would have been 3+ million folks. With just a normal campsite it would have been, as I told you last time, 81 square miles. They weren’t just normal. They had to be camped tribally there were three tribes that went to the east, and three tribes that went to the north, and three tribes that went to the west, and three tribes that went to the south. Those tribal encampments were very orderly. It says that they were not to be intermixed. There was actually a very, very close representation of a very orderly camp going outward. When you look at that camp, you would see in the middle, the tabernacle. It was in the center of the camp. That’s what God said, right in the middle.
It had smoke slowly rising from the altar. Remember the fire was never to go out on the altar. There was always a little smoke rising. The 12 tribes in ordered arrangements were around it. But if you looked really closely at what would be so important to be right in the middle of the tent, right in the middle of the camp, you’d see that tent. It was black and unattractive on the outside. There was no beauty that we would desire to see it. It just looked plain and ordinary. But if you traveled through the loud and busy camp and could make it to the tabernacle, we would find a much different sight inside. If you read all this, it’s fascinating.
When we get inside, we find ourselves in a world surrounded by shining gold. Looking up at the curtain roof you see the wings of cherubim that are woven in blue, and purple, and scarlet, and find twine linen. The light of the golden lampstand was softly shining off the gold and revealing all the beauty within. Do you know immediately what that makes me think of? Have you ever thought of this? There’s no physical description of Jesus Christ in the Bible. In fact, it says that He grew up like a root out of dry ground and there was nothing attractive about Him, Isaiah says in Isaiah 52:12, 13, 14. In Isaiah 53, the only thing we know is that His visage was marred. In fact, Psalm 22 says He gives his beard, so we do know Jesus had a beard. That’s the only thing we’re sure of. He had a beard and they pulled out the beard, skin and all when they pulled out His beard and it marred Him; and everything else they did. Isn’t it amazing that the most wonderful person in the world, the most powerful person in history, the most beautiful person that’s ever lived, there’s no description of Him. We don’t know if he had blue eyes, brown eyes. We didn’t know if he had dark hair or red hair like David did. David was ruddy, he had red hair. We don’t know anything. Did Jesus have broad shoulders? It’s interesting all these representations that artists have, God chose to not describe Him physically. You know why? He said there’s nothing about Jesus’ physical appearance that would be drawing you to Him. That’s like, on the outside there was nothing that was attractive, so it is with Christ Himself. The natural man, beholding Christ from afar sees no beauty that he should desire Him. But those who get in, to Christ, know Him and His beauty satisfies us endlessly. It’s like being inside the tent.
If we went back outside the tent and you drew a straight line, in fact I’ll do this for you before we go. I have an illustration. It’s not a very good one, but it’s one. This is the walls of the tabernacle and there was only one gate, it was 30 feet wide. There’s two ways the tabernacle is described in the Bible. Moses describes it from the brazen altar to the laver to the holy place, with the candle stand and the showbread, and the altar of incense. Then, in the Holy of Holies with the Ark of the Covenant.
God describes it, God always starts with the place where He dwelt over the mercy seat, where the cherubim we’re looking down. Where the blood was poured and that glow of the eternal infinite God. His shekinah was there. God talks about it as the pathway of grace from the throne of God, going toward the sinner. The idea is a sinner was excluded and could only come through one door. When they came through that one door, they could only come with one attitude. You had to know their attitude, it showed. How?
They had to come leading with them or carrying in their hands an offering that was exactly what God asked for. God says the only thing I’ll accept is what I wrote down. You had to bring a lamb of the first year, from the flock without blemish, without spot, your best prize winning, blue ribbon,4-H, State Fair, best one, and kill it. You say, what a shame. Yeah, the idea was you sacrifice your very best. If you have that attitude, a sinner following the pathway of faith, wanting to go to God, had to come through the only doorway that God offered, offering a substitute on that brazen altar. What you do is, you lead your goat, or your little bull calf, or you carried your little lamb, and you would offer it. The priest would look it over to make sure that it was spotless, male, and no defects visible. Then, the priest would take it. The father, we were talking about the head of the family, the father. The leader of the family would place his hands on that sacrifice and identify his and his family sins as being placed on that innocent animal. Once that happened, the priest would turn and right in this area would slay, skin the animal. This was no quickie. People are all the time rushing. There was no rush. You had to wait, skin it, clean it, cut it, burn it. You stood there and you thought about that quaking mountain, and that fire, and that smoke, and that sound, and it scared you to death, but the way of faith said, through a substitute you can come into the very presence of God.
The lesson is this, and we’ll start here next time, God builds the doorway to Heaven and every element that He presents points to what Jesus Christ has done for us.
Let’s all stand for a closing word of prayer. As you stand, in a group this size I already know because people have come to me and said, I’m so excited my neighbor is coming this morning. I’m so excited my family’s coming this morning. I’m so excited my whatever’s coming this morning. Did you know you might’ve been brought, invited, cajoled, dragged to church, God is still a consuming fire. Coming before Him is like going to the sun. You have no hope of survival unless you come in the suit that He’s provided, which is Christ. We can clothe ourselves with Christ. We put our hands on Him by faith and say, I’m a guilty sinner and you are wholly my sacrifice. You are a God who died in my place and by faith I trust in you. In that instant all of our sins go onto Him and in that instant all of His righteousness, and endless life becomes ours. Has that ever happened to you? No, I go to church. Yeah, but have you had your sins, every one of them put on Christ? And His righteousness put on you.? That’s salvation.
Let’s bow together.
Father, thank you for letting us gather on this Lord’s Day. Thank you, that tonight we get to celebrate the communion of coming into your presence, at your table. Thank you, that every time we gather you are here, and you want to reach out your hand of comfort, and strength, and encouragement to every believer here. You’re holding out your nail pierced hands with love in your eyes looking at every lost person and saying there’s only one doorway to Heaven. Are you going to come with that contrite attitude of Peter and say I am a sinful man, I’m a sinful woman, a sinful child, and come by faith? I pray that you would draw to yourself anyone who will hear your voice today. For us who know you, may we know you and turn the light brighter and brighter so we can see, and confess, and forsake anything displeasing to you in our lives. We pray that in the precious name of Jesus and for His glory. And all God’s people said, Amen. God bless you as you go.