Monday, September 8, 2014
“In His Presence: A Burning Bush Experience”
You’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s Scripture:
And the Angel of the LORD appeared to [Moses] in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground” (Exo. 3:2-5).
What if you could have a “burning bush experience”? What would it be like to come into the presence of God and to commune with Him? You and I both know that we don’t live in an age in which God manifests Himself through miraculous means (such as He did in Exodus three with the burning bush that was not consumed). However, we actually can – and should – regularly commune with God. We can come into His presence each Lord’s day when saints assemble to worship.
This week, I want us to take some time to appreciate worship. Today, let’s focus on the privilege of coming into God’s presence. We’ll use six points today pertinent to the joy of worshiping God.
First, God’s presence is a place of CONSECRATION. In Exodus three, when Moses comes to check out this strange burning bush, He is told to remove his sandals because the place where he stood was holy ground (Exo. 3:5). When we come into God’s presence, we are entering a holy place. In Old Testament times, priests had specific cleansing requirements as they prepared to officiate in worship to God. Today, you and I are a part of a royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9). We officiate in our own worship to God – no one does it for us. As such, we ought to be holy, just as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:16-17).
Second, God’s presence is a place of ADORATION. Moses was afraid to look upon God because of how great God is (Exo. 3:6). Similarly, we ought to be extremely reverent as we approach the worship of the church. This is nothing to play around with.
Third, God’s presence is a place of CONCENTRATION. We absolutely must pay close attention to the task of worship. God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and told him about the cries of Israel from their Egyptian bondage. I imagine that Moses was locked into every word that God said to him. As we offer our spiritual sacrifices of worship to God, we ought to do the same. Let’s hang on every word that God, through His word, speaks to us. And let’s carefully weigh each word, each song, and each thought that we submit before Him.
Fourth, God’s presence is a place of COMMISSION. We are often challenged by our worship to God. When the preacher opens the Bible and begins to allow God to speak to us, we receive words of exhortation, correction, encouragement, and hope. When you read Exodus 3:10-22, you see Moses being sent to the people. God says, “Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of bondage.” Similarly, you and I receive a commission in God’s Word to go into all the world and help people be delivered from the bondage of sin by the power of Jesus’ blood.
Fifth, God’s presence is a place of CONVICTION. When I come away from a period of worship, my faith is strengthened in my God and in His Word. Moses came away from the burning bush experience with no reason to doubt. The Lord showed Moses great signs so that the people “may believe that the LORD God of their fathers … has appeared to you” (Exo. 4:5).
Sixth, God’s presence is a place of CONCESSION. That is, we concede that God’s Will is best, and thus, we submit to His plan for our lives. Moses stood before the Lord and attempted to offer excuses as to why he wasn’t the right guy to be sent to deliver God’s people from bondage. God was not interesting in Moses’s excuses. God expected Moses to go, and, ultimately, he did (Exo. 4:13-17).
Let’s wrap it up: Worship is a powerful experience, one that is directed at God and that, in turn, strengthens God’s people. Let’s approach it with reverence and let’s leave the assembly transformed, convicted, and ready to serve the Lord.
Memory Verse: This week’s verse is a great one for everyone to internalize. Remember that our Lord commands us to love – our friends, our family, our neighbors, and even our enemies – just as He has loved us. The verse is Ephesians 4:32.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Eph. 4:32)
Sometime today: Read John 4:23-24 and consider this question: What – or Who – is worship all about? More on that tomorrow.
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This is The New You, I’m Robert Hatfield, and I hope you have a great day!