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Lessons from Moses - God's People or Passing Pleasure

Scripture: Acts 7:20, Exodus 2:11-15
Date: 01/18/1997 
There are three arks in the Bible. God saved His people in the first ark. He saved Moses in the second ark, and His truth in the ark of the covenant.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

I’d like to welcome everybody, and I’d like to welcome those who are worshiping with us on TV right now. We are talking about Moses. Moses is our theme and our hero for the next few weeks together as we study God’s Word, and we left our hero last week, he had been committed to the care of the Egyptian princess where he was being raised. He had, of course, been saved by his mother placing him in this little ark of reeds.

I was thinking about that even this week. There are about three arks in the Bible. God saved the human race the first time by placing a remnant in the ark, Noah’s ark. God saved His remnant, the Hebrew people, from destruction by placing one baby in an ark. God preserved His truth by having a golden ark constructed, and He placed the Ten Commandments in that ark. Christ—God became a man, the Word of God incarnate, Jesus was the Word of God in a golden box. Christ was the Word of God encased in an ark of humanity. So all of these arks were pointing to Christ.

I also thought that it was very interesting how Moses’ life is composed of three sets of 40. We’ll get into more detail as we proceed, but he spent 40 years in Egypt, 40 years in the wilderness, and 40 years leading God’s people from Egypt to the wilderness. Moses is a type of Christ. Now, there are three aspects to salvation: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Moses was saved by an act of grace, justified, as a baby. But he had to learn some lessons of sanctification during those 40 years while he was in the wilderness. God taught him there. Then after he began to speak to God face to face—that was glorification—at the end of those 80 years (the first two sets), glorification began where he talked to God face to face. He was in God’s glory. The children of Israel went through three stages in saving them: justified in Egypt, sanctified in the wilderness, glorified in the Promised Land. The three aspects of salvation are also seen in the life of Moses as well.

Is it important that we recognize who Moses was and the greatness of Moses? You cannot really appreciate Jesus without appreciating Moses. Some of you are thinking, “Well, Doug, that’s a pretty bold statement.” I’m quoting Christ. Remember what Moses said. Deuteronomy 18, he said, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me.” In order for us to recognize that Jesus was who He was, we need to know something about who Moses was and, indeed, it was Christ who said (John 5:46, 47 [KJV]), “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” Catch this, “But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” The words, the person, the teaching of Moses and Jesus are interwoven, they’re intertwined. So we’ll all be edified as we study this Old Testament hero.

Our focus today is taking us from the land of Goshen to where he had his firstborn son who was called Gershom, which means “a stranger in a strange land.” So that’s the little passage we’re going to cover today, and I know some of you are already looking at your watches and thinking about your stomach. Don’t worry. I’m going to shorten things today. Of course, you realize “shorten” is a comparative term.

Turn with me in your Bibles to Acts chapter 7. There are at least two New Testament narratives that tell us about Moses and his experience. One of these is the sermon of Stephen, which gives us some details that are not found in Exodus. Acts chapter 7, and we’ll begin with verse 20.

“At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father's house for three months. But when he was set out, Pharaoh's daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds. Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.” I want to pause right here and talk a moment about those 40 years. The Bible gives us a very condensed narrative.

First of all, I don’t know if you can appreciate the majesty and the splendor and the wealth and the luxury of ancient Egypt, but there is no kingdom that compares to this period of Egypt when Moses was living there. I’ve been to Cairo; I’ve been inside the Great Pyramid; I’ve seen King Tut’s treasures there at the museum. King Tut was a poor king. He did not even rank to get a pyramid. He was <__________built__________> underground. The staggering wealth they discovered has boggled modern man. The pharaohs that built the pyramids were fabulously wealthy, and the treasures that were stored in the storerooms, and the hidden chambers in the pyramids, and the wealth that must have been utilized to have a massive workforce to build those wonders of the world, sends your mind reeling to contemplate all that. Moses was growing up in Egypt during the zenith of that time. He was exposed to wisdom that we have actually lost in our generation, with all our technology.

We don’t know some of the mysteries of how they were able to cut those stones so precisely. I remember going inside the Great Pyramid, and you could see the stones were fit so close together you could not even get a razor blade between them. The mysteries of Egypt—it says Moses was learned in all this. The wealth… And he was being groomed to be the next pharaoh, to have the world at his feet. Every earthly pleasure could be satisfied. Every whim, every desire that he requested would be at his beckon call. All of the most beautiful things the world had to afford, the greatest artists and the talent and the music, were there in that palace, and he grew up exposed to all of that, and he knew that if he would compromise the principles his mother instilled in his heart as a child about God and God’s truth, he could have it.

I believe that Moses had a struggle. “…what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his … soul?” Moses’ mother Jochebed instilled in her son’s heart that God had an eternal kingdom for him, that God had a great work for him to do in delivering His people, and Moses had to make a choice. You noticed in our scripture reading, he had to choose whether or not he would “suffer affliction with the people of God” or “to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season,” the passing pleasures of sin—God’s people and some struggle, or the pleasures of sin for a season. Moses made a choice, and I don’t believe that there was no struggle. I believe he at times thought, “Maybe as Pharaoh I’ll just let them all go. Maybe I’ll compromise.”

In order to be the Pharaoh, he had to be trained in the priestly caste system because, if you’re acquainted at all with Egyptian history, you know all of the ancient pharaohs were regarded as gods. They went through these sacred mysteries of their religion. Moses refused to participate in that, and he probably was tempted with the thought, “If I just compromise in a few things, if I go through the rites of the priests and become inducted in their sacred mysteries, I can be the next pharaoh and I’ll just let all the people go.” But that was not God’s plan. You cannot use the devil’s tools to do God’s work. You’d be surprised how many times I hear Christians using diabolical arguments in support of doing God’s work, excusing something that’s wrong in order to accomplish what they say will ultimately be better. I don’t believe the Lord wants us to use those means, do you?

Moses was tempted with those things. But he was prepared to deliver God’s people because he had been in the palace, not through the palace. Do you know why Jesus is prepared to save you and me? Because He came from the palace of heaven, right? Moses, though born a slave, was never under a taskmaster. Jesus, even though He was born a human being, never sinned, so He could deliver you and me, who are slaves to sin.

Let’s go back to Exodus and look at our story here. Finally it came into his heart to visit his people. The Bible says in Exodus 2:11, “Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out…” How old was he? He was approximately 40 years of age. Well, I’m just about grown like Moses; that’s right.

“…when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens.” Aren’t you glad that Jesus is concerned with our burdens? The great message of Christ, He spreads His arms to you and me, and He says [NASB], “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden….” What are they laden with? The burdens—burdens of guilt and sin that the devil has piled on us, reminding us of our failures. Moses was concerned about their burdens. He was concerned that they were being afflicted by cruel taskmasters. He wanted to deliver them from their condition. He empathized with them, having been born in a slave’s household, just like Jesus could empathize with you and me. God is not only omnipotent (all-powerful), God is not only omniscient (all-knowing), God is not only omnipresent (He can be everywhere), I heard a member of our church here, Bob Favor, say one time God is omnipathic—He feels all things. I know politicians like to say, “I feel your pain,” but I don’t believe it for a minute. God does feel our pain, doesn’t He? He knows how we feel.

He said he went out to see their burdens. “And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren.” The Bible tells us that whoever “touches you touches the apple of His eye,” and even as a Christian I sometimes have to examine myself and say, “What would I do?” We’re told to turn the other cheek, and I’ve never really been tested on that, and I hope you won’t put me to the test since I’ve been a Christian, but I’ve often wondered, “What would I do?” Would I feel that fever of anger rise up within my bosom if someone smote me? And I think, by God’s grace, I think that I could control myself. But when you see someone else, when you see your children being oppressed or afflicted or hurt, a little rage starts to stir inside you, and you want to run to their defense instantly. At least the mothers should say “Amen” to that, if nobody else. It’s a natural affection. And when he saw his brethren being afflicted, he jumped into action. Do you think that God will forever be still when God’s people are persecuted? He will come to our aid.

When he saw that happening, “he looked this way and that way”—he knew what he was going to do, “and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”

Moses was a remarkable individual, not only because he could speak Hebrew, he could speak Egyptian, he understood slavery, he understood the palace, he understood the military. I think that he was probably a very strong man, a very intelligent man, an educated man. You might be thinking, “Doug, wasn’t it a detriment that he was educated in all the wisdom of Egypt?” No, there were some things in Egypt—the mathematics of Egypt were the best in the world. Without it they could never have built the pyramids. Some of the medicine of Egypt was advanced. There are many who believe they had understood simple electricity. They think some of the things they’ve found in these pyramids resemble batteries. They found a toy glider in the tomb of King Tut that glides! They understood something about aerodynamic design in flight. There was a lot of positive wisdom in Egypt, as well.

Daniel, incidentally, was instructed for three years in all the wisdom of Babylon, wasn’t he? Was God able to use that to help Daniel help His people? I don’t want to rush past this point. Sometimes Christians are told they should go through life with blinders on. “Don’t read anything but the Bible. Don’t read anything but what your church produces.” I think that you need to be selective, but the Bible says, “Try the spirits” and “hold fast that which is good.” I don’t think Christians ought to go through life with their heads in the sand and just be completely isolated. You end up becoming eccentric that way. I think you ought to be a little bit exposed, not to evil, but to what is going on around you. If you’re going to reach the world, Paul says, “I have become all things…, that I might” reach some for Christ. That doesn’t mean you compromise your principles. It doesn’t mean you say, “I need to relate to people that are addicted to pornography, so I’m going to go watch X-rated movies.” That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being at least aware. Moses was educated in these things so that he could help his people.

We’ll read on here. It says “he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” What did God do to the serpent when the serpent was responsible for persecuting our first family? He had to crawl in the dust, didn’t he?

“And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’” First he delivers them from the problem on the outside. The very next thing he finds out is he has to deliver them from each other. Have things changed in the church? First we come to the Lord and He saves us from the devil and temptation and sin, and we praise the Lord, and next we can find He has to save us from one another. First we’re being persecuted from the outside; then we’re being persecuted from the inside. Moses had a lot more problems delivering God’s people from the problem on the inside than the problem on the outside. Who is the greatest enemy of the Christian church, the Pharaoh and the government, or is it people who take the name of Christ? Who is it going to be that will persecute God’s people in the last days? Those that claim to believe in Jesus and read the Bible will be responsible for persecuting the remnant.

“Then he [the one who was wronged] said, ‘Who made you a prince and a judge over us?’” I remember God asking Cain, “Where is your brother?” He said, “What? Am I my brother’s keeper?” You can see the experience of Moses paralleled in those first few events. He said (verse 14), “‘Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’

“So Moses feared and said, ‘Surely this thing is known!’” He thought nobody knew. And the Bible says in the next verse, “When Pharaoh heard…” I can’t rush past this, friends. If no Egyptian saw Moses kill an Egyptian and the Pharaoh heard, and only another Hebrew slave saw Moses kill an Egyptian, who was responsible for betraying Moses to the Egyptians? His own people. Who was responsible for betraying Christ to the Romans? His own people. Get used to it, friends. As we go through the experience of Moses, you’re going to see, time and time again, parallels with the life of Christ.

When he said this thing was known, “When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian.” Moses wanted to deliver God’s people in his own strength. I don’t want to rush past this point that he did wrong. Moses did not understand that God was going to do it for him. He tried to deliver them in a carnal way, just like Abraham tried to carnally fulfil the promise of his son, and he ran ahead of the Lord. Do you know why David is called a man after God’s own heart? God said to David, “You’re going to be king,” David had two opportunities to kill Saul and take things into his own hands, and he said, “No, I’m going to let God do it, His own time, His own way,” and the Lord was exceedingly pleased with that attitude of waiting for God’s timing. How many times have you and I rushed ahead of the Lord and tried to make things happen because we become impatient? Moses had waited 40 years. He knew God had big plans for him. He said, “How long am I supposed to wait? I’ll take things into my own hands. I’ll kill an Egyptian, word will spread, we’re going to rebel, and I’ll lead the people against the Egyptians,” and maybe he had this all formulated in his mind. It blew up in his face and, instead of his people rallying behind him, they betrayed him.

He shouldn’t have done it that way, but I don’t want to miss this point. Because they did not rally behind Moses, it was going to be 40 more years before he came back to deliver them. Then even after he delivered them 40 years later, we know what happened when they went to the borders of the Promised Land. They lost faith again; they spent another 40 years wandering in the wilderness. So from the birth of Moses until they got to the Promised Land was 120 years because they kept losing faith. That’s what Hebrews is trying to tell us. You know what, friends? If we could learn the lessons of faith, we’ll get home a lot sooner.

The other lesson we need to learn is patience. Sometimes patience tries your faith. The Bible tells us one of the characteristics of the redeemed, it says, “Here is the”—what?—the “patience of the saints.” They don’t lose faith while they’re waiting. Here is “he who endures unto the end.” Endures what? Delay. God is going to come. He is going to come. And when He does come, most people will think it’s too soon. But many of God’s people have become weary of waiting. Friends, I’m telling you, He is going to come, and I believe, from everything I see, that we are living in the last decade. I really believe that. Here we are on the border of the seventh millennium. You think about that? That ought to really make you shudder. I believe that Jesus is coming very soon. Let’s not lose faith right here at the border, friends.

Moses fled, he went into the land of Midian, and the Bible says “he sat down by a well.” He was tired, and he’s in this arid region, and he sits down by a well. What instantly comes to your mind? Who else sat down by a well? Jesus sat down by a well. I want you to notice this right here. “Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters.” Do you think that’s a coincidence, or is that a symbolic number? Very symbolic in the Bible. “And they came and drew water, and they filled the troughs to water their father's flock.”

Moses is a wayfaring stranger. This may have been an oasis where there were caravans that went by, and he’s here, and the girls are coming, they’re trying to water their sheep, and they’re observing this stranger, but, you know, it’s not polite to talk to strangers, so they don’t really say anything to him. He’s sitting on the edge of the well. Then some other shepherds come along, and it says here in verse 17, “Then the shepherds came,” these men shepherds came, and they drove away the girls and their sheep. “…but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.” Don’t miss the parallel that a few years earlier, Jacob came to a well where he incidentally met Rachel. He uncovered the well and watered the sheep for her. Eliezer went to a well, Rebekah watered his camels, and he found a wife for Isaac. Rebekah watered Eliezer’s camels, and Rebekah ended up becoming Isaac’s wife. Then you have Moses, and he ends up finding his wife at a well after watering her flocks.

I want you to notice something here. “…the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up.” Moses stood up. What do you think that means? The Bible says someday Michael is going to stand up, and there will be a time of trouble such as there never has been. Who is the time of trouble for, God’s people or the lost? When Moses stood up, the shepherds had a time of trouble, didn’t they? I’d like to have seen that. Now, you cannot base your theology on Hollywood. But I’ll admit I have seen the movie The Ten Commandments. My mother was in it, so I had to watch it. There they have this story, Moses gets up and he fights off twice as many men or…, and it’s just kind of inspiring to look at something like that. I think there may have been something. It says there were shepherds. He stood up for the women. What is a woman a symbol of in prophecy? A church. Who is Moses a symbol of in this? Christ. Does Christ stand up for His woman, His bride?

Aren’t shepherds good in the Bible? Not all of them. Someone look this up for me, and I’ll have you read it. Isaiah 56:9-11. “All you beasts of the field, come to devour, all you beasts in the forest. His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yes, they are greedy dogs which never have enough. And they are shepherds who cannot understand; they all look to their own way, every one for his own gain, from his own territory.” Who was it that Jesus had the most problem with when He came to His own people? Wasn’t it the shepherds of the flock? I’m talking about spiritual shepherds, the blind guides. They are the ones who fought with Him, and Jesus had to resist and fight against the teachings of the false shepherds who were interested in their own gain—they were hirelings, as Christ said—in order that He might feed the sheep. He wanted to water the sheep.

I also think it’s interesting—how many daughters did Jethro, the priest of Midian, have? Jesus sat down by a well and a woman of Samaria came. He said, “Go call your husband.” She said, “I have no husband.” He said, “That’s true. You’ve had five husbands. The fellow you’re living with now is not your husband.” How many is that so far? And then who finally satisfied the thirst in her soul? Jesus, making a total of how many? There again you have that. The Bible says in Isaiah 4:1, “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man,” again a symbol of the church. Except these women say, “We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” The number seven there is very significant.

And he “helped them, and watered their flock.

“When they came to Reuel [that’s Jethro] their father, he said, ‘How is it that you have come so soon today?’” You’re done already, watering the flock?

“And they said, ‘An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and he also drew enough water for us and watered the flock.’” Was Moses an Egyptian? He spoke Egyptian, but his mother and father were Hebrew. Can you think of another time in the Bible where someone was mistaken for an Egyptian? How about Joseph? I can think of one more time. Do you remember when Paul was trapped and he was brought on the steps to the temple, and they said, “Aren’t you that Egyptian that caused the rebellion?” and he said, “I’m not an Egyptian.” Sometimes God’s people are mistaken for the enemy. I’m not calling Egyptians “enemy,” I’m speaking biblically speaking, OK?

“‘An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and he also drew enough water for us and watered the flock.’

“So he said to his daughters, ‘And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man?’” Don’t you have any manners? “‘Call him, that he may eat bread.’”

Who are these women a symbol of? When we meet a stranger, are we supposed to invite them home so they can eat bread? That’s part of the work of the church. Amen?

The Bible says Moses came, and he went to live with the man. “Moses was content,” and he came “to live with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses” to be his wife. What does the word Zipporah mean? Zipporah means “little bird.” One of the seven became his wife.

The part of this story that I don’t want to rush past is that Moses had to make a decision. All of Egypt could have been his, and instead of taking any of Egypt, he made a decision to stand up for God’s people and to cast his lot with God rather “than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Is there a degree of pleasure in sin? Is there? The Bible says “the pleasures of sin for a season.” How long does it last? It doesn’t last very long.

Anyone here, can you name any great pharaohs for me? Name a great pharaoh. I’m sure some of you can. Ramses, Tut, anyone else? Let’s think about that now. What can you tell me about King Tut? A lot of gold. What else do you know? Died young. He had a glider airplane. Most of the world knows nothing about the great pharaohs. Am I right? All they are is a couple of hieroglyphic footnotes in history. What do you know about Moses? Where are most of the pharaohs right now? Some of their mummies, bodies, never even stayed in the tomb. They got robbed and looted, and they’re scattered, decomposing on the deserts of Arabia right now. Where is Moses? He might be right here looking down. Did he make a good decision? How long have the pharaohs been in their graves, dusty and cold? Do you know they filled their graves and their pyramids with treasures, thinking that in the next life that they’d be able to spend that money? Have they spent any of it yet? Thieves broke in and got all of it. Do you know what Jesus said about where your treasure is, that’s where your heart is? He said , “Do not store [your] treasures on earth, … where thieves break in and steal.” Those pharaohs in the resurrection are going to find the pyramids empty. Worse yet, most of them are going to find themselves lost.

Moses had to make a decision. “Am I going to try to gain and to reap all the pleasures this world can afford now, here? Or do I decide to be part of God’s people? I might suffer some affliction,” and did Moses get some affliction from God’s people? Friends, brace yourself. Sometimes even in God’s church the ride is rough. But he was looking beyond that, because by being part of God’s people you share in the reward, which is eternal. Did Moses make a good decision? You bet he did! Is he the only one that’s faced with that decision?

The Bible says by faith Moses chose. Do you think there was a struggle involved in choosing the world and the pleasures of the world, or church and God’s people? I think there was probably a struggle. When you looked at God’s people back in Egypt, if you walked out of the palace and they’re wearing the finest of clothing and silk and gold, and there’s splendid décor everywhere, and then you go to where the slaves live—mud huts; dirty, cracked hands and feet; burlap for clothing—and you’re deciding, “Who do I want to belong to?” who would you want to belong to? The palace of Egypt or God’s people? You have to by faith look past God’s people.

Do you know what was very interesting? I’m getting ahead in our story a little bit. When the children of Israel finally did leave Egypt, they left with the wealth of the Egyptians, didn’t they? So you cannot live by sight. You have to live by faith.

God in His Word has made promises to us. First of all, Moses’ mother Jochebed told Moses, “Your great-great grandfather Joseph has made a prophecy through the Holy Spirit. The Word of God has said God is going to visit His people and deliver us from Egypt and that He’s going to lead us to a land flowing with milk and honey. We don’t know exactly when it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen.” Moses heard that promise, and he had to look beyond the condition of God’s people then to what was going to come later, and he was glad that he did that.

Did he have to wait a while? Did he have to suffer a while? In our next episode with Moses we’re going to talk a little bit about that wilderness experience and the call of Moses. But the most important thing I want you to know is, because Moses chose God’s people—he thought he’d die in obscurity, and the whole world has been altered by his life and his choice. He could have had a throne in Egypt, but if he had made that choice, Moses right now would be nothing more than a hieroglyphic footnote in history. We wouldn’t be talking about Moses today. The whole world and the governments of the world and my life and yours have been altered because he made a decision based upon faith and not sight. He made a decision not to live for pleasure that would pass but to be part of God’s people and life perpetually.

If that’s your decision, friends, then I’d like to invite you to turn to our closing hymn, number 523, “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place,” and if you believe that, let’s stand together as we sing.

[Hymn]

One of the most important aspects of Moses’ life that I think we forget, he forsook the riches of Egypt, not just because he knew there was a reward for him later, but he forsook the riches of Egypt in order that he might sacrifice his life to deliver God’s people. Moses came at one point and he delivered one of his people being smitten by the Egyptians, and a little while later Moses delivered those shepherdess girls from their persecutors. Finally, Moses comes back and delivers a whole nation. He was the great deliverer.

But Moses is a type of Someone who came into this world to deliver you from a cruel taskmaster, to deliver you from bad shepherds, and if there are some here today who have not made a decision by faith to accept Jesus as their Shepherd and their Deliverer, you can make that decision. We’d like to invite you to come to the front if you’d like to accept Christ and you’ve never done that. We want to pray for you. I’d also like to invite those who were baptized today to come to the front—we want to pray for them in a special way that God will fill them with His Spirit—as we sing the second verse.

[Hymn]

Before we sing the last verse, I’d like to extend the appeal and be more specific. Everybody here is faced with the same decision Moses made, the pleasures of sin, or God’s people. There’s no third choice—the world or the church. The church has its problems, but I’ll tell you what, friends, God says that Jesus died to save His people from their sins. The same way that He delivered them in the Old Testament, He still delivers people today from slavery. If you’re struggling with that decision about whether to enjoy the pleasures of the world or be part of God’s people, and you’d like to make the right decision, you’d like to have more faith that you could follow the Lord, we invite you to come to the front. We always invite people publicly because Jesus always did it that way. Come as we sing the last verse. We’ll pray that God will give you the faith.

[Hymn]

Father in heaven, Lord, we’re thrilled as we look at this hero of faith in the Bible and the example he’s set for us. Lord, we’re also inspired when we consider that he has entered into his reward, and we too can someday walk on golden streets with Moses and the Lamb. Lord, we want to pray that You’ll be in a special way with those who have sealed their decision to follow Jesus through baptism today. Please fill Joy and Stephen with the Holy Spirit. We know there may be a time of temptation, just as after Jesus was baptized He was tempted. But I pray that You’ll be very close to them, and I pray that You’ll fill them with the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. Help us as a church family to be a support to them. Also, Lord, be with those who are struggling between the pleasures of sin and being part of Your people. Help them to look by faith beyond this world to the one that will last forever. Bless us now with Your presence and Spirit as we go from this place. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

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