Archive for September, 2015
“The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” (Genesis 6:6).
My prayer is that this passage might reshape your understanding and perspective on the nature and character of our heavenly Father. He is not an angry tyrant waiting for you to make a mistake; that he might have opportunity to mete out punishment upon you but, rather, he is a troubled parent who grieves over the waywardness of his rebellious children. He is not enraged against us. He mourns for us. He longs to receive, embrace, and give a fresh start to those in need of his grace.
“Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).
Out of nowhere appears Noah. When the earth is on the brink of being destroyed; when God has decreed emphatically that he will blot out man, the life of Noah is introduced in such a way that it changes the entire storyline. His presence brought hope and renewed possibilities. Noah is a reminder to each one of us about the agency of our influence; in a world that seems despairingly lost, our presence as salt and light can be the game-changer.
“Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah’” (Matthew 17:4).
Jesus didn’t want tabernacles for the purpose of freezing mountaintop experiences in time. It was an experience intended to inform the mission. In just five more verses, Jesus, along with Peter, James, and John will be coming down from the mount of transfiguration to the valley of brokenness that awaits them below. It’s only a perverted form of Christianity that seeks to sequester itself among the safety and security of our own kind. It’s impossible to be salt and light to the world when the worlds we seek to create for ourselves are comprised of just us.
“We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Transformation into Christlikeness is the process of a lifetime. Day by day, moment by moment, as we give ourselves to the bidding of God’s Spirit dwelling within us, His glory, in ever-increasing measure, springs forth. This glory, yearning to be revealed, is veiled by many things – sin, attitudes that are negative, critical, and judgmental; religious pretense and hypocrisy. All of these mask the work of God’s love, grace, and mercy that has been accomplished within us.
Rise and Shine each day for His glory.
“Finally, brethren ,whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:9).
The ability to view, process, and live life biblically and theologically instead of culturally and humanistically cannot be accomplished apart from disciplined intentionality. It is something that must be kept at the forefront of our minds. This transformed perspective starts with not wanting what you now want. Whatever we really want, whatever we think about, whatever we dwell upon is destined to become the reality of who and what we are.
I’m not thinking, necessarily, about those things that drag us down, but the lack of thought and contemplation that is given to those things that lift us up. It’s how easily we settle for mediocrity – mediocre television, books, music, or whatever. It’s not that we want too much but, rather, we are willing to settle for so little.
Don’t just settle for whatever; aspire only to whatever lifts your life to heavenly heights.
“And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him” (Matthew 17:3).
As representatives of the Law (which necessitates our need for a savior) and the prophets (which anticipate the coming of a Messiah), the presence of Moses and Elijah affirms to Jesus that the path to Jerusalem is, indeed, the fulfillment of the eternal purposes of God. Thus, the transfiguration experience of Jesus affirms for us, as well, that the path of faithful living that we have committed to Him is not in vain.
“And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light” (Matthew 17:2).
While Jesus normally appeared as any other Galilean peasant, the transfiguration revealed who and what he really was, as his Divine nature was allowed to shine through in all its glory. The transfiguration, however, isn’t just about Jesus. It’s also about us. What Jesus was, and is, is the very thing we are becoming (See 2 Corinthians 3:18). What the gospel of transformation is bringing forth in our fruit-bearing lives is a confirmation of who we are as children of God.