My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Let Your Face Shine!
Sunrise over ruins in Turkey, 2011.
Psa. 80:0 To the leader: on Lilies, a Covenant. Of Asaph. A Psalm.
1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
and come to save us!
Psa. 80:3 Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Psa. 80:4 O LORD God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
5You have fed them with the bread of tears,
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
our enemies laugh among themselves.
Psa. 80:7 Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Humanity, created in the image of God is to reflect The image. That is only possible when the face of God shines upon the people. It’s in this face to face relationship that we are able to discover our salvation. The people of Israel realized that they had moved far from God’s holy presence. The Psalmist cries out for restoration. The hope comes when God incarnate shines his face upon the people.
We have nearly arrived at Christmas and yet, there continues to be anticipation. Little by little the light is dawning, and with it, great hope. The message is one of restoration, where all the wounds of the past can be healed in and through the presence of the Messiah. This is a place of wholeness where everything again makes sense, in light of Christ.
This prayer of the Psalmist ought to be our cry. “Let your face shine!” It is when the face of Christ shines in and through us that we are restored in the image of God. We become vessels who reflect the image to the world. The flicker of light begins to shine, first in one person, and then another until there is brightness that fills the darkness. This is our responsibility as followers of Christ, to pass on the light.
Many of us will attend a Christmas eve service in the next couple of days. Often there comes a time when the lights are dimmed, a candle is lit and then that light is passed to all the others present until the candles of light burn and fill the sanctuary. This represents the light of Christ, but also our responsibility in this world. If the face of God shines upon us, then we are to pass on the light. If we keep it to ourselves, eventually our candle will burn down and the light will be extinguished. If we pass it on, it will continue to burn in the life of another, and another, and another.
I believe that this Advent season is a time for us to re-embrace revival. I believe that God is still in the business of miraculously entering this world and effecting transformation in the lives of those who seek him. This often happens in ways which we find hard to explain, for it is a miracle! Let’s embrace the miracle of advent and pass on the light of Christ. Do you hear the cry of the Psalmist, “Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved?” We are to be saved, and so are others. May the face of God shine, and may we reflect him well, lighting up our world and passing on that light in a great revival of God’s presence here on earth. Why not begin with advent? The light is dawning.
Lord, restore me, O God of hosts. Let your face shine in and through me, that I, and others may be saved. Amen.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Ex. 33:4 ¶ When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put on ornaments. Ex. 33:5 For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, and I will decide what to do to you.’” Ex. 33:6 Therefore the Israelites stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
The people had sinned before God by making and worshiping the golden calf! They had taken their golden jewelry — the earrings and other items they had gotten from the Egyptians and used them to create an idol. Now, in an act of humility and repentance they were to take off all of their jewelry and ornaments. It was a time of mourning over their sin and it included intentional action on the part of the Israelites. Application:
We don’t do all that well with humility and repentance! It seems that we live in a time when we try to carry on…
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…