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.
Scripture: Proverbs 21:17Whoever loves pleasure will suffer want; whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich. Observation:
Some have said that this verse speaks of the dangers of an Epicurean life-style. What does that mean? Generally we have attributed this to the teaching of Epicurus, a philosopher who was born in 341 BC. He encouraged people to find a static state of pleasure where one was satiated — or full. When the pleasures have been completely, or entirely satisfied, then one feels full. Later Epicurean societies adopted a motto: Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo ("I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care”). In contemporary society this phrase has been adopted to be used at humanist funerals, or to be carved as an epitaph on a headstone.
The problem is that they don’t understand what Wisdom was trying to say. Pleasure alone would ultimately leave one wanting. The Epicurean life of rich foods and drink, as well as the investment in oils and cosmetics could not be sustained. T…
Proverbs 15:17Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it. Observation:
The guests are invited to dinner but the host is concerned that there is little to offer. Without the financial resources of the wealthy, they are unable to kill a fatted ox and can only serve vegetables. While some may be discouraged by this, wisdom tells us that the satisfaction depends upon the appetite of the guest. If the guests who are invited are hungry, then even a small meal will be enjoyed and received with gratitude. They will experience the love of the host who was willing to share all he had with his guests. Application:
I was born in Germany where my parents served as missionaries. It seems that our financial resources were often limited, and yet, there was an endless supply of guests at our table. Not only did we have our dear German friends gathering with us at the table, but also many visitors from other countries who would stop by, wanting to see “t…
Scripture: Job 38:1-2 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Observation: Trying to give a reason for Job’s circumstances, his friends had provided every explanation imaginable to the human mind. Now, it was time for God’s response and reality is brought into focus. The friends were bringing counsel to Job, but they did not have knowledge. There was far too much that they did not understand. Following this question God reminds Job that God alone has power over creation, and this knowledge is far beyond Job’s understanding. Therefore, the words of Job’s friends are hollow with misunderstanding. They do not know God, and should not presume to speak for God, for their counsel becomes words without knowledge. Application: If our first instinct is not to run to the Lord in difficult circumstances, we may be allowing ourselves to be counseled by words without knowledge. There are plenty of people who are willing to give us ad…