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: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…
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 …
Scripture: 1Sam. 2:18 Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Observation:
Little Samuel was being raised in the presence of Eli’s wicked sons. They were doing things wrong, and stealing food from the sacrifices they were supposed to be making on behalf of the people. In their midst was a precious little boy whose mother was influencing him to do everything right. She brought him a new robe every year so that it would fit properly and he wore the linen ephod, a priestly garment, over the top. This was what he should have been doing and he did it right, when Eli’s sons took short-cuts in everything that they were doing.
Hannah came back year after year to check in her son and give him a new garment. One can imagine that she encouraged him to do the right things and to serve God faithfully. Surely, day after day, whi…