Saturday, March 30, 2013
Tomorrow is, by the calendar, Easter Sunday. Someone recently asked me why Easter is not at the same time each year so here is the easiest explanation I found: Easter is always the first Sunday after or on the first full moon, after the first day of Spring in the Northern hemisphere and the first day of Autumn in the Southern hemisphere.
But in my heart this week I have been thinking of Easter, not because of the technicalities of what time of the year we celebrate but because of Who we celebrate on this day. I have been thinking in awe of a God Who would come to earth and take on human flesh, live as a pauper instead of the King He really is, then after living a perfect, sinless life, die a hideous death to pay for the sins of all people in time past, present and future, and finally do what no one before or since has done...raise Himself from the grave in power and glory! And definitely not because any single one of us deserved to be saved, but just because He loves us so! Oh, what a Savior is mine!
This week the ladies Bible study group I study with each Spring and Fall finished yet another Bible study by Beth Moore. This one was "Deuteronomy: the Law of Love". Because God gave the law to Moses, he (Moses) was of course an important figure in this study. In the last lecture we studied about the last part of Moses' life and his death. I think that's what really got me to thinking on the glory of God.
We talked about how there finally came the day when God came to Moses and told him He wanted Moses to come up to Mount Nebo, look at the Promised Land, and then die. (Deuteronomy 32:48-52) Remember that Moses was not going to be allowed to enter the Promised Land because he had disobeyed God in the wilderness by striking the rock for water instead of speaking to it as God had told him.
Those of you who have had Beth Moore's classes know what an active imagination she has! During this lesson she got really dramatic wondering HOW Moses died up on Mt. Nebo once he had finished looking over the Promised Land. "Did he fall off a cliff?" "Did God PUSH him off a cliff?" "HOW did it happen?" She was amusing and we all laughed at some of her suggestions. But then afterward I began to think and use my own imagination. I remembered Moses being on a cloud covered mountain alone with the glory of God while God gave him the laws for the people. "And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights." (Exodus 24:16-18)
Then there was the time after the people had built a tabernacle for God according to the instructions He had given Moses. "And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend...". (Exodus 33:9-11)
God spoke to Moses ''face to face'' but we have to remember that God's glory was obscured by a thick cloud covering the tabernacle. Farther down in chapter 33 Moses says to God (verse 18) "I beseech thee, shew me thy glory." God responds to him (verse 20) by saying, "Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." So God put Moses in the cleft of a rock, covered him with His Hand while He passed by in all His glory, then took away His Hand so Moses could see his back. But He told Moses (verse 23) "my face shall not be seen."
After thinking about the life of Moses and his very unique relationship with God, I wonder if MAYBE....just maybe God took Moses up on Mt. Nebo, showed him all the Promised Land and then....removed the veil and showed Moses His face! MAYBE God revealed to Moses ALL of His glory right then and there and it took Moses' life...just like He had said to Moses that "there shall no man see me, and live."
Well, that's just my idea but it makes my heart swell to think about it! And then on top of all that, to think about this same glorious God dying for ME so that I can go to heaven and see His complete glory myself....well, it's almost more than I can take in this day before Easter! In the great "love chapter" of the Bible...1 Corinthians 13...verse 12 tells us "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." I am so much looking forward to that day when I shall lay down this old body of mortal clay and enter into the joys of heaven where I will see Jesus face to face...in ALL His glory!...and live forever!
Friday, March 8, 2013
Early this morning as I looked out the kitchen window, I saw just a glimpse of sunshine hitting the very tiptop’s of the trees down past our old barn. It was so pretty I just had to get my camera and capture the scene. I thought to myself, “Here’s just a glimpse of the beautiful sunny day that is to come!” And that made me feel excited and happy.
Now several hours later the sunshine is everywhere you look. I went back outside just now (for only a very few minutes because although the sun is beating down, the temperature is still only thirty-eight degrees) and took another picture of the full face of the sun. I could not look directly at Mr. Sun because he was so bright! So I just closed my eyes, held my camera up to the sky and snapped the picture. Even the camera could not capture the full intensity of the sunshine. It’s just too much!
All this reminded me of heaven and the fact that we only have just a glimpse now of what awaits us in heaven as children of God.
We can get just a glimpse of what is being prepared for Christians at this very moment when we read the words of Jesus in John 14:1-3….”Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
What an exciting thing this is! Jesus said here that He is preparing a place for us in heaven so that we can be forever with Him! That’s where I want to be!
Jesus Christ gives us a further glimpse of heaven in Revelation 21:21-23…..”And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”
No need of temples or churches in heaven because the “Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (Jesus) are the temple of it”. And no need of any kind of lights, either natural or artificial, because Jesus Christ our Lord will be the Light!
Do you remember in the Old Testament how God told Moses that he could get in the cleft of a rock and watch as He passed by? But God told Moses (Exodus 33:20), “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” God is too bright, too majestic, for us to look in His face with our human bodies! Even the sun that heats our planet earth is too bright for us to look full in its face without leaving our vision impaired or even blinded. And this sun is just something that God spoke and it came into being during creation week! Our frail minds cannot even imagine the brightness of our God.
As I look at 1 Corinthians 13:12 (For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.), it makes me think about watching my husband when he welds. He has a special welding mask that has a very dark thick glass front that protects his eyes from being burned while looking at the brightness of the light that comes from welding. Without it, the light would blind him. 1 Corinthians 13:12 tells us that right now it’s like we are looking at God through a welding mask (through a glass, darkly). We can see him through just a glimpse we get in the Word but, Oh, what a day that will be when we can see Him FACE to FACE!
Friend, do you have your reservation made for this unimaginably wonderful destination? It’s already been paid for by the death of God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ! We can’t even imagine how great it will be! 1 Corinthians 2:9 says “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
God bless you friends! Thanks for taking time to share “just a glimpse” of heaven with me today!
Sunday, March 3, 2013
(Mama around 30 years old)
March 3, 1970, is one of the darkest days in my memory. Both physically and emotionally.
Physically I was a sixteen-year-old girl sitting in afternoon Spanish class looking out the window at the black clouds that had suddenly covered the sun. The sky turned so very dark. Then came the wind and the rain. Back then there were no weather alerts but I’m almost sure that there was a strong storm very close by.
Emotionally I was just a little girl worried about her Mama that day. She was being transported by ambulance from our small county hospital to a large hospital in a metropolitan city about seventy miles away. When I had visited her in the hospital the night before she was delirious and didn’t recognize me. That broke my heart. My emotions were in a jumble but having come from a family where showing your emotions were sometimes frowned upon, I was trying to keep all that to myself.
I admit I was not a very good student that day between the raging storm outside the windows and the one raging in my heart and soul. Then there was a knock on the classroom door…something that was very out of the ordinary…and I looked up to see Mama’s doctor through the small diamond shaped glass window. At the sight of him my heart came up into my mouth and I felt sick. I knew there must be something very wrong. My teacher went out and spoke with him first and then came back to the door and called me out. The two of them took me across the hall to the teacher’s lounge and Dr. Ketchum told me that Mama had passed away in the ambulance that afternoon. I wanted to scream! I wanted to lash out at someone in some way! I wanted to cry! But what I did was grit my teeth together and ball my hands up into fists and determine in my mind that I was not going to cry in front of these people! That nobody was going to see my true emotions!
From that time on I never really felt like a young person anymore. I was the only child left at home and so I became the cook and housekeeper for my Daddy while also going to school every day. Thankfully Daddy was a man of habit and he believed in everything having a place and always kept things in their place.
My Mama has been in heaven for forty-three years today. If anyone ‘’deserved’’ to go to heaven in my eyes, it was Mama. She was truly the best woman I have ever known! But as good as she was, even she never ‘’deserved’’ to go to heaven! And she would have been the first to tell you that! She went to heaven because at some point in her life she realized her need as a sinner to have Jesus as her Saviour! And she trusted Him to be all that she needed for salvation.
My life’s goal is to be the kind of godly woman that Mama was!
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31: 30