VIDEO Remove the Veil

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

One of the greatest mysteries in nature occurs when a caterpillar spins a cocoon around itself and, after a time, emerges as a beautiful butterfly. Changing from a caterpillar to a butterfly is a mystery, but not as great as the transformation of a human sinner into the image of Jesus Christ—the goal of our salvation (Romans 8:29).

The apostle Paul reveals the precondition for that transformation: beholding Christ in faith (2 Corinthians 3:13-18). When Moses came down from the mountain, having met with God, he had to cover his face with a veil to hide the radiance of God’s glory. That veil, Paul says, is like a veil that covers the heart of the unbeliever who fails to see the glory of God in Christ. When our hearts are unveiled by faith, when we see Christ as clearly as in a mirror, we begin to be transformed into His image, “from glory to glory.”

Removing the veil means seeing God’s glory in Christ and embracing it by faith—and being transformed into His image.

Nature forms us; sin deforms us; school informs us; Christ transforms us. Anonymous

2 Corinthians 3 – Our Sufficiency is from God

Better with God

Wisdom and power are his. Daniel 2:20

On her college volleyball team, my granddaughter learned a winning principle. When the ball came her way, no matter what, she could “better the ball.” She could make a play that left her teammates in a better situation—without throwing tantrums, blaming, or making excuses. Always make the situation better.

That was Daniel’s response when he and three Hebrew friends were taken into captivity by Babylon’s king Nebuchadnezzar. Although they were given pagan names and ordered to take three years of “training” in the enemy’s palace, Daniel didn’t rage. Instead, he asked permission not to defile himself in God’s sight by eating the king’s rich food and wine. As this intriguing Bible story shows, after consuming nothing but vegetables and water for ten days (Daniel 1:12), Daniel and his friends “looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food” (v. 15).

Another time, Nebuchadnezzar threatened to kill Daniel and all palace wise men if they couldn’t repeat the king’s disturbing dream and interpret it. Again, Daniel didn’t panic, but sought mercy “from the God of heaven,” and the mystery was revealed to him in a vision (2:19). As Daniel declared of God, “wisdom and power are his” (v. 20). Throughout his captivity, Daniel sought God’s best despite the conflicts he faced. In our own troubles, may we follow that example, making the situation better by taking it to God.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

What battles are you facing now? As you turn from those troubles and seek God, how does He make your journey better?

Loving God, life’s challenges feel overwhelming today. As I turn to You, inspire me to shed my despair to journey better with You.

Lifting the Weight of Our Burdens

Psalm 55:16-22

Have you ever suddenly awoken in the middle of the night with a heavy burden on your heart? Sometimes this kind of weight is from the Lord and will be lifted when He has accomplished His purpose—for example, an impulse to pray or a strong motivation to do God’s will. Other burdens are caused by sin and weigh us down until we confess them.

But regular, daily burdens are not for us to carry. We tend to think of worries as our lot in life—like responsibilities we’re to handle without “bothering” God. But really our lot is to walk obediently with God and trust Him to do the heavy lifting in our life. Scripture says we are to cast every burden on Him (1 Peter 5:7). We must identify the concern, surrender it into His care, and have faith He will sustain us as He has promised.

Relinquishing our grasp on burdens does not mean we stop thinking about them. We still prayerfully bring them to God, listen for His guidance, and bless His name for bearing worries on our behalf (Psalm 68:19). But our concerns won’t destroy us if they’re set on God’s shoulders. Are you carrying a heavy load? God wants to hold it—and you—in His hand.

Buried with Him

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

The burial of Christ after His death was extremely important for two reasons. First, it assures us that His death was a physical death and that His resurrection was a bodily resurrection. Second, His burial—like His death and resurrection—has profound doctrinal and practical significance for the believer’s individual life.

All this is pictured, as our text points out, by the ordinance of baptism, displaying symbolically the death of Christ for sin and the death of the believer to sin, then the burial of the corruptible body of flesh (which, for all but Christ, returns to dust in accordance with God’s primeval curse). And finally, the resurrection, demonstrating Christ’s eternal victory over sin and death, and, in the case of the believer, the beginning of the new life in Christ.

The same truth appears again in Colossians 2:12: “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” Although these are the only New Testament passages where the doctrinal implications of Christ’s burial are specifically mentioned, the spiritual truths taught thereby permeate all the Scriptures. If our old bodies of sin are—at least positionally—already in the grave, then it is altogether grotesque for them still to be walking around in sin. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:5). We shall (not “should,” as misleadingly rendered in our text) walk in newness of life, triumphant daily over sin through the implanted resurrection life of our victorious Savior. HMM

Whole Life Prayer

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. —John 15:7

Prayer at its best is the expression of the total life….

All things else being equal, our prayers are only as powerful as our lives. In the long pull we pray only as well as we live….

Most of us in moments of stress have wished that we had lived so that prayer would not be so unnatural to us and have regretted that we had not cultivated prayer to the point where it would be as easy and as natural as breathing….

Undoubtedly the redemption in Christ Jesus has sufficient moral power to enable us to live in a state of purity and love where our whole life will be a prayer. Individual acts of prayer that spring out of that kind of total living will have about them a wondrous power not known to the careless or the worldly Christian.   ROR081-083

Lord, the real key here is that there is “sufficient moral power” available. In my own strength I fail, but thank You for Your enabling power. Amen.

Tozer on Christian Leadership

Worship, a Spirit-given Response

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Psalm 96:9

How thankful we should be to discover that it is God’s desire to lead every willing heart into depths and heights of divine knowledge and communion. As soon as God sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts we say “Abba”—and we are worshiping, but probably not in the full New Testament sense of the word.

God desires to take us deeper into Himself. We will have much to learn in the school of the Spirit. He wants to lead us on in our love for Him who first loved us.

He wants to cultivate within us the adoration and admiration of which He is worthy. He wants to reveal to each of us the blessed element of spiritual fascination in true worship. He wants to teach us the wonder of being filled with moral excitement in our worship, entranced with the knowledge of who God is. He wants us to be astonished at the inconceivable elevation and magnitude and splendor of Almighty God!

There can be no human substitute for this kind of worship and for this kind of Spirit-given response to the God who is our Creator and Redeemer and Lord. WHT026

The man who has not been humbled in the presence of God will never be a worshiper of God at all. QTB197

Tozer on the Holy Spirit.

Divine Fire-Power

Acts 2:3

We learn to have a healthy respect for fire from an early age, recognizing just how powerful it is. Primitive people regarded it with awe and reverence. Perhaps this underlies the fact that in Scripture fire is used as a symbol of God the Holy Spirit.

The first occasion we read of God’s making His presence known through fire is when He appears to Moses as a flame coming from the middle of a burning bush (Exodus 3). As a shepherd, Moses had perhaps seen tinder-dry brushwood burst into spontaneous combustion in the blazing heat. But this bush was different because it did not burn up.

Having used this unusual fire to make Moses aware of Him, God revealed His plan for the children of Israel under Moses’ leadership. Then, as they traveled through the wilderness, God announced His presence with them each night by a pillar of fire.

Further in Israelite history, when their loyalty to God was under test, He revealed Himself on Mount Carmel as the true God. As he did so, flames burnt up the water-drenched sacrifice that Elijah had prepared.

So when John the Baptist announced that one was coming who would “baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” Jewish listeners would have understood the symbolism.

It is from the Greek word for fire that the English word “pure” is derived. In industry fire can be used in the refining and purifying processes. Anyone who has had a splinter in his finger knows that it needs a little persuasion to come out. So it’s into the sewing box and out with the needle! But first the needle should be sterilized, purified—by holding it in a flame.

When Isaiah had his vision of God in the Temple, he soon realized that he was sinful and that his life needed purifying. Burning coals were lifted from the altar and placed on his lips to symbolize the purification of his life. As with Isaiah, God wants to use us as His messengers, to bring others into His kingdom. But first of all we need to be purified.

The quality of our spiritual life depends on the fire of the Holy Spirit within us. At Pentecost, what looked like tongues of fire rested on each of the disciples’ heads. This divine fire-power cleansed them and clothed them. It gave those ordinary men and women extraordinary power.

Quite simply, there is no power other than the Holy Spirit’s which can turn men inside out and the world upside down!

Nigel Bovey, Salvationist