VIDEO Facing the Facts

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

Around the world, people have tried many beauty treatments to enhance the glow on their faces. In Thailand, therapists slap their clients’ faces to increase blood circulation to the skin. Some Hollywood stars have their faces covered with caviar—fish eggs—known to be rich in vitamins A, B, and D. In Bible times, the primary cosmetic was olive oil.

But do you know there are some scriptural beauty treatments? Peter said that true beauty comes from “the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). Solomon said, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful” (Proverbs 15:13, NIV). Ecclesiastes 8:1 says, “A man’s wisdom makes his face shine.”

As we absorb God’s light, we’ll reflect Jesus to the world around us. We must constantly behold the glory of the Lord and be transformed into His image by the Holy Spirit. People will notice how different we are. Take a look in the mirror. Is your face reflecting Christ?

Character in a saint means the disposition of Jesus Christ persistently manifested. Oswald Chambers

2 Corinthians 3 – Our Sufficiency is from God

Exploring the Stars

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one. Isaiah 40:26

In 2021, a multination effort led to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope—deployed nearly a million miles from Earth to better investigate the universe. This marvel will peer into deep space and examine the stars and other celestial wonders.

This is indeed a fascinating astronomical piece of technology, and if everything works, it will provide us with amazing photos and information. But its mission isn’t new. In fact, the prophet Isaiah described searching the stars when he said, “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one” (Isaiah 40:26). “Night after night” they speak of our Creator who hurled this imperceptibly immense universe into existence (Psalm 19:2)—and with it the countless luminous bodies that silently grace our night sky (v. 3).

And it’s God Himself who decided how many of the shining objects there are: “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name” (Psalm 147:4). When mankind sends complicated, fascinating probes to explore the universe, we can enjoy with spellbound wonder the discoveries they make, because each observation points back to the One who made the solar system and everything beyond it. Yes, the “heavens declare the glory of God” (19:1)—stars and all.

By:  Dave Branon

Reflect & Pray

How do the stars and the entire universe speak of God and His creative ways? What thoughts and emotions strike you as you think about His power?

Heavenly Father, thank You for creating such an amazing universe for me to enjoy.

For Such a Time as This

Though we may not always understand what God is doing around us, we can trust He’s working to accomplish His good purposes

Esther 2:8-18Esther 4:13-14

We clearly see the Lord’s sovereign hand at work in Esther’s life when she was plucked from obscurity and elevated to be the queen of Persia. She was a young woman with no social standing or power. Without her cousin Mordecai’s protection, Esther was actually very vulnerable. Can you imagine how upset, confused, and uncertain she must have felt as events were unfolding around her? 

We may feel like that, too. God’s purposes are being worked out just the way He’s planned, but from our earthly perspective, things sometimes seem confusing and unclear. That’s why Esther’s story is encouraging. It teaches us to trust in God’s will. After all, He doesn’t save us and then leave us to fend for ourselves. Instead, He continually guides each of His children in the work He has planned. 

Begin looking for the Lord’s hand in your life. He is working out His design—sometimes with gentle nudges, other times via jarring disruptions. No matter what happens, don’t forget that He is present and always moving and directing. Never imagine yourself to be insignificant in His eyes. You’re so highly esteemed that almighty God has designed a unique calling just for you.


Astonishing Doctrine

“And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.” (Matthew 7:28)

This is the first mention of “doctrine” (Greek didache) in the New Testament, and as such it is significant that it refers to the doctrines taught by Christ in the so-called Sermon on the Mount. It is also significant that there are four other verses telling us that His hearers were “astonished at his doctrine” (Matthew 22:33Mark 1:22; 11:18; Luke 4:32) in addition to the statement in Acts 13:12 that a certain new convert had been “astonished at the doctrine of the Lord” when he heard Paul preach.

The astonishing aspect of the doctrine of Christ is indicated by Mark. “They were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). No wonder He could speak with authority! “My doctrine is not mine,” He said, “but his that sent me” (John 7:16). Paul could also teach this astonishing doctrine because he was careful to teach only the Word of God. And so can we if we likewise believe and teach only in the context of the inerrant, doctrinal authority of God’s Word.

It has become fashionable today, even in many evangelical churches, to avoid “indoctrination” in favor of “discussion” and “personal Christianity.” This is a great mistake and largely accounts for the increasing secularization of our society and the weak testimony of the Christian church. In the Bible, teaching and doctrine are the same, so that true teaching is indoctrination, and teaching “all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20) is an integral part of Christ’s great commission. It is imperative that we, like Paul, teach “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), for “whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God” (2 John 1:9). HMM

Our Values Determine Our Priorities

The other day I was interacting with a businessman in an attempt to motivate him to spend regular time with Christ. In response, he proceeded to lament over how little time he had for himself… that the pressures of business were overwhelming, etc. etc.

Finally, I asked him, “Mel, if I were to give you $100 for every morning you spent 10 minutes with God, would you find the time to do it?


“Would you find the time if I gave you $200?”




“Mel… I think you have just illustrated the fact that OUR VALUES DETERMINE OUR PRIORITIES.”

I then asked, “Mel, if you had a serious kidney disease where your very survival depended upon being on a dialysis machine every morning from 2:00 – 3:00 A. M., would you find the time to do it?


“Hmm… It sure sounds to me like OUR VALUES DETERMINE OUR PRIORITIES!”

Mel, like the rest of us, needs from time to time to be reminded that the purpose of the Cross was not to furnish us with a spiritual fire insurance policy, but to usher us into precious and intimate fellowship with Christ:

God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.“(1 Corinthians 1:9)

Therefore, regular time with Him — call it a “Quiet Time” if you please, is a must if we are to know Him intimately.

So can we say that if we are not spending consistent time with God, it is simply because we do not value it badly enough; that it is not a priority with us? After all, we now understand that: OUR VALUES DETERMINE OUR PRIORITIES!

“Be ye merciful.”

Deuteronomy 21:22, 23

We select from the bulk a few of the special laws which the Lord gave to his people. They were all full of instruction, and should be carefully studied.

Deuteronomy 21:22, 23

Pause here, and lovingly adore the Lord Jesus, who submitted for our sakes to the accursed death of the cross. Sin brought a curse upon us, and our blessed Substitute took that curse upon him and bore it in our stead. “He was made a curse for us”—blessed miracle of condescending love!

Deuteronomy 22:1-12

Deuteronomy 22:4

All these precepts are involved in loving our neighbour as ourself, but it is very gracious on the Lord’s part to point out particulars; let us be particular in regarding them, and in every way act kindly towards others.

Deuteronomy 22:5

All indelicacy is to be shunned. No idea of merriment can excuse that which has a lewd appearance.

Deuteronomy 22:7

We must not be devoid of feeling, but act considerately towards the least of God’s creatures.

Deuteronomy 22:8

Care of life is a duty, hence cleanliness in person and abode is to be carefully maintained; and we must not expose ourselves, or others to needless risks.

Deuteronomy 22:9-11

God would have his people distinct and separate, and therefore he forbids mixtures in sowing, working, and clothing, to remind them of this. We must sow only the pure gospel, work only with gracious motives, and be adorned only in Christ’s righteousness. Mixtures are an abomination in religion.

Deuteronomy 22:12

This was one of Israel’s distinguishing marks: Christians also should be known by their robes of holiness.

Through day and darkness, Saviour dear,

Abide with us more nearly near;

Till on thy face we lift our eyes,

The sun of God’s own paradise.

Praise God, our Maker and our Friend;

Praise him through time, till time shall end;

Till psalm and song his name adore,

Through heaven’s great day of evermore.

The Characteristic of the Prophet Is Always Love

...We were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. 1 Thessalonians 2:8

If evangelical Christianity is to stay alive she must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and she must seek in prayer and much humility the coming again of men of the stuff prophets and martyrs are made of!

God will hear the cries of His people as He heard the cries of Israel in Egypt. And He will send deliverance by sending deliverers. It is His way among men.

A characteristic of the true prophet has always been love. The free man who has learned to hear God’s voice and dared to obey it has felt the moral burden that broke the hearts of the Old Testament prophets, crushed the soul of our Lord Jesus Christ and wrung streams of tears from the eyes of the apostles.

The free man has never been a religious tyrant, nor has he sought to lord it over God’s heritage. It is fear and lack of self-assurance that has led men to try to crush others under their feet. These have had some interest to protect, some position to secure, so they have demanded subjection from their followers as a guarantee of their own safety.

But the free man—never; he has nothing to protect, no ambition to pursue and no enemy to fear. For that reason he is completely careless of his standing among men. Whether accepted or rejected he will go on loving his people with sincere devotion, and only death can silence his tender intercession for them!