January 24 “Glimpse”

Glimpse

Glory—the full weight of the magnificence of God—is so powerful, just a glimpse of it will change a life.
Jesus sensed in His spirit that the Father wanted to take the disciples deeper. He told the men that some of them would not taste death until they had seen the Kingdom of God coming in power. Six days later, it began to happen for three of them.

Every day with Jesus was unpredictable. It was at once the greatest adventure of their lives and the greatest mystery they could imagine. Jesus’ words about some of them living to see the Kingdom come were thrilling and frightening all at once. Would this be the day? This question rose in their minds with every sunrise.

Transfiguration
Shortly after one of these hopeful sunrises, Jesus selected Peter, James and John to go with Him up a high mountain. It was His practice to pray in such places, so it is likely that the three men thought this was the purpose of the climb. To their profound surprise there was another purpose—a revelation of the Glory of the Man they were following.

In the clear morning sunlight a greater light appeared, not from the sky but from Jesus Himself. His clothes glowed white, whiter than any white the men had ever seen. The light emanated from Jesus and soon lit the whole mountaintop with beams of glory. Out of the beams of light stepped two figures, similarly clothed in garments made white but of lesser magnitude than the robes Jesus wore. Without being told, Peter, James, and John knew who these two men were:

  • Elijah, representing the prophets of old, and,
  • Moses, representing the Covenantal Law of God.

These two beings of light were alive and well and were deep in conversation with Jesus. They were talking like old friends at a reunion.

Tabernacles
Fear seized Peter, James, and John. The language the other three were speaking was unknown to them but the holiness of the meeting was clearly understood. They could add nothing to the communion enjoyed by Jesus, Moses, and Elijah but each of the disciples wanted to join in somehow. Eventually Peter timidly offered a suggestion—they should memorialize this moment with booths to each of these heavenly figures.

The Voice
As if in response to Peter’s idea, a voice like thunder sounded in a language they could not misunderstand,

“This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”

They fell face forward to the ground—the shining light, the three mystical beings, and the booming voice—were all too much for them. In the silence that followed, each regained the courage to open his eyes and regain his feet. The light was gone. The voice that echoed from the hills  sounded no more. Only Jesus stood before them. He took them back down the mountain commanding them to keep the glory they had experienced to themselves for now. When He rose from the dead, they would understand.

A Question
One of them ask what was meant when the Scriptures said that Elijah must come before the Messiah. Jesus made it clear that John the Baptizer came in the power of Elijah, fulfilling his ministry.

A Glimpse of Glory
The three of the Twelve who witnessed the Transfiguration did indeed see the Glory of the Lord Jesus before their deaths. This glimpse of Glory was a foretaste of their witness to the resurrected Christ and, for John, to his witness of heaven recording in the Revelation. We are invited to behold His glory in worship and as we do we also, are changed!

Scriptures:
Mark 9: 1-13
And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” — because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves. Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.”
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 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.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, give me a new vision of Your glory. Reveal Your glory to me at my private altar and in my public worship. Let me see as Isaiah did the majesty of Your Throne. May the revelation of Your glory shake the foundations of my life as worship did the doorpost of heaven in Isaiah’s vision. Take a coal of fire from the altar before You and touch my lips with it. Help me hear the Father’s voice—“This is my beloved Son!” Let me hear Your voice, “Who will go for me?” I will go. I am going!–in the power of the revelation of who You are now, resurrected, enthroned in Heaven and in my heart, and soon to return. O, the Glory of Your Presence! Amen and Amen.

Song:
Oh, the Glory of Your Presence
Words and Music: Steve Frye

Refrain:
O, the glory of Your presence.
We, Your Temple, give You reverence.
Come and rise to Your rest and be blest by our praise
As we glory in Your embrace.
As Your presence now fills this place.

Verse:
Jesus, all glorious, create in us a Temple
Called as living stones where You’re enthroned.
As You rose from death in power
So rise within our worship.
Rise upon our praise
And let the hand that saw You raised
Clothe us in Your glory,
Draw us by Your grace.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

TheJesusStory Devotions can also be found at KingdomWinds.com.

February 10, 2017

Glory(1)

A spectacular promise from the Bible is found in Isaiah 40:5 KJV

And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

This verse is also the text of one of the most beloved choruses in Handel’s Messiah. Handel’s music and this glorious promise came together, not by an accident of human creativity, but at the direction of the Holy Spirit. This promise needs to sing. It must be merged with a tune that will keep it in our minds and send it to our hearts.

Each Lord’s day we gather again with the people of God in the House of God to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

What is the point of it all?

  • Certainly not our glory,
  • Not our relaxation and enjoyment,
  • Not the precise presentation of our beliefs,
  • Not the exhibition of our artistic gifts,
  • Not the reestablishment of our standing before others,
  • Not the exercise of our ego,
  • Nor even for the healing of our wounded souls and battered bodies.

Public worship is about seeking the face of God as we try to express His holiness, majesty, compassion, wisdom, strength, goodness, mercy—His Glory!—with all the human resources we can muster. As the Psalmist said,

Psalm 103:1 NKJV
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

It is true that many benefits flow to us as we worship God in spirit and truth:

  • It may be that His glory will spill over on us.
  • We may be refreshed and relaxed in His Holy Presence.
  • Our heart-held beliefs will be publically proclaimed with the unction of the Spirit.
  • The fullness of our artistry will be demanded by the splendid task of worshiping God.
  • If we have fallen into pride, we will be humbled by worship; if shame has overtaken us, we will be elevated to our full value before God.
  • All the worshipers will stand on level ground before King Jesus–holy, level ground.
  • Our wounded souls will sing in tune with angels and with the spirits of those “just men made perfect” in the throne room of God as healing virtue flows from Jesus’ hands to our needs.

All these benefits are the blessings that should not be forgotten as we focus on giving glory to the Lord and not on receiving blessings from Him. The scriptures command that we give glory to the Lord.

How much glory?
The exact amount is this: the glory that is “due unto His name.” (Psalm 29:1-2) That means, all we can give and still more as the angels join us and the Spirit give us utterance. We have been called out of darkness into marvelous light for this purpose!

Call for the brass! Alert the percussion! Line up the woodwinds! Tune the strings! Signal the conductor, and count off the rhythm! It is time to give God glory!

Scriptures:
Psalm 29:1-2 NKJV
Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the
Ephesians 1:12 KJV
…we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psalm 103:1-2 NKJV
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits…
Psalm 150 NKJV
Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!
2 Chron 5:12-14
All the Levites who were musicians… raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.
Isaiah 40:3-5
A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Prayer/Song:
O the Glory of Your Presence
Words and Music: Steven Fry

Oh the glory of Your Presence,
We, Your Temple, give You reverence.
So arise to Your rest and be blessed by our praise
As we glory in Your embrace,
As Your presence now fills this place.

Jesus, all glorious, create in us a Temple,
Called as living stones where You’re enthroned.
As You rose from death in power,
So rise upon our worship,
Rise upon our praise and let the hand that saw You raised,
Cloth us in your glory, draw us by Your grace.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved