Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Fruit of the Spirit - Love - August 30, 2015

Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

What is love? In our present world, there is not a lack of discussion regarding this topic. All around us, there seems to be a dogged pursuit of love but its actualization in people's lives appears to be subjective at best. Many talk about "being" in love, yet their faltering commitment to the relationship says otherwise. Youth often equates it to biological attraction, but those of us who have grown and matured know that the fleshly magnetism soon grows tepid if that is the entire basis of the relationship. Many of us have found that true love is born out of a commitment of faithfulness that can only be realized over time. (While some might have believed that "All you need is love", the Beatles' actions proved otherwise as their band dissolved just a short time after Lennon and McCartney penned these verses.) Acting in love with another, or even acts of love toward an ideal will never legitimize themselves over time if there is not firm bedrock of character that is driving the act or emotion. The source of love must be love itself; otherwise it is powered only by idealistic notion which will languish in time due to circumstance.

I John 4:8 tells us that "God is love". More specifically, John states in this passage that if there is an absence of an ongoing and increasing love toward humankind, then we do not know God because God's nature is eternal, ongoing, continual love. He cannot act in any other way otherwise He would betray His own nature. One might say, "Well, the judgments of God don't seem loving." Or, "Why does God send people to hell if He is a loving God?" The scriptures tell us in Isaiah 26:9 that ... when the earth experiences Your [God's] judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Through various calamities, whether they are so-called "acts of God" or man-made circumstances such as wars or terrorism, God is able to draw people together. Many in these circumstances will seek strength from one another and ultimately humble themselves before their Maker. (One only has to study the awakenings and revivals in the United States and Britain in the last 400 years to correlate major societal upheavals with God's outpourings of grace and renewal.) Oftentimes, people need a "wake up" call before they will ever consider that they are not the center of the universe. This truly is the kindness of God that leads humankind to repentance, as stated in Romans 2:4. Regarding questioning a loving God sending people to hell for eternity, one must only look to scripture to see that God sends no one to hell. God has done everything to prevent the loss of even one soul to the fiery abyss. Jesus Christ was the perfect expression of love from the heart of a perfectly loving God, sent to this earth to live, die, and to live again for each and every soul. The price has been paid for us all, yet many will not validate their ticket for eternal life. They have sent themselves to hell by their own denial of His perfect gift of love.

Of that perfect gift, Jesus spoke most emphatically to His disciples the night before His crucifixion. While it is certainly true that Jesus spoke of love throughout the gospels, the Lord reveals the triune relationship between Himself, His Father, and His disciples in John chapters 13 through 17. The Lord Jesus stated in John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. He goes on to state that those who keep His commandments are His friends. The Lord's brother James states in chapter four, verse four of his letter ... that friendship with the world is hostility toward God ... Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Clearly, God is not a respecter of persons and welcomes all to become His friends. Yet, with that friendship there is the responsibility to love and to obey Him in all things. Only as we totally give ourselves to Him can we know the depths of His love for us. Only then can we share what He has given us for a dying world. Mother Teresa was an exceptional example of someone who had learned at an early age that to truly live as Christ lived, in abject poverty, was to live so others might be satisfied with the meager basics of life. Although this was her life's work, she encountered doubts and disillusion early on. In her first year of ministering on the streets of Calcutta she was forced to beg for her own sustenance along with those she was trying to help. One of her diary entries acknowledges her early struggles between staying the course and committing to the work, or returning to the comfort of the convent.


... Today I learned a good lesson. The poverty of the poor must be so hard for them. While looking for a home I walked and walked till my arms and legs ached. I thought how much they must ache in body and soul, looking for a home, food and health. Then the comfort of Loreto [her former order] came to tempt me. "You have only to say the word and all that will be yours again," the Tempter kept on saying ... Of free choice, my God, and out of love for you, I desire to remain and do whatever be your Holy will in my regard. I did not let a single tear come.
God's nature is to form His nature within humankind -- nothing less than that will ultimately satisfy Him or us. We were made in the likeness of God to love, to be loved, and to further His love to others simply because of who we are and not necessarily what we do. If we truly know Him, we will become more and more like Him every day. If we are not, then there may be a problem with our "nature". What we will find in this series, The Fruit of the Spirit, is that Satan will seek to offer us deceptive fruits just as he tempted and deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden. With every genuine facet of God, the enemy has devised a counterfeit that might appear commendable, yet it does not have its roots in God's nature. That is one reason why the devil is so successful at masquerading lust for love. It is merely an emotional, fleshly sensation that only seeks a selfish end. Love is diametrically opposite. It will never seek its own reward, but will always commit to serving another's need. Beloved, this is God's attitude toward all humankind. He is not the vengeful, unloving God as so many misunderstand Him. He is the God of love that could not deny His own loving nature by giving His Son to die for us on Calvary -- by giving humankind the greatest romantic, redemptive love story possible. And this Jesus, the exact representation of His Father and His awesome love, modeled for us during His short three year ministry the way to serve others by giving up one's life for the sake of another. To the degree that we live and move and have our being in this most wonderful fruit of God's nature, is to the degree that we will truly live eternally, not only in heaven but here on this earth as we live and die daily for those around us.



Lord God Almighty, thank you that you gave your Son so that we might live in love. Help us to live in Your nature and let the fruit of love abound in our lives. For if it is truly abounding, then we are certainly living for others and not ourselves. In Jesus' name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

Sunday, August 23, 2015

God's Sanctuary - August 23, 2015

Exodus 25:8 - Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.

God loves us. Most of us have heard that over and over until it loses it true meaning. The reality is that God REALLY loves us. Something that many of us can probably relate to more than God loving us is that God really LIKES us and desires to be with with His people. It has always been the desire of the Father to dwell amongst His people, as we read in Exodus 25:8. It is not something that God planned grudgingly or with reservation, but throughout time it has been his utmost desire to "hang out" (if you will indulge me with contemporary vernacular) with His beloved. God's desire and love and longing for us is infinite, although He patiently knows that we are but time-bound creatures made from dust that can't comprehend how much He yearns for our company. Yet, this God whose very nature is love desires a people that will love and like Him in return. He desires a holy people that will not run from Him but run toward Him at His beckon. Undoubtedly, the Lord God Almighty could have designed His people to love Him in a forced or compulsory manner. Much in the same way, the Father could have created the sanctuary for His presence outlined in the book of Exodus. However, God desired for His people to love Him and to want to dwell with Him so that they might be compelled from their own passion for the Most High to build Him a place on this earth for His abode. The Lord Jehovah could have supernaturally made the sanctuary of the Lord appear in the wilderness but that was not His desire. He wanted the children of Israel to painstakingly pay attention to every detail and to labor with love on this most holy construction. This showed God that they truly desired Him as much as imperfect man could desire to please a perfect God.

Fast forward approximately 1300 years to the time of Christ. For years, the Jewish nation had immersed themselves in a temporal mindset that God would continue to dwell in their midst if they would but maintain the temple and its practices. This presumption led many to miss the signs of Jesus Christ's first appearing and His spiritual destruction of the temple made with hands. It would be another 40 years after Christ's death when the temple in Jerusalem would be razed to the ground by the Romans. However, Jesus totally nullified the temple and it's sanctuary by sacrificing His own life on the cross. This allowed the true sanctuary of God -- that one not made by human hands, to become an eternal dwelling place in the hearts of men and women where God could reside. In II Corinthians 6:16, Paul states that this all loving, all powerful, all knowing and caring God desires not only to dwell in once sinful man, but to also walk with him in his daily life. Imagine the God of the universe wanting and "liking" to spend time with us in our seemingly mundane lives. Most of us would probably attest that our lives are often filled with ordinary routine that would many days not even warrant a journal entry in our respective diaries. Yet God is fascinated with our lives to the point that He desires to walk and talk with us every moment of the day. It is certainly true that we could never give back to God anything of substance since He is the owner of all (Psalm 50:10Psalm 89:11). The only thing that we can give Him is ourselves, or more poignantly, our time. The Lord gives every single human a pre-determined allotment of time upon this earth. It is our responsibility to use it wisely. True wisdom would dictate that the more time we lavish on the Lord, the more time is richly invested.

For those of us who know the Lord and understand that He is indeed dwelling within us, there are still things we must do in order to maintain the sanctuary of the Lord. Although God desires to spend time with us, He can often be relegated to an isolated place in the sanctuary within. While we are no longer in the construction business (for Jesus constructed a perfect tabernacle within us all for Him to dwell) it is still our responsibility to maintain it. God will never love or like us less than He does right now, yet He will be silenced oftentimes from expressing His love and joy within because of a sanctuary that is unsanctified. Paul stated to the Corinthians in his first letter (6:19), asking them: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? In the previous verses he was admonishing this fledgling church that they must flee the sins of the flesh because these are what keep them from fellowship with God and with one another. The apostle knew that in order for God to live uninhibited in their lives that they must first of all renounce the lusts of this world that would seek to pollute the sanctuary within. If the devil cannot have your soul, there is nothing more that he would desire to have is your time -- time wasted on the unfruitful deeds of darkness that would pollute the dwelling place of the Most High God. However, ... if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (I John 1:7). Beloved, there is nothing that will enable us to maintain the health and holiness of our respective sanctuaries like the blood of Jesus. It will wash away all darkness and filth and will once again allow His light and fellowship to abound. Once our sanctuary is filled with light, we will once again "feel" and comprehend the love and friendship of our God as He rejoices over us with shouts of triumph (Zephaniah 3:17).

Beloved, we must no longer worry about creating anything of "good" for our God. We can never build Him a sanctuary that would please Him in exchange for the sanctuary that He has made possible within all of humankind to dwell. Tragically, for many, God will never occupy these places of His habitation because so many will never invite Him in. These are mysterious "God-shaped", glorious dwelling places in the heart of every man, woman, and child that have existed since Jesus Christ gave this wondrous gift to humankind nearly 2,000 years ago. For those who do know our Lord and have accepted Him to dwell within His sanctuary, it is merely a matter of living free from the entanglements of this world to enjoy His heavenly presence. God desires us -- God longs for us -- God loves us -- and He LIKES us. He desires to live and and move and have His being within ours. All we must do is accept Him, welcome Him, and appreciate Him by living according to His will. Then, we will know what it means to be living in the love of His eternal sanctuary, forever in His care!

Abba (Papa) Father, we thank you for your life within us. Illumine the eyes of our understanding that we might better understand your love for us. Show us your desire to walk and talk with us in the sanctuary created not with human hands, but in that one created by Your Son within all our hearts. May we better understand through our daily communion with You the joy and affection You have for all. In Jesus' name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Praying God's Word - August 16, 2015

So often I hear believers say something to the effect as that they don't know how to pray. What a travesty! God's Holy Word is filled with those who teach prayer not only from a direct lesson as Jesus taught His disciples (Matthew 6:9-13), but also those who teach from example. The apostle Paul gives us a wonderful treasury of prayers to pray back to the Father in His Son's name. Paul was not ashamed or timid when speaking to the churches that they should follow his example and imitate him in all his ways (Philippians 4:9). Whether he was instructing them in person or through one of his letters, Paul was a living example of not only how to live but how to live a life of unceasing prayer. He must have known through the Holy Spirit that by writing out his prayers that he was instructing his beloved churches regarding how to both supplicate and intercede with a Godly focus.

There are many such examples in the Pauline letters, but we will look at just a few. The depth of Paul's wisdom and understanding of God should not intimidate those who would desire to pray as Paul prayed. For example, Ephesians 1:17-19 (New International Version) states:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
The apostle's words may seem flowery and lofty, yet they can be easily broken down to better understand their intent. Here is one possible way that a believer might pray back Paul's prayer to the Father:
Holy Father, I am going to keep asking you over and over for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Lord, I don't fully understand what that means but I ask you to show me what wisdom and revelation mean in my heart and in those hearts that I am bringing before you today. Fill us today, Lord. Father, help me to visualize in my spirit how you are opening the eyes of my inner person to understand the important job you have called me and others to complete. With that calling, you have provided all the resources and power to accomplish these great things if only I will but believe. Help my faith, Lord, to believe that you are backing me up to complete this work by your incredible, unlimited power.
The preceding passage in Ephesians is only one of several specific prayers that Paul prayed for instruction to the early churches. Others include Ephesians 3:14-19Philippians 1:9-11Colossians 1:9-12I Thessalonians 5:23, and II Thessalonians 1:11, just to name a few. These prayers contain specific prayers for the churches as Paul laser-focuses his petitions for specific out workings of the Divine Spirit in their midst (e.g. love, wisdom, knowledge, power, and sanctification for the equipping of the saints).

Not only may we be aware of stated prayers such as in the Pauline letters, but we may also take numerous scriptures throughout the Bible and turn them back around as prayers of supplication, intercession, or thanksgiving. For instance, Paul states in I Thessalonians 5:18 to ... give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. One could just as easily turn that into a prayer and say, "Lord, help me to give thanks in all things because I know this is Your will for me!" As we begin to pray back God's word to Him, we find a greater ability to continue to breathe out prayers as we meditate on His word. We further understand that our lives can truly become a life of unceasing prayer as we memorize and repeat His word back to Him. Note also, that praying the word is not merely relegated to the New Testament. Many of the Psalms are wonderful, heartfelt expressions of prayer and thanksgiving for God's wonderful dealings with writers such as David and Asaph. These scriptures are "living and active" and as relevant to be prayed back to God as they were 3,000 years ago (Psalm 102:18). Isaiah is one of my personal favorites. This learned prophet wrote in an eloquent, poetic way with a heart of passion for Israel. I invite you to look especially at chapters 40 through 66 as you personalize Isaiah's prayers for our contemporary lives. They have just as much power today when we substitute in prayer the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem for the current Body of Christ -- His living church.

Beloved, my challenge is that we would all embrace the power of praying God's word. Through an earnest desire to know the depths of God's word through prayer, the Holy Father will reveal His Son in ways that we have never imagined. By asking Him to open up and reveal the depth of wisdom in the scripture in prayer, we too can experience an understanding equal to Paul's that may have once seemed distant and improbable. The apostle admonishes us in Romans 12:2 to not be conformed with the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How much better for our minds and our hearts to be changed then by Him speaking to us His holy word? That is only half the exchange. He earnestly desires that we would take that word and speak it back to Him. God desires a holy conversation of humble prayer and supplication with His bride. He has given us the words to speak if we would but offer them back to Him with a desire to please Him in faith and love.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

Sunday, August 9, 2015

God's Mountain Men - Part II - August 9, 2015

Genesis 22:2 - He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."

As a boy, some of my favorite reading were biographies. In particular, I very much enjoyed stories of the western expansion in America. Tales of mountain men such as Jedediah Smith and Jim Bridger would make me dream of running away to the mountains to live as a hermit amongst the savages, selling my fur pelts to the highest bidder. The proverbial call of the mountains can be just as strong as the call of the sea, setting in motion these "dreamers" of a bygone era with hopes to live independently and at the same time strike it rich with the wealth the streams and rivers would offer. Their goals were often to remain fiercely independent with no one telling them how to live their lives. This isolation more often ended up badly for the majority of mountain trappers as they were either killed by Indians, avalanches, rockslides, or an assortment of other tragedies that were symptomatic of their aloneness.

In comparison, we see another "mountain man" who millenniums before heard the voice of God and chose to give up his own agenda for that of the Lord's. Abraham's 600 mile trek from Mesopotamia along with his nephew Lot in chapter 12 of the book of Genesis came to a parting of ways for the two in chapter 13. Abraham saw the wisdom of them separating since their herds had become too large for them to dwell together. The scripture states: So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom (Genesis 13:11-12). The land of Canaan referred to is a rugged area full of hills and mountains far less habitable than the Jordan valley which his nephew had chosen. Water was not in abundance for the flocks and herds in the hills and the mountains, yet God's promise to Abraham was that He would bless him and make him a mighty nation (Genesis13:14-17). While Lot chose the "easier, softer way" of the valley, Abraham chose the more difficult life knowing that God would bless him regardless.

Abraham was unmoved by mountains because he lived amongst them by choice. Later, when God told Abraham to ascend Mount Moriah to sacrifice his son Isaac, there is no mention of the patriarch arguing with God but he set off with his son in obedience. As we know from this familiar story, God was merely testing Abraham's faith to see if he would truly obey Him in all things. Conversely, we read in Genesis 19:17 that Lot was moved to retreat and hide in the mountains as he fled for his life due to his compromising lifestyle: When they had brought them outside, one [of the angels] said, "Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away. God has juxtaposed two characters in this lesson from His word, showing us that those two different embraces -- one of obedience resulting in blessing, the other in compromise resulting in a flight of fear of God's judgment. The end of Lot's compromised state is a sad tale of loneliness and incest while hiding out in the depths of the mountains that he once shunned (Genesis 19:30-38).

As believers, we are continually bombarded with choices in our sensual, sin-soaked western culture. Many of those that would seek to follow the Lord might think that living in the proverbial mountains of faith is a hard life fraught with isolation from the glitz and the glamour of our 21st century living. That would be true. However, once we separate ourselves from the compromise and the allure of the world, then God takes us aside as He did Abraham and He promises His blessings upon our lives. While some might believe this is the life of loneliness, it is ironically the life filled with fellowship and the camaraderie of all those who have likewise chosen a mountain man lifestyle. The striking truth regarding those who seek to live in the comfort and compromise of this world find that they are the ones who will one day, like Lot, seek the shelter of the mountains that could have formed the character they so desperately needed. Unfortunately, for many it will be too late at this juncture. May we all, like Abraham, seek to live as God's mountain man -- not compromising with the world but joyously submitting to God in all instances and watching as His marvelous life blesses not only us and our families but all those whom we would encounter. The choice is ours today.

Heavenly Father, make us true children of Abraham, unwavering in our decision for you. Allow us to shun the pleasures of the rich valleys of this earth and let us learn character by living with You in the mountains of your choosing, producing character and obedience and finding favor in Your presence. For without faith and obedience it is impossible to please You. Allow us Your grace in this endeavor. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

Sunday, August 2, 2015

God's Mountain Men - Part I - August 2, 2015


Matthew 17:1-2 - Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

Mountains have a way of capturing our imagination. The Psalmist refers to mountains, comparing them to the righteousness of God -- stately in majesty (Psalm 36:6). Many of us that have climbed mountains, either with equipment or as "free-climbers" know the exhilaration of reaching the top. It is truly an awe-inspiring moment. I vividly remember the first of many summits that I ascended. It was November 1976 in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) outside of Estes Park Colorado. Four of us from a local bible college decided to take on Twin Sisters, an 11,428 foot peak. During the late 1970s, the Front Range of the Rockies was in the midst of a drought. Comparatively, little snow had fallen that fall season, so we decided to free-climb the switchbacks to the peak. Bob, our guide, had hiked up to the summit just weeks before with no problems. However, as we progressed we found the snow deepening in various sections shielded by the trees. As we sank knee deep in snow, our thoughts raced back and forth from wishing we had snow shoes and turning around and retreating for the trailhead and the warmth of the car. However Bob was determined to push onward and upward. Once above treeline, we found very little snow on the boulder fields that were swept free by the wind. From there it was a short climb to the top and to the breathtaking view. There was such a feeling of accomplishment that we all shouted with enthusiasm as our voices echoed in the valley below. Twenty-three years later, I would be back in RMNP ascending my first "fourteener" with my brother-in-law Tim as my guide. He had summitted Long's Peak (14,259 ft.) before and led me to the peak, guiding me through the boulder field, the Keyhole, around the Trough and the Narrows and finally to the top. In both my first and latter summits, I was grateful for determined, experienced guides that helped me find my way.

Mountain climbing is not for the faint-hearted. I would compare some of the peaks I have summitted with running some of my faster marathon times. Both demanded a great deal of stamina and fortitude to finish as I raced against either the clock or against the weather to ascend and then descend the mountain, respectively. Matthew tells us nothing of Jesus' motive when leading Peter, James, and John to the top of this high mountain, as described by the author in chapter 17. Six days earlier, they had been given a lesson regarding the cost of discipleship (Matthew 16:24-28). Jesus told them that if they wished to follow Him that they must obey Him implicitly or, as Christ stated, to deny one's self and take up the cross. Undoubtedly, the disciples were perplexed where the Lord might be taking them. Historically, the Mount of Transfiguration is considered to be Mount Tabor which is an 1,800 ft. summit. While this would not be considered a high mountain by many of our standards, it is the second tallest peak in Israel. The journey to the top was without a doubt arduous even as it is today for Christian pilgrims to ascend. Possibly the disciples were muttering on their way up, trying to figure out where their Lord might be leading? After all, there surely weren't any opportunities to minister on the peak of Mount Tabor? It just didn't make sense as it appeared that Jesus seemed to be isolating them from their calling as "holy evangelists". Or, maybe the Lord wanted to "pray" again. (That would mean some "snooze" time for the disciples!) However, once they arrived at the pinnacle they were in for quite a surprise! It was God's will that Jesus be transfigured in their midst that the disciples might see Jesus in His glory. Undoubtedly, all thoughts of a wasted climb to the top of Mt. Tabor vanished as they saw Jesus, Moses, and Elijah in glorious radiance along with hearing the awesome voice of God the Father. Their lives would be forever altered after ascending this famous mount.

As the disciples obeyed Jesus' leading, they were blessed with the wonder of His glory. However, this was merely a token of what God had in store for the apostles. As they would soon find out, it's one thing to climb mountains while following the Lord in obedience -- it's quite another thing to move them! Through their obedient pursuit of their Holy Master, Jesus was preparing them to be true "mountain men". The Lord had previously modeled to his followers the need for seclusion and prayer on the mountaintop (Matthew 14:23). Now, He had brought them to the top of Tabor to show them their respective callings. It was not an accident that three mortal beings ascended that mountain, yet three supernatural manifestations occurred in three persons.
  • James the brother of John, became instrumental as a leader of the early church in Jerusalem where he helped shepherd thousands of believers as they were added to the church through the work of the Holy Spirit. Similarly, Moses was an Old Covenant archetype of the shepherd that led the flock of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land via Mount Sinai. Both men had hearts for God and His people. While Moses was the Law Giver that came down from the mountain, James helped shepherd with the Law of Liberty from Mount Jerusalem, the site of the early church.

  • John the brother of James, later to be known as "John the Revelator" became the greatest prophet of the new dispensation. The book of Revelation is still being played out even today as the end-time book of Acts. The Elijah of Mount Carmel similarly was a prophet embroiled in persecution much like John experienced under the Roman emperors. Elijah's zeal for the Lord God made him God's choice to both preserve and reveal the word of the Lord in ancient Israel against King Ahab and Queen Jezebel's idolatrous government (I Kings 17).

  • Peter, the great evangelist, would be instrumental in leading more souls to His Savior than Jesus did in the time of His short ministry. In the space of a few weeks after Pentecost, the church added over 8,000 souls through the preaching of Peter as endued by the Holy Spirit. Peter had certainly become the soul-winner that Jesus the Great Evangelist modeled for him during His three years with the apostle (Acts 2:41Acts 4:4).
Beloved, at some point in our Christian walk Jesus will desire to lead every one of us up our own Mount Tabor to manifest Himself in a miraculous way. If we are faithful and resolute to follow Him, no matter how hard the climb, we will be delighted upon reaching the apex. We may not see a transfiguration in the same way as the disciples, however we can be sure that He will show us His glory in the way He sees fit if we will but trust and follow. With the revelation He provides will come the responsibility to partner with Him until He completes His work in and through us (Philippians 1:6). Much in the same way that we behold the beauty of a mountaintop, those of us who are called by His Name must become mountain men and women for God and dare to move mountains once we have climbed them with our Lord. As the apostles later understood, the Transfiguration meant nothing until they too were transfigured to shake the earth for Jesus. Are you a mountain man or woman for Jesus? For only as we follow Him implicitly to the top of our respective Mount Tabor will we truly understand His calling for our lives.

Heavenly Father, make us all desire to be mountain men and women for You. Help us to follow Your Son up and over those pinnacles that may seem daunting and without common sense to traverse. Yet, through Jesus' wisdom may we see the final outcome and the transfiguration that You desire to complete in all your sons and daughters. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick