January 28, 2014
Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
Job 23:10, King James Version
Today’s Study Text:
“And after six days Jesus taketh with Him Peter, and James, and John and leadeth them up into a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow: so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elijah with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.”
Mark 9: 2-4, K.J.V.
“Share your courage with others.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
Is there someone in my life who has provided me great encouragement?
How has the encouraging support of another person assisted me in my life?
Is there someone I can provide encouragement to in my life?
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s (or woman’s) gift is…encouraging, let him (her) encourage.”
Romans 12: 6, 8, N.I.V.
“Take courage. We walk in the wilderness today and in the Promised Land tomorrow.”
“I will not wish thee riches, nor the glow of greatness, but that wherever thou
go some weary heart shall gladden at thy smile, or shadowed life know sunshine
for a while, and so thy path shall be a track of light, like angels’ footsteps passing through the night.”
Inscription, words on a Church wall in Upwaltham, England
This week we have looked at the life of Moses and the seemingly disappointing end of his life when his request to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land was denied. From a human standpoint, this refusal of God, Moses’ dear friend, to let him be the one to take God’s chosen children into their promised home, seemed like a complete travesty for as we studied, from the time Moses was conceived, to the very end of his life, Moses had fulfilled his duty. And even though, he, at times, tried to help God out by doing things his own way, yet Moses’ life, was certainly one of obedience as he accepted the burdens he carried from the palace to the desert and finally to the top of a mountain called Pisgah, where we are told he died and was buried.
However, this isn’t the last we hear about Moses, for his work on earth wasn’t completely finished. In the small New Testament book of Jude, we find this information about Moses, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 1: 9, K.J.V.). While there is not a great deal of consensus among Biblical scholars regarding this passage, I would like to offer one observation which struck me this week as we studied deeper into the life of Moses and what, from the human eye, appears to be an unanswered prayer at the end of his life
There is a great deal of information shared in the book of Jude about the evil powers that are at work all around us. We shouldn’t make light of the idea that we live in a world where good and evil battle all the time – whether over a man of God like Moses, or a daughter or son of God like you.
Temptations are constantly thrown our way to drive us off the path that God has laid out for each of us. To recognize this fact is extremely critical, because with the knowledge that everything isn’t smooth sailing in our lives, this pertinent information assists us in being prepared to face tough times. And I will add, through the power of prayer, we are armed for the battle.
Nowhere in all of the Bible did the battle between good and evil become so clearly defined than on Calvary when Jesus was crucified. The stark reality that evil wanted to forever destroy what was pure and holy was evident, not only to the individuals present who witnessed Christ’s crucifixion, but also to all the people down through time who have chosen to believe in the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.
And so, as our study text today shares with us, before this ultimate battle between good and evil took place, just before Calvary‘s cross, two representatives, Moses and Elijah, were sent to give encouragement to the Son of God to the fact that evil does not win. Death would be destroyed. Evil would not prevail. The grave that did not hold back Moses, would not hold back, Jesus, either. Resurrection morning proves this glorious truth!
I love these encouraging words penned by Sadie Louise Miller that sum up the life of Moses – who had an answer to his prayer delayed, but finally received the best answer possible when he entered the promised land and witnessed the glory of his Lord.
“I know that an omniscient Artist planned,
With skill divinely grand,
The painting of my life’s short, winding road.
I think He wrought and gazed with tender glance
Upon the scene; and as it grew
In beauty, with a cloud-fleeced heaven embowed,
He rose, as if to disentrance
Himself, and stepped aback and scanned
The product of His Master-hand,
Quick grasped His brush! His visage glowed!
Just one more touch of grey in somber hue
Must rest upon that placid sky of blue,
Before its arching depth could best enhance
The glory of the little winding road.”
Sadie Louise Miller
“The hill was steep, but cheered along the way
By converse sweet, I mounted on the thought
That so it might be till the height was reached;
But suddenly a narrow winding path
Appeared, and then the Master said, ‘My child,
Here thou wilt safest walk with Me alone.’
I trembled, yet my heart’s deep trust replied,
‘So be it, Lord.’ He took my feeble hand
In His, accepting thus my will to yield Him
All, and to find all in Him.
One long, dark moment,
And no friend I saw, save Jesus only.
But oh! So tenderly He led me on
And up, and spoke to me such words of cheer,
Such secret whisperings of His wondrous love,
That soon I told Him all my grief and fear,
And leaned on His strong arm confidingly.
And then I found my footsteps quickened,
And light ineffable, the rugged way
Illumined, such light as only can be seen
In close companionship with God.
A little while, and we shall meet again
The loved and lost; but in the rapturous joy
Of greetings, such as here we cannot know,
And happy song, and heavenly embraces
And tender recollections rushing back
Of pilgrim life, methinks one memory
More dear and sacred than the rest, shall rise
And we who gather in the golden streets,
Shall oft be stirred to speak with grateful love
Of that dark day when Jesus bade us climb
Some narrow steep leaning on Him alone.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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