My family and I just finished a vacation in the mountains of Colorado, where the beauty of the Creator God is on display. From the white-capped mountains, to the white-flocked trees, and the layers and layers of perfectly white snow covering everything, the refrain of Jesus Paid It All was on repeat in my heart and mind.
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow…”
Outside of the beauty of white, there was frequently brown snow, mostly where the dirt and grim of the road was pushed aside from snow plows. The white snow was stained with the dirt, rocks and debris now marred, unclean, and of no value. Apart from the brown, we occasional saw a little yellow snow too.
But one of the most interesting thoughts I had on this trip, happened while driving into the mountains. As we begin our ascent up the mountain, we begin to see cars coming in our direction covered with snow. I looked at my wife, Sarah, and said “You can tell these cars have been in the mountain.” And almost instantly Acts 4:13 popped into my head.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. – Acts 4:13
You see Peter and John were so bold about speaking about Christ, that it was evident to those around them that they had been with Jesus. As simple, uneducated men, they sounded, looked, talked, acted, dressed, and smelled like Jesus. The leaders who persecuted Jesus, recognized it right away.
And then think back to Moses. Moses spent so much time with God, that his face literally glowed.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. – Exodus 34:29
For Moses, the more time he spent with God, the longer and brighter his face shined. And as Moses spent less time with God, and more time with the people, the glory (or brightness) began to fade. In the same way, some cars we saw had a lot of snow, some very little, and some none at all. You can tell from their appearance if they were in the mountains, and for how long.
Our relationship with Christ is the same way and should be evident the same way. Others around us should recognize that we have been with God. Our face (or attitude) should be so evident of Christ, that when others see us they have to hide their face because it is so over powering. For Moses, God’s glory faded because it was just temporary, but today we have the unending, never-fading, everlasting glory of God manifested in the Holy Spirit that actually lives within us. The same power and glory of God, shining on the face of Moses, and evident in thoughts and actions of Peter and John, is the very same God who takes resident in our hearts.
As I reflect on this idea, this magnificent blessing God has given me, I can’t help but be reminded that:
- The power and glory must come from God – it’s not my own
- My life should be centered on spending time with God in prayer, communication, and daily living
- My actions and lifestyle should reflect Christ, not my own agenda
Finally, I’m reminded of the red-lettered words of Christ:
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – John 15:35
As we start out another new year, my prayer for you and I is that we pursue Christ with everything in us. We must spend time with God in prayer, listening, and daily reading scripture. And our lives must be evident of Christ, that people will know we have been with Him. Our faces will shine. “ALL people will KNOW you are MY DISCIPLES, because of your LOVE for another.”