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It says in Exodus 33:20 "But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see me, and live." And the Lord said, "Here is a place by me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen." This is later repeated in the New Testament in John 1:18 when John the Baptist attempted to expound on the relationship between Jesus, the Son of God and God the Father.
By these two scriptures, even though they are mentioned for widely differing reasons, we can easily conclude that the glory of God’s presence is powerful. I cannot emphasize that enough but this is not the point of what I will tell you today, exactly. This is about you and your perception of God which creates your perception of yourself. This is regardless of the fact of whether you are an atheist, agnostic or a believer.
I have observed most recently that people are alike enough to be kept humble in most respects but differentiate enough to be celebrated for our unique capabilities and attributes. This is most easily forgotten when we start to compare ourselves to others. This only leads to disappointment, of course, when we could know better merely by turning off this kind of noise and simply listen to what God has to say about us and who we are- especially in Him. God is our Creator and He knows how you work even if you have long forgotten. Some people have never known themselves this well. That is a sadness all its own.
Our perception of God is colored by how we perceive ourselves. In our attempt to know Him without using His Word as a guide we fall into sin and outright rebellion. False religions use this basis and there are so many people who, without realizing it on a conscious level, become their own god. It is backwards- and so is sin. The identification of our genuine selves is to be found in the one who created us and not a person we consciously try to create. A creation of a self can only be false and requires the wearing of a special kind of mask. It only means you have to shed lies in order to get to the truth.
It is therefore important to keep in mind that we were created in His image according to Genesis 1:26 and 27 and that we can expect to be our genuine selves if we follow God’s precepts rather than our own. I believe the Lord speaks to everyone but not everyone has opened their ears to receive what He has to say about us and the world to which we relate ourselves. It is even more difficult to receive if we do not believe in Him at all.
Can we get real here for just a minute ? I have no intention of intellectualizing the gospel. The gospel is simple enough that any man at any level of life can understand and accept salvation which was offered to us in place of facing the consequences of sin- which is death according to the Bible.
One of my favorite jokes is thus:
Found on a graffiti wall at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota:
Jesus said unto them:
"Who do you say that I am ?"
And they replied:
"You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationship."
And Jesus said:
It doesn’t make any sense to continue to overanalyze what is right in front of us. Take off the spiritual make-up, brush your over-righteous hair straight and put on your comfy clothes of joy. That is where you will meet up with the Living God. The one who hears you when you are crying alone. The one who knows how many hairs are still left on your head. The God who wishes to speak a unique language to each and every person so that they will finally and completely know how much He loves us and wants to be a part of our lives.
Open up your heart today and say to Him, "Hey God ! What do you think of all this?" You might be surprised at what he has to say.
"He who began a good work in you will perfect it"… Philippians 1:6
Quote of the day:
It matters not if the world has heard or approves or understands…
The only applause we’re meant to seek is that of nail-scarred hands.