Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Smile – What Brings a Smile to Your Face?

Exodus 34:29
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.

What brings a smile to your face? Of course the first answer I would give these days is spending time with my grandchildren (and children). We now have five grandchildren. Another answer might be a long winning streak by the Baltimore Orioles or Washington Nationals (even a win would be great at times). The opening day win in the 11th inning by the Birds Monday brought a smile to my face. Still another might be time spent with my wife. I could get very pastoral here and say a smile comes across my face when a person receives Jesus Christ – when the light comes on for them in their personal relationship with Jesus. Other things bring a smile to my face as well (like when my friend makes a good shot in golf and gets excited about it). When we see someone with a smile on their face we usually think something just happened and we tend to be curious.

How about when people notice you have lost weight? Better yet – when they say something encouraging to you (if losing weight was what you were after). I remember when one of my daughters greeted me with a hug and she said – getting skinny dad – as she wrapped her arms around me? What about someone saying something about your new hairdo or your new dress (or suit)? How about the smell of your favorite food – or freshly baked bread – or bacon frying (that one always brings a smile to my face)?

I mentioned being pastoral earlier – and I must say – the change in a person’s countenance when they receive Jesus Christ always brings a smile to my face. The change in a person’s face when they know Jesus is really remarkable – that peace that passes all understanding is amazing. When people see this change they are usually curious and tend to ask questions – a perfect time to witness our faith. I see the light of Christ in many people at the church I currently serve. They have been transformed after the likeness of Christ and you can tell. No – they are not perfect – but they are being made perfect by the Christ that dwells in them!

When Moses was in the presence of God – something about him changed – it was very noticeable. Here is today’s passage in partial context – Exodus 34:27-32 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant — the Ten Commandments. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai.

When Moses came down the mountain – the people could tell a change in him – his face radiated with the presence of God. Here is a question to consider – do people see a difference in our countenance when we come into their presence because we have been in the presence of God? I mean – after our devotional time – is there a noticeable difference? After cooperate worship – is there a noticeable difference? After a revival or a special series of services/sermons – is there a noticeable difference? When we return from Promise Keepers – Women of Faith – Catalyst – Emmaus – or any such spiritual time – is there a noticeable difference in our life – in our face – our countenance? If so – great – my next question might be – does the difference stay with us long or fade quickly? If there is no difference – why not? When we come into the presence of God it should make a difference in our lives. People should be able to tell a difference between children of God and the unsaved world around us. They should see a difference and they should be curious. This curiosity should compel them to ask us about the difference they see. It is a perfect time to speak into their lives about the change that Jesus makes for us.

Let’s let the light of Christ shine in us – through us – and at times even in spite of us. If we have been transformed by the grace of God – let it be seen!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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April 5, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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