“But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.”
II Corinthians 3:7-11, 13 NKJV
I used to drive people to and from church. One of the first ministries I was called to, was driving the church van. For most of my 14 years doing that, it was mixed bag of experiences, with some rides being blessed events where there was wonderful spirit of unity, and other times when I felt like I had to pull over and break up fights.
Toward the end of my time in that role, I had the joy of driving Miss Carol Raveling, a 93 year old lady of the church. She loved the Lord! When she entered my car, the spiritual temperature would raise to the roof, as she was so excited about the things of God. We spent the ride talking about Jesus and worshipping in His name.
After class, she would be giddy, and even more excited about something she had learned. In her, the light of Christ was shining bright, as the Holy Spirit in her was eternal and the glory of God would never pass away.
In reading II Corinthians chapter three, I was reminded of the time when Moses would go into the presence of the Lord and come out with his face aglow. The children of Israel would become afraid to go near him, giving them a sense that God way too near. Moses wore a veil, so that they would not be so alarmed at His appearance. The veil also hid the fact that this glory on the face of Moses was only temporary, as it would fade the longer he was away from the Lord.
“So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses talked with them. Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them as commandments all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.”
Exodus 34:30-33 NKJV
The great thing for the New Testament believer, is that the glory that we have from the Lord is not on us, but in us, as the Holy Spirit has take up residence in those who have been born again. That glory only increases as the Christian continually seeks the Lord.
In Miss Carol, the glory of God showed brightly, and never diminished, even as the outer vessel aged. She endured the afflictions of life, yet her joy in the Lord only increased.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
II Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, let us rejoice in the unfading glory of Jesus, the One who came and lived a sinless life, that we who have sinned, can be forgiven, and given a new life.
I desire to be like Miss Carol, excited for the cross with each passing day, even as my body becomes increasingly decrepit. May the glory of God be shown in my, and may the acts of my hands, the words on my lips, and the way I behave be a reflection of that glory.
The world that we are living in is darkening, but the light shines brightest in that darkness. Let us go forth and proclaim the Gospel. Let us also avoid the things that serve to shade the light, such as sin, idolatry, and adhering to beliefs that inhibit our ability to reach the lost.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
II Corinthians 4:7-10 NKJV
Miss Carol showed the glory of God until her last breath, and her physical passing away was but an address change. The glory of her Savior has not passed away, and her testimony will ring through the ages. God brought her into my life, and I can say, I was changed. God has given us a great cloud of witnesses who have known the glory of God. Each one of us who believes will one day be counted in that number.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 NKJV
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One thought on “Passing away”
Thanks so much Bernie! This blog gave me material I need it to encourage her mine who is dying. Thank you for your hard work.
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