FACE TO FACE

Meeting face to face can be a good thing, or not so much. A lot depends upon who or what you’re meeting. And their intentions. One thing is certain – being prepared is always better than the alternative.

We’re not quite meeting face to face, only via technology, but welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me. I hope you’re prepared for an encouraging word of faith this morning. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend! Join our email list to get a free copy of my book COUNT TO ONE, get Mornings with Bishop Robert sent directly to your inbox each morning, and lots of other great benefits. Click the link in the description. Now grab a cup and lift it up, and let’s jump into today’s time together.

Face to face is close. If you suddenly find yourself face to face with one of your heroes or a celebrity who’s music or films you enjoy, it can be quite an overwhelming experience. You might find that your mind freezes up momentarily, and that the words you want to say don’t quite come to mind. That’s bad enough. But what’s worse is to meet someone of incredible importance – someone you ought to know – and not even recognize them.

Dick Griffin, one of Queen Elizabeth’s former royal protection officers, recounted the story of a time when he’d been accompanying Her Majesty as she was walking in the hills near her Scottish castle at Balmoral. It was quite uncommon to meet anyone on these remote paths, but on one particular day they came upon an American couple also out on a holiday hike. Neither of the Americans recognized the monarch, and as they engaged in a casual conversation about the surroundings, one of the Americans asked her if she had ever met the Queen. Her quick wit on full display, she replied, “I haven’t, but Dick here meets her regularly.” The hiker immediately put his arm around Griffin’s shoulder, passed their camera to Her Majesty and asked her to take their picture. The queen obliged, and then Griffin took the camera and took a picture of the still-unrecognized monarch with the pair of hikers. After the couple had departed, the queen told Griffin: “I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he shows those photographs to friends in America and hopefully someone tells him who I am.”

Today’s verse says MAY GOD BE MERCIFUL TO US, BLESS US, AND CAUSE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON US

God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. So when we come face to face with Him, His face shines upon us. His light illuminates us in excruciating detail and nothing is hidden from His sight. Hence the psalmist’s initial plea that God be merciful to us. We need His mercy to cover our sin and our failures. We have all fallen short of His glory, we have chosen the path of darkness and deliberately sinned against Him and His holiness. Except for His mercy, we would be destroyed by the light of His presence. But HIS MERCY is extended to us in the love of Jesus Christ, and we receive that mercy as we yield our lives and determine to follow Him. It’s much more than just making a one-time decision or offering a prayer. Receiving His mercy, His blessing, is a commitment on our part to place our lives in His. And there, placed deep within the life of Christ, we ourselves are transformed.

His purity is reflected in His light, and it purifies us. Like the specific wavelengths of blue light that can eradicate the MRSA virus, the light of His love works in us and makes us pure. God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. And His face shining on His servants saves us with His steadfast love. Not only does His light eradicate the sin in our lives as we yield and obey, but it also restores that which sin has destroyed in us. So we pray, “Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!”

MAY GOD BE MERCIFUL TO US, BLESS US, AND CAUSE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON US

What do we receive in the light of God’s love?
An acceptance that can never be questioned.
An inheritance that can never be lost.
A deliverance that can never be excelled.
A grace that can never be limited.
A hope that can never be disappointed.
A bounty that can never be withdrawn.
A joy that can never be diminished.
A nearness to God that can never be reversed.
A peace that can never be disturbed.
A righteousness that can never be tarnished.
A salvation that can never be taken away.

That is what we receive when we yield our lives in obedience and come face to face with the God of creation.

One day we will each meet Him face to face. One thing is certain – being prepared is always better than the alternative.

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