August 29 - Transformed by His Presence

By Lillian Sparks

Today's Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3:18

Central Thought: We are transformed when we encounter the glory of God's presence.

    When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he didn't realize that his skin shone because he had been face-to-face with God. Aaron and the Israelites were afraid to approach him because of the radiant splendor. After reading the commandments to them, Moses placed a veil over his face. When he returned to the top of the mountain a second time, he removed the veil, only to replace it when he appeared before the children of Israel again. Moses' countenance was transformed because of a dramatic encounter with the presence of God.

    Moses enjoyed the face-to-face visitation of God without the veil; whereas, the Israelites had to be content with a partial revelation of God through the medium of the law. Only Moses, 'a friend of God,” was given the privilege of witnessing God's glory. Paul uses this allegory to argue that whenever a Jew turns to the Lord—that is, accepts Christ as Savior—and sees in Him the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law, this veil has been clearly removed. The apostle explains why turning to the Lord involves the removal of the veil spread over the hearts of men and women. Christ transforms the inner lives of humankind because of the working of the Holy Spirit.

    With 'open face” or 'unveiled face” the believer has a vision of the glory of the Lord, but it is only as in a glass or mirror that he or she can now see it. As ancient mirrors were made of metal and had a dull, reflecting surface, the vision is cloudy and somewhat imperfect. What the Christian sees is not the immediate vision of the glory of the Lord, which is only revealed in heaven, but the revelation of His glory through the Word and the Spirit. The literal meaning is 'beholding oneself in a mirror.” Thus the believer is changed as he or she contemplates the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, change our hearts. Remove the veils of unbelief, unholy living, and impure thoughts. Transform us into Your image and likeness so that the world may see the reflection of Your glory.

Today's Bible Reading: Job 31:1-33:33; 2 Corinthians 3:1-18; Psalm 43:1-5; Proverbs 22:8-9