ODJ: This Great Brightness

August 15, 2017 

READ: Exodus 34:29-35 

When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord (v.29).

Our faces can give clues to our life experiences. They reveal our emotions, hint at our age and indicate whether or not we’ve led difficult lives. They can also hint at whether or not we’ve been with God. I once had a co-worker at my workplace ask why I was so joyful and smiling all the time. His question caught me off guard; I wasn’t aware my face was revealing anything. I paused, and then answered, “Jesus.” He laughed off my reply and then asked, “No, really, why?” I reiterated, “Jesus.”

On Mount Sinai, Moses spent some incredible moments with God. When he came down from the mountain, those who saw him noticed that, “His face was radiant because he had spoken to the Lord” (Exodus 34:29). God’s light and life streamed in and through Moses. His face literally glowed with the glory of God.

In the New Testament we read that when Stephen, the first martyr, stood before his accusers, “everyone in the high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angel’s” (Acts 6:15). The bright and loving wisdom on Moses’ and Stephen’s faces revealed God’s glory—that they’d been with Him. Peter, James and John also glimpsed such radiance on Jesus’ face. Matthew 17:2 recounts that “Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.”

Ecclesiastes 8:1 declares, “Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness.” Biblical and experiential accounts demonstrate that the more we grow in our relationship with Jesus (John 17:3), the more our lives and faces will radiate Him. They will metaphorically, and one day literally, reveal His glory.

—Marlena Graves

365-day-plan: Luke 15:11-32

Read 1 Timothy 6:15-16 and reflect on what it means that God “lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him”. 
Have you ever had anyone indicate that they’ve noticed the light and love of Christ shining through you? Have you noticed it in others? What does it look like? 
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