Have you ever wondered about what was going on in Moses’ head when he turned and started down the mountain? He had just met with God! God had met with Moses. God spoke with him… clear as day…clearer. God gave Moses His words written on tablets of stone. “Here Moses, I’ve written a few things down. Take these words to My people”. Moses had been fearful before… I can’t, I can’t, I’m not able… I wonder what was going on in his mind that day. I don’t believe Moses ever stopped being afraid of man, I just think that he learned to fear God much more.
How about Paul? He doesn’t seem a whole lot like Moses to me. He was a man in charge… zealous for what he believed in. So much so that he was running hard, not for Christ, but against Him. Paul needed to learn to fear God and God taught Paul to fear Him. The humility that was missing in Saul came out in Paul through Jesus Christ in him, the hope of glory.
In both cases, these men were changed by God and they obeyed God. Moses took the tablets to God’s people and he grew in God-centered boldness. Paul ran square into his enemy, Jesus Christ, on the Damascus road and was so confronted that his whole life was changed. Paul grew in God-centered humility.
Both men were changed by the power of the Gospel. Really? Moses was changed by the gospel? Paul? Who shared the gospel with Paul? This I know. …for the Bible tells me so.
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Everyone who believes, is saved through faith in the Gospel; the Gospel is Good News!
Back to Paul for a moment… I’ve wondered about Paul and his writing and relationship with the Corinthian church. He writes with boldness and confesses that while he writes with such severity it is because he desires to rejoice and enjoy fellowship with them when he is with them. He is also clear that his writing is for the building up and not for tearing down. He makes his motive clear. Think about it… when you or I are feeling beaten down in a confrontation with truth through a sermon or a conversation with a brother or sister in Christ, often the first defense thrown up in our flesh is to challenge the motive of the messenger. Paul makes it clear in 2 Cor 13:10, his motive is to build up and not tear down, yet he acknowledges that his writing reflects a severe use of his authority given him by the Lord.
As I come down from the mountain… as I return from the Adirondacks, from a wonderful time away spent with my Lord and Savior…a Wonderful and Gracious Savior…a Gentle Shepherd; and as I come from a time spent with some precious saints… brothers in Christ who have loved me and prayed for me and encouraged me well from God’s word, I come and find myself back in pretty much the same circumstances that I left. YET, I am coming back with a difference; I have been changed. I met with God and He changed me. Maybe He changed things back here too. I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us… has ministered His grace to my heart and changed me.
It is my hope… future grace… that I fear God more now than when I left and subsequently fear man less. It is my earnest expectation that “I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” My hope is in God.
God is good. And from His goodness flows mercy and grace. We stand in need… desperate need of these because we deservedly hang from a thread over the flames of eternal Hell. We are each great sinners in need of a Great Savior. Jesus Christ is that Great Savior!
Ephesians 2: 1-10, And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.