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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No.06 Monuments Or Listeners???

 

In recent days there has been a lot of talk going around about building a monument to a recently departed man of God, and it occurs to me that we’ve missed the point! But even Jesus’ disciples wrestled with this “monument” mindset, yet God clearly redirected their focus!

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother,

and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

2 And was transfigured before them:

and his face did shine as the sun,

and his raiment was white as the light.

3 And, behold, there appeared unto them

Moses

and Elias

talking with him.

4 Then answered Peter,

and said unto Jesus,

Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt,

let us make here three tabernacles;

one for thee,

and one for Moses,

and one for Elias.

5 While he yet spake,

behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them:

and behold a voice out of the cloud,

which said,

This is my beloved Son,

in whom I am well pleased;

hear ye him.

6 And when the disciples heard it,

they fell on their face,

and were sore afraid.” Matthew 17:1-6

Jesus took three disciples, Peter, James and John, with Him up into the mountain and Matthew records the account for us. We find the disciples with the Lord at a most important occurrence—Jesus was “transfigured” before them: “his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light”! Jesus revealed a measure of His heavenly glory to these three disciples, and they must have been overwhelmed at the sight. But that wasn’t all! They also saw Moses and Elijah (Elias) as they were “talking with him” right before their eyes. What an awe-inspiring sight to behold and yet they allowed the ‘sight’ to distract them from their “focus”.

Once again Peter steps up and with his usual grace—seeming to open his mouth and inset his foot:

Then answered Peter,

and said unto Jesus,

Lord, it is good for us to be here:

if thou wilt,

let us make here three tabernacles;

one for thee,

and one for Moses,

and one for Elias.

As we consider what Peter said, we see that he at least recognized that it was “good for us to be here”, and he asked for permission to build tabernacles/monuments to Jesus and the two men who appeared with Him. The writings of Solomon remind us that some things never change:

The thing that hath been,

it is that which shall be;

and that which is done

is that which shall be done:

and there is no new thing

under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

As much as the enemy of our souls tries to convince us that this “new” thing will make life perfect—this ‘new’ gadget, this ‘new’ look, this ‘new’ job, this ‘new’ idea or that—anything that will get our eyes and our minds off of Jesus! Even the disciples had their focus taken off of Jesus (And He was right there!), and onto ‘monument’ building. God clearly reminded them, and us, that our work is to hear and obey.

While he yet spake,

behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them:

and behold a voice out of the cloud,

which said,

This is my beloved Son,

in whom I am well pleased;

hear ye him.

God reminds us that our attention is to be on HIM and HIS SON, Jesus! HE wants us to understand that it’s Jesus who is to be our focus—He is our hope – our only hope–our everything!!!

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about

with so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us lay aside every weight,

and the sin which doth so easily beset us,

and let us run with patience

the race

that is set before us,

2 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 is set down at the right hand

of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

It’s all about Jesus not monuments to the accomplishments of man, no matter how godly and successful they are or were. Our monuments ought to be a godly life lived and given to God and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord to do with as HE pleases. We are to live for Jesus in all we do!

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith

of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

We are saved to be the monuments to our God—not stone and metal. We are the living work of God. It’s what HE saves us for!

For by grace are ye saved

through faith;

and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God hath before ordained

that we should walk

in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10

It is God’s grace that saves us, and His power that makes us “new creatures” who are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works”—God’s workings made manifest in His own children—to His glory and for our good!!!

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God,

who hath reconciled us to himself

by Jesus Christ,

and hath given to us the ministry

of reconciliation;

19 To wit,

that God was in Christ,

reconciling the world

unto himself,

not imputing their trespasses

unto them;

and hath committed

unto us

the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors

for Christ,

as though God did beseech you

by us:

we pray you in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him

to be sin for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

the righteousness of God

in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

We are saved to be God’s ambassadors to a lost and dying world—by living for Jesus rather than building monuments of wood and stone! So I ask of us all, are we seeking to build monuments or are we heeding God’s command as living monuments:

This is my beloved Son,

in whom I am well pleased;

hear ye him

We must keep:

Looking unto Jesus

the author

and finisher

of our faith.

And as we look at Him, we will be all that He has saved us to be.

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable

unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

It’s all about HIM! So don’t worry about “monuments” being built for anyone—we’ll just set your eyes on Jesus and you and I can “be” the monuments that God is interested in using to display the grace, love and salvation that He has provided in the blood of Jesus. We simply need to abide in Him and allow His Spirit to produce fruit through us!

I am the true vine,

and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me

that beareth not fruit

he taketh away:

and every branch

that beareth fruit,

he purgeth it,

that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean

through the word

which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me,

and I in you.

As the branch cannot bear fruit

of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye,

except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth

much fruit:

for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:1-5

So let’s not spend our time calling for monuments, but hearing the voice of God speaking to us and obeying His Son and His Word! Let’s determine to do things God’s way and not our own way!!! Let’s not be like Israel and do “that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6 & 21:25. In whose eyes are you doing right? God’s? Or men’s? Choose wisely there is a test at the end! Amen and Amen!!!