Page 7 - July 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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presence of God is everywhere but the face   God’s calm countenance comes peace:
        of God is the relational gateway into His   “The LORD lift up his countenance upon
        holy and glorious character. The problem   you and give you peace” (Num 6:26 ESV).
        is that the face of God cannot shine upon   God’s longing for the people of Israel was
        man without the death of that man (Exo   to grant them the understanding that He
        33:20). Notice that this benediction is given   was not surprised over the circumstances
        after the tabernacle service, which involved   in which they might find themselves, but
        the blood sacrifices for sin. God, through   rather, He is calm. Nothing catches God
        His radical grace, permits His holy and
        glorious character to shine upon the nation   off guard. He challenges the gods if they
        of Israel.  His desire was for a relationship   can declare things to come (Isa 41:22). In
        with His people, which He made possible   Ezekiel 12:25 the Lord says, “For I am the
        through the blood of sacrifices.     LORD; I will speak the word that I will
          For us today, God’s face shines on us   speak, and it will be performed” (ESV).
        through the finished work of Christ.   This makes it clear to us that God is not
        James stated this promise when he wrote,   surprised by future events because He has
        “Draw near to God, and he will draw   planned them. For us, it is the enjoyment
        near to you” (Jas 4:8). We are made for   of God’s foreknowledge that will give us
        a close relationship with God and God   the peace of God in all circumstances. Jesus
        has opened the relationship path. Any   said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I
        human relationship that has gone wrong   give to you. Not as the world gives do I give
        usually has varying blame on both sides.   to you. Let not your hearts be troubled,
        This is not the case with our relationship   neither let them be afraid” (Joh 14:27 ESV).
        with God. If there is any difficulty, it is   When our relationship with God is close,
        entirely our fault. God has made Himself   we have the peace that is better than any
        available through Christ and we need to be   human understanding because He is our
        encouraged to live in the enjoyment of this
        connection. How can we make sure our   sovereign God. Our peace with God has
        relationship to God is close? God invites   been eternally established at the cross, but
        us to allow Him to draw near, and this   the peace of God is up to us to enjoy on a
        can occur when we strengthen our faith in   day-by-day basis.
        His promises. Peter teaches us that during   If we live for blessings from others, we
        trials we have been granted precious and   will always end up dry. God essentially
        great promises, and if we trust in these   says, “If all other faces are cast down and
        promises we will become partakers of the   raining upon you, mine is shining down
        divine nature (2Pe 1:4). Parents delight   upon you.” We may seek approval from
        in their child rushing to them with their   earthly relationships (and rightly so),
        problems, and even greater joy is received   but the ultimate reality is to enjoy God’s
        when they trust their parents’ advice. Our   approval of us through Christ. “Whoever
        Father grants unbreakable promises so He   has my commandments and keeps them,
        can draw near to us.
                                             he it is who loves me. And he who loves
        Through God’s Calm Countenance       me will be loved by my Father, and I will
        Comes Peace                          love him and manifest myself to him” (Joh
          Lastly is the guarantee that through   14:21 ESV).

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