If you were to live up to every idealized qualification of the modern American Christian, what all would you do today? When we think of the ideal Christian, we often think of someone who:
- Has a daily devotion time.
- Has a daily prayer time.
- Fosters/adopts children.
- Donates time and money to charity.
- Advocates for righteous political causes.
- Reads daily devotion blogs, parenting/marriage websites, and attends seminars.
- Active in church.
All of these are good things, and we do not want to discourage anyone from doing something that brings them closer to the Lord, or something that brings fulfillment and joy. However, if these things distract us from our main calling in Christ, then we are not only missing the point, we are drifting away from Him.
In Mark 9, Jesus told His disciples that some would live to see the Kingdom of God come with power. That must have been exciting news for the disciples, knowing that they stood a chance of seeing God’s glory, and having their faith validated.
The next few verses describe how Jesus then took Peter, James and John up into a high mountain, and as they were there, Christ took on His glorified form and proceeded to have a conversation with the resurrected Moses and Elijah.
These three disciples were not only witnessing the power and glory of God, but they were seeing two of their biggest Bible heroes in person. It had to be an awe-inspiring moment.
Caught up in that moment, Peter started talking.
“Master, it is good for us to be here. Let’s build three tabernacles, one for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
It was at that point that the Bible tells us that a cloud overshadowed them all, and the voice of God spoke, “This is My beloved Son, Hear Him!”
Poor Peter had a habit of engaging his mouth before his brain was in gear, but who could blame him for his excitement. We can all understand his desire to treat Moses and Elijah with respect. However, in building tabernacles to them, as well as Christ, Peter was inadvertently proposing to elevate Moses and Elijah to the same level as Jesus. That was a mistake that God corrected.
Moses and Elijah represented the Old Testament Law and Prophets. Those were the scriptures that children learned and adults were taught to live by. While there was a lot to learn from the scriptures, it must be remembered that the scriptures testified of the redemption and salvation that would come through Jesus Christ.
Today, the story of the Bible, from beginning to finish, is about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our salvation according to the scriptures. That Gospel is the turning point of human history, and the foundational belief of the Christian faith.
With all the expectations thrown on us today, and all the different books, podcasts and TV shows vying for our attention, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, and get so busy that we lose sight of God’s love for us. Nothing could be further from God’s will.
If the perfect 21st Century Christian has lost sight of God’s love for him, then he is missing the one thing God wants for him. He is missing a blessed assurance that God loves him, and will welcome him into His Kingdom.
The more we understand this love, the more at peace we will have, and the more effective we will be in Kingdom work.
So take time and rest in God’s love today. Focus on what He has done for you, and turn to the scriptures for a fuller understanding.