Why You Must Be Real

Why You Must Be Real

Exodus 34: 29-35Arthur Tonne tells of an overnight visitor to theWhite House during the Coolidge administration. Calvin Coolidge was not one ofthe warmest people to be around – he was well known for his brevity andtaciturn nature. Seated at breakfast with President, the visitor determined toattempt to be as “invisible” as possible by imitating everything thePresident did and thus avoiding any possible digressions of etiquette. All wentwell, until Coolidge began to catch on. Reaching for his coffee, the Presidentpoured some of it into his saucer the visitor followed suit. Then Coolidgereached for the cream and poured a generous amount into the saucer… thevisitor did the same. Then Coolidge bent down and placed the saucer on thefloor for his cat.There is a difference between those who merely get by who copy, imitate, andfake it and those who are “real” or authentic about what they believeand do.{{more}}I. Moses is an example of someone who”got real” Remember Cecile B. DeMille’s 10 Commandments? Do yourecall HOW he changed Charlton Heston’s look to show this “God’sglory?” Heston’s hair became white and face became wiser and more mature. Bytoday’s standards of film wizardry it looks a little odd, but it was stilleffective in communicating what God did in Moses’ life. Now think hard again in the movie; When did Heston undergo this change? Do youremember? It was when he met God at the burning bush. But that’s not what the Bible tellsus. It did not happen at the bush. Moses took on “God’s glory” afterthe 2nd giving of the law; after he trekked up the mountain a 2nd time toreceive a copy of God’s commandments to replace the ones he broke earlier.This change took place at the 2nd giving of the law, not the first. Why wouldMoses change now? I believe the difference took place because Moses had changedfrom an attitude of “getting by” to one of “getting real”. Consider: at the Burning bush, Moses was a reluctant emissary. When he stoodbefore Pharaoh, he was following orders. As he led the people in the first daysof their desert trip Moses was always asking “what am I to do with thesepeople?” Up this point, this whole thing was not his idea. It was God’s.Amen!It’s common knowledge that kids from Christian homes, who go off to college,often lose their faith. At college, they find themselves in an entirely newworld that challenges many of the standards they had grown up with and theirfaith falters. Why would that happen? Frankly, it is often because the faiththey lose was not theirs. It was their parent’s faith. These children hadobediently gone along with the morals and believes that ruled their home whilethey were at home. But once they moved away, since the faith was not theirs tobegin with they lose it. In order to survive, they need to change from thefaith of their fathers to a faith of their own. Amen!For Moses, something like that had taken place. He changed in his faith andthis change took place just before his 2nd time up the Mountain. Exodus32:19-20 tells us when that change took place: “When Moses approached thecamp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw thetablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.And he took the calf they had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground itto powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it. He saidto Aaron, ’What did these people do to you, that you led them into such greatsin?” No one told Moses to smash the tablets. No one told him to melt down the idoland grind it to powder. No one told him to spread it’s powder on the drinkingwater and force the people to drink it. This was all Moses’ idea. And then Moses turns on Aaron. Up until this time Aaron had been Moses’”mouthpiece.” Ever since the burning bush, Aaron had been Moses’support in his faith. But, no longer. Moses had learned he could not lean onAaron’s faith and for the first time in their relationship, Moses rebuked hisolder brother and put him in his place.After this confrontation, we see Moses really begin to care for the people.Exodus 32:11-12/ 31-32 tells us of Moses’ intercessory prayer and his offer tosubstitute himself for the people to avert God’s anger.II. This is such a Pivotal event inMoses’ life and God uses it as example for us. II Corinthian 3:12-18 tells us: “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not likeMoses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing atit while the radiance was fading away.But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when theold covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is ittaken away.Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But wheneveranyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Amen!Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit ofthe Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect theLord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasingglory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”Notice in verse 18 that we are told that we as Christians can reflect God’sglory as Moses did. Actually I have always liked the KJV of this particularverse which says in 2 Corinthians 3:18″But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit ofthe Lord” Amen!From “glory to glory.” In other words, this change in our lives takesplace bit by bit, little by little, step by step. We do not usually changeovernight. But instead it’s a gradual change that takes place as we continue towalk close to God. This is an important part of our relationship with God, and we do not want tobe caught “faking it” like the pompous church member who visited ayoung Sunday School Class and at one point asked: “Why do you think peoplecall me a Christian?” After a pause, one little boy raised his handtimidly and asked “Because they do not know you?” Amen!Instead we should be like the man who inspired one of our favorite hymns. Backin the 1800’s, a famous preacher was holding an evangelistic campaign in acertain city. During the messages, he could not help noticing a man who sattowards the front of the congregation with particularly radiant expression onhis face. The message that night was on the “Return of Christ” andthe man in the pew got caught up in the excitement of the moment jumped to hisfeet, and shouted “Yes, Yes! And that will be glory for me!” Afterthe meeting the evangelist asked a deacon who the man was. “Oh that’s oldglory face,” replied the deacon. “He’s a Christian who always seemsto be on the mountain top.” The impression of that one man’s countenancewas so impressive, that Charles H. Gabriel wrote his popular gospel song: “When all my labors and trials are o’er,and I am safe on that beautiful shoreJust to be near the dear Lord I adore, will thru the ages be glory for me.How then do we grow from “Glory toGlory?”II Corinthians 4:1-3 tells us it is when we are zealous for the things of God.Amen!II Cor. 4:13-15 tells us it is when we care for people. Amen!Do you know how to tell the difference between “pseudo” and realdiamonds?Real diamonds can cut glass. The reality of true diamonds is seen in the markthey make. So also, real Christianity is shown in the mark that we make.III. This is the reason it is soimportant for us to “reflect his glory.”II Corinthians 4:2-6 tells us there is a veil over the eyes of the this world.If somehow they succeed in having their veil removed who will they look to?Will it be you and me. Jesus said: Mathew 5:16 says, “let your light shinebefore men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father inheaven.” Amen!The German artist “Dannaker” was known forhis painstaking work on his sculptings. For two years he worked on his famousstatue of Christ. When he felt he was finished he called to some childrenplaying outside his studio and asked one of them to come in and evaluate hiswork. “Who is that?” he asked. The little girl prompt replied “Agreat man.” That reply struck at his heart, for he wanted a work thatdeclared the power of a risen savior not just a ’great man’. So he took up hischisel and for the next 6 years he toiled to recreate the masterpiece. When hewas finished, again he asked a child to come into the studio and asked again:”Who is this?”The child replied: “It’s Jesus.” And thus, Dannaker’s powerful workwas declared ready for the world. The sculptor later confessed to a friend thatduring those long weary days of working on this sculpting, Christ had come andrevealed Himself to him. He had only transferred to the marble the vision hehad seen.Sometime later, Napoleon Bonaparte desired tocommission Dannaker to sculpt a statue of Venus for the Louvre. The money wasgood, and the employment was sure, but Dannaker refused. “A man,” he said, “who had seen Christ can never employhis gifts in carving a pagan goddess. My art is henceforth a consecratedthing.”Now you know why you must be real! See you nextweek!