Reaching the unseen

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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 148 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.

MISSION

Mission: To be a resource to Pastors and Bible teachers in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. – Sermons to the World

VISION STATEMENT

Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

IT IS GOOD FOR US TO BE HERE

VIDEO LINKS FOR SERMON



IT IS GOOD FOR US TO BE HERE
February 24, 2013 
By Pastor Mark Taylor

“After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There He was transfigured before them.” (Mark 9:2). “Peter saw His glory, and the two men that stood with Him..., Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here” (Luke 9: 32-33).

This story of the transfiguration is a miracle that describes to us what we sometimes call mountaintop experiences of life.  Today we hear the account of our Savior’s Transfiguration, and see with the eyes of faith His face shining as bright as the sun. We can see His garments whiter than all the bleach on earth could ever possibly make them. Knowing this, we come away with the firm conviction that Jesus is our Lord and our Savior, the true Son of God. We come better prepared to enter into the valleys of life with Jesus walking into the valley of His suffering.  You do not have to stay in the valley, but you will have to “walk through the valley” (Psalm 23:5).

It is natural for everyone, everywhere, during their lives to be in the valleys of work and life, and be on the mountain tops of victory, renewal and rest.  Mountains and valleys are connected and it is important to understand how the personal mountains and valleys of life are important to you.  

The mountain top experiences are where you appreciate what you have and you reflect on what is important.  It is the place where you have reached a goal and you achieved success.   Perhaps you had a mountaintop experience when your child was born, when you were married, or when you received a special blessing of healing from God. Maybe your mountaintop experience occurred as you just sat quietly in prayer with God, or maybe you remember an experience in your life when God brought you to the mountain top and you felt God was so close to you that you could just reach out and touch the hand of God. 

But life isn’t one mountain peak after another. There are the valleys too when the troubles of life, those difficult moments come. A valley is when you have been diagnosed with cancer or some other illness. When a loved one dies – that’s a valley. During those moments, it’s more difficult to see and feel the Lord’s presence. 

When you’re in the valley, it’s hard to say, “God is good.” Sometimes your faith is shaken. There’s some doubt there, when you’re in a valley that God is blessing you and those around you.  You question whether God really loves you.   It is difficult to say “Yea, thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear not evil, for Thou are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:5).  That is why you need the mountains.

Mountain top experiences prepare us for the valleys in our lives. We are able to make it through the valleys in our lives, because we’ve been to the mountain top with God. When we are in the valley of joblessness, in the valley of loneliness, or in the valley of sickness, or in the valley of depression, or in the darkest of all valleys, “the valley of the shadow of death”,  we need to remember our mountaintop experiences and remember that just as God was with us up on the mountaintop, God is with us in the valleys of our life.

At the Transfiguration, Jesus revealed his deity. He was the Holy, Almighty God, and the brightness of His appearance revealed that to His disciples. This was good, because soon the disciples would see Jesus dirty and bloody and weak and dying. During that time, it would seem as though Jesus was a lowly man. But here it is clear, as He shines brighter than the sun – He is God – Holy, Almighty, and Powerful.

“And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.” The other Gospels tell us that they were talking about his future death and resurrection and ascension.  Mountain top experiences are times for us to think about Heaven and our great future with the Lord Jesus and our loved ones who are already in Heaven.  This also reminds us that even though Elijah and Moses lived hundreds of years before Jesus, that they were alive and we will be also.  Our Lord raised Lazarus from the dead and told everyone there:  “Whoever lives and believes in me, shall never die.”  (John 11:26).  In another place He said of His Father:  “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 
(Matthew 22:32)

The disciples needed to climb a mountain to see this. Today, God’s Word is your mountain to climb. Every time you come to church, and you hear the Word of God, you have climbed the mountain. Here, you see Christ, who has taken your sins away on the cross and who has risen from the dead. Here you catch a glimpse of His glory, even if it’s just for a moment. Sunday morning worship, Sunday evening worship, Wednesday Night Bible Study, when you read the Word of God – this is where you can find the  mountain top. 

It is good for you to be here, because this is where you are strengthened for the days ahead, for all the peaks and valleys that are around the corner for you.  God’s voice calls out from the cloud that surrounded them on top of that mountain saying, “This is My Son whom I have chosen. Listen to Him.” (Luke 9:35).

You need to purposely be with people and  go to places that will give you the mountain top experiences to strengthen you for the days you will be in the valley.  Revival services, Bible conferences, Inspirational books written by people who have had great experiences with the Lord Jesus, and times of prayer with other dedicated Christians.  Through these you will see that the Lord Jesus can lead you through the valleys.  You will “see His Glory”.  You will feel His presence.  And you will be better prepared to walk through that next valley.