Posts Tagged 'change'

Transfiguration: Seeing and Receiving

Transfiguration: Seeing and Receiving Sermon Audio Here

2 Peter 1:16-21

This last weekend, my family and I attended RadCon, a science-fiction convention in Pasco, Washington. It’s a chance for all of us to dress up in costumes, and hang out with others who enjoy fandom and cosplay. My costume this year was Ming the Merciless, based on the old Flash Gordon serials from the 1930’s. We spent many evenings working on our costumes, and our work paid off: we were transfigured – and ended up winning Best in Show! (make sure you scroll all the way down to the end of the post…)

Transfiguration Today is Attainable:
God Changed Moses
Exodus 24:12-18~ God calls Moses into HIS presence, and Moses is never the same

  • Our Exodus text starts with an invitation: God calls Moses to join Him on the mountain, specifically to receive the Law. Moses goes to the mountain and waits for further instruction from Yahweh. The Lord then calls Moses into the cloud of His glory to speak with Him.
  • Moses was before change: a murderer, on the run, in hiding

God Changed Jesus
Matthew 17:1-5

  • Today is called Transfiguration Sunday; it’s the day where we remember Jesus’ Transfiguration on the mountain top, flanked by Moses and Elijah. The account is found in Matthew 17:1-5:
  • And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,[a] with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

  • Remember, Jesus didn’t hold on to His equality with God, according to Philippians 2:5-8 He became one of us, fully human. And just as Moses reflected God’s glory in his face when he came into Yahweh’s presence, so did Jesus.

God Changed Peter
2 Peter 1:16-21~ Peter was changed because of

  • v16 what he witnessed (majesty)
  • v17/18 what he heard (God’s Call)
  • v19 what he has read (Scripture)
  • v20/21 what he has received (Spirit)

We remember on Transfiguration Sunday that God is STILL in the business of changing lives. He changed Moses from a criminal on the run to the Lawgiver of Israel; He changed Peter from a headstrong fisherman to a heart-strong fisher of men; and as Jesus was transfigured by letting the glory of God shine through, we too can be changed by God’s Majesty, Call, Word, and Spirit.

Ming the Merciless (my personal transformation this last weekend)

Prayer Practicum: Contemplative Prayer

Prayer Practicum: Contemplative Prayer Sermon Audio Here

John 15:1-10

THIS IS ABIDING: Joining With Jesus

John 15:1-10 our Big Idea from this text is in verses 4&5: “remain in me” – what does it mean to “remain” in Jesus? The tense in the Greek is CONSTATIVE: a Solemn Command “Make this your top priority” Jesus wants to MAKE SURE we understand the importance, the GRAVITY of His command to remain or abide in him. And like gravity, this is pulling at us ALL THE TIME.

James 4:8: Come near to God and he will come near to you.

~ God doesn’t change; when we approach, He comes into focus

John 17:21: that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.

~ Unity with God is the goal; more of Him, less of us

SO: How Do We Abide In Christ?

Two Active Preparations

  1. Loving the Lord: Zephaniah 3:17: The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
    ~ RECEIVE God’s Love for you – you are worth it BECAUSE God has chosen you!
    In Proverbs 8:17: I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
    ~ Give God Love – Love Him Back
  2. Purifying the heart: Psalms 24:3-4: Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
    ~ Just like a lover will spurn all others to declare dedication to their loved one, so we must let go of anything that stands in the way of our love for God. God wants and deserves first place in our lives.

Two Passive Preparations

  1. Still the Soul: Psalms 131:2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
    ~ We surrender to Christ’s control, and let Him calm the Spirit within us.
  2. Listen for the Whisper: Jeremiah 30:21: Their leader will be one of their own; their ruler will arise from among them. I will bring him near and he will come close to me, for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?’ declares the LORD.
    ~ Who is doing the drawing? The Lord!
    ~ Who is engaging in the process? WE ARE

Just like a plant grafting being changed from the inside out, THAT is what God does in us… but remember, the process takes TIME. We can’t rush it, but we can recognize what’s happening, and lean into it.

Prayer Practicum: Formation Prayer

Prayer Practicum: Formation Prayer Sermon Audio Here

Phil. 2:12-13

“The primary purpose of prayer is to bring us into such a life of communion with the Father that, by the power of the Spirit, we are increasingly conformed to the image of the Son. This process of transformation is the sole focus of Formation Prayer.1

God’s Sculpting Of Our Lives Includes

Pursuing and Being Pursued ~ Phil. 2:12-13

  • v12 “work out your salvation” {work to finish}
    carry arm full of wood – “you got it? Yeah, I got it from here”
  • v13 “God works IN you” 1) to WILL {emotionally desire} 2) to ACT {energize; same as “works”}

Picking out Our Part ~ 1 Tim. 4:7-10

  • v7 train yourself – this takes work
  • v8 it’s worth it, both short term and long term
  • v9/10 Hope is important ingredient; reason to keep going

Peering Into The Abyss ~ Gal. 2:19-21

  • v20 live our lives by faith in Jesus
  • v21 depend upon God’s grace

God started the process; we’re supposed to be an ACTIVE part of it too! Faith that Jesus can live our lives WITH us, and make them BETTER (John 10:10b) is what happens when we decided to live by God’s grace instead of only our ability.

“Dear Lord Jesus, in my better moments I want nothing more than to be like you. But there are other moments…. Help me to see how good conformity to your way really is. In my seeking for you may I be found by you. I love you, Lord. Amen.2

1. Richard Foster, Prayer, the Heart’s True Home, pg. 57
2. Ibid., pg. 66

The Messiah’s Ministry: The Transfiguration

The Messiah’s Ministry: The Transfiguration
Psalm 99:1-9 Matthew 17:1-12

“You,” said the doctor to the patient, “are in terrible shape. You’ve got to do something about it. First, tell your wife to cook more nutritious meals. Stop working like a dog. Also, inform your wife you’re going to make a budget, and she has to stick to it. And have her keep the kids off your back so you can relax. Unless there are some changes like that in your life, you’ll probably be dead in a month.” 
“Doc,” the patient said, “this would sound more official coming from you. Could you please call my wife and give her those instructions?” 
When the fellow got home, his wife rushed to him. “I talked to your doctor,” she wailed. “Poor man, you’ve only got thirty days to live.”

Major Changes Can Frighten Us; Don’t Worry!

* God prepares us for Change
1-8 The Transfiguration

* God has a Reason for Change
9-13 The Explanation

When God is doing His transfiguring work in us, it is for HIS glory, not ours. The reason is so that people will see Jesus at work in us.


Pastor Ed Backell

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