We just got back from the annual staff retreat and we were really blessed to be able to stay in a beautiful home for 4 days in a resort town called Salinitas. The house had 10 bedrooms that were sort of arranged like a motel would be – side by side with a courtyard and a pool in the center. There was a huge common area with a kitchen next to it which made it easy for all of us to share our meals together. Our day began with breakfast and then we had our staff meeting which lasted until lunch time. Our afternoons were free and we could go and enjoy the beach, pool or whatever else we wanted to do. We gathered together again at dinner time and then had another meeting lasting until 9:00 or so.
The beach was only a few blocks from our house. It was a private beach for residents and guests only. A short distance from the shore there was a rock outcropping where someone had erected a statue of Jesus in a similar pose to the famous statue in Brazil called Salvador de Mundo or Savior of the world. When the tide went out you could walk to the statue and up onto the rocks and see it up close. The view from the top of the rock was incredible. One morning I got up early and took my bible and my daily devotional book with me. When I got to the beach the sun was just coming up. The pictures in this post were taken that morning. No one else was on the beach – just me and the Lord. It was so beautiful it took your breath away and this was the scripture reading for that day:
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whoever will save his life shall lose it: but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26 For whoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. 29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistening. 30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: 31 Who appeared in glory, and spoke of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. 33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. 34 While he thus spoke, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. 35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. 36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.
As I read the words and watched the sunlight beam off the white statue I was totally overwhelmed with love and emotion for a Savior who loves us so much that He was willing to leave the glory of heaven to come down to this earth and die for us! Here on this beach I could look up and see a visible representation of the Lord all shiny and white! It was an amazing sight! As I sat there trying to take it all in there was something that I noticed in this story that I had never thought about before. The disciples are described as being heavy with sleep and they were unaware of the Lords transformation until they awoke and saw Him. What if they had stayed asleep like I wanted to that morning? They would have missed seeing the Lord in His glory and they would have missed hearing the very voice of God the Father confirming that this was indeed His Son! It also made me think of the state of the body of Christ today! Most are asleep – caught up in their own daily lives unaware that God is calling to us and warning us that time is running out and that we need to wake up and pay attention to His Son. It is time to focus on what is really important and let go of all the other stuff that crowds Him out of our daily lives! It is time to wipe the sleep out of our eyes, to awaken and be obedient to His call and do the work He has prepared for us to do! It is called the great commission and it was the last thing Jesus talked about to His disciples before He returned to His heavenly home.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power. 8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
I want to be a witness to you today – Christ was born, Christ died, Christ arose – and He is coming again! Of this you can be sure! It is time to wake up and put your trust in Him today and if you already have – don’t keep it to yourself! Get busy and tell others the GREAT news!
Under His wing,