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DAY 29

Unveiled Glory

[5 minutes]
Mindsetter Moment: Our New Testament text today might need a little bit of background review. There is a story in the book of Exodus about Moses. (Remember him? Baby in a basket, “Let my people go!”) Yes, that’s the guy. After the Israelites were delivered from Egypt and crossed through the Red Sea, God made a covenant with them and asked Moses to meet Him on Mount Sinai.

When Moses came back down the mountain, the Bible says his face was glowing from being in the presence of God. Moses wore a veil because his shining face frightened the people. It was during his time on Mount Sinai that Moses received specific instructions from God for the new nation of Israel; God’s chosen partners.

Now that you are all caught up, let’s get into that daily reading!

[15 minutes]
Scripture reading:

Job 31:1-33:33
2 Corinthians 3:1-18
Psalm 43:1-5
Proverbs 22:8-9

Devotional thought
Paul was on a roll today; glory, with a side of glory! Besides all the glory, which is obviously cool, what is this about? Many Jewish scholars believe that the encounter at Mount Sinai was basically a marriage ceremony between God and His people. Paul may have been referencing some of that wedding imagery as he writes this passage.

God wanted a close relationship with the nation of Israel, but they weren’t ready to let the veil between themselves and God be lifted. Originally, God invited all of Israel to be part of the conversation between Himself and Moses (see Exodus 19). Out of fear, they declined, replying that they wanted Moses to have the conversation on their behalf.

The presence of God intimidated the Israelites. This was new, unpredictable, and even scary. While they were accepting of a partnership with God, they were not ready for a full relationship.  

What applies to me?
What happens when we choose partnership without relationship? Consider a business partnership that is characterized by legal formalities and coordinated through the courts. Now think about partnerships, like a healthy marriage or friends working together for a shared goal. One of these scenarios is bound by the law, and one is bound by love.

God originally invited the Israelite nation into a love-based partnership. As we all know, love can be a bit scary for people with trust issues. Four hundred years of slavery will certainly cause trust issues. Since God is kind and patient, He partnered with the Israelites in a way that worked for them, but God never gave up on his original goal of a partnership built on love.

We now have a choice. God, through Jesus, has made it possible for us to be more than just legal partners. We can have a relationship with God that is characterized by love, not fear. This is what we were made for!

Sometimes the stability of rule-based religion seems tempting, but it will always cast shadows. Rules are good, but they fall terribly short of a relationship built on love. Paul says when we accept God’s full offer, the veil of religious rules separating us from God gets lifted. We are free to step into all of God’s love for us. So, what will you choose? Keep the veil and stay in the shadow, or risk God’s glory for freedom and light?

[10 minutes]
Write it out: Do you worry that God might be mad at you? Are you concerned that you aren’t DOING enough to “make it?” Do you think God wants your perfect behavior more than your heart? Write out your answers in your journal.

Pray it out: Ask God to lift any veil that might stand between you and him. If there is fear getting in the way of your relationship with God, express that in your prayer time!

Live it out:  When you want to be hard on yourself today, remember that you are made free through God’s love, not your performance.