Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

April 25, 2014

PASTOR POPHIN: Face-to-face with Jesus


Mineral Wells Index

— By PASTOR TOMMY POPHIN

Perhaps you are like me, as there are many times in life when you would like to have a face-to-face discussion with Jesus.

I love communing with the Lord in prayer. Most of the time, I’m very clear about what He is telling me, but there are times when I have this deep desire to come face-to-face.

As we read through the Bible, there are many accounts of those who have had a “face-to-face” encounter with the Lord. A few of those encounters include Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 33:18-23), the apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 12:1-10) and the apostle John who recorded the book of the Bible we refer to as Revelations.

All of these encounters with God reveal two things: 1) the sinfulness of man; and 2) the holiness of God. These two elements make the encounter a collision, that in the beginning, makes it painful but ends in peace and a new sense of personal holiness.

Let’s take a few moments to look closely at a particular encounter. It was an encounter Isaiah had with God, which is found in Isaiah 6:1-8. “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.’ At the sound of their voices, the door posts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. ‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’ Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”

Here are some of Isaiah’s observations in his encounter with God:

• King Uzziah had died. Uzziah was one of the good kings of Israel. (2 Kings 15:3) Isaiah was grieved.

• In the midst of Isaiah’s grief, he was caught up into the Heavenly realm and saw the Lord.

• Isaiah experienced the majesty of the Lord. The Lord was highly exalted, seated on the throne, the train of His robe filled the temple. What an awesome experience for Isaiah.

• There were seraphim (angels) with six wings. Two wings covered their faces, a sign of being yielded to the Lord God. Two wings covered their feet, a sign of modesty and being in the presence of the great and almighty King. And with the other two they flew.

• The seraphim cried out in praise of the Holy Lord God Almighty.

We note Isaiah’s experience in his encounter with God. Isaiah’s reaction is that he knew he was doomed in God’s presence because he was unclean or sinful in the presence of a god who was holy. He experienced the cleansing and redeeming power of God. He experienced God’s calling to go. He replied, “Here am I, send me!”

Perhaps the most painful moments of life are a result of sin. The pain becomes almost excruciating as we compare it to the holy life God originally intended for us. The good news is, Jesus Christ came and paid the price for our sin; the cross bridges the gulf between us and God caused by sin. And now, we are being sent to tell others about salvation. We answer the call by saying, “Here am I. Send me!” Have a blessed week and tell someone about what Jesus has done for you!

Tommy Pophin is the pastor of Beulah Baptist Church. You are invited to join him and the congregation on Sunday mornings at 9:45 a.m. for Sunday school and 11 a.m. for worship. The church is located at 350 Beulah Lane at Fox Road in Millsap.