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  • Bob Wilburn, District Superintendent

"...apart by themselves..."


“And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.”

Mark 9:2



God’s love for people is summed up in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” That world, God loved and loves, is comprised of frail and faulty people… like you and me. Everything God has done from creation till now; and, everything God will do from now until the end of time is about people and about bringing those people unto Himself. Our text says that He led them up into a high mountain “apart by themselves”. Jesus saw the need and value of being alone with God. The crowds were waiting, the needs were many, there was work to be done, yet, Jesus led His disciples away from the crowds: “apart by themselves”.

Our ability to lead our family and make a difference, in a very broken world. is maximized when we take time to get alone with God. That doesn’t mean we are to be “holy hermits” alienating ourselves from people. Our day-to-day alone time with God must be planned and not “worked in” as we progress through each day. The principle and promise of Matthew 6:33 works in every realm of our life including how we manage our time. Somehow, we get more done in a day when we seek Him first and then give our attention to what awaits us.

Notice what verse 2 says: “and He was transfigured before them”. The disciples had walked with Jesus and watched Him as He laid His healing hands on hurting people. But in that time alone with Jesus, they saw Him in a way they had never seen Him before. Our time alone with God affects the way we see Him. Those disciples came away from that experience with a deeper understanding of Christ that no doubt must have greatly influenced how they ministered to people.

What a crazy, chaotic and challenging year 2020 has been. Know this: The year that awaits us is going to demand a closer walk with God than we’ve ever had. A walk with God that is governed by convenience, rather than commitment, will not get us through the season that is coming. First, may each of us purpose in our heart to go to the next level in our personal time with God. Secondly, may we challenge those we influence and lead to be intentional about planning and setting aside time alone with God and His Word. May the Presence of God in us, flow through us to reach an unsaved world.

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