Is your Face Glowing?

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Have you ever known a believer who just seemed to glow with the love of Christ? These people seem to be full of joy. When you look in their eyes, sometimes it can feel like you are looking in the eyes of Christ. These Christians seem to have just spent time in the presence of God. There is a particular friend of mine who always seems to glow like this. Her name is Barbara. Her primary ministry is in Africa.

Barbara is a good friend of mine. She is a missionary. She speaks 15 languages fluently. She goes to Africa for a month or more at a time several times a year. She and her husband planted churches many years ago and started schools there. The work is deep in the Bush Country, so the only way to access the people is to walk or ride something called a Boda-Boda, or we would call it a motorcycle. Unfortunately, her husband died about 15 years ago. Did I mention Barbara is 85 years old?  The people she serves and loves cannot pronounce Barbara, so they call her “Momma-B” or Grandmother.

There are some people who bring joy just by being in their presence. Momma-B as I lovingly call her, is one of these kinds of people. She calls me her pastor. When she is home from the mission field, I try to see her about once a week to pray with her. This woman loves to pray. She once told me she averages about 7 hours a day in prayer. She tells me I am an encouragement to her, but the reality is, she encourages me.

Most recently, I spoke with Momma-B, and she talked about a recent trip to Africa. A few years ago, she stumbled upon a tribe where there were no Christians. They were a violent group, but God gave her love for them. Over several years, many of them have come to Christ. She started a school and several churches. They now go out as missionaries to other surrounding tribes and see many come to Christ.  On her recent trip, it rained hard every day for weeks. They couldn’t get into the bush because the rain had washed out bridges, and the mud was so thick they couldn’t take the Boda-Boda. She was stuck in a hotel for over two weeks. She prayed asking God why she couldn’t get to her mission. A couple of government people showed up at the hotel looking for her. She thought she was in trouble. She met with these two gentlemen for three days straight, as they grilled her on what she had done to the tribe. It seems the government had been having trouble with this violent tribe for years. They had tried to appease them, but nothing worked. Now not only was the tribe peaceful, but they were helping other tribes. When they inquired of the tribe, they told them to talk to Momma-B. Barbara explained that she had brought them the Gospel, and God had changed the people’s hearts.

Over the course of three days, the two government representatives, both came to Christ. They said they wanted what Momma-B had. That kind of Joy in the Lord is contagious. The Bible says that his face glowed when Moses spent time with God. Psalm 34:5 (NIV) says, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” When we spend time with God, he changes us. He transforms us. When we genuinely love the Lord, non-Christians will be able to sense there is a difference in us.

“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”

There is an old poem I ran across written by Pauline Prosser-Thompson called “Marked for His Own.” I would like to share this with you. I would invite you to meditate on this bit of prose. It says:

  How lovely are the faces of

The men who talk with God –

Lit with an inner sureness of

The path their feet have trod;

How gentle is the manner of

A man who walks with Him!

No strength can overcome him, and

No cloud his courage dim.

Keen are the hands and feet – ah yes –

Of those who wait His will,

And clear as crystal mirrors, are

The hearts His love can fill.

Same lives are drear from doubt and fear

While others merely plod;

But lovely faces mark the men

Who walk and talk with God.

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