The Secret Place

“Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Luke 9: 28-31 NKJV

Today’s reading has so many juicy meaty bites I could talk about these passages for days! For example the ONLY botched healing recorded in the Bible – the disciples could not cast out the demons. There is so much insight so we do not need to make that same mistake (and after that they didn’t either, as there are no other incomplete healing that happened).  But, as difficult as it is for me to stay on topic – I do think there is ONE thing I will talk about today. But please read and enjoy the rest of today’s Bible reading and all the rest of those juicy insights given from Jesus Himself!

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Matthew, chapter 17, the book of Mark, chapter 9 and the book of Luke, chapter 9, verses 28-62 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

Yesterday I was in a conversation about relationship building with God – as I like to word things, focusing on the relationship. And as my point, I was discussing alone time, date time, get to know me time, etc. relating it all back to a relationship between two people.  Using, as example, you only call people your best friends if you spend a lot of quality time with them.

I was on a zoom call last night with a ministry team and the conversation kept going back to spending time with God – I would have loved if we could have taken turns and shared what that means to each of us.  It is such a beautiful thing.

AND yesterday I was listening to the daily Todd Coconato Show, he is the guy from the Religious Liberty Coalition.  He is a bit of a right wing patriot and very vocal about his beliefs and that turns many people off. I may or may not agree with everything he says – but he has the right spirit and the right heart. So I watch daily.  And on his show was a lady speaking about her prayer time and time in the “secret place”.  Which is what I call – quality time.

The term secret place, (I know many of you are well versed in the scriptures and know) comes from Psalm 91:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge…” Psalm 91:1-4a

This is also where the feather design for my leather business came from – every product has a feather as the inspiration. The whole chapter is worth prayerfully reciting daily and memorizing!

Anyway, since the days of Moses (you may remember from when we studied this Psalm back on March 22) the people of God and those of us who are adopted in – should be spending quality time, relational time, interactive time in the secret place.

Now – we are reading the gospels and I am quoting Psalms and talking about Moses – are we still on track? Yes.  Because today we read about Jesus, taking a few disciples up a mountain to seek God, to pray, to get alone in the secret place!!!! And Jesus (who is usually recorded as praying alone or when He take people at some point He leaves them and goes further) shares with all of us what it was like for Him when He got alone with God.

Why were Peter, James and John able to perform these things in the book of acts, so much so that even Peter’s shadow was healing people – Because they knew what the secret place was supposed to look like.

Me? My alone time? Starts with washing my face and hands and anointing myself with oil (when I am fasting because the bible says to when fasting). Then I sing to God and then pray the Lord’s Prayer (during this prayer I repent of any wrongs and give my requests to God). Then I take communion (which I only do daily when doing a Daniel fast or on other important occasions).  Then I read the word.  And as you can see it is a step by step in closer to the Holy of Holies. Step by step cleaner and cleaner I walk towards God and ask Him to meet me.  I meditate on whatever I read, I dump all and any extra thoughts out to him. I cast down any imaginations (where we have conversations of the “what if” nature and make up scenarios and how we will respond) yeah, those – cast them down, leave them behind! We want a real and honest conversation with a real and honest God. I seek Him, move closer to Him, and think about the Bible passage so I can hear Him.  BUT I am not transfigured, nor does Moses and Elijah come to me, even if I quote Psalm 91! A voice does not billow down from heaven – and after my alone time there is no demoniac waiting to be delivered. 

Obviously I have further to press in – and even then, there is NO PROMISE that I can be transfigured. But I do not think it would hurt to aim for the throne room of grace where things are transformed (or transfigured)!

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NKJV

Obviously the writer of Hebrews understood that the secret place is actually the throne room of grace where things are transformed as we find grace to help in time of need – and anything grace touches is transformed!

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 NKJV

Spirit.

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25 NKJV

I am adding these two verses so you keep it in perspective. Do not try to physically obtain these things. It is in the spirit. Did Jesus physically glow and were Moses and Elijah really there? Let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter. But the answer is that it probably happened in the spirit and if other were near they would not have seen what god opened Peter’s, James’, and John’s eyes to see.  I am sure this was not an isolated or new experience for Jesus. If it was it probably would have been more like when He was baptized and immediately went into a fast then started His ministry. He was actually changed, life actually changed, when He was baptized.  But nothing changed by his transfiguration.  (Except Peter, James and John’s understanding of the supernatural and the power of prayer in relation to personal relationship.) 

So – whatever your alone time looks like, while you read about Jesus’s alone time with the Father, in this passage as well as others, consider how you alone time can be improved. How can you draw closer and be more inviting. (yes, invite God.)  How can you tear down the barriers, be it sin, or doubt, or something you hold more precious? God took and still is taking many steps to improve His relationship with us – when will we take responsibility for our half of the relationship and work on that quality time? Phone down. Turn off the world. Let God tell you what you need to know about what I happening out in the world.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! These memory verses were selected, last year for this year.  As many of you tell me of the great attacks on your lives – the timing is perfect! But of course it is, it is God!

Deuteronomy 28:7

NKJV – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
NAS – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated by you; they will go out against you one way and will flee at your presence seven ways.”
ESV – “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
AMP – “The LORD will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way, but flee before you seven ways.”
NIV – “The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Matthew 17, Mark 9, & Luke 9:28-62 NKJV

Matthew 17

Jesus Transfigured on the Mount

17 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, [a]let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming [b]first and will restore all things. 12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.

A Boy Is Healed

14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is [c]an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O [d]faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your [e]unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 [f]However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Jesus Again Predicts His Death and Resurrection

22 Now while they were [g]staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.

Peter and His Master Pay Their Taxes

24 When they had come to [h]Capernaum, those who received the [i]temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?”

25 He said, “Yes.”

And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?”

26 Peter said to Him, “From strangers.”

Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a [j]piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 17:4 NU I will make
  2. Matthew 17:11 NU omits first
  3. Matthew 17:15 Lit. moonstruck
  4. Matthew 17:17 unbelieving
  5. Matthew 17:20 NU little faith
  6. Matthew 17:21 NU omits v. 21.
  7. Matthew 17:22 NU gathering together
  8. Matthew 17:24 NU Capharnaum, here and elsewhere
  9. Matthew 17:24 Lit. double drachma
  10. Matthew 17:27 Gr. stater, the exact temple tax for two

Mark 9

The Transfiguration of Christ

9 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God [a]present with power.”

Jesus Transfigured on the Mount

Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.

And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.

Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.

11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

12 Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.”

A Boy Is Healed

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”

19 He answered him and said, “O faithless[b] generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I [c]bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”

And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

23 Jesus said to him, “If[d] you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”

29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer [e]and fasting.”

Jesus Again Predicts His Death and Resurrection

30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. 31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.” 32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.

Who Is the Greatest?

33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you [f]disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

Jesus Forbids Sectarianism

38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”

39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against [g]us is on [h]our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Jesus Warns of Offenses

42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me [i]to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life [j]maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to [k]hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 [l]where

‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into [m]hell, [n]into the fire that shall never be quenched— 46 where

‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into [o]hell fire— 48 where

‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

Tasteless Salt Is Worthless

49 “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and[p] every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

Footnotes

  1. Mark 9:1 having come
  2. Mark 9:19 unbelieving
  3. Mark 9:19 put up with
  4. Mark 9:23 NU “ ‘If You can!’ All things
  5. Mark 9:29 NU omits and fasting
  6. Mark 9:33 discussed
  7. Mark 9:40 M you
  8. Mark 9:40 M your
  9. Mark 9:42 To fall into sin
  10. Mark 9:43 crippled
  11. Mark 9:43 Gr. Gehenna
  12. Mark 9:44 NU omits v. 44.
  13. Mark 9:45 Gr. Gehenna
  14. Mark 9:45 NU omits the rest of v. 45 and all of v. 46.
  15. Mark 9:47 Gr. Gehenna
  16. Mark 9:49 NU omits the rest of v. 49.

Luke 9:28-62

Jesus Transfigured on the Mount

28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. 30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His [a]decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. 33 Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three [b]tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.

34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is [c]My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.

A Boy Is Healed

37 Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. 38 Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. 40 So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”

41 Then Jesus answered and said, “O [d]faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and [e]bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father.

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

43 And they were all amazed at the majesty of God.

But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.

Who Is the Greatest?

46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. 47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”

Jesus Forbids Sectarianism

49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”

50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against [f]us is on [g]our side.”

A Samaritan Village Rejects the Savior

51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, [h]just as Elijah did?”

55 But He turned and rebuked them, [i]and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 [j]For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

The Cost of Discipleship

57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”

58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”

But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”

62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Luke 9:31 Death, lit. departure
  2. Luke 9:33 tents
  3. Luke 9:35 NU My Son, the Chosen One
  4. Luke 9:41 unbelieving
  5. Luke 9:41 put up with
  6. Luke 9:50 NU you
  7. Luke 9:50 NU your
  8. Luke 9:54 NU omits just as Elijah did
  9. Luke 9:55 NU omits the rest of v. 55.
  10. Luke 9:56 NU omits For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.

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