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Jump-Start Your Day

Wednesday, May 2nd, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

FACE TO FACE

"But I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you..." (3 John 14)

 

In both epistles of Second and Third John the apostle said he didn't want to write "with paper and ink", instead he longed to see his friends "face to face". Humans were designed for social communion. We dine face to face across the dinner table. Unlike all other animals humans meet and mate face to face. Photos of loved ones' faces decorate our walls. It's the face that memory pulls up first. "As in water face answers face, so the heart of man to man" Proverbs 27:19). That implies that we have to face ourselves, face the music, face the facts and one day face God. What we know now in part we will know then in perfection. "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face..." (1 Corinthians 13:12 NKJV)

 

Sometimes we will lose face. Sometimes we need to face off. Little progress is made negotiating through an intermediary. Things changed when Reagan and Gorbachev duked it out face to face. Solomon taught that "iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend" (Proverbs 27:17). There is friction in face to face meetings that the flesh prefers avoiding. When Peter ate ham sandwiches with the Gentiles then acted super-kosher when his Jewish buddies walked in, it ticked Paul off. "I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed" (Galatians 2:11). Yea, the blood pressure rises when a preacher, coach or parent gets "in your face" but it's all part of the sanding process.

 

But the face to face reunion dreamt of in our text was ripe with sweet thoughts. "Night and day praying without ceasing that we might see your face..." (1 Thessalonians 3:10) Paul had shared both smiles and tears with his friends. Snapshots of faces were photo-imprinted on his mental hard drive but photos could never replace the real thing. He closed the photo album and said to his partner Barnabas, "Let us now go back and visit our friends..." (Acts 15:36) He wanted to live life first-person, face to face. 

 

One day we will behold Jesus' face. Fannie Crosby was blind but she felt herself privileged because, unlike others, when her eyes would finally open in the resurrection, the first face she would see would be Jesus'. "And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story, saved by grace!" That was David's longing as well. "As for me, I will behold your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness" (Psalm 17:15). What makes heaven Heaven is what the hymnist called "faces all aglow". But it is also what makes earth Heaven. John wrote "I hope to see you shortly". By hope we can cope. Life doesn't come with a money back guarantee. We hope for that Marine's safe return. We hope for the next family Christmas. Face to face is the prayer-goal of every mother, believing the circle will be unbroken. "I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full" (2 John 12). Complete joy can't come when relationships are estranged at polar ice caps. Earth's deepest warmth is discovered at the equator. Don't think of it as compromise, rather conciliation. Face to face is the best position for instruction, dialogue, complimenting, apologies, confirming love or whatever. Hearts warm where faces meet.


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