Glory

Before I dive into writing about “glory”, I need to share some background as to why I have been thinking about the word. Recently a home group leader shared a scripture he had been thinking about and wondered if any of us in the group had thought about the passage, too. It was from 2 Cor.3:17-18.

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Thinking about these verses has caused me to ask many questions and it has taken me to the verses which preceded verses 17 and 18 in order to get the context.  I have also read into chapter 4.  Because context rules whenever we are trying to get the meaning of Scripture, it is a good habit to get into when we are wanting to find the true meaning of a verse or verses.  Remembering that all Scripture is God-breathed, through the various authors of the books of the Bible, we know God had a meaning in mind for the verses written.  There are NOT multiple meanings of a verse.  However, there can and should be many different applications to the verse or verses.  So, knowing that principle of interpreting Scripture, let’s look at what Paul, the author of 2 Corinthians was saying in chapter 3.  Verses 7 and 8 are vital to the meaning of the verses that follow

7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?

Here we see that Paul was comparing the glory of the Law (think Ten Commandments written on stone tablets given to Moses on Mt. Sinai) with the glory of the ministry of the Spirit (Who writes God’s laws on our hearts).  When Moses came down from the mountain, his face shone,  so he put a veil over his face in order that the Israelites would not see it, and it was fading, too. Now look at verses 11 to 15

 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 

We see that the “old covenant” is also referring to what God gave Moses on Mt. Sinai, and that it was to be brought to an end; it was not permanent.  It had some glory, but nothing like what was to come.  Then Paul speaks of the Israelites of his own day, saying even at his time a veil was on their hearts when they read the old covenant, because the only way to lift the veil was through Christ.  Then we have verse 16:

But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.

Turning to Christ and beholding His glory without a veil over our hearts/faces, we become transformed into His glory from one degree of that glory to another.  It is permanent glory!  It is from one degree to another degree, a process, though.  Verse 6 in chapter 4 helps explain more:

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

We see God’s glory in Jesus.  So, we keep our focus on Him.  We live for Him.  The glory we find is not our glory, but Jesus’ glory!  Because we have this “treasure in jars of clay”(verse 7), it shows the power of God, not our power. Yet, there is a “weight of glory” we will receive.  C. S. Lewis has a very good talk you could look up by the same name.  He describes it so much better than I could.  This “weight of glory” prepared for us is eternal and it is beyond comparison (verse 17).

As we keep our gaze on Jesus, His Spirit is transforming us into His likeness, and then there is this “weight of glory” awaiting us.  Our glory will be hearing the Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” as He sees Jesus in us and shining out of us.

That’s what I have been thinking about.  I hope it blesses you as it has blessed me!

 

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Fun Interview

As I mentioned in my last post, I have written a little article in The Biblical Herbal e-magazine. Our editor and chief decided she would like to interview each of the contributors to the magazine.  It was my turn this week.  I tried not to get too stressed about it all, but whenever I need to do new things on the computer, I sort of over think it and make it much more difficult than it really is.  Before we went live, Tamra prayed for us both and the computer technologies.  I was thankful to see it work at all, but it is a little jerky and it embarrassingly stops when I am making a silly face, which is often. 🙂 Here is the link to it if any of you might be interested.  I think if you just listen to it, it will be more pleasant, but you can watch it if you like.

interview

After 2 Years, I am Back With More Adventures!

Now that our youngest has graduated from high school and will be beginning her junior year in college, I have found some time to write and share about the new adventures the Lord has brought my way. The most recent excitement for me has been being invited to write an article for a new e-magazine, The Biblical Herbal Magazine.  I never dreamed I would be invited to do so, but I filled out the application and I guess they thought I could at least give a beginner’s perspective.  This magazine has informative, accurate, well-documented articles relating to using, growing and finding healing, God-made, herbs.  If you have been longing for a Christian perspective on herbalism, as I have, you will be happy to have found this resource.  The first issue came out in  the spring of this year.  Now I find myself with the great privilege of writing a short article on culinary herbs for the summer issue!  As I read the wonderful articles the other contributors wrote, I was so humbled!  They really know their stuff!  Please give it a read.  I know you will enjoy it and be all the wiser for reading it.  In my next post, I will share more herb information, and how the Lord is teaching me new and wonderful things about Himself through His Creation.

Joy, A New Adventure

newpup

We just brought home our new puppy!  Already the Lord is teaching me lessons about His amazing creativity and sense of humor!

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True Compassion

“a bruised reed He will not break,
and a smoldering wick He will not quench,
until He brings justice to victory;” Matthew 12:20

I have been thinking about this verse a lot lately.  In context, this verse comes right after the religious leaders had come to Jesus and asked why His disciples broke the Sabbath by picking and eating grain.  Jesus reminded them that David had taken bread from the temple and eaten it and the priests ate bread on the Sabbath from the temple and were innocent. He said, “And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.” Matthew 12:7  Right after that He went into their synagogue where a man with a withered hand was and it was the Sabbath.  The religious leaders asked Him if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath.  He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out?  Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”Matthew 12:11-12  Even though that was a wonderful answer, the leaders did not like it and looked for a way to destroy Jesus.
He healed the man, also. Then Jesus went on to other places and Matthew writes that this whole situation with the Pharisees was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus, which I partially quoted at the beginning of this post.

Now that we have the context, I will share my thoughts about the particular verse I quoted. Please check the scripture yourself and do not take my words as God’s words- they are just my thoughts.  I am struck by the true compassion of Jesus here and pray He will, by His Spirit, help me have that kind of compassion. His compassion is in such contrast to the Pharisees’ obsession with following the law (not God’s Law, but man’s traditions).  He defends His disciples, who were hungry and picking grain to eat.  He heals a poor man with a withered hand (who, by the way, because he was not “whole”, he could not worship in the temple) and compares that act as like one who helps his helpless animal out on the Sabbath.

We are surrounded by people who are “bruised reeds” and “smoldering wicks”.  I want to be like Jesus and not break or quench them, but rather lead them out of their misery by doing and saying what will help them most.  There are so many people just in our churches who are so fragile and bruised from life’s “stuff”, not to mention the hurting and weary people outside our churches who are longing for someone’s compassion, tenderness and help.  May I, and others who know Jesus as Lord and Savior, share Him and His true compassion and truth with those who long to hear the good news of the Gospel.  May we tenderly, carefully help them see all that Jesus has for those who seek Him with their whole heart. May we see through the “traditions of man”,  be kind, be gentle, but also speak the truth in a loving way to those who are waiting for someone to hear their cry and help them.

Finishing Well

Here we are, ready to ring in a new year, and I have not had time to write since April of this year!  Adventures in life continue!  Today, however, there is an unusual stretch of uninterrupted (except for the cat climbing the back of my chair and getting between the keyboard and the screen) time to think and write down some thoughts for the ending of this year and the beginning of 2014.

I have been thinking about what it looks like to finish this mortal Christian life well, and then be ushered in to the immortal, everlasting life with our Lord and Savior. We do not know specifically when or how that will happen, but we do know generally, as believers, what will take place.  1 Corinthians 15:42-58 speaks of what will happen to our mortal bodies when the trumpet blows.  Whether we have fallen asleep (died) or are still alive when the trumpet blows, we will all be changed from perishable, mortals to imperishable immortals!  Wow!  That’s something to think about!

How do we stay ready for the sounding of the trumpet?  I want to be like one of the 5 wise virgins in the parable Jesus told to encourage us to be ready for His (the Bridegroom) return to take His bride (the church) home to His Father. (Matthew 25:1-13)  Keeping oil in our lamps and extra on hand is the admonition.  What does that mean? Not to try to make it say anything it is not really saying, we at least know it means the 5 wise virgins planned for the possible delay of the bridegroom by keeping extra oil on hand for their lamps. They were waiting for something they knew would take place, but just not exactly when it would take place. We, too, know Jesus will return to take us home (as He said in John 14:2-3).  We live by faith that He will keep His Word. We do not know the exact time His return will happen, we just know it will happen.  Thankfully, He gave us some hints as to what we were to watch for as the time drew near.  I may write about that more later, but for now I will stick to what we are to be doing as we wait.

Maybe we should ask ourselves what we would like Jesus to see us doing when He comes to take us home.  That might be a good way to know what we should be doing to finish well before He returns.  Also, we might ask what we want to be as His people when He comes for us.  I know “doing” and “being”  go hand in hand, but sometimes we get so busy doing things, that we lose sight of who we are being.  Even worse, we might even become people we don’t want to be, because we are doing things that we are not called or equipped to do. I am writing this for myself, of course, but if it helps you, I am glad.  Prayer for God’s help to know where He wants us is essential, I believe.  He is faithful to His Word and will hear our cry and answer us.  He will not call us to anything He does not equip us to do, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be difficulties, persecution, hardships, etc. He already told us those things would happen to His followers, but we can be of good cheer, because He has overcome this world.  He is with us in and through all difficulties.  Therefore, I challenge you and myself to face the coming year with an attitude of excitement and anticipation at what He wants us to do and be.   And, who knows, He may be coming for His Bride in 2014! So let’s finish this year well and welcome in the coming year with joy!

Forgiveness

Please go to the Precept blog website to see and read an excellent post about 5 myths we tend to believe about forgiveness!  See the sidebar for the address.

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