Sunday, September 18, 2011

Glory

This past Tuesday night at Campus Crusade was really amazing. I can't think of any other word for it. God really spoke through Matt who brought the word and it was honestly exactly what I needed to hear that night. It's so cool that God speaks so boldly sometimes.

Darren Russo started the night off by introducing Matt and then he made 2 statements that really made me think:
1. Your lives are shaped by what you think is great.
2. Your hearts will run after what you think will satisfy.

Definitely spent a lot of time this week on those two statements.

Matt began by saying that we are busy and distracted people. We were created to bring glory to God but we often get distracted and don't carry out our purpose. So what does God's glory even look like?
Hebrews 1:3a He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. 
This verse is talking about Jesus...he is the radiance of the glory of God...radiance is a reflection of a brilliant light. Glory is a bit harder to describe...but a synonym would be perfection or splendor. For Jesus to be the exact imprint of the nature of God means that even when he was in human form, he was still ALL God. He is the glory of God and he reflects the glory of God.

He didn't create us because he was lonely or needed someone...he was full in himself (the trinity is a perfect and complete relationship). He created the world to invite us to share in his perfect relationship.

John Piper says that "Christ is the Ultimate reality"
Hebrews 1:10-12 And, "You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end."
So what exactly does this look like in our lives? What does God's glory mean to me?
Hebrews 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
God is big, but he is also loving and he suffered and died when he didn't have to.
Hebrews 2:14-15 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
If you aren't in Christ, you are like an orphan. An orphan never has enough...not enough food or love or encouragement or anything else that a person needs. An orphan takes it when it's there...learns to look our for himself. Has an "eat, drink, and be merry" attitude about life. If I can, then I will sort of mentality.
Ephesians 1:18-23 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 
You have a heavenly parent who knows exactly what you need and provides above and beyond our wildest imagination. God knows what we need...but sometimes it seems like we don't get what we think we need. It's in those times, that we need to be patient and wait for God. An example of this is found in
John 11:28-44 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you." And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept. So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?" Then Jesus, a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out." The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
God loves us individually. Jesus loved Lazarus and Mary and Martha. In this story, they had a need for healing...and all seemed lost when Lazarus died...but it was all a part of God's plan.

When Jesus arrived, Mary ran to him. She trusted him when she was hurting...she told him that she didn't understand but she knew he would help her through it. Sometimes we don't understand why God seems to withhold what we need from us...but if we just trust him, and run to him...he will show us where we are to go.

You aren't an orphan in Christ, not even death has power over us. (John 11:4 But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.") Lazarus DIED. He was dead. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that was present that day....they were even worried about him smelling. But Jesus knew all this...and he set the stage.

If you think about all the epic stories or movies, there is always tension and always a time when you aren't sure if the hero has what it takes. In this story...Jesus could have healed Lazarus when they first called for him to come. But he waited. He waited so that his glory would be magnified by what he was going to do. If he hadn't waited, then people wouldn't ever know that he was truly sent from God...they would just say "Oh, he's a great healer" just as they try to say of Jesus that he was just a great teacher.

In our world, sometimes we go through times of deep despair and brokenness...but even in that, remember that God is in control and sometimes he waits. Remember that if you are in Christ, you have the guarantee of eternal life...and anything that happens in this life is for his glory.

If you were paying attention in history class...then you remember reading about World War II...D-Day. The war was over, but if you remember correctly, the bloodiest battle occurred after the war was over. This is just like our lives. The war against sin is over...Jesus died on the cross and broke the strongholds...but the enemy continues to try to fight in the last days.

Remember that even when it hurts...even when you think you can't go on...remember that God is in control and sometimes he waits until his glory will be magnified. He knows when to act so don't worry about trying to do it on your own.
"When you stop trying to control your life and instead allow your anxieties and problems to bring you to God in prayer, you shift from worry to watching. You watch God weave his patterns in the story of your life. Instead of trying to be out front, designing your life, you realize you are inside God’s drama. As you wait, you begin to see him work, and your life begins to sparkle with wonder. You are learning to trust again."
– Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life, p. 73
Worry happens when you feel out of control, when you realize you don't have what it takes. But in that moment, remember that God is writing his story and it will get told through you and in you one way or another, so enjoy seeing his story unfold and stop trying to overwrite it. God is glorious, and even when he waits for his glory to be shown in your life, remember that he is always there and he will always take care of you and give you everything that you need.

1 comment:

Neeni said...

This was very inspiring & encouraging thanks.......