Tag Archive | glory

a few honest questions

But avoid foolish questions, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law; for they are unprofitable and worthless.”  Titus 3:9

“What do you think about Calvinism? Don’t you think the Bible is confusing on the issue of election and calling?”  The young man asking me those questions had just been released from jail and was close to being sent back due to allegations of domestic abuse.  Though he sincerely loved studying God’s Word, his questions were a bit off-the-mark considering his tenuous circumstances.  I thought more appropriate ones might be, “What can I learn from this situation?” or, perhaps, “How can I repair the damage I’ve done?”

His questions weren’t wrong,  just not honest.  Often we ask contentious or frivolous questions as a tactic to avoid being honest, either with others, or ourselves.  Charles Spurgeon suggests a few questions that will help us be honest with ourselves:

Do I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Am I renewed in the spirit of my mind?

Am I walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit?

Am I growing in grace?

Does my conversation (attitudes/lifestyle) reflect the love of God my Saviour?

Am I looking for the coming of the Lord and watching as a servant who expects his master should?

What more can I do for Jesus?

And here’s a few of my own:

“How can I glorify the Lord in my life/situation?

“How can I bear another’s burden? 

“How can I love my neighbor and be a reflection of Jesus to them?”

What questions are you asking?

Let’s pray together, that we may set aside obscure, frivolous, contentious, or ‘foolish’ questions, and seek to ask the honest ones–ones that will lead us deeper into God’s Word, draw us closer to Christ, foster peace with others, and bring glory to Him.

The Big Picture

“Jesus wept. And so the Jews were saying, ‘Behold how He loved him! Could not this man, which opened the eyes of him who was blind, have kept this man [Lazarus] also from dying?'” John 11:35-37

We all have said similar things in response to sorrows and problems which we have.  If Jesus can open the eyes of the blind and raise the dead, then, “couldn’t He have prevented bad things from happening?”

We learn from these verses that although Jesus CAN do the miracle, He often has a larger picture in mind, one which we fail to see because of our own sorrow, grief, or misunderstanding of our life and times.

We can trust the Lord to complete the Big Picture of His will for each of us.

“Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the Glory of God?”  [vs 40]

The Big Picture is the Glory of God.

 

[An initial premise of this blog was to share not only my thoughts, but the invariably deeper, more profound musings of my husband, John.  This post, and several to come, will be posted in a new category, John Owen’s Journal, John on John.]

Glory into Shame

I read a devotional in Spurgeon the other day, which may tie together a number of, seemingly, random posts we’ve made recently.  John wrote about the shared glory of Jesus and His Father, then I detoured to a letter by Alistair Begg about not letting go of the cross and all Jesus did for us.  Then, I couldn’t let the heroic actions and honor of a Navy SEAL go unnoticed or unannounced.  But there’s a thread that ties these together, I believe.

Spurgeon quotes Psalm 4:2,  “O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?” 

He continues:

An instructive writer has made a sad list of the honours that the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long-expected King. First, they gave Him a procession of honour, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, men and women took part, He Himself bearing His cross.  This is the triumph that the world awards to Him who comes to overthrow man’s direst foes…”

“..The cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world’s feeling toward Him, ‘There,’ they seemed to say, ‘Son of God, this is the manner in which God Himself should be treated, could we reach Him.'”

And so He is. 

Ah yes, look how the God Who Saves is treated–His name has become a curse word, His presence omitted out of history and education, His creational power diminished by a few triumphant one-celled blobs, His followers persecuted worldwide, His life taught as a myth, His purpose defined as a weak martyr (at best), His death, deserving, His resurrected life, a fable.  His glory, shame.

Turning glory to shame knows no bounds.  The day after MA2 (SEAL) Monsoor received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions, his cause was questioned, his fellow servicemember’s accomplishments diminished, his leaders berated, and his general paraded before an inquisition of ungrateful “public servants” who awoke in the comforts of their safe, American homes. “This is the triumph” that our country awards those who seek to overthrow a dire foe! 

Everything within me wants to shout, “Unfair, unjust!”  Whether it’s the brutal treatment of Christians around the world, elevating murderers, liars, or terrorists, derriding belief in a living, Creator God, or viewing evil as good and good as evil.  My voice cries out with the Psalmist and with those in Revelation 6:10, “How long?!” 

Then I recall something else Spurgeon said:

Patience, then believer, eternity will right the wrongs of time.”

And I remember other Psalmist cries:

When I pondered to understand this; it was troublesome in my sight, until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end.” Psalm 73:16,17  NASB

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:14 NASB

And in the New Testament:

but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.” I Cor. 1:27 NASB

So, we (I) need to always keep the “end of the story” in mind.  God will turn the world’s glory into shame.

And His shame into glory.

 Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” 

  Revelation 5:12 NASB