The Glory Revealed in Us

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  Romans 8:18

“The glory which shall be revealed in us”?  God has a secret, there is something glorious that has been hidden from the eyes of the world.  It is currently mostly invisible but occasionally it has been allowed to be seen.  It’s not the glory of God, nor the glory of heaven,  but the glory is revealed in us.  It’s not an individual honor not one person can reveal this glory, but in us, we together, are to display glory. This particular glory is something unattainable if searched for individually, we must get there corporately.  For instance, gold has value by itself, so do jewels.  Joining precious metals and jewels together in an artistic way will greatly increases their value as well as imparting more meaning.  Engagement and wedding rings seal a covenant, a crown signifies authority, other pieces of jewelry and art may tell a story or imply a message or symbolically deepen meaning. A piece of fine jewelry has more glory than unrefined gold and uncut diamonds.  Each of us goes through a refining and shaping process, but then we also are to be  joined together in a meaningful way.

Every person has value never to be discounted, but each one of us desires a greater meaning to life than individual fulfillment.  We long to know where we fit, where we belong, what the big picture looks like and what part we each have in it all. Many have given up on this life having a purpose, while others hold on to a vague sense that there is a purpose but that it is a mystery they hasn’t had a profound impact upon their lives.  A few have discovered their eternal purpose and have begun to live lives different from most in this culture.

The 17 verses leading up to the glory which shall be revealed in us, of Romans 8 contrasts living according to the flesh with being led by the Spirit.  The same Spirit raised Christ from the dead also led Him to the arrest, the beatings, the crown of thorns, the nails and sword piercing his body, and the torture that was the cross.  For us as well, being led by the Spirit may lead to suffering, at the very least the putting to death the deeds of the flesh.  However horrible suffering can be in this life, from an eternal perspective it is with a well worth “the glory that will be revealed in us.”

 Open our eyes, Lord, to see not only our own individual value, but the masterpiece that you are fashioning us into. 

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Inspiring the Next Generation

Walk about Zion, and go round about her, number her towers (her lofty and noble deeds of past days), 13 Consider well her ramparts, go through her palaces and citadels, that you may tell the next generation [and cease recalling disappointments]. Psalm 48:12-13 Amplified

The rainbow in Genesis 9, the Feast of Passover in Exodus 12, a jar of manna in Exodus 16, the Feast of booths in Leviticus 23, the 12 stones taken from the Jordan River in Joshua 4, and the Feast of Purim of Esther 9 were all established for the generations to come.  Over and over in Leviticus laws were given with this phrase “It shall be a statute forever in your generations” and here in Psalm 48 describing Zion is included in this passing down from generation to generation. 

When I was a young man, Keith Green made powerful impressions on me not just through his songs, but in his descriptions of revival especially highlighting Charles Finney.  I was inspired and was set on a course that I am still on due in large part to the descriptions of the Second Great Awakening and the stories of revival that burned in my heart.

Each generation not only needs to be taught doctrine, walked down the Roman road of salvation, but also told stories of how God has done great things not just in biblical times, but in recent generations.  Has our generation failed to inspire our children while the visible and audible world keeps streaming interesting content and capturing their attention? 

 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, Hebrews 12:22-23a. 

Walk about this Zion, join with the hero of the faith and keep looking for that city.  Inspire the generations to come with descriptions of the city of golden streets and glory.

The Treasure Hidden in a Feild

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Matthew 13:44

Sometimes a verse is taught or understood one way but it never really has an impact, then a completely better understanding is revealed and the misunderstanding is replace with a clearer understanding of God’s ways in these dark times.  The parable of the treasure hidden in a field is one of these often misunderstood verses, in that we believe we need to sell all, buy the field and the treasure is Jesus or the kingdom.

Matthew chapter 13 is an account of several parables Jesus told.  First, a sower sowed seed in a field with various results.  Second, a man sows good seed in a field, but his enemy sows tares.  Third, a treasure hidden in a field is found, hid, and purchased.  Forth, a pearl of great price is a similar story, and finally a dragnet describes the separation at the end.

“Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”  He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.  The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. Matthew 13:36-38

Jesus clearly says the man is Himself, the field is the world.  So it is in this parable of the treasure that the man once again is Jesus, and the field is the world. The treasure hidden is not something we have to sell all to obtain, but Jesus paid the great price in laying aside His divinity, becoming a man, and purchasing the world with his blood.  Mixing John 3:16 into this parable; God so loved the field that he gave his only son that whoever believes would not perish but be His eternal treasure.

  you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14   For you were bought at a price 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23

Because the treasure is hidden we rarely really grasp just how valuable we are to God.  Many have obscured this treasure by not heeding Paul’s warning to take heed how we build on his foundation in 1 Corinthians 3:10-12.  So much wood, hay and stubble has been mixed into our religion that the treasure has been buried deeper.  It is my hope that many will discover a treasure map finding the gold, silver and precious stones, and encourage others to build in alignment with the cornerstone, on a sure foundation, and according to the heavenly pattern.

There are threads that run through many books of the Bible.  Probably the best known thread is the scarlet thread of redemption, where little hints, types and shadows of Jesus’ way of salvation are woven into Old Testament passages.   Many other threads can be discovered and traced; The Revelation 21-22 vision of the heavenly city is full of threads.  Jerusalem, the bride, tabernacle, water or river of life, foundations, walls, gates, the number 12, gold, precious stones, lamb, measuring, temple, light, glory, book of life, and tree of life are all in Revelation 21-22 and also found in many other places in the Bible.

Behold, the eternal dwelling place of almighty God is with man.  Have you caught a glimpse of the treasure hidden in a field?  Come, I will show you the bride, the lambs wife.  And he shows us a city with pearls for gates, jeweled foundations, streets of gold.  An old Vineyard song said we will dance on streets that are golden.  I think we will be the streets, walls, foundations.  We are the treasure hidden in a field, refined, combined, and artistically fashioned into the climax of history.  The eternal dwelling place of God.

 

Can’t find God?

We can’t find God in our own little world.
But God comes looking for us,
While we’re hiding under the leaves.
“Where are you, sons of Adam?
Where are you, daughters of Eve?”
He calls us to leave our own little world
And seek to come to His eternal one.

We hid among the noise, the busy life style,
consumed with the visible.
He is in a secret place and wants us to dwell there too.
Prayer can be reduced to ask God to bless or fix
Our own little world without ever seeking Him or finding Him.
We pray to the god of our own little world,
without truly communing with
Our Father who is in heaven.

Not just on a personal level, but a Church can dwell in an own little world of the religion of songs, hype, and sermons without an ear tuned to what the Spirit is saying to us.

How do we get out of our own little world?
We must get back to square one.
Start over and begin again
A journey away from noise to silence.
Away from constantly hearing too many voices
to diligently listening for the One.

Jesus did nothing except what he heard or saw the Father doing.
Jesus never dwelt in his own little world, but he died to save us from ours.

For our citizenship is in heaven,
from which we also eagerly wait
for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
who will transform our lowly body
that it may be conformed
to His glorious body,
according to the working by which He is able
even to subdue all things to Himself.
Philippians 3:20-21

Subdue us, conform us, transform us, from our little world of wood, hay, and stubble.  That we might look for a glorious one of gold, silver and precious stones once again.

Revive Us in Your Way

Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in your way. Psalms 119:37

This is part two of a nine part series “Revive us According to… Psalms 119.  “Revive Us According to Your Word” was the first part and can be read here.  Briefly it encourages us to surrender our hearts from living according to self rule and return to live according to His rule.

When we are awakened to the things of the Spirit the focus of our time and attention also changes.  The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that everything under the sun is vain, worthless, that is empty of permanent value.  If so easy to slip back so we need to frequently be asking ourselves this question “What am I into?”  What has captured my attention that may not necessarily be sinful but is on a path that has little if any benefit? Continue reading

Revive us according to… Psalms 119

Introduction

Revival, renewal, awakening, outpouring and transformation are words commonly used to describe something special taking place in a church, city, or region.  Sometimes a genuine work or God is being described, while other times it is simply special extended meetings that a group proclaims to be a revival.

About 20 times in the New King James Version of the Bible the words revive or revival are used in the context of spiritual awakening.  Of these nine are found in Psalms 119Continue reading

Guidelines for Ekklesia Gatherings

Last week we began to focus on the verses that make up the discussion of gifting in the New Testament.  The passages involved are as at as follows:  Romans 12:3-16, 1 Corinthians 12:4-31, 1 Corinthians 14:24-33, and Ephesians 4:1-16. I wrote down several points in each section and then worked on consolidating them into main points without just quoting verses.

  • We have been graciously given diversity by one Spirit.  Unity is expressed by diverse people, with diverse gifts, and diverse manifestations. A good recipe has many ingredients for a deep, rich, balanced, and complex flavor and texture.
  • Warning it’s a common issue to think too highly of your own gifting and become competitive, dominate, and controlling.  Make a conscious effort to be humble, lowly, gentle, and long suffering.
  • Love trumps gifting.  Give honor and preference to one another especially the weaker ones.  If your gift cannot be expressed in love then don’t express your gift.  Refuse to get offended.
  • Everybody gets to play.  Let each and everyone use their gifts, make room, take turns.  All do, all learn, and all are encouraged. It is also common to think too highly of someone else’s gifting and become complacent, passive, and audience.
  • The unity of the Spirit is the overriding concern.  There should be a flow of the Holy Spirit that is followed.  Listen, and fit into the flow.  Don’t try to steer the meeting, nor bring confusion, or division.  Find the theme and add to it.  Take it deeper, apply it wider, add color, or harmony.  Be a part of the symphony and keep a close eye on the Conductor.
  • When the church functions properly then it will be known that God is truly among us.
  • We all become better equipped for the ministry not only as we use our gifts, but as the fruit of the Spirit matures because of the interaction.

Did I miss any main points?  What do you think?