Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘glory’

Awesome! Or is it?

A computer game that my husband and I enjoy has an irritating habit of describing our every success as “Awesome!”  This word seems to be the current version of what what used to be neat, cool, or groovy (hate that one!).  But wait a minute!  What is really awesome? 

Awe:  an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.  (Dictionary definition)

From this word comes “awesome,” which should describe things that produce that feeling of awe.  Truly awesome things leave us speechless, weak-kneed, overwhelmed by a grandeur far beyond the ordinary, beyond human comprehension.  My husband uses “awe” to describe the feeling he had when he first saw the Grand Canyon.  It’s how I feel when viewing a particularly beautiful sunset.  When examining the intricate detail of a flower.  Or even when watching the miracle of a huge jetliner soaring gracefully through the sky. It’s other-worldly, evidence of Someone far wiser and more powerful than we are who is showing us a taste of super-human majesty.

If we dumb down the word “awesome” to a mere expression of approval (e.g. the taste of your sandwich), what other word is left to express the feeling inspired by God’s wonderful works that bedazzle our eyes, minds, and imagination?  Or do we have our eyes so glued to our mirrors, menus, and manmade gadgets that we no longer lift them up to see what is truly awesome? 

Click below to enjoy a stirring rendition of “Our God is an Awesome God”—with pictures of His breathtaking creation.  NOW, THIS IS REALLY AWESOME!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaU6EMR37NA

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When Math Doesn’t Add Up

Here are some amazing spiritual math and science facts:

1 + 1 + 1 = 3   when it’s the Trinity.  God is three in one!  No, we can’t figure it out but God is not limited by the math He invented for us to make sense of our  little world.  I delight in worshiping a God who is great beyond my understanding Smile.

2 wrongs don’t make 1 right.  It’s not like multiplying two negative numbers which gives us a positive. 
For example, 1 unintended pregnancy + 1 abortion does NOT equal one “right.”  (No one has the “right” to kill a baby—including his/her mother!)

Gravity (physical law) always pulls us down.  But glory lifts us upward. Our body is temporal; it has to stay on this earth whether we’re alive or dead.   Our spirit can receive God’s never-ending life that give us supernatural power during this life and eternal hope beyond the grave—a life with no limits, only pure joy. 

The second law of thermodynamics says (in layman’s terms) that things inevitably run down.  But God’s kingdom is gaining power and increasing. I’ve been enjoying the book of Acts in the Bible, the story of the irrepressible power of God’s message to spread all over the world and change lives.  God is building His kingdom, and neither human or superhuman powers can stop it until finally a trumpet will sound and the announcement will be made:

“The kingdom of the world has become
     the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
          and he will rule as king forever and ever.”
                 (Revelation 11:15)

That Special Glow

They say that couples begin to look like each other the longer they are together.  Well, my husband and I definitely don’t, after 39 years of marriage.  But I would agree that people who hang around together tend to start thinking, talking, and acting like one another. If I hang around Jesus, will I start looking like Him as well as smelling like Him (cf. my last post)?

When Moses came down the mountain after talking with God in person, his face shone so brightly that he was forced to wear a veil for the sake of the people who were overcome by that light.  (Exodus 34:29-35)  When he went back to speak with the Lord, though, he removed the veil.

What a privilege Moses had, both to interface directly with God and then to represent Him to the Israelite people he was leading.  And amazingly, I have that same privilege! 

As all of us reflect the Lord’s glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.  (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT)

As my last post dealt with the fragrance of Christ blessing the world through His people, here (one chapter later) we see the light of Christ doing the same.  The challenge for me is, do I let Him show?   Sun

Christ, the Transforming Light, touches this heart of mine,
Piercing the darkest night, making His glory shine.
Oh, to reflect His grace, causing the world to see
Love that will glow till others shall know Jesus revealed in me!  (by Gipsy Smith)

From Groans to Glory*

Why do we groan?  Often it’s an expression of physical or mental anguish.  Like when hearing a bad pun (wish I’d thought of that myself!), being hit with bad news, or coping with a migraine….

Groaning appears three times within just five verses in Romans 8—groans coming from three different sources.  But these are not all bad news; there is hope in each scenario!

1)  All creation groans (verse 22) as it endures its imperfect state, the ravages of sin which holds it captive.  But the day will come when it will all be restored to the paradise it was meant to be (verse 21).

2)  We who are God’s children through faith in Christ groan (verse 23).  We are also enduring the devastation of sin—pain and problems, illness and death.  But “we eagerly wait with patience” (I’m afraid I’m more eager than patient!) for the time when our bodies will be fully redeemed and we will enjoy the full benefits that belong to us as citizens of heaven.

3)  The Holy Spirit groans as He expresses our cares and needs to the Father (verse 26).  We are not alone as we struggle to pray. And the result of the Spirit’s groaning is that God’s will is done in wonderful ways.  The outcome is glorious—God working out all things according to His purpose and for our good, glorifying Himself and bringing us to glory as well.  This is the triumphant peak of the book of Romans, culminating in a thrilling hymn about God’s powerful, incomparable, enduring love.  (Romans 8:28-39)

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?
If God is for us, who can ever be against us? … 
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?
Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity,
or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? …
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ,
                   who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
      Neither death nor life,
          neither angels nor demons,
               neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—
                    not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
                         No power in the sky above or in the earth below—
indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*Section title of Romans 8:18-30 in HCSB version

Glitter or Glory

At Christmas we see plenty of glitter.  Our Christmas tree, for one.  And it’s fun.  I love gawking at all the lit-up yards, have always been attracted to sparkly things.  Glitter is man-made, and it fades sooner or later. 

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Glory is another thing.  It’s God-made.  This word applies to sunsets, sunrises, mountain grandeur, visions of God and angels, and the inspired songs that celebrate these things, such as Handel’s Messiah! These are real things which last. 

How much of our Christmas celebration focuses on glitter, and how much on glory?  Ours has both, but it’s the glory part that I crave.  I so long to be totally overwhelmed by the glory and wonder of the lasting truth of Christmas:  the Incarnation!

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

The darker the night…

A diamond is most effectively displayed against a black background. 

Total darkness is needed in order to see the stars in all their glory.

This gem shines in the center of the bleakest of books, as Jeremiah wept over the total devastation of his beloved land:

The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

And Habakkuk’s triumphal climax arises from a scenario of total ruin:

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
  (3:17-18)

Lord, help me to remember that my little candle can make a bigger difference as the darkness closes in around us.  May it shine brightly until the dawn of Your return!

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