The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Lent Devotional: Proverbs 1:20-33

Proverbs 1:20-33 (click here)
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. (Proverbs 1:20-23)

Reflection
Have you heard Wisdom’s cry?

Proverbs pictures wisdom like a woman calling out in the streets… surrounding us with offers to listen to her voice, but we are stubborn and ignore her at every turn. Yet, I have never heard wisdom calling out to me! Where are these supposed countless offers of wisdom calling? Surely, I’m not so dense as to ignore wisdom’s great wealth if it actually surrounds me… or am I?

Each morning, the sun rises… proclaiming to me the wisdom of the one who created the sun and all it shines upon. Yet, I neglect to speak to him in prayer. I’m in a hurry with too much to do.

Throughout my day, I neglect what others have to say. Many of these are people the Lord has placed in my life to provide wise counsel… but how often do I heed what they have to say?

Sunday after Sunday, I hear God’s Word proclaimed… and perhaps it entertains me, but it does not enter my heart and actually change who I am, how I think, act, and love. I keep the wisdom of the word at arms distance and admire it from afar.

And perhaps the most glaring manner in which wisdom calls and I ignore her is through my own copy of the Scriptures. Day after day, the Holy Spirit of God beckons to be heard through the words he inspired. But, I don’t have time. I leave the Bible on my bedside table as I rush out the door… and that evening I continue to ignore the wisdom that is available within its pages.

“If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.”

The Holy Spirit of the living God, poured out as he illumines the words he inspired to give us wisdom unto salvation! This is the ultimate cry of wisdom that surrounds us every day! Do we hear and heed the call?

Have you heard wisdom’s cry?


*All previous devotionals may be found at 
www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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Lent Devotional: Psalm 90:1-12

*I am sorry that there was not a Lenten Devotional yesterday. I had an extended family emergency. Thank you for understanding.

Psalm 90:1-12 (click here)
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!”

For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.

Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:1-3, 7-8, and 11-12)

Reflection
Have you ever tried to ponder eternity?

No beginning… no ending. Have you ever just tried to wrap your mind around such a thought? It such a massive concept that it hurts our minds as we try to stretch them to fit eternity into our thoughts. And, our headache only grows as we attempt to bring God into the picture! Have you ever really just sat and pondered the nature of the God who is from everlasting to everlasting?!

Not only does the Psalmist do this in Psalm 90, but to maximize his thoughts of God even more, to their greatest possible grandeur, he sets mankind alongside of God for comparison.

What emerges from this comparison and contrast is a void of hopelessness between the holy God and sinful man. The God who gives and sustains all life should simply return mankind to the dust from which he was taken, “For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.”

What could possibly be the point of such ponderings? Such thoughts do nothing but make us tremble with fear! And they should! My heart races like crazy when I think a cop has caught me speeding… how much more fear should fill my heart when all my sins are laid bare before the God of the universe?! But is fear the point?

“Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Fear is not the point, but a pointer to wisdom… to worship. Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” The fear of the LORD is seeing him rightly… for who he is… and such knowledge can only lead to fear and trembling! Every time someone in scripture encounters God their first reaction is fear and trembling. Fearing the Lord is evidence that you actually see him for who he is… and this is the beginning place for wisdom. This is the starting point for rightly relating to the Lord in worship.

The fear of the Lord is not meant to lead us to despair and death, but to hope and life… for now, we live in light of the knowledge of who God is! We no longer trust in ourselves, but we look to him as our only hope! He is the only one who can save us… and he has!

Through Jesus Christ, God has become our refuge from his righteous wrath! He poured out his wrath upon himself, as our substitute, so that we might have eternal life in him! This is grace… given to us for all eternity!

Have you ever tried to ponder grace?

It makes your head hurt more than trying to ponder eternity! Grace leads us to rightly fear the Lord… not in a manner that leads to despair and death but to hope and life… in a manner that leads to worship.

By grace, we see God for who he is and ourselves for who we are… AND we see what he has done in Christ! And, by grace, we fear him, reverence him, stand in awe and worship of him for all eternity… from everlasting to everlasting… for he is God!


*All previous devotionals may be found at 
www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Psalm 81:7-16

Psalm 81:7-16 (click here)
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you! O Israel, if you would but listen to me! There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god. I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! (Psalm 81:8-13)

Reflection
As a kid, I remember watching my grandparents VHS of “The Ten Commandments,” starring Charlton Heston as Moses. Even now, I can remember shaking my head at the Israelites building the golden calf at the base of Mount Sinai as I thought, “How can they forget all that God has done for them so quickly!”

I mean, they had seen him work incredible miracles and plagues that displayed his power over all the false gods of Egypt. They’d experienced the “impossible” as he led them out of slavery and literally parted the waters of the Red Sea to save them from Pharaoh. How could anyone forget such things so quickly?

But if I’m honest… I forget this quickly.

There have been times when the Lord has worked wonders in my life… parted seas… and within weeks, sometimes days, sometimes in the same day… I find myself living as if he’d never worked at all. I’ve forgotten… and I go after my own “golden calves.”

In Psalm 81, the Lord calls out for his people to remember! Why? Because they have forgotten him and gone after other gods. But, if they’ll remember who he is and what he has done it will put all these other “gods” in proper perspective. They will be seen for what they are… powerless… worthless… false.

So the Lord calls his people to remember that he brought them out of Egypt… that he saved them… that he alone is God and there is no other.

He calls them to remember past redemption for the sake of their present relationship!

But, the people will not listen. They harden their hearts by stopping up their ears to the word of the Lord.

Do we?

Do we harden our hearts by stopping up our ears to God’s Word? It is through the Word, through Scripture, that the Spirit most explicitly works to remind us of who God is and what he has done… how he has brought us out of the “Egypt” of slavery to sin and saved us through the red “sea” of his Son’s blood! And, it is only in remembering this Gospel that all other so-called “gods” are put into proper perspective.

Have you remembered the Gospel today? Have you recalled who God is and what he has done? You can remember! He can remind you! Open your Bible now… read… hear his voice! Hear the Gospel again so that you don’t forget who he is and who he has made you to be!

God desires to remind you! “Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!” (Psalm 81:13)

We can be a people so prone to forget… and this is why we are a people called to remember.

Take time right now to remember past redemption for the sake of your present relationship!


*All previous devotionals may be found at 
www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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