The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Lent Devotional: 2 Peter 1:16-18

Today’s devotional is authored by Brad Brown

2 Peter 1:16-18
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.

Reflection
Is there really a God? Is the Christian faith true in what it claims? Was Jesus really who he said he was? Is it possible that we have gotten it all wrong?

If we are honest with ourselves, these are questions that we have all asked before. We’ve all had these moments where these doubts randomly pop into our mind and cast a dark shadow. We imagine a world where everything we have built our life on is wrong and its a troubling place to be (to say the least..).

In the midst of these questions C.S Lewis takes us to the heart of our faith: The person and work of Jesus Christ.

C.S Lewis claimed that Jesus cant just be a good moral teacher. He said that Jesus is one of three things: Liar, Lunatic, or Lord:

First, Liar. Jesus didn’t just claim to be a moral teacher he said that he and the father were one, He claimed to be God in flesh and demanded that we follow him above all things. So…it’s possible that Jesus could have been lying about who he was. 

Second, Lunatic….Meaning that Jesus really believed he was God. Therefore, he wasn’t lying but he was crazy. 

Third, Lord. The third option for Lewis is that Jesus was who he said he was and therefore he is God in the flesh. Fully God. Fully Human. God with us. The one who was really crucified and was really raised from the dead in history.

In the text for today Peter wants to make clear that the confession that Christ has died, Christ has risen and Christ will come again is not based on a myth. 

Peter witnessed the person and the work of Christ.  At the Transfiguration the apostles saw the carpenters son clothed in a visible glory…a visible glory that will be seen by all when he returns. 

They also heard, in a voice from heaven, the divine declaration of the true identity and authority of their teacher. So If the apostles’ witness to this is trustworthy, then their message about the Second coming is not a human fairytale to make us feel better, but is based on Gods action and declaration.

This Holy week we remember the historical events leading up to the death and resurrection Jesus. We remember that our faith is ultimately built, not on our feelings or individual experiences, but on the action of God in history in and through his Son.

This is reality. Everything else we tell ourselves is a dream…

In John 6, after a hard saying from Jesus many of his followers leave him. He turns to the twelve and asks “Do you want to go away as well?” 

Peter answers, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 

In the midst of all our sufferings, and questions, and uncertainties…Where else can we go shades? What else could we run to that would satisfy our souls? By the testimony of those before us and the work of the spirit we have tasted and seen the beauty of Jesus Christ.

God has come to us and he is coming again. When he comes again there will be no more suffering and no more doubts about his identity. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess what we preach and sing every Sunday. For eternity we will recount the events of Holy week diving its depths with each word of praise. 

Thanks be to God.

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

Lent Devotional: 1 Peter 1:3-9

1 Peter 1:3-9 (click here to read the entire passage)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials… (1 Peter 1:3-6) 

Reflection
My son Levi loves Legos. I mean… he LOVES Legos.

I played with Legos as a kid and had a blast doing so… but I never came close to the passion that my eldest son displays for those interlocking pieces of plastic. Levi is quite skilled at his craft and blows my mind quite often with his creative creations. There’s just one problem…

Levi has two younger brothers.

You know the logical result of such a situation. Like monsters ripping through a city in a doomsday film, those two little boys are can totally destroy hours of Levi’s work in a matter of seconds… and they do… often.

IMG_3007So recently, I built Levi a set of shelves… high up… out of the reach of the two mini-monsters live in our house. Now his creations are safe, kept, guarded… unable to be destroyed by the chaos lurking below.

In a much greater and grander way, God has done the same thing with our salvation, our eternal life in Christ! We live in a world that often feels like a doomsday film (especially as of late). The fragility of our way of life and of our very lives is being constantly held before us these days. The 24-hour news cycle constantly reports that our world is indeed full of monsters and chaos.

We are a people grieved by trials.

But our God has purchased an eternal life of joy in Jesus for us! He entered into our chaotic world, took on every monster it has to offer, and on the greatest day of doom he wrestled death itself into the grave. With his own blood, our God defeated sin, death, and the devil so that forgiveness, life, and Christ might be ours forever!

This is our inheritance and it is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading! It is unable to be touched by the “mini-monsters” of this world because it is being kept “high up” out of their reach… kept in heaven for you.”

And it will be ours for we too are being kept!

1 Peter 1:5 (one of my favorite verses) declares that we are being guarded, kept by God’s power! We may live in the chaotic-doomsday-monster-filled-world, but from God’s perspective these trials last only a little while, for our eternal life of joy is kept and guarded on the “shelf of heaven,” securely ours forever.

Eternal joy in Jesus is ours! And this empowers us to rejoice even now, pointing our chaotic world to Christ!

…[you], by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials…”
*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: 1 Timothy

*For those who were unable to participate in yesterday’s livestream, here is the promised youtube link: click here

*All previous livestreams are also available on youtube: click here

Today’s devotional is authored by Allison Davis 

1 Timothy 3:16
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

Reflection
Is anyone else aching for Easter?

I recently saw a Facebook post that said: “This is the Lentiest Lent I have ever Lented.”

I think we can agree.

While we can and should celebrate Christ’s Resurrection all the time, there is something special about Easter morning. The faithful gather and celebrate the most joyous event in all of human history: Jesus Christ is Risen and has defeated death and hell.

If you’re like me and you grew up in the church, it is easy to fall into “going through the motions” of Easter. We do the same thing every year. We hear the same story, read the same Scriptures… and while this defining event of our faith is indeed glorious, we’ve almost become used to it. It’s just another Easter.

1 Timothy 3:16 reminds us of the mystery, the almost absurdity, of Christ’s Godliness.

GOD WAS MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH. Let me say that again. God became human, died, rose FROM THE DEAD by the Spirit, and has since been preached and believed throughout the world.

Wow. And this was God’s plan from the beginning.

Do you ever meditate on the beauty of Christ’s work on the cross? Do you contemplate what it would mean if Christ hadn’t rose from the dead? Or does Easter no longer excite you?

Join me today in considering the mystery of godliness. Jesus could’ve come as a king, but he came as a kid. He could’ve conquered through military power, but he conquered through dying. He could’ve left you and I to the fate we sinners deserve, but he stood in our place and took our punishment. May we never let the old, old story grow stale in our hearts. This is the reason we have hope, friends. This is how we are victorious. Let us read my late grandfather’s favorite hymn:

“I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.”

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.”

 

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

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