The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Month: March, 2016

Lent Devotional: 1 Corinthians 6:14-20

1 Corinthians 6:14-20 (click here)
And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

…you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:14 and 20)

Reflection
Resurrection.

Many Christians miss the teaching of Scripture that Jesus is not the only one who will be raised from the dead. No. Jesus was the first to be permanently raised from the dead, never to die again!

Through his death he defeated death…and not just for him, but for all who trust in him. His resurrection proves that reality! His resurrection guarantees our resurrection! The day will come when Christ returns and God raises all who trust in him from the dead.

You see, when Jesus saved you, he didn’t just save part of you… your soul. No. He saved all of you! That includes your body! Your body itself has been saved from the result of sin…death.

That truth has massive implications and not just for eternity, but for now! Your body has been purchased by Jesus’ blood just as much as your spirit! You are not your own, your very body belongs to the Lord and should be used to express that truth!

Do we use our bodies to glorify God or to satisfy ourselves? That question punches me in the gut every time I think about it.

I belong to the Lord. Does the way I live, even the way I use my body, preach that reality to the world?

Resurrection… it is not just an old truth about what happened with Jesus… nor is it just a future truth about what will happen with us… it is a present truth that changes the way we live right now.

Live in light of Jesus’ resurrection…and your own.

*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: Acts 2:22-36

Acts 2:22-36 (click here)
…this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. (Acts 2:23 and 32)

Reflection
Who killed Jesus?

Was it Rome? Israel? You and me? Or was it God? The short answer is… yes.

All too often we want to give simple answers to complex questions… we want to streamline a multi-faceted issue, and the cross of Christ is multi-faceted in a horrifyingly beautiful way.

God killed Jesus. He was sovereign over the cross and Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God. The cross was the eternal plan of the triune God. We might call it the great conspiracy of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus can be spoken of as the lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8) because the cross was always the plan… it was always his plan (John 10:17-18).

If the triune God sovereignly planned the cross and guaranteed its outcome, then can we even say that anyone else was responsible for the cross? I mean… doesn’t that mean that the Romans, the Jews, and even us had no choice in whatever part we “played” in the crucifixion of Jesus?

Herein lies one of the greatest mysteries of Scripture… God’s sovereignty does not eliminate our responsibility… and our responsibility does not encroach upon God’s sovereignty! God is sovereign…true. We are responsible…true!

I know of no greater passage that brings this reality to the forefront than Acts 2:23… God was sovereign over the cross, and wicked lawless people were responsible.

When I look at the cross I see the result of my wickedness AND God’s righteousness. I see my hate AND God’s love. I see the horror of my sin AND the beauty of God’s salvation! Oh the glory of God in the cross!

Who killed Jesus? My sin murdered him… the Triune God’s love sacrificed him.

Come behold the wondrous mystery! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afXZlzZdUiI

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

Lent Devotional: Matthew 12:6 and 16:21-23

Matthew 12:6 and 16:21-23 (click here)
I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. (Matthew 12:6)

Reflection
The temple.

We can scarcely imagine how central the temple was to Jewish life. It was a massive structure, able to be seen from anywhere within the city of Jerusalem (and from a long way off when approaching the city). It literally loomed over life. You couldn’t escape the presence of the temple, this massive reminder of the presence of the one and only massive God.

And oh the beauty! Precious stones, gems, carvings, sculpture, stone work, and lots and lots of gold. It was quite a sight to behold, constantly reminding the people of the infinite beauty of the invisible God!

All Israel would journey to Jerusalem multiple times a year for various festivals which all centered around the temple! It was the place where heaven met earth…where God’s presence was made manifest! Nothing and no one was greater than the temple.

Then… Jesus.

This untrained rabbi from Nazareth, who was constantly making outlandish claims, struck at the very heart of Jewish identity with the words, “…something greater than the temple is here.”

How could that be possible? How could anything be greater than the temple?

How could anything manifest the presence of God more? How could anything do a better job of connecting heaven and earth? How could anything else be at the center of Jewish life?

The only way that could actually happen would be if God himself showed up outside the temple! The only thing better than the temple, was the God who dwelt there! He’d have to show up personally in order for the temple to be second best…and that is what he did.

Jesus was and is God in the flesh. He was and is like a walking talking temple. He connects heaven and earth. He is the “place” you go to meet with God! He is the one greater than the temple!

If you want to know God, meet with God, see God, hear from God… you no longer go to the temple… no… something greater than the temple is here…

If you want to know God… you go to Jesus.

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

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