The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Month: February, 2018

Lenten Sermon: John 15:12-17

John 15:12-17
On Sundays there will be no written devotional as the reading for that day also serves as the sermon text for Shades Valley Community Church. If you would like to listen to this morning’s sermon on John 15:12-17 you may do so by clicking here.

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Lent Devotional: 1 Chronicles 16:28-34

1 Chronicles 16:28-34 (click here)
…Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth… (1 Chronicles 16:29b-30a)

Reflection
Some people love scary movies. I am not one of those people.

Yet, I get where they are coming from. I mean… we all have things we love that cause a type of fear to be stirred up within us.

Some people love to meet celebrities, even though it makes their heart pound so hard they think it will come out of their chest, and they end up saying foolish things… that is if they are able to speak at all.

Some people love the thrill of a roller coaster (I am one of these people). Even the anxiety caused by waiting in line or the initial climb is part of what makes these rides so much fun.

Others love even riskier forms of entertainment like sky-diving (bunch of crazies). But I think you get my point… all of us love things that simultaneously cause a type of fear within us.

For this reason, I have often been perplexed as to why so many people have trouble combining “loving the Lord” with “fearing the Lord.” If we truly see God for who he is in the splendor of his holiness, then both of these reactions make complete sense! In fact, I would suggest that if we do not feel both love and fear towards the Lord then we haven’t truly grasped the splendor of his holiness.

First… love. We worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. In other words, we adore him when we see him for who he is. He is what our heart has always been searching for! Everywhere we look for satisfaction is evidence of our search and longing for the only one that can satisfy… God. He alone is perfect, holy… and therefore, he alone can perfectly satisfy your heart with his splendor. We LOVE the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

Second… fear. We tremble before the splendor of the Lord’s holiness. He is perfect, and we are not. We deserve nothing from him but rejection and wrath. It’s like his holiness burns brighter than the sun and we find ourselves in the position of Icarus… unable to approach without being consumed. We FEAR the splendor of the Lord’s holiness.

Third… yes… there is a third! Third, the Lord’s love transforms our fear! Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has justified us, made us holy as he is holy! We no longer fear rejection and wrath because Jesus bore all of that on our behalf. Our fear of the Lord is now transformed! It’s no longer a “scary movie” kind of fear… a fear of the awful. No. It’s a celebrity, roller-coaster, sky-diving kind of fear… a fear of awe! We have the thrill of drawing near to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

O, we still tremble before him, but not because we fear something awful, but because we are “fearfully” in awe of the one we love. We adore the Lord in the splendor of his holiness and we tremble before him!

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

Lent Devotional: 1 Kings 8:54-61

1 Kings 8:54-61 (click here)
The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, THAT he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers.

Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the LORD our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.” (1 Kings 8:57-58 and 61)

Reflection
How do you obey the commands of God?

Scripture is full of commands and demands for obedience. Yet, for many, the moment there is talk of commands and obedience they cry “legalism.” However, Jesus himself gave many commands and even his final instructions about making disciples tell us to be “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” Was Jesus being legalistic?

Hardly.

Legalism is obedience in one’s own power in order to earn God’s affection. But love expresses itself through obedience empowered by God’s affection!

This is the kind of obedience Solomon prays for in 1 Kings 8. He asks for the Lord’s empowering presence to be at work inclining his peoples’ hearts to him… so that out of affection for him they are empowered to keep his commandments and statues.

Therefore, the people are to obey because their hearts are wholly true to the Lord… they love the Lord! So they step out to obey, trusting that God is at work inclining their hearts to him, empowering them. They step out in faith that God will provide all the power needed to obey!

This is how we obey the commands of God, not as legalists, but as lovers!

God himself inclines our hearts toward him, filling us with affection for him, and that love empowers us to step out and obey him in faith that he will provide all the power needed for that obedience so that he gets the glory!

I cannot obey the commands of God any other way because part of his commands is that they be kept in a way that glorifies him! Even if I muscle up my own strength and conform my behavior to God’s commands… I’m not keeping those commands because I’m not doing it out of love for him, empowered by him, for his glory!

Oh may we receive the charge of Solomon and of Christ himself… may we keep the commands of God, by the power of God, because of love for God!

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

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