The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Month: February, 2020

Lent Devotional: Deuteronomy 30:11-20

Deuteronomy 30:11-20 (click here to read the entire passage)
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Reflection
Last night, Holly and I were talking in the kitchen when we heard Solomon, our 19-month-old son, cry out in pain from the living room. He immediately came running in our direction. Being the loving father that I am, I walked towards him with arms outstretched while I spoke inviting, comforting words.

He didn’t even slow down.

The kid pretty much shoved me to the side, blew right past me, and threw himself into the arms of his mother.

Typical.

In all seriousness, this is not out of the ordinary at all. The kid always prefers Holly over me. Why? It’s not for “no” reason at all. Indeed, it is for a great many reasons. She is the one who is ever-present in his life. She is the one who has held him the most, fed him the most, cared for him the most. So, even though she is also the one who has disciplined him the most, he still wants her… because he knows her goodness, her love, her heart. He knows her… and his wanting her is based on everything glorious he has seen and experienced about her. His wanting her glorifies her.

In Deuteronomy 30, God calls a new generation of Hebrews to be different than their forefathers who constantly turned away from him to seek solace in the “arms” of other gods. As these people are poised to enter the land God had promised them, he calls them to always be a people who run to him without even slowing down. This should be what is “typical” of God’s people.

Why?

It’s not for “no” reason at all. Indeed, it is for a great many reasons. They should run to the Lord, love him, obey him, and hold fast to him “FOR he is your life and length of days…”

He is our life! He sustains us, he holds us, he guides us, he pours out his covenant love upon us, and yes, that even means he disciplines us. The point is that there are real, objective reasons that we want him… because we know his goodness, his love, his heart. We know him! Our wanting him is based on everything glorious we have seen and experienced about God! Our wanting God glorifies him!

Our faith is not a leap into the dark! If it were, that would not glorify God! No! Our faith is a running into the arms of the one who’s glory we have seen, and we love, trust, and treasure him!

Today… who’s arms are you choosing to run into and why?

See the glory of the God who is your life and run into his loving arms! Don’t even slow down!

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

 

Lent Devotional: Numbers 13:25-30

Numbers 13:25-30 (click here to read the entire passage)
At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land… And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large… But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Numbers 13:25, 27-28, 30)

Reflection
People vs. Promises

That’s the battle taking place in Numbers 13. God had promised to give his people a land for their very own possession, but it was occupied… apparently by very strong, intimidating people.

Is this not a pattern we all experience when it comes to the promises of God? Due to the fact we live in a world occupied by apparently strong, intimidating sin and brokenness… do we not always see obstacles in the way of God’s promises?

It’s people vs. promises all over again. It’s faith vs. unbelief.

Perhaps this is why the fight we engage in throughout our lives is called the “fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). We fight to believe, to trust, to follow God’s promises no matter how strong and intimidating any obstacle in the way may look.

God’s promises are meant to provide us with the power to press on! We receive that power through the channel of faith! When we believe God’s promises and step out upon them, the promised power is there, provided by the Holy Spirit! However, when we do not believe the promises of God we do what Scripture calls “quenching the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19). It’s like we put a kink in the water hose of faith… we quench the flow of promised power with our unbelief.

This is what the Hebrew people chose to do in Numbers 13-14. As they stood on the precipice of the promised land… they chose not to believe that God would keep his promise to give it to them. They chose to believe that the people of the land were more powerful than the promises of God.

But Caleb (and Joshua) held on to faith. And one day they would return to the border of the promised land alongside a new generation of Hebrews and by faith, they would experience the power of God’s promises as they took the land!

How are you living today? Are you setting before you the promises of God so that they might empower you amidst a world of strong and intimidating people and obstacles that make faith look silly or downright impossible? Are you pressing on by the power God provides by his Spirit through his promises… or are you quenching the Spirit in unbelief?

Today… who will win the battle for your heart?

People or Promises?

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

 

Lent Devotional: Exodus 6:2-7

Exodus 6:2-7 (click here to read the entire passage)
Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (Exodus 6:6-7)

Reflection
“Do you know who I am? I’m your Papa!”

I have spoken those words to each of my children shortly after they were born. The words were absolutely true, even though there was no way they could know what they meant. How would they come to know what it means for me to be their Papa? What would fill up those words with meaning?

Sure… over time, as their ability to communicate grew, I would continue to speak meaning into our relationship. I would tell them more and more about what it meant for me to be their Papa and for them to be my child. BUT, while my words might outline a “black and white” sketch of who I am, it would be my actions that would color the picture of my identity in their lives!

I could tell them that as their Papa I am an authority figure in their life, but the exercise of authority would color what that means. I could tell them I love, protect, and provide for them, I long to teach them and play with them and lead them, but again… my actions must match my words in order for my children to truly KNOW what it means for me to be their Papa.

My words are important! Without them, my actions might be misinterpreted. It’d be kind of like random colors on a page with no black lines to define what you’re seeing. To know me, my children need my words and my actions… they need the outline and the color.

“Do you know who I am? I am the LORD!”

This is the reality that God unfolds for his people in Exodus 6. He is the covenant-keeping God… the LORD… Yahweh. BUT what does that mean?

God doesn’t leave the picture in black in white… he adds color to his words via his actions. What does it mean that he is the LORD? “I am the LORD… I WILL bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians… I WILL deliver you from slavery… I WILL redeem you…”

The LORD is the rescuer… the deliverer… the redeemer… and through these words married with his actions the LORD says his people will come to KNOW him! “I will take you to be my people… and you shall know that I am the LORD your God…”

We come to know the LORD in this same way for he has most fully revealed himself as our rescuer, deliverer, and redeemer in his WORD made flesh… his WORD in action… his WORD named Jesus.

If you want to know the LORD, you know him through Jesus.

No sharper lines have been drawn with words and no brighter colors displayed through actions than through Jesus! You want to see God in high definition that makes 4K look blurry, then look to Jesus! “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…” (Hebrews 1:3a)

Do you want to see and know God more today? Look to Jesus!

“Do you know who I am?… I am the LORD!… I am Jesus!”

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

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