The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

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Final Lent Devotional: Revelation 22:1-5

*I have enjoyed writing the Lenten devotionals for 2019. I encourage you to keep on reading Scripture daily that you may find ever-increasing joy in the glory of God. Grace and Peace, Jonathan

Revelation 22:1-5 (click here)
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in [the new heavens and new earth], and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:3-5)

Reflection
Holy Saturday… a day of waiting.

Imagine if you had been amongst Christ’s disciples the day after his crucifixion. That had to be the darkest of Sabbaths. A day they had grown up observing as the most hope-filled day of the week… a day that recalled God’s perfect creation and looked forward to the day he would redeem and restore it all to the way he created it to be… that day had become the darkest day of their lives.

At least that is how it seemed… but if only they could see… dawn was coming.

If only they could see that they were merely a sunrise away from the in-breaking of the eternal light they had always hoped for! The reversal of sin and its darkest effect… death… this would soon begin with the resurrection of him… Jesus Christ!

Oh… if they could’ve seen that! How might it have revolutionized their waiting? If only they could’ve seen resurrection was on its way… coming with the dawn!

Now come back to today… come back to this moment… to this Holy Saturday… a day in which we wait much like those first disciples… not for the resurrection, but for the completion of redemption! The completion of what Christ’s resurrection began… the reversal of sin and death! The dawning of eternity in which there will be no more night, but only light seen in the glory of his face!

And we wait with eyes wide open… we wait as those who have seen the resurrected Christ with the eyes of faith! And, his resurrection guarantees the completion of redemption! Our waiting is not devoid of hope but filled with it! Our waiting is filled with the knowledge that the current darkness will be conquered by the coming dawn!

We know that Easter will have its final effect! Redemption will be complete! All things will be made new! The eternal day will dawn!

So, on this Holy Saturday, we wait in expectation as a people filled with hope and proclaiming hope to the world… the one who rose on Easter will return! His resurrection will finish what it began… the reversal of sin and death. Light will dispel the dark!

Redemption will be brought to completion. Easter will have its final effect!
*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: Revelation 3:14-22

Revelation 3:14-22 (click here)
…because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.  (Revelation 3:16-20)

Reflection
I use hot water every day to make coffee.

I use cold water every day as the most refreshing way to quench my thirst.

But lukewarm/room temperature water?… Ain’t nobody got time for that!

The city of Laodicea knew all about the refreshing uses of cold water and the medicinal uses of hot water springs, but God said their faith was like tepid water that isn’t good for anything. What made their faith Lukewarm?

They had become dependant upon themselves and their own riches and resources! They didn’t need anything from anyone, including God! What made their faith lukewarm and pointless was that it was no longer placed in God… it was in themselves!

They had shut God out of the church! And so he stands at the door and knocks.

I wonder how many churches are in this situation today? I wonder how often we shut God out by no placing our faith in him, but in our own abilities, strengths, and strategies. I wonder if he stands at the door of our church and knocks.

Has our faith become lukewarm and pointless because it is not being placed in God, but in ourselves? Do we need to heed the warning that the Lord is about to spit us out of his mouth in a similar way to how we have shut him out of the church?

O may we hear the merciful sound of his knocking… for in it there is a promise… “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

He will come in and forgive! He will come in and make our lukewarm faith like cold refreshing waters… or like hot medicinal waters… he will fill our faith with powerful purpose for it will now be placed in the only one who is truly powerful… him!

Behold he stands at the door and knocks! May we not lock him out with lukewarm faith!


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

Lent Devotional: Jude 24-25

Jude 24-25 (click here)
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)

Reflection
I watch the groom.

It’s true. At every wedding I officiate, when the bride comes down the aisle and all rise to honor her… I watch the groom.

Why?

Isn’t this day all about the bride? Isn’t she the one arrayed in splendor and glory? Isn’t she the one everyone has stood to see?

It is true that a wedding’s emphasis falls on the glory of the bride, but if you want to see the joy that glory produces… watch the groom. In his face, you will see the joy of glory. It is his joy for his bride to be glorified… and her overwhelming radiance light up his eyes as never before. He is in her presence with great joy.

The beautiful benediction of Jude is a total “joy of glory” moment. Yes… it is all about the glory of God… that is what the good word calls for! All GLORY be to the only God, our Savior! And as we say these words we cannot help, but smile.

Why?

It is true that the emphasis of Jude 24-25 falls on the glory of God, but if you want to see the joy that glory produces… watch believers. In their faces, you will see the joy of glory, for this great God has used all his majesty, dominion, and authority to keep them from stumbling and to bring them into the presence of his GLORY with GREAT JOY!

This is the promise and hope of what our God will do… this is what he IS doing! This is our hope… the joy of glory!


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

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