The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Lent Devotional: Jude 17-25

Jude 17-25 (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
How are you going to make it?

How are you going to make it all the way through life, to the end, faithful to the Lord, never falling away? How will you endure? How will you overcome?

Jude closes his small epistle with a massive exclamation… “Now to HIM who is able to keep YOU from stumbling…”

How are you going to make it? God is going to keep you! How will you endure? God is going to keep you! How will you overcome? God is going to keep you!

God is able to keep you from falling away, able to bring you all the way home to himself, able to complete the good work he began in you and make you blameless! He is able to bring you all the way through life, overcoming all, and finally standing in the presence of his great glory!

How? How is he able to do this?

He is able because he is the only God who has worked his gloriously majestic salvation through his Son Jesus Christ! He is able because has sovereign dominion over all, complete authority over all, he has always had it and he always will!

This sovereign God with all dominion and authority for all time is able to keep and has promised to do so through Christ! And what is the result for you and me? Great joy! The greatest joy! Complete joy! Eternal joy!

Full joy forever!

Let this promise sustain you today! The God who has all power and authority for all time is working in you today, sustaining you today, so that you will make it all the way through life, overcoming all by his power so that in the end you get him in all his glory as your joy forever!

How are you going to make it? God is going to keep you! He is keeping you! Right now… today!

 
*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: 1 John 4:1-6

1 John 4:1-6
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Reflection
People have all sorts of ideas about Jesus… most of them are actually quite positive. Even people who hate Christianity will often express a kind of respect for Jesus.

He was a great teacher, a good man, a philosopher, a moralist, a revolutionary, a progressive, a… fill in the blank.

Many religions, sects, and cults will even reference Jesus as an influence of figure within their belief system. With all this talk about Jesus… how are we to know who is telling the truth. How are we to know who actually knows Jesus.

“By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.”

The apostle John tells us that the Holy Spirit of God, who inspired him and the other authors of Scripture, confirms the confession of Scripture… that Jesus is the Christ in the flesh… fully God and fully man. In other words, we are only speaking truth about Jesus in so far as what we sign aligns with the testimony of Scripture.

I don’t have the authoritative word about Jesus… nor do you… nor does any other religions, sect or cult. Jesus has the authoritative word about himself, and he has given it through his Spirit in the written Word. To deny Christ as he has revealed himself is have a spirit that at its root is anti-Christ.

It doesn’t matter what positive things we say about Jesus… we are actually speaking against him if we deny the reality of who he is… God in the flesh. And it is this Christ who dwells within us, empowering us to overcome the very world that denies him!

We need not fear any religion, sect, cult, or even secularism. We need not fear what anyone says against Jesus. No matter how powerful the world may seem, Christ has already conquered it through his death and resurrection… and this conquering Christ dwells in you! Therefore, you have already overcome the world too!

People have all sorts of ideas about Jesus… but the only idea about him that matters is the one that is true… he is God and he lives in you!

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

Lent Devotional: 1 John 2:7-14

1 John 2:7-14 (click here)
… the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.

I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. (1 John 2:8b-10 and 14b)

Reflection
The old buildings were beautiful… almost regal. They towered in the old section of downtown, having stood the test of time and seeming like they would stand forevermore. Even their basic architecture conveyed a sense of immovable strength.

At least that was the impression my boyhood eyes got from a distance.

Yet… the closer I would draw to those beautiful old buildings, the more cracks I would see. Perhaps the ol’ downtown of my hometown wasn’t as solid as it seemed. In fact, if you walked all the way up to most of these buildings, their façade could be chipped way with a single flick of the finger.

The cracks grew bigger, revealing the truth that what looked strong from a distance was close to destruction.

I think that when we look at the darkness of our world, it can loom large like those old buildings. Corrupt institutions seem so solid and firm. Totalitarians, dictators, and authoritarian regimes seem like they are winning… never to fall. The wicked always seem to win. The darkness conveys a sense of immovable strength.

At least that is the impression our fleshly eyes get from a distance.

But take a closer look. Examine the history of dark regimes and those who pursue wicked ways. The closer you get the more cracks you’ll see. The darkness “winning” is merely a façade that chips away with the single flick of God’s finger!

“…the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.”

It shines via the love of Christ at work through you! When you love with self-sacrificial love, you chip away at the dark façade of the world. God reveals the emptiness, the darkness for what it is by shining a light on the fullness of his love.

Darkness is exposed and the evil one is overcome by the victory that Christ has already won in you! His word, his love, he himself abides in you and works through you!

Do not be discouraged by the illusion that darkness is winning! Shine the light of Christ’s love on its foundational cracks that the world may see there is only one solid rock… Jesus!
*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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