Sunday, July 21, 2013

Glory and Treasure


Rom.8:18 - 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Col.1: 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Here are some limited insights into what the word glory actually means and how it is used in the Scriptures:

splendor, brightness of the moon, sun, stars

magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace

majesty, a thing belonging to God

the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity

a thing belonging to Christ

the kingly majesty of the Messiah

the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ; the majesty

of the angels

as apparent in their exterior brightness

a most glorious condition, most exalted state

of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth

the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Savior's return from heaven

When I used the word “limited” I meant it. As you can see the word glory is used to accentuate something great and powerful and beautiful. It is used for the stars and for the mountains and even for the wonder of life itself. But when the word is attached in any way to God it takes on an entire new depth and scope. And from our vantage point and understanding it has a very special meaning when it is applied to Christ Jesus. Who really can know it in all its fullness?

To understand or comprehend the absolute glory of the Risen Christ is only afforded to us in part in this present life. However even that part is breathtaking and life altering. We can throw around the words majesty and brightness and excellency and exalted and still we come up way short in our attempt to reveal or visualize the glory of Jesus. The glory of God exists in a reality completely detached from our own time and space. And even though God can and does visit us with glimpses through the illumination of the Spirit, we still remain ever the paupers when it comes to fully apprehending the glory of the Lamb of God.

The Book of the Revelation supplies us with some future imagery but human words are cloudy conduits when it comes to heavenly things. And when it pertains to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah those words really only whet our spiritual appetites. They can do no more. In fact, what actually captures our spirits and changes our lives is the surpassing knowledge of Christ accompanying with the knowledge we have only a small revelation of that glory. Think about it. We have been moved to tears and brokenness just because of our profoundly limited understanding of the glory of the Redeemer. And none of us have as yet laid eyes and minds upon the Risen Christ in all His glory and splendor. It is like taking a 200 piece concert orchestra and only letting one violin play and still be overwhelmed by its symphonic majesty and even recognizing that the other 199 pieces have yet to play. This is the power of God’s eternal glory even when given and understood in a very small way. Beyond words…completely beyond words.

But if we are to attempt to fully understand the length and breadth of Christ’s redemption we must proceed further. You see, this glory has been hidden in every true believer. This glory is embedded in the Person of Christ Himself and He now lives and resides within His people. How can we explain such a thing? I realize we have our precious doctrines which so often are used to quench any further pursuit and to prove our Scriptural orthodoxy, but if we choose to be satisfied with that we lose any chance at finding the eternal treasure this side of heaven. The clearer and deeper we see the Person of Jesus the more we allow the rays of His glory to enter into our souls. This is no spiritual game. In fact, this should be the lifelong pursuit of every true disciple of Jesus.

But the Apostle Paul tells us through the Spirit that this glory, this Christ, will one day be revealed in every true follower of Jesus Christ. Can you even pretend to imagine such a thing? I mean we have never deserved heaven, but now not only are we ushered into the dwelling place of Christ but He Himself will be revealed in us. How can I even know that? How can I understand that? What words or doctrines can really bring that into a reality in my being? It would have been glorious if Christ had redeemed us but kept His distance so as not to identify with us too closely. I could completely understand that. But to redeem us and then to come and live within us is far beyond my ability to understand and make any earthly sense of so great a salvation.

Oh the majesty of such a reality! Oh the eternal splendor of such a redemption! Oh what a Savior indeed!  That God would allow us to walk with His glory cannot be known. The Scriptures reveal that God is a spirit. Alright then, tell me just what is a spirit? Go ahead and mumble some ethereal words that make us look intelligent but all you have done is show yourself a fool. In these temporal bodies with our compromised minds all we have is what has been given to us through Scripture. And since God is a spirit we humans have no way yet to understand even the eternal DNA ( if you will) of the eternal being we call “God” which is the Anglo-Saxon word for “good”. Do you see? Even the word “God” is human.

So if we cannot even define a spirit, and if we use our own human words for Jehovah, then how are we supposed to comprehend the glory of His Being? We do not even have a comprehensive understanding of the word “glory” to say nothing of the glory which radiates from His eternal Being. But that should just spur us on to pursue and uncover and enter into the treasures contained in His Eternal Person. Meditate upon this: God is not a man and yet He came in the likeness of a man. And even that has provided for us some sphere of reference which accommodates our understandings but must still be seen as wholly insufficient.

So here we are consumed with ourselves and with an ecclesiastical construct which ministers to us and not our Lord and with that we are content and satisfied. Who really pursues Him anymore in this fast paced culture with all its daily worries and cares and the constraints of time largely absorbed into our temporal pursuits? Who has taken two months and fasted and prayed and for two short months has eschewed television or entertainment or going out to eat and immersed himself in prayer and the Word in every spare moment? Just two months? And yet we expect to understand the glory of our Risen Redeemer? Or worse yet we do not really care if we see His glory or not because we await heaven. Who then are we really following?

The Industrial Revolution brought about colossal changes in our culture. And with great leaps and bounds our time has been swallowed up in earthly pursuits and caring for the material things we already have or we desire to have. Any lengthy and deep times in prayer and fastings are now relegated to church history books and stories of revivals in days gone by. And oh what we have missed by being part of the cultural pursuits and not part of the pursuit that seeks Him with our whole hearts. The church has fed us its doctrines and has ensnared us with its activities and visions of growth and buildings and in so doing it has robbed the body of the eternal treasures hidden but available in Christ.

Col.2: That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

II Cor.4: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

And there it is! The treasures of Christ which is Christ Jesus Himself dwells within us! Have we been digging to uncover this mystery and to let is shine forth to those who know not our Blessed Redeemer? Have we been thirsty for the water of this unfathomable glory within us? Do we actually believe in eternal life anymore or is it just another doctrine of the church? How can a person claim to believe in eternal life and yet spend so little time with Christ and so much time with the temporal? And the generation that will come after us will surely use our example to spiral further downward into the abyss of this fallen world.

The glorious treasure of Christ Jesus which is deep without a bottom has given way to the pursuit of earthly success and delicacies. The church house is dark throughout the week and the homes burn with the fire of television. The professing people of God no longer hunger and thirst after the righteousness that can only be found in Christ Jesus our Lord. In fact we have taken a few moral issues, stripped them from Christ, and made them our god.
But like someone who has inherited millions but instead of claiming his inheritance he is searching for pennies in the crevices of his couch, so are we as we run after that which cannot satisfy or be sustained at the expense of eternal treasure. What a sad and humiliating spectacle! The church now seeks everything but Jesus and now feasts at the table of God's enemies. The name of Jesus is now used to comport our Christianity but the disciplines of spiritual pursuit cannot be found. Ten minutes in a devotional book makes us feel better and with that we go about our more important business.

But there is hope! There is that Blessed Hope! We need not depend upon a church. We surely must not depend upon any country. We have this treasure in our earthly vessel and the Spirit beckons us to Come and dine!” Can you hear His call and His invitation? Let us awaken to the Spirit and cast off the bondwoman of this present culture and be set free. Perhaps the Lord Jesus will come tomorrow, but we still have today to seek and pursue and love Him with all of our hearts. I do not present some form of legalism which sets a timer to our prayers and devotions. But what I do present is a broken and contrite heart which cannot be made whole without a daily encounter with the Living and Reigning Christ. Let His glory shine in and through us, and let us take after Him as a chick takes after its mother.

The glory of God…the treasure of God…all of it awaits those who truly deny self and seek Him with their whole hearts. You will have to sacrifice some earthly success or recognition, however that which you will apprehend will surpass anything this world could ever hope to offer. In fact all the sufferings or the blessings of this present world cannot compare with the glory and treasure that can only be found in Christ Jesus our Lord. Selah.


Anonymous said...



michael said...

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. (Psalm 36:7-9 ESV)