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Posts Tagged ‘Glory’

Enjoying God for All He’s Worth

April 22, 2015 6 comments

The other day I enjoyed a particularly breath-taking moment with God. I had just finished a good work out and was eating some fruit in the living room while my wife rested from a long day. I like fruit, but for some reason, I was particularly aware of it’s sweetness this day.

I intentionally slowed my pace so that I could really enjoy the sweetness more thoroughly. As I did I began to take note of a few other delights as well. I focused on the beauty of some roses sitting on our coffee table, relished the companionship of my wife and relaxed in the silence of a nice Spring evening.

This was the first time in several weeks, maybe even months, that I had slowed down enough to really savor life. My wife and I have been busy preparing for our first child, selling our house and taking care of our daily affairs. It has been particularly easy to miss out on all the good around us.

A Taste of Something Sweeter

For some reason, on this particular night, however, God seemed to put the world on pause so that I could enjoy him in a way I hadn’t for quite some time. Then it hit me. I wasn’t just enjoying the fruit, the flowers or my wife, I was enjoying God through the fruit, the flowers and my wife.

Psalm 19:1 says, “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” The same is true of the rest of creation as well. God radiates his glory, excellence and beauty. It proceeds from him, like light and heat proceed forth from the sun. All of creation then reflects God’s glory, excellence and beauty in one way or another to one degree or another, like the moon reflects the light of the sun.

That’s breath taking enough as it is. When we take a step back to meditate on this Scripture a little longer, it becomes even more breath taking. This ultimately means that fruit is only sweet because it reflects the sweetness of God’s glory. Roses are only beautiful because they reflect the beauty of God. Companionship is only enjoyable because it reflects the companionship we can have with God through Jesus.

Image via colindye.com

Image via colindye.com

Seeing and Savoring Christ

Amazing right? It gets even better. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus is the “radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” Romans 1:19-20 reminds us that God has made himself known plainly through creation. This means that things like a refreshing Spring rain, a savory meal or an adventurous road trip are all means by which we can enjoy more of all that God is for us in Jesus.

It is through Jesus that we enjoy, as Ephesians 1 says, “every spiritual blessing.” It is through creation that we get to savor those spiritual blessings through tangible experiences that bring the many benefits of Christ’s work to life for us. God’s glory is to be seen and savored through all of creation as creation redirects our hearts back to the good things we have in Jesus Christ. Next time you do something that you enjoy, let your enjoyment of God’s creation redirect your heart to God so that you can enjoy him for all that he’s worth.

Categories: Theology Tags: , , ,

The Best Encouragement Ever

Encouragement.  It’s something we all crave.  We all want to be told when we’ve done something well, that our efforts made a difference or that our circumstances will improve. A few thoughtful words can improve our outlook, the right words bring lasting change.

Known Challenges & Temporary Disappointment

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of hosting a weekend conference with Living Hope Church.  The conference was just a short 24 hours. It started Friday night and ended Saturday night, but it required some significant work.  We had about a dozen volunteers contribute several hours worth of free labor.

By the date of the conference two of our volunteers were unable to participate in the event they worked so hard at.  Their babies were due that weekend.  They couldn’t justify leaving town when their wives could go into labor at any minute. Both men were disappointed, but knew they needed to put their wives first.

At the end of the event I publicly recognized everyone who helped with the conference.  I intentionally explained that some of the volunteers didn’t even get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. It was a comment I thought would go unnoticed, but it didn’t.

Unseen Treasures & Eternal Encouragement

Shortly after the event was over a gentleman that I didn’t know pulled me aside.  He told me to inform the two volunteers who weren’t able to attend that he was praying that God would give them extra treasures in heaven.  His response caught me off guard, but it also gave me great joy!

Image via johnhartrealestate.com

Image via johnhartrealestate.com

This guy didn’t offer some hallow, half-hearted consolation such as “I’m sorry they couldn’t make it.” He was genuinely interested in their well-being.  He knew that missing out on the reward of there efforts that weekend didn’t mean they had to miss out on their reward at all.

By keeping an eternal perspective, this man was able to offer encouragement that surpasses any encouragement I’ve ever heard before.  He understood that there is more to life than meets the eye, that this world is not all there is and that those who believe in Jesus Christ will spend eternity in a place far better. His encouragement was so life-giving because he focused on the unseen treasures that last for eternity, rather than the temporary pleasures that fade with time.

Life is hard.  Disappointments are frequent.  Setbacks occur regularly. Next time a friend, family member or co-worker needs an uplifting word, choose to offer encouragement that will last.  Give them a deeper experience of Jesus by reminding them that in Christ believers have treasure in heaven that will never spoil or fade!

“This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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