Comparing Apples To Apples

Nobody ever stood at the base of the Rocky Mountains, looking up, and said, “Remember that time in high school when I could bench 300 pounds?”

– Matt Chandler

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Suffering Now. Glory Later.

Each day presents setbacks and suffering anew. When going through trying times we so often hear “..the tide will turn soon”, “..tomorrow will be brighter” etc. As part of a community we do bear the weight of each other’s suffering and ease the load. Apart from sharing that load and so bearing each other up we should turn to Christ and understand the ever present suffering now for eternal glory. John Owen so describes (with great emphasis) the suffering and the ensuing glory of Christ:

“These are the two heads whereunto all the prophecies and predictions concerning Jesus Christ under the Old Testament are referred, — namely, his sufferings, and the glory that ensued thereon, 1 Peter i. 11. All the prophets testified beforehand “of the Sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” So when he himself opened the Scriptures unto his disciples, he gave them this as the sum of the doctrine contained in them, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” Luke xxiv. 26. The same is frequently expressed elsewhere, Rom. xiv. 9; 343 Phil. ii. 5–9.

So much as we know of Christ, his sufferings, and his glory, so much do we understand of the Scripture, and no more.”

The two themes where under the predictions (and prophecies) occur in the OT regarding Jesus is either suffering or glory and that, according to Owen, is the sum of what we actually understand of Scripture “and no more.”.  How does the knowledge of suffering then glory apply to us? What is the implication? (Apart from seeing the suffering then glory in Scripture) Owen goes on to answer this:

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him,” 2 Tim. ii. 12. They do but deceive themselves who design any other method of these things. Some would reign here in this world; and we may say, with the apostle, “Would you did reign, that we might reign with you.” But the members of the mystical body must be conformed unto the Head. In him sufferings went before glory; and so they must in them.”

We know our suffering today binds us to Christ, and in that bond we are tied to the glory of Christ.

-Text quoted from Meditations and Discourses of the Glory of Christ, John Owen, 1696

Glimlag – Dis Die Christen Ding Om Te Doen

Soms lyk dit asof die Christen leefstyl een is van swaar, mismoedige en donker tye. So hoe sien paar van die ysters in kerkgeskiedenis hierdie “geluk” storie?

“Rev. Theodore L. Cuyler, the celebrated Brooklyn divine, was visiting the famous London preacher, Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon.  After a hard day of work and serious discussion, these two mighty men of God went out into the country together for a holiday.  They roamed the fields in high spirits like boys let loose from school, chatting and laughing and free from care.  Dr. Cuyler had just told a story at which Mr. Spurgeon laughed uproariously.  Then suddenly he turned to Dr. Cuyler and exclaimed, ‘Theodore, let’s kneel down and thank God for laughter!’  And there, on the green carpet of grass, under the trees, two of the world’s greatest men knelt and thanked the dear Lord for the bright and joyous gift of laughter.” – The Sabbath Recorder, 4 January 1915, page 157. (vanaf Ray Ortlund se blog)

“Should we not see that lines of laughter about the eyes are just as much marks of faith as are the lines of care and seriousness? Is it only earnestness that is baptized? Is laughter pagan?… A church is in a bad way when it banishes laughter from the sanctuary and leaves it to the cabaret, the nightclub and the toastmasters.” – From Encounter with Spurgeon by Helmut Thielecke copyright © 1963 Augsburg Publishing House, p. 26.

“Our sense of humor is a gift from God which should be controlled as well as cultivated.” – Oswald Sanders from Spiritual Leadership, Moody Publishers, 1967, p. 67.

John Calvin, Luther’s friend and fellow Reformer in Geneva also shared Luther’s views on beer.  In his Institutes of Christan Religion he writes, “We are nowhere forbidden to laugh or to be satisfied with food… or to be delighted with music, or to drink wine.” – From Reformation Brewery, The Condensed History of Beer: Part 3

Dink bietjie daaraan, God gee vir ons alles wat goed is –  dit sluit in lag en vriendskap en bier.  Gebruik en geniet goeie dinge, op goeie maniere, tot die glorie van God.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” – 1 Tim 6:17

12 Ways to Glorify God at Work

Say you spend 9 hours a day at work, that’s 37,5% of your day. If you sleep 7 hours a day then you spend 53% of your non-comatose hours at work. How would a Christian approach this reality? Well, aren’t we suppose to bring glory to God in everything we do? And did God not create work? (Gen 1:28; 2:15)

Josh Etter discusses the command of glorifying God in the workplace by giving 12 tips:

1. Believe that all legitimate work is holy or unholy before God based on our faith, not the nature of the work itself.

2. Be just and honest in all your dealings with money.

3. Be prayerfully dependent upon God, pouring contempt on self-sufficiency.

4. Use the wages earned by your work to provide for and bless others.

5. Grow in your skill-set, work hard, and strive for excellence.

6. Exemplify love for your neighbor in how you interact with your colleagues.

7. Plan ahead and sincerely preface future tasks with “if God wills.”

8. Speak the gospel to your colleagues.

9. Work as unto the Lord and as unto men.

10. Focus on the work you’ve been given.

11. Speak words of grace.

12. Rest in your justification by faith alone in Christ alone.

For the Biblical references and some more detail see 12 Ways to Glorify God at Work, Josh Etter from desiringGod.com

Glorie in Liefde

Wat dink jy van die liefde wat mense vir jou het? Ons almal vind hierdie liefde wat gerig is op jou as waardevol, iets ongelooflik. Hoe ervaar God ons liefde vir Hom?

As John Piper die woord “..God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him..” gebruik verwys hy na die idee van God wat ons so lief het dat as ons Hom lief het is Hy verheerlik in dit.

Sien hoe stel Jonathan Edwards dit (Miscellanies #208):

[GOD]. God loves his creatures, so that he really loves the being honored by them, as all love to be well thought of by those they love. Therefore we are to seek the glory of God as that which is a thing really pleasing to him.

 

*Jonathan Edwards se persoonlike manuskripte, nou bekend as The Miscellanies vervat kort oortuigings en idees wat hy aan homself geskryf het.

 

Shallow and Profound

 

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor 10:31

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher . . .” (Matthew 10:24).

We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.

 

Vanuit My Utmost for His Highest (22 November), Oswald Chambers

Parhelion

I sometimes get unsettled when people talk about God. How big He is, His glory and His attributes: God is sovereign and omnipotent, He is perfect and incomprehensible. Wether you believe in God or not you have some idea of what I am getting at.

There is something in you, some imprint of something bigger on your heart that makes sense and yet you cannot wrap your head around it. Your heart knows it, but you cannot understand the origin or implications of this writing on your heart. The Bible says that it is supposed to be like that:

He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” – Ecc 3:11b (NIV)

As I am writing this there is a rainbow around the sun. It is easy to explain scientifically. Parhelion: a bright spot on the parhelic circle caused by diffraction by ice crystals. We don’t think “aagh light refraction” as we look at this occurrence. We think it is beautiful.

If you cannot fathom the eternity written on your heart and this God people serve intimidates you – look at the halo around the sun. This intimidating God is telling you something about Himself. The God who wrote eternity on your heart also created the beautiful (def: having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.) halo around the sun.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;

And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”

Ps 19:1 (NASB)