Friday, April 4, 2014

The Edge



“Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.” 1 Chronicles 16:27

Sweat pouring off my face, heart pounding out of my chest – I am on the brink of collapse. Just when I think my body will keel over if I squat and jump one more time, my ears perk up. Words from the blaring music fill the exercise room. I hear something about being on the edge of glory. The instructor informs us we are all on the edge of glory as we pump the weights and tone the bodies. Is this what being “on the edge of glory” is all about?

As I listen further to the words of the song I realize the lyrics depict a night of debauchery and label it as being on the edge of glory. This is the furthest thing from the definition of glory. Curiosity sends me to search the Scriptures to understand what glory truly is. I notice the word is used 402 times. Pretty impressive. Glory originates from God and belongs only to Him. In its purest form it manifests the splendor and majesty of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
As I comb the verses using the word glory, I discover we frail human beings have the capability, and command, to give God glory. If it originates and permeates the very essence of the Almighty, how do we give glory back to Him? 

First I must draw near to Him and believe He is who He says He is. This is faith, and part of the giving glory journey. As my Abba Father, He bestows gifts on me. Around me. Even in and through me, He displays His glory. There’s a hitch here. I can’t keep any of the glory for myself. There’s no 10% commission for me on what belongs solely to the originator. Credit belongs where credit is due. As I behold Him, take Him in through His Word and worship, I am able to reflect Him. The Word assures me some people will observe my good works and glorify the Father who enabled me to do them (Mt.5:16). This is ascribing what is due to whom it belongs.

I want to live this life cycle of glory: from Him, for Him, to Him. To God be the glory…..

Thursday, April 3, 2014

LET IT GO




"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice." Ephesians 4:31
  
The sermon grabbed me. I wanted to cover my ears as the preacher warned about the consequences of clutching onto anger. A hardened heart had served me well for quite some time. As a warm cloak on a chilly evening, un-forgiveness insulated my heart from the calculated cruelty of my enemy. To remain safe, I wrapped myself in the wrong kind of protection. The fa├žade was evident to those who knew me best. My interior was crumbling and my exterior was catching up.

My ears perked up as a story was told about a father and son who held onto a grudge long after its expiration date. (A grudge not released ensnares its victims.) So the father decided the time had come to lay aside all differences and hurts. He took out an ad in the local newspaper which read, “Pablo, I forgive you. Meet me at the town square this Sunday. Love, Papa.” Much to Papa’s surprise, hundreds of Pablo’s flooded the square that day. 

Hurt people flood the streets of every town in every country across the globe. A false theology soothes our consciences. “Build a wall so high, no one can crawl over to hurt you ever again.” Brick upon brick, sealed with the mortar of hurt and anger, the wall becomes a tower. This faulty religion is problematic. The person inside the wall holds himself hostage to his bitterness. Those outside the wall are suspect as potential threats. Loneliness is a strange bedfellow. Nights are long and the darkness perpetuates. The sun never really shines over this tower of protection.

Mentally I envision myself as Papa. I demolish the walls of the tower. I await the noon hour to see if my Pablo will come. I carry no grudges with me. A heart of forgiveness serves me well as I await my son, my only son. Will he release himself from his tower?
I wait…..