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Archive for August, 2013

Seeing His Glory

August 29th, 2013

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before creation of the world.

John 17:24

Moses prayed to see the glory of God, and that prayer was the culmination of the work of God in his life over many years. As a young man he wanted power. In his middle years he wanted protection. In his old age he wanted to be left alone to live a quiet life. God took Moses and taught him that the purpose of his life was not just for him to live as he chose, rather it was given him by God for God’s purposes, and Moses was to be God’s instrument to deliver the nation from Egypt and into Palestine. And not just to show them physical deliverance but to introduce them to the covenant into which God had called them.

Through the disturbing call of God in his life, Moses began to see that God was some One greater than he had known, and asked God to show him his glory (Exodus 33:12-23). God often has to disturb us in order to bless us. We want to be left alone, but God has a better plan, one that will result in our own blessing and a divine change in our lives.

But in the New Testament, we do not see man praying to see the glory of God, rather we see the God-Man praying that we might see His glory. “Oh, I know, pastor,” someone might say, “this is about heaven, that when we die we will see the glory of God when we are in Jesus’ presence.” Certainly in heaven we will be with Christ and we will see His glory, but this passage is not only about heaven. It is about the Spirit’s work in our hearts today. John 17 follows John 16 and there Jesus said about the Spirit, “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you” (John 16:14-15).

The Spirit guides us into the truth about Christ and through revealing the meaning of His Word, He pulls back the curtain in our hearts that we may gaze upon His glory more perfectly. Knowledge leads us to this revelation but the Spirit takes us beyond what we can see and explain with words. Paul wrote, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:17-19).

Has the Lord pulled back the curtain for you? Has He revealed to you the greatness of His love, a revelation and a reality that surpasses knowledge? There are some experiences with the Spirit that we cannot put into words, but the imprint on our souls and spirits should be one of hope and the deep awareness of His love for us. Let Him express His love for you.

God the Son prayed this prayer for you, according to the will of the Father, and all that is remaining is to receive this blessing through faith.

Bone of My Bone

Teach Us to Pray

August 28th, 2013

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…”

Luke 11:1

What it was about the Master’s nature that touched this unnamed disciple we are not told, but some aspect of Jesus’ prayer life impressed him. He suddenly saw the wealth and power of the prayer life of Jesus, and it contrasted with the weak prayer of His disciples. The request led to a formulaic prayer that Christ gave us (we call it the Lord’s Prayer), and so the nature of the request was most likely a plea for the right words to say to God. The simplicity of the Lord’s Prayer tells us that we do not need to sway God with words. The Father knows all and is predisposed to help us. He looks for faith in the heart of the one who prays.

Prayer is not the art of getting from God what we want for ourselves - this is the least of its meanings. Prayer by its nature is to desire and seek after the will of God. The Lord put plural pronouns in His model prayer - “give us” and “forgive us” and “lead us” - and whatever we want for ourselves we should also consider that others want and need the same. One of the reasons why prayer is so neglected is because people are so selfish.

Christ is our Model for how to pray and the nature of His entire life was to help others. The heart of His mission was to intercede for humanity. So the nature of praying like Jesus is to fellowship with the Father and to pray for the needs around us, especially for the spiritual needs of this world to know Him as Savior and Lord. We are to be intercessors for others and this is a great privilege we have in Christ. Andrew Murray wrote,

…Of all the traits of a life like Christ there is none higher and more glorious than conformity to Him in the work that now engages Him without ceasing in the Father’s presence - His all-prevailing intercession. The more we abide in Him, and grow unto His likeness, will His priestly life work in us mightily, and our life become what His is, a life that ever pleads and prevails for men.

The Lord, by His Spirit, will guide us to commune with Him, to bring the needs around us to Him. Think of someone now in your life, and bring that person to God in prayer. Mention their spiritual needs and their physical needs. Pray that Christ would show them who He is and who He wants to be to them, and that they would trust in Christ and grow into maturity in Him. Pray unselfishly for this person - whoever God puts on your heart. In so doing, you are praying like Christ, and God will hear your prayer if it is offered in faith.

Double Praise from Maranatha

Evening Devotionals, The Core