What follows is something of a confession. Through the years, I’ve felt no shame or embarrassment to invite churches and individuals to financially support our efforts in missions. In the past, I’ve joyfully extended that invitation, believing fully in our task, as I still do. After several occasions, however, where we have lost larger amounts of monthly support, that ease of asking, that freedom to invite, has been lost. Perhaps it’s partly age, partly feeling tired of the process of fundraising, which I am no professional at doing, nor do I wish I were.
We no longer have a wide base of contacts among Christians, after so many years on the field. In recent years, our friends have heard our pleas several times. How can we then place yet another burden upon them? Continue reading
How does the church glorify God?
To God be the glory in the church!
God zij de heerlijkheid in de gemeente!
I pray that these lessons will bring glory to God and help people understand how the church glorifies God.
May the Lord bless you.
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.” (Hebrews 3:1-3)
You can’t technically count on one hand the number of individual people that God used as “book markers” as he brought his plans for humanity to fruition, but regardless of that, Moses still stands amongst the tallest of those that the holy scriptures make mention of. God used Moses to reveal heavenly glories that were previously unknown as a whole to the people of God. He stood as a model of humility, meekness, wisdom, strength and faith. If one were to actually read Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy you will see that Moses led the people of God in jaw dropping ways. But all this being said, this same Moses was quick to fall on his face whenever he came before the glory that was to come!
If we were to say that Moses stands head and shoulders amongst the builders of God’s people when it comes to glory (and he does) then it’s just as right to say that Jesus’ feet are off the ground that Moses removed his sandals for (because he did). A refusal to acknowledge the glory revealed through Moses didn’t do away with the glory, and a refusal to acknowledge the greater glory of God revealed through his son doesn’t diminish the results of his work – a house of God built upon a foundation that stands as strong today as the day that it was built (1 Timothy 3:14-16). Jesus entered the world with a proclamation of glory and he left the world with a glory to be proclaimed. And glory still be to his name for it!
Living as the patriarchs and living under the law of Moses will not do what the son of God has done – revealed a more glorious way through a more glorious house built by a more glorious name that leads to a more glorious land. And when we get to that place through all of that glory, there will be even more glory to consider and behold.
“For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.” (Hebrews 3:4-6)
Paul said that for him to live is Christ, but to die is gain. This is an interesting remark. How many of us look forward to leaving this life and going on to the next? Many of us will answer the question in the same way that Paul did, and why shouldn’t we? Yet, Paul knew that he would continue on in this life when he wrote what he did to the Philippians. Since he was convinced that he would continue on in this (his) present physical life – even while he was currently in prison – he knew he was doing so in order to benefit the Philippians (among others). Our life is a benefit to, and for whom? Let us all, as Paul told the church at Philippi, have our lives reflect God’s glory.
What has encouraged me lately in my faith? When I read about all of the imperfections of people in both Old and New Testaments, and how God used them for His glory, I’m greatly encouraged, because I realize my own imperfections, knowing that the Great Potter is still molding and shaping me into the kind of person He wants me to be – http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2006/01/07/clay-in-the-potters-hands/.
I pray that I’ll remain that pliable clay in His hands and not hardened clay through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).
The last compliment someone paid me? A few months ago, a lady at work told me that she appreciated the good Christian example that I was setting before her and others. When a non-Christian tells you that, you know you are letting your light so shine before men, accomplishing good for the Lord’s glory (Matthew 5:14-16).
My personal favorite verses for 2010 are also the motivation for my preaching and writing. Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
This should be the mission statement of every Christian and congregation. If we seek, in everything that we do, to bring glory to Christ, the mission of our Lord will be empowered and will change the world!
Always remember: This isn’t about us.