John 5:44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
Glory: high renown or honor won by notable achievements.
This one verse is part of Jesus’s fairly long indictment of the brokenness of human nature. As hard as it is to read, it’s also encouragement to respond. From the moment of our birth we begin to understand “notable achievements” can make people respond positively to us. Even a toddler can enchant us with their response to the right encouragement. We clearly have a built-in nature that still recognizes “notable achievements” can result in glory for this life.
Jesus is determined to remind us it’s our remembrance of what glory is meant to be that is broken. Our glory will not be complete until we “seek the glory that comes from the only God” who’s most “notable achievements” were to create mankind and this world so His glory might become part of our shared glory that would honor Him.
How can you believe, when you receive “high renown or honor won by notable achievements” from one another and do not seek the “high renown or honor won by notable achievements” that comes from the only God?
I Corinthians 13:12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. NLT
These are lyrics to a song I wrote many years ago. I knew they were important to me then. It was a time when my identity with Jesus was just becoming clear to me and I was so aware, even embarrassed, about what I didn’t know. All these years later, events have turned those old words into a treasure to remind me God is still “looking” out for me. I am a new widow. Jesus has provided an explosion of love through family and friends to help me see myself in this puzzling new role. There is a new reality in that mirror that is critical for me to see right now.
In the mirror I see
Two eyes looking back at me.
Two eyes trying to see
A picture of what I can be.
That is the “flesh” part of life. I’m trying to see a “picture of what I can be” without Ken in that mirror but my reflection is clouded with tears…thank God the song goes on…
Won’t you picture God for me my friend?
Won’t you be my mirror when I pretend?
Won’t you help me to see?
There truly is something more than “flesh.” There is a Spirit of Life that knows I can’t see myself clearly since the death of my husband. I need someone to “help me to see.” That is very real right now. In the midst of unmeasurable pain and grief I have family and friends who are here when my tears distort almost everything I see. Their physical help, prayers and tenderness are helping me begin to glimpse a new “picture of what I can be.” I may never remember all they’ve said and done but I will certainly never forget their willingness to “picture God for me,” sometimes unbeknownst to them. They are showing me the Spirit of Life that assures me there is enough strength, even in grief, to honor the two most important men in my life, Jesus and my husband Ken.” I’ve spoken that phrase many times in the last few days. One friend responded with “one gave His life FOR you and one gave his life TO you.” That’s a God-given truth I can “live” with. Alleluia!
Luke 5:31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Today is Ash Wednesday; the beginning of the observance many of the faithful call Lent. This is the period leading up to Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. Your church may not “officially” observe Lent but why not think of it as your own forty-days visit with Jesus in whom you have placed your life and your eternity?
We can make these days a personal, purposeful opportunity to examine our own spiritual health. That’s how we honor the Savior’s sacrifice. We can choose to repent of believing we are “good enough” because of the work he has already done in us AND we can choose to celebrate we are still under the “doctor’s” care with the promise of complete healing.