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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 38

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)

What Is the Pathway of the Glory? (continued)

And then there is the crown of life. "Be faithful unto death," said the Lord, "and I will give thee a crown of life." A crown of life - what is that? "Faithful unto death," is to be answered with a crown of life. All right that is perfectly clear, is it not; the crown of life means that death has no power. It is robbed of its power, death as a power is destroyed, and Divine life, Resurrection life, is mightier than all the power of death. Therefore, we must stand "in the Power of His Resurrection."

In that same letter, in the same part of that letter, as we have quoted, in the Philippians letter, Paul utters those words so familiar to us, "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection." That is the ultimate and final nullifying of death in all its forms and in its whole power, standing in the good of a Life which can never, never be touched by death again. You move over to John into the Book of Revelation at chapter 21, in verse 4 where the word says, "There shall be no more death," but a "crown of life."

And then the third crown is the one we are speaking about, "the crown of glory." You know what we have said about glory. Glory is the expression of the full satisfaction of God's nature. Can that ever be for me, for you, that crown, the full satisfaction of God's own nature? That is what He has called us to, and redeemed us for, and is working in us unto, and will work to the end for - this crown of glory. And although perhaps at the end of our longest life, we shall not have reached the place where we do at that point utterly, fully, and finally satisfy the nature of God. Well, in our last moment, in our last breath, there will still be a lot of imperfection about us; but, remember, when He  takes the responsibility of ending the process, He makes up all that would have been if He had not done so.

There is in a moment the twinkling of an eye, and "we shall be changed." All that we lack then will be added. All that would have been if we had lived on and on and on under His grace, under His power and working, will be put to our account. "I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness." I go to sleep not altogether in Thy likeness, but "I awake in Thy likeness." It is just that, a mighty thing that God is going to add to those who are faithful, and faithful to the end; not perfect, but in the way of being changed into the same glory, from one degree to another, from one image to another. The crown of glory is God's final approval. It is God's final approval when He says, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord: (Matthew 25:34, 23).

And, believe me, the Lord will never be really joyful over what is not according to His own nature. But when He says, "The joy of thy Lord," He will have got what His heart had been set upon, for the end will be "a crown of glory," which is God's full and complete approval satisfaction. Oh, what a wonderful almost unbelievable prospect there is along the pathway of glory.

Well, I must leave all the rest with you, all the other connections of riches, and this very very imperfect and limited setting forth of the riches of His grace, and the riches of His glory. May the Lord Himself just follow on and teach all that we cannot teach, all that we have yet to know about this riches of His glory. But may He also use even this for our help, for our encouragement, in order for us to go on in the way of the glory, unto the everlasting glory.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(The End)

Three Ways to Love Your Child


Three Ways to Love Your Child 

The one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24



I am an imperfect parent.  Over the years I have tried my best (with the help of God, my wife, family, church, school and friends) to parent imperfect children. Aside from marriage—parenting may be the adult responsibility that requires the most amount of faith and work. Parenting styles vary based on upbringing, culture, family dynamics and personalities. However, there are a few parenting principles that are timeless in their application and positive outcome. Hope these help:



Boundaries

Children feel loved when they know there are limits to their behavior. A passive parent communicates disinterest, while an engaged parent says, “Because I love you so much, I will install guardrails around your heart, mind, activities and actions.” Yes, it is necessary for parents to define clear behavioral guidelines. How a child acts matters. What a child says and how they say it matters. Instill values such as respect, honesty and obedience. Adherence results in reward. Violation of family values results in discipline. Boundaries provide peace and delight. 



“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire” (Proverbs 29:17).



Training

It is not enough for a parent to just tell their child what to do. We need to show them how and explain to them why. For example, we can illustrate to our child how words are like salt. Salt creates flavor, preserves from decay and melts ice. So when the tone of our words is comforting we give life to the recipient. The decay of a diseased heart infected by lies needs us to speak truth that heals and preserves. As we offer encouragement, we melt away fear and soften hard hearts. Training takes more time, but results in lasting life change. We train and entrust them to God.



“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).



Modeling

What a parent does is what a child tends to do. So when we are kind—they are motivated to be kind. When we are patient—they are challenged to be patient. When we are honest—they see the fruit of honesty. As we serve—they observe how to serve. As we pray—they are inspired to pray. Modeling love for God and people shows what it looks like to live like Jesus. Words exemplified by positive action invites the favor of angels, but nice speech not backed up by good behavior enhances the devil’s devices. Modeling may be the most effective teaching method of a parent.



“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13).



Prayer: Heavenly Father give me the wisdom and patience to parent like You parent me.



Application: What does my child need from me in this season of their life?



Related Readings1 Corinthians 11:1; Hebrews 10:24; Philippians 4:8; 1 Peter 2:12

~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 37

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)

What Is the Pathway of the Glory? (continued)

Nevertheless, we must finish, and finish on perhaps a much happier note. While we must understand what the glory demands and see the way of the glory, we do want to have at the end a final look at the ultimate glory. To do this we remember Peter's word, "When the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory" (1 Peter 5:4). - "A crown of Glory," that is the end. Of course, "A crown of glory" is a symbolic word. I am not very ambitious to have a little crown put on my head, and for the life of me I do not see how I am going to ever have three crowns on my head, literally; and there are three crowns mentioned in the Word. It means being crowned, having your life and your work crowned or capped with glory. That is the last picture, the crown of glory.

What is it? Well, I have mentioned that there are three crowns, and you probably know them well. There is "the crown of righteousness" that we are to receive on certain grounds. "A crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give." Paul says, "There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that love His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8). What was his meaning? It was this - that at the last part of his life, in one of his prison letters, which was that beautiful letter to his beloved and longed for children in Philippi - he says, "Leaving the things which are behind ... I press toward the mark for the prize of the on-high calling of God" (Phil. 3:13-14). But then he also says, "I count not myself to have attained, neither am I already perfect: but this one thing I do, if by any means I may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of mine own, but the righteousness which is of God through faith.

The last longing cry of the apostle's heart was that the righteousness of God through Christ should adorn him; that he should obtain unto it; that is, that he should stand before the Throne of the eternal One without any qualms, any fears, any flinchings; that he should stand justified, stand in a righteousness not his own, but stand perfect in righteousness. And that is what he meant by "the crown of righteousness," to stand at last before the Eternal Throne of Infinite Holiness, clothed with Divine Righteousness, with all his own unrighteousness and imperfection gone forever. "Clothed in righteousness," that is what he called the crowning thing for his life, and the fullest realization of his ambition, "That I may stand perfect, lacking nothing. I am not already perfect, I have not already attained, but if only I can attain to being found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, but His righteousness. What a glorious end!

That is a crown to covet, that is a crown to suffer for, a crown to live for, a crown to be abandoned for. A crown of glory indeed! That, dear friends, is something that you and I are in agreement on. If there is one thing we long for more than any other, it is the full and final escape from our own sinfulness, from this accursed fallen nature and all that it carries with it. How we desire to attain unto the crown of righteousness.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 38 - (The Crown of Life)

Christ Leads Us Unto Himself


He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me; because he delighted in me (Psalms 18:19).

And what is this "large place"? What can it be but God Himself, that infinite Being in whom all other beings and all other streams of life terminate? God is a large place indeed. And it was through humiliation, through abasement, through nothingness that David was brought into it.
--Madame Guyon

"I bare you on eagle's wings, and brought you unto myself" (Exod. 19:4).

Fearing to launch on "full surrender's" tide,
I asked the Lord where would its waters glide
My little bark, "To troubled seas I dread?"
"Unto Myself," He said.
Weeping beside an open grave I stood,
In bitterness of soul I cried to God:
"Where leads this path of sorrow that I tread?"
"Unto Myself," He said.
Striving for souls, I loved the work too well;
Then disappointments came; I could not tell
The reason, till He said, "I am thine all;
Unto Myself I call."
Watching my heroes--those I loved the best--
I saw them fail; they could not stand the test,
Even by this the Lord, through tears not few,
Unto Himself me drew.
Unto Himself! No earthly tongue can tell
The bliss I find, since in His heart I dwell;
The things that charmed me once seem all as naught;
Unto Himself I'm brought.

~L. B. Cowman~

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 36

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)

What Is the Pathway of His Glory? (continued)

You remember David and the Ark of the testimony? David had the best motives concerning the Ark, and the Ark is always the Ark of the glory. Remember that it is always the Ark of the glory. The glory of Israel is focused upon and centered in that Ark. David with the purest and best of motives thought of bringing the Ark to Jerusalem, and he mistakenly formed a new cart after the Philistine manner. Upon this new car he put the Ark. This was contrary to the Divine Word on how to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem; because, according to the Law of God, only the Levites were to carry the Ark upon their shoulders. Apparently they were having a very good time on the road until they reached the threshing floor. Then the oxen stumbled, and Uzza put forth his hand to the Ark of God, and took hold of it, the Lord smote him there for his error; and there he died by the Ark of God. Then the Ark was turned aside into the house of Obed-edom for a period of time (1 Chron. 13:1-14; 2 Samuel 6:1-15).

Man had put his hand on Divine things.  When the glory of life, the glory of joy, the glory of spiritual fullness, the glory of Divine power departs, and comes under a shadow, or is eclipsed or limited, it is usually because man's hand has touched the testimony. Man's nature has insinuated itself - that is, his judgment, his ideas, his thoughts, his will, his emotions - into this matter. David's mind got to work, David's emotions got to work and it was a very emotional scene. David's will got to work, so that his soul, mind, heart and will came out to touch Divine things. It was of man. And whenever it is like that, if our judgments and our emotions and our decisions lay hold of the things of God, we will be left without the glory. The glory will depart, or the glory will be under eclipse, or the glory will be limited. Yes, it is a long story, as it began in Genesis: "Lest he put forth his hand."

Well, that is the dark side, but it is well that we took a glance at that side, because that is so largely the trouble today. There is an absence of the glory, or a limiting of the glory, and our hearts are crying out for the glory  to return. We are always praying that the glory of the Lord may be manifested, we are always asking the Lord that the glory might be known and felt. But, you see, we have got to get out of the way before that can be! We must give the Lord all the place in order for that to happen. It has  to be all the Lord.

So, on the one side, there are the limiting human abilities and powers of mind and will. On the other side, through that limiting or excluding of that natural human element, there is the coming in of our Lord, the increase of Christ, because then Christ is our wisdom, Christ is our strength, Christ is our will, Christ is our ALL. Dear friends, that is the pathway of the glory. And that pathway is painful to the flesh, very painful, because this flesh is very strong, much stronger than we would believe, yet it is there.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 37)

To An Angel's Eye, the Ugliest Thing on Earth!


To an angel's eye, it must be the ugliest thing on earth!

(Archibald Brown, "The Pioneer of Destruction!", Stepney Green Tabernacle)

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

Chrysostom has aptly called pride "the mother of Hell"--for Hell with all its horrors is its hideous offspring!

Had there been no treacherous pride, there would have been no bottomless pit! Perdition was prepared for the Devil and his angels--and pride prepared the Devil and his angels for perdition! We need fear no language we can possibly use being too strong to denounce pride, for as Aristotle says,"Pride comprehends all vice!"

Is drunkenness to be condemned with unmeasured severity? Then let pride be equally so, for it is nothing less than a spiritual drunkenness. Pride flies as wine to the brain, and produces the same result. No wretched drunkard reeling along the road is a more pitiable or disgusting sight, than the man who is intoxicated into idiocy with the alcohol of his own accursed pride!

May the most unsparing language be employed in the denunciation of the sin of idolatry? Then let it be equally strong in the condemnation of pride, for they are one in essence. The proud man is simply one who bends the knee and worships a more hateful idol than can ever be found in the whole catalogue of heathendom; and its name is "Self!"

God loathes pride, for "everyone that is proud is an abomination to the Lord." Proverbs 16:5. To anangel's eye, it must be the ugliest thing on earth! And the saint, often deploring it, hates it with a perfect hatred.

But although universally condemned--it is too generally harbored. It is easy work to find a thousand excuses for the particular species of pride we possess, which is almost always, according to our own estimate, "only proper pride." 

It is the minister's imperative duty to cry out against particular sins, and lay the axe at the root ofspecial iniquities. I want this evening, by God's help, to strike a blow at the deadly root of pride. I have no doubt many things I may say will be considered too severe. I cannot help it if they are. The language of my text is strong and unvarnished enough; the truth it contains is put in the most uncomplimentary mode, and I would be a traitor were I to attempt to smooth it down. My work is to declare that "pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 35

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)

What Is the Pathway of the Glory?

Now, this is not a very happy thing, perhaps, to contemplate, if you look at it on that side alone. But it is true. Here is this man Paul, naturally and humanly in weakness, naturally and humanly in limitation, as a man in bonds. However, there is the other side, the enlargement of what is of the Lord. There is the mighty, marvelous enlargement of Christ in this man, so that these letters from the prison are a matchless setting forth o the greatness of the Lord Jesus. And in this light, you ought to read your first chapter of the Letter to the Colossians and see the place the Lord Jesus is given.

Now you can see this, and it is well that we do take at least a glance at the glory, by looking at the opposite. Go right to your Bible, and you will see that whenever man put forth his hand upon Divine things, the glory went out. That is a word written over Eden is it not? The Lord's precaution in Genesis was "Lest he put forth his hand." The Lord knew quite well that if man put forth his hand on Divine things, that was an end of the glory. - And, as we know, that is exactly what happened.

Right through your Old Testament, you can see this. Case after case, when man pressed in and put his hand upon Divine things, the glory went out. You know how Isaiah says, "The day that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord high and lifted up, seated upon a Throne and His train filled the Temple" (Isaiah 6:1). This brings us to the tragedy of Uzziah. You remember that man - how he was one of the greatest kings, even an idol of Isaiah the Prophet. King Uzziah who reached great dimensions of power and influence and earthly glory, and then he presumed upon it and forced his way into the Temple, to the Sanctuary, to the Altar. Fear came upon men and they aid, "It does not pertain unto you, king Uzziah, to offer incense," but he spurned the warning and was smitten a leper and died in shame with all his own earthly glory gone. He forced himself into the Temple and laid his hand upon Divine things; and so far as he was concerned, and for that time, the glory departed. It was a great reversing of the situation when Isaiah saw the Lord on the Throne, for it was no longer Uzziah, but the Lord on the Throne. Then the glory comes back. When man usurps the place of God, the glory goes out. That is just one instance of this thing.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 36)

The Mercy of God (and other devotionals)


Psalm 52:8
The mercy of God.
Meditate a little on this mercy of the Lord. It is tender mercy. With gentle, loving touch, He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He is as gracious in the manner of His mercy as in the matter of it. It is great mercy. There is nothing little in God; His mercy is like Himself-it is infinite. You cannot measure it. His mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners, after great lengths of time, and then gives great favours and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God. It is undeserved mercy, as indeed all true mercy must be, for deserved mercy is only a misnomer for justice. There was no right on the sinner's part to the kind consideration of the Most High; had the rebel been doomed at once to eternal fire he would have richly merited the doom, and if delivered from wrath, sovereign love alone has found a cause, for there was none in the sinner himself. It is rich mercy. Some things are great, but have little efficacy in them, but this mercy is a cordial to your drooping spirits; a golden ointment to your bleeding wounds; a heavenly bandage to your broken bones; a royal chariot for your weary feet; a bosom of love for your trembling heart. It is manifold mercy. As Bunyan says, "All the flowers in God's garden are double." There is no single mercy. You may think you have but one mercy, but you shall find it to be a whole cluster of mercies. It is abounding mercy. Millions have received it, yet far from its being exhausted; it is as fresh, as full, and as free as ever. It is unfailing mercy. It will never leave thee. If mercy be thy friend, mercy will be with thee in temptation to keep thee from yielding; with thee in trouble to prevent thee from sinking; with thee living to be the light and life of thy countenance; and with thee dying to be the joy of thy soul when earthly comfort is ebbing fast.

~Charles Spurgeon~

____________________________

Who Has the Majority?

"And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them"   (2 Kings 6:16).

Horses and chariots and a great host shut up the prophet in Dothan. His young servant was alarmed. How could they escape from such a body of armed men? But the prophet had eyes which his servant had not, and he could see a greater host with far superior weapons guarding him from all harm. Horses of fire are mightier than horses of flesh, and chariots of fire are far preferable to chariots of iron. Even so is it at this hour. The adversaries of truth are many, influential, learned, and crafty; and truth fares ill at their hands; and yet the man of God has no cause for trepidation. Agencies, seen and unseen, of the most potent kind, are on the side of righteousness. God has armies in ambush which will reveal themselves in the hour of need. The forces which are on the side of the good and the true far outweigh the powers of evil. Therefore, let us keep our spirits up, and walk with the gait of men who possess a cheering secret, which has lifted them above all fear. We are on the winning side. The battle may be sharp, but we know how it will end. Faith, having God with her, is in a clear majority: "They that be with us are more than they that be with them."

~Charles Spurgeon~

__________________________

Jeremiah 51:51
Strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord's house.
In this account the faces of the Lord's people were covered with shame, for it was a terrible thing that men should intrude into the Holy Place reserved for the priests alone. Everywhere about us we see like cause for sorrow. How many ungodly men are now educating with the view of entering into the ministry! What a crying sin is that solemn lie by which our whole population is nominally comprehended in a National Church! How fearful it is that ordinances should be pressed upon the unconverted, and that among the more enlightened churches of our land there should be such laxity of discipline. If the thousands who will read this portion shall all take this matter before the Lord Jesus this day, He will interfere and avert the evil which else will come upon His Church. To adulterate the Church is to pollute a well, to pour water upon fire, to sow a fertile field with stones. May we all have grace to maintain in our own proper way the purity of the Church, as being an assembly of believers, and not a nation, an unsaved community of unconverted men. Our zeal must, however, begin at home. Let us examine ourselves as to our right to eat at the Lord's table. Let us see to it that we have on our wedding garment, lest we ourselves be intruders in the Lord's sanctuaries. Many are called, but few are chosen; the way is narrow, and the gate is strait. O for grace to come to Jesus aright, with the faith of God's elect. He who smote Uzzah for touching the ark is very jealous of His two ordinances; as a true believer I may approach them freely, as an alien I must not touch them lest I die. Heartsearching is the duty of all who are baptized or come to the Lord's table. "Search me, O God, and know my way, try me and know my heart."

~Charles Spurgeon~

_________________________

Seekers, Finders

"If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee"   (1 Chronicles 28:9).

We need our God; He is to be had for the seeking, and He will not deny Himself to any one of us if we personally seek His face. It is not if thou deserve Him, or purchase His favor, but merely if thou "seek" Him. Those who already know the LORD must go on seeking His face by prayer, by diligent service, and by holy gratitude: to such He will not refuse His favor and fellowship. Those who, as yet, have not known Him to their souls' rest should at once commence seeking and never cease till they find Him as their Savior, their Friend, their Father, and their God. What strong assurance this promise gives to the seeker! "He that seeketh findeth." You, yes you, if you seek your God shall find Him. When you find Him you have found life, pardon, sanctification, preservation, and glory. Will you not seek, and seek on, since you shall not seek in vain' Dear friend, seek the LORD at once. Here is the place, and now is the time. Bend that stiff knee; yes, bend that stiffer neck, and cry out for God, for the living God. In the name of Jesus, seek cleansing and justification. You shall not be refused. Here is David's testimony to his son Solomon, and it is the writer's personal witness to the reader. Believe it and act upon it, for Christ's sake.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 34

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)

God's Glory is Reached Through Adversity (continued)

What Is the Pathway of the Glory?

satan was determined to bring Paul's ministry to an end by bringing that man to an end. Over this wide area in Asia, things moved toward that in churches. The churches, which owed their existence instrumentally to this man, and owed all that they had spiritually to him and to the Lord, had turned against him. In 2 Timothy, chapter one, at verse 15 he says, "All they which are in Asia be turned from me." False brethren betrayed him. And what an accumulation of evil things gathered and focused upon that prison in Rome, all saying with their own meaning: Limitation, curtailment, shortening of tenure, of influence and life. That is the natural, satanic situation very imperfectly described and set out.

On the human side, if looked at just purely as a natural situation, everything in that prison and those chains seemed to say what the enemy meant, and what men meant: this is an end! and this is a curtailment in every way. And yet, looked at from heaven's standpoint, and from history's standpoint, it is the most glorious triumph over the work of the enemy. They said, limitation, heaven said, enlargement. They said, death, agony. Heaven said, a new beginning, not only of the man in heaven, but of his ministry. For it was out of that imprisonment at Rome, and all that which was set for the ending of that ministry - his death - out of that has come the greatest ministry that he fulfilled.

The letters from that prison embrace a fullness of Divine revelation that can be found no where else, an enrichment for the Church beyond, beyond our telling. An expansion of ministry far far beyond the whole range of his missionary journeys personally. Today, in every country of this world Paul is known; perhaps not in every spot in every country, but in every country. From far East to far West, far North to far South, that man is known and his ministry has gone forth.

And today, Paulinism, the theological world, through all the battle of the years, you know, Paul is on top. They just cannot cope with this man, they cannot silence him, they cannot account for him. You probably will not know a great deal of the battle. Those of us who have read and studied through many years of this conflict, of ideologies and philosophies and theologies focusing upon this man Paul, know how at one point the whole thing became just this issue, "Away from Paul back to Christ," back to Christ, or "back to Jesus" as they put it, away with Paul. "Paul has betrayed Christianity." All this sort of thing is a terrific battle on that ground. But today, the very schools that were represented by that position are saying Paul is the interpreter of Christ, the supreme interpreter of Christ.

You see, this man's life started in a blaze of glory. Glory descended and struck him, as we said earlier, that glory went right through his life. And he never got away from that glory. He had seen the glory of the Lord at his beginning; and although the end of his earthly course seemed naturally to be so inglorious, so much speaking for apparent triumph of the forces which were against him, nevertheless, two thousand years have not quenched that glory. He shines with it today and we, a little minute fragment of a very great wold-wide whole, are here at this time together, glorying in the glory which has come through that man. So, I say that the last chapter of the Book of the Acts is just the consummate and inclusive setting forth of the whole book, showing the pathway of the glory.

What is the pathway of the glory? It has two sides. The one side is the reduction of the natural, the human element. It demands that; it will always work that way. It will always be the reduction, the nullifying, the weaning, the emptying, the undoing of the natural human element of man. And running alongside of that, there is always the positive increase of Christ. This is the pathway of the glory. One the one side, there is an ever increasing and setting aside of the natural man, even as a Christian, and in the work of the Lord. Consequently, we must be getting more and more to the consciousness that it must be the Lord, or there will be nothing at all. The human factor is increasingly of no account. That is the pathway to glory.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 35)

A Poor, Weak, Trembling Creature


A poor, weak, and trembling creature

(John Angell James, "Christian Progress")

"He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart." Isaiah 40:11

Dwell upon the love and tenderness of our Lord Jesus!

Notice who are the objects of His care--"the lambs," which means not only those of tender age--but also those who have been newly converted; those who are young in Christian experience; and also those whose temperament is naturally timid, whose strength is feeble, and whose danger is great.

Yes, you are the objects of Christ's special attention, care, and solicitude! You are those whom He takes up in the arms of His power--and lays on the bosom of His love! He knows . . .
  your weakness,
  your timidity,
  your dangers!

He will exert for you . . .
  His tenderest sympathy,
  His greatest vigilance,
  His mightiest power.

This expression however not only conveys the idea of great care of the weak--but the exercise of that care with a view to their preservation and growth. It means not only that He will . . .
  cordially receive them,
  provide for their safety,
  be concerned for their comfort, and
  accommodate His conduct to their needs
--but He will also nourish them through their infant existence, and raise them up to maturity and strength. 

Let every lamb of the flock of Christ, therefore, go to Him by faith and prayer, and say: "Blessed Jesus, I come to you as a poor, weak, and trembling creature, doubtful of my own continuance, and alarmed at my numerous difficulties and enemies. I am but a lamb, and often fear I shall never be anything better. But was it not in regard to such weakness that You have been pleased to utter these gracious and tender words? I flee to You as the helpless lamb to its shepherd--when hungry, to feed it--or when pursued by wild beasts, that he may defend it. Lord, take me in the arms of Your power and lay me on the bosom of Your love--though I am so poor and helpless a creature. I will hope in Your nurturing power and love, that I shall continue to grow, and that You will one day rejoice in me, as one of the flock which You have purchased with Your own blood!"

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 33

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)

God's Glory is Reached Through Adversity (continued)

Again, the point is that the glory comes along the lines of tribulation, suffering, and sometimes apparent defeat; that is, the apparent success of the devil himself and his emissaries. Sometimes it just does look as though satan has done it. Now, he has succeeded, but that is not the end of the story. And so you go with this man Paul from place to place, go with him to all these cities which he visited and see what happens. He later said that the Holy Spirit had witnessed to him that in every place bonds and afflictions awaited him. How true it was. We cannot follow his course, but we call to mind Lystra and such places, and pick out Philippi. Philippi - he went, and the reaction of the evil forces of satan found Paul silenced in the prison, again fast in chains, backs bleeding from their thrashings. Surely satan has won now, gained the day now, surely this is reverse and defeat. But we know the story now, the Lord of Glory had an interest in this matter, and when it is necessary, the Lord of Glory can create an earthquake and shake a prison to its foundations and loose all prisoners and save the jailer and his household and establish the Church in Philippi, to whom the Apostle Paul will later write, "My beloved and longed for my joy and my crown ..." (Phil. 4:1). He would say "crown of glory," and remember how it started, the way along which it came. He referred to this when he said to the Thessalonians, "We had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi ..." (Thess. 2:1-2). "How shamefully," he says, "how shamefully I was treated in Philippi." It was through shame, suffering adversity, that the glory came.

Now I do not know where to end all this on the riches of His glory. The whole of the New Testament has now sprung into life for us. Do we see the point? The Apostle John has a lot to say to us about this glory in his gospel right at the very beginning. There is the marriage of Cana in Galilee and the failure of the wine. This shows forth an end of all human resources where man can do nothing. Then comes in the Lord of Glory, and it say, "This beginning of signs did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and showed forth His glory" (John 2:1). Glory is seen where man's resources end, where humanly the situation is quite hopeless. That is the pathway of the glory. And then Lazarus: "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified" (John 11:4). And to the poor, baffled sisters, "Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" (John 11:40). But the necessity for the manifestation of the glory was the utter end of all human hope, where there is perfect helplessness on the part of man, then the glory comes in.

I wish we could believe it, and always believe it, when things are so utterly hopeless, when it is always quite impossible for us to do anything at all, we have to take our hands off and stand back and say, "Only the Lord God Almighty can handle this situation." May that not be the way of glory?! I wish we really could believe it. If only we could always believe that these situations - which seem to be so often the work of the devil with his complete triumph - are only the pathway of the glory, that in the end when the full story is told, it will not be all tragedy, all defeat, but the end will be glory through grace.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 34 - (What Is the Pathway of the Glory?)

Your Weakness, God's Power

Your Weakness, God's Power

2 Corinthians 12:9 is a powerful reminder of God's provision for you and me when we reach the end of our strength.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

When Paul wrote these words, he was being harassed everywhere he went by an evil spirit that he referred to as "a thorn in the flesh."  It was a messenger sent from Satan to buffet him, to constantly harass him.

The constant harassment of this spirit finally got to him, and he begged God three times to take it away.  Paul was clearly at the end of his rope. 

But, even though Paul prayed for God's intervention three times, the spirit did not depart.  And God's response to Paul was the verse we read above.  His strength is made perfect in weakness.

What does perfect mean?  It means that His power comes to full maturity…it blossoms…it is fully expressed in our weakness.

What was Paul's response?  He went on to say in verses 9-10 of that same chapter,

Therefore most gladly I would rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions and distresses for Christ's sake.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

It seems that sometimes we have to get to the end of ourselves before we will look fully to God.  But when we do, we find that He is more than enough.  If you are there today or close to that point, take hold of God's strength.

Put your trust in Him.  He will bring you to the place of your breakthrough, and you will find the strength and direction you need.

~Bayless Conley~

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 32

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)

God's Glory Is Reached Through Adversity (continued)

Well, Herod thought that it was a good thing he had done when he smote James, because it pleased the Jews; and so he seized Peter, and put Peter in prison. Now, if Peter goes, this is going to be something tremendous. Well, he takes all the precautions that a man in his position could take to secure Peter. Oh, he throws him, or has him thrown into the inner dungeon, his feet made fast in the stocks, and four quaternions of soldiers to guard the prison. It seems as though there is no hope for Peter so far as hell and men are concerned, but what does the Glory say? The Lord of Glory is interested in this matter, and He simply says to the whole thing, 'Oh no, oh no, not a bit of it!' The angel of the Lord, as you know, visits Peter, and his chains fell off. He was bidden to gird his garment about him, and told to follow, and the iron gates opened (Acts 12:7-10). What has happened to the four quaternions of guards? They are hardly mentioned, they are as though they did not exist, and out comes Peter.

Now here is something very strong on the part of the evil powers against the Lord of Glory, and how simply the Lord of Glory answers it, for "prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." The Church was tremendously stirred and concerned that night, giving itself to prayer in a stretched out way before God. The word says that "prayed was continually and earnestly being directed by the Church to God concerning him. The word "ceasing" means "stretched out." The Church was fervently praying by the taking of this matter seriously. The Lord of Glory moves in and solves the big problem so simply. Infinite power can work in such a simple way, as shown in Peter's deliverance from the evil powers.

And next, in the Book of the Acts, Saul of Tarsus in his rage, he calls it rage himself, a choleric anger, wrath, hatred, like a boiling caldron overflowing against those of "this Way" (Acts 9:2; 18:25, 26; 19:9, 23; 22;4; 24:14, 22). Saul of Tarsus goes to the High Priest and says that, 'If you will give me documents of authority, I will go the the furthest city and I will have arrested all who are of this Way. I will bring them to prison and judgment and, if needs be, to death.' And he obtains the documents, the parchments of authority, the warrants of arrest, and starts out on his way to the distant city of Damascus, where he knows there is a company of these people of "the Way." Saul, "breathing out threatenings and slaughters," went to Damascus; and the Lord of Glory stepped across his path. And the Glory smote him to the ground. (Acts 9:4). Forever afterward, this man Paul, knew the meaning of the glory and could speak about it so fully.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 33)

Waiting on the Lord

In waiting, I waited, for the Lord (Psalms 40:1-6, margin).

Waiting is much more difficult than walking. Waiting requires patience, and patience is a rare virtue. It is fine to know that God builds hedges around His people--when the hedge is looked at from the viewpoint of protection. But when the hedge is kept around one until it grows so high that he cannot see over the top, and wonders whether he is ever to get out of the little sphere of influence and service in which he is pent up, it is hard for him sometimes to understand why he may not have a larger environment--hard for him to "brighten the corner" where he is. But God has a purpose in all HIS holdups. "The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord," reads Psalm 37:23.

On the margin of his Bible at this verse George Mueller had a notation, "And the stops also." It is a sad mistake for men to break through God's hedges. It is a vital principle of guidance for a Christian never to move out of the place in which he is sure God has placed him, until the Pillar of Cloud moves.
--Sunday School Times

When we learn to wait for our Lord's lead in everything, we shall know the strength that finds its climax in an even, steady walk. Many of us are lacking in the strength we so covet. But God gives full power for every task He appoints. Waiting, holding oneself true to His lead--this is the secret of strength. And anything that falls out of the line of obedience is a waste of time and strength. Watch for His leading.
--S. D. Gordon

Must life be a failure for one compelled to stand still in enforced inaction and see the great throbbing tides of life go by? No; victory is then to be gotten by standing still, by quiet waiting. It is a thousand times harder to do this than it was in the active days to rush on in the columns of stirring life. It requires a grander heroism to stand and wait and not lose heart and not lose hope, to submit to the will of God, to give up work and honors to others, to be quiet, confident and rejoicing, while the happy, busy multitude go on and away.
It is the grandest life "having done all, to stand."

~L. B. Cowman~

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 31

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)

We do not always feel like that do we? It does not always seem like that. Very often, it seems just the opposite, and yet it is true. But it is here that we, as the Lord's people, have got to have some understanding and recognize and accept that discipline is a part of the work of glory. Now God's glory, the reaching of His glory, the manifestation of His glory, is only along the line where His glory alone can have its opportunity and occasion. This means that if there is any state whatever that limits the glory, spoils the glory, hinders the glory, then that has got to be dealt with in discipline, that has got to be put out of the way. That is a very important thing that we have got to recognize - that discipline is a part of the work of glory.

God's Glory Is Reached Through Adversity

But another thing that we have got to recognize in that very connection is that God's glory is usually reached along the line of adversity. Now you take up the Book of Acts, what do you call this Book? Well, you can call it by different names, "The Acts of the Apostles, The Acts of the Holy Spirit," or simply "The Acts." However, I wonder if you have ever heard it called, "The Book of the Glory of God, The Glory of Christ?" It does not always look like that, but let us look at it again, from that very standpoint. We have said that it begins with the Church being  born in glory. There is no doubt about it, the day of Pentecost was a day of glory, and heaven came down. The Spirit of Glory descended and it was a state of glory, a state of joy, a state of life, a state of new hope and prospect. It was a day that Peter could say, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3). That was the very atmosphere and nature of the day of Pentecost: "Begotten again unto a living hope" after that terrible despair just a few days before; now it was a day of glory.

But let us pursue the course of the glory through the Book of the Acts. it will not be long before we arrive at the terrible story of the martyrdom of Stephen, the hatred, the malice, the wrath, the wickedness, the evil, against Christ, against this "Way" as they called it, venting itself, blazing out against this young man Stephen, ending in the dragging of him outside of the city and stoning him to death (Acts 7:59). You say, 'tragedy, defeat, reverse, set-back.' Ask Stephen who said: "I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56). "And all beholding him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel" (Acts 6:15). It was glory, and glory so real and so terrible that the chief witness against him - Saul, who became Paul - and supporter of his death was smitten to the heart, stirred to the depths of his being and forced to a redoubt his antagonism to save himself, to save his own conscience.

However, out of Stephen came Paul. Is this despair? Is this defeat? God is very ingenious: the Lord Jesus, if I may use the word of Him, is very clever. Let men and devil, earth and hell combine against the Christ of God, the glorified Christ. How does it work out? Do not be too quick, too soon in drawing your conclusions and passing your verdict. Look to the end. We are dwelling in this letter to the Ephesians, the most wonderful document that has ever been penned by man. It came out of Stephen's death, Stephen's martyrdom. You see, that is the kind of thing that glory does. And if you think that still needs strengthening, well, all right, pass onto the next confrontation.

Herod seized James and executed him. This seems to be a terrible set-back, a terrible set-back. My, the devil has done something now, successful and triumphant; he has struck at this apostolic company, and slain one of its members (Acts 12:1-2). But Herod is up against the Glory. And before you end the chapter in which his act against the Lord of Glory is recorded, Herod himself is smitten and eaten of worms, and the next thing in the next verse is, "But the word of God grew and multiplied" (Acts 12:21-24). See the reaction of the Glory? This is glory is it not?!

You can see how the glory comes along the line of adversity, and it is only along that line that you really do know what the glory is.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 32)

Baptism: Identifying with Christ


Baptism: Identifying with Christ

Christ began His public ministry with baptism. At the time, John the Baptist was calling people to confess their sins and demonstrate repentance through immersion in the river. So why did Jesus, the sinless One, ask to be baptized? At first, John actually refused, knowing Christ was the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). But Jesus wasn't demonstrating repentance; He was sacrificially identifying with sinful humankind.
As Christians, we're called to follow His example in all things, becoming more like Him as we grow in our faith. That's why baptism is the first step in following Jesus. As He was willing to identify Himself with us, we publicly identify with Him when we are baptized, which is a symbolic way of declaring, "I have trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior and believe that the debt of my sin is fully paid through His sacrifice. I believe that as He rose from the dead, I will also be resurrected through Him. I look forward to walking in God's will while I'm on the earth and living with Him throughout eternity. Since He loved me enough to identify Himself with me in my sin, I will show my love for Him by following His example right now, and for the rest of my days."
Baptism demonstrates our connection not only with Christ but also with our spiritual brothers and sisters--past, present, and future. We're joining everyone who has walked before us in faith, saying that we are members of one body, redeemed and brought to life by the same Lord.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 30

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)

When David received the pattern for the Temple, and it is distinctly said that he did, then he said, 'everything I have received from the Lord,' when the Temple was done, glory so filled the house of the Lord that the priests themselves had to go out. All this about the Tabernacle, the Temple, the Priesthood and everything else that stood approved before God was leading up to the New Testament, to the One Who was the fulfillment of all this n His Person. Everything in the Son was so fully satisfying to God that He could be transfigured and clothed with glory. His raiment was white and glistening, glorified on the Mount of Transfiguration, because at that point He had satisfied the Father God on every detail (Matthew 17:1-2). If from that moment He must come down from the mount, go to the Cross and suffer all its agony and humiliation and sorrow, that was not because He had disappointed the Father, but it was in order to bring us to glory, to bring us to God's satisfaction.

This is the basis of glory, which is God's satisfaction. And you can see, from the afore-mentioned things, that you get to the point that the glory came in and filled everything. For that to happen, man had to go out. And that is basic to glory, the absolute exclusion of man by nature. Man is the trouble; he is the one that spoils and limits the glory; it is the natural man who keeps back the glory. Whenever he takes a place in Divine things, then the glory is either removed or limited. However, there is nothing about the Lord Jesus that corresponds to the natural man. In Christ, that first Adam, that whole race, has gone-out, and has been put out of the way; and Christ is a new order that answers to God's thought about man. And only in the Person of Christ can man stand in the Eternal Light of God and be in His Perfect work and, therefore be glorified.

The glory is spontaneous when God is satisfied; it just happens. It does not have to be invoked nor implored. It just happens when God is satisfied. If God is satisfied, there is in part a spontaneous witness by the indwelling Spirit of Glory to God's satisfaction in the sense of wonderful rest, quietness of heart, and a sense of joy. This is quite inexplicable in a way and, yet, it is because the Lord is well pleased. This state of satisfaction to God and the full pleasure of God and the answer to the very nature of God is what the Spirit of Glory is working toward in the Church and its members. Does not this explain all the activities of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the people of God, collectively? The Lord is working, dear friends, or trying to work, according to how much  we will let Him work. It is according to how we answer to Him, and obey the dictates of the Spirit of Glory. The Lord is working with us and in us as members of His Church, so that in the end the Church may be presented to Him "a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing" (Ephesians 5:27). It is a glorious Church. "Now unto Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations of the age of the ages." Yes God' object is glory in His dealings with us!

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 31)

The New Birth and Baptism


The New Birth and Baptism

Jesus commissioned His followers to go and make disciples, "baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19). As the early church spread the gospel message, baptism would follow a new believer's response of faith. It publicly signified that the individual was now a follower of Jesus
Metaphors often communicate on a level that words cannot. Baptism is a powerful picture of our salvation experience. Through this act, we proclaim the good news that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again--and testify that we've welcomed His transforming power into our life.
The Greek word for "baptize" in Scripture is the same term used to describe a cloth dipped in dye--it refers to total change. So by being plunged into the water, we declare that we're choosing to die to our old way of life and are uniting with Christ. Our sin is buried with Him, and its power is conquered through His atoning death on the cross (Rom. 6:14). When we're raised up out of the water, we affirm His resurrection. Baptism is a symbolic way of expressing that just as the Lord conquered death and rose again, we are spiritually resurrected from death into new life. We are "born again" and irrevocably transformed through the power of His Holy Spirit.
In the Bible, the word "believe" isn't a conceptual word describing intellectual agreement alone. It is a word of action. Our belief should never be hidden like a light placed under a bowl (Luke 11:33)--when unbelieving family and friends look at our lives, they need to see the gospel in action.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 29

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of His Glory (continued)

Now we have to stop and break this up. What is glory? Perhaps this is the most difficult word to define, and explain, although it is not the most difficult thing to understand and to know. There are two aspects of glory: one is its expression, its manifestation, its effect, its power, for whenever you come into the presence of the glory, you are affected by it, and powerfully affected by it. But mainly in the old dispensation, when things were more sentient than spiritual, that is, in the realm of the human senses, when God was dealing with man on that basis of his sentient life, in that dispensation, it was something that could be seen. There was a radiance, it was a breeze, it was a terrific power that men were aware of by their senses. They could see and feel something in their souls. The expression of glory was not nebulous and abstract; it was something to behold. You will recall how true that was when the glory was manifested, when the glory appeared, it was often a terrible thing, but it was always a very powerful thing. However, this was only one side. It was the expression or manifestation of glory.

Now, it is thought that before Adam sinned and fell, there was something about his body that was like a robe of glory, something glorious and beautiful. And when he fell and sinned, he lost that covering of glory and knew that he was naked. and God had to cover him with he symbols of redemption. If you have seen someone really born again, out of the depths, there is something about the face that speaks of glory. Or to put it around the other way, when somebody is living out of touch with the Lord, that something, that glory, about their face has gone. Is not that true? You say, "There is something gone out of their face, it is not there what was there before, they have lost something." Put it as you may, you mean the glory in expression has departed.

Well, this is the manifestation side, but there is something that accounts for that. There is the other side, the deeper aspect, and that is the basis of glory. What is the basis of the glory? what is the essence of the glory? the reason for the glory? the very nature of the glory? What lies behind any manifestation at all of the glory. Glory now or glory forever? Glory is the expression of the satisfaction of God's nature, and that is a definition that you might well stay with, think about, and dwell upon. And if you do, much will come out of the Word that will show you how true that is.

Now glory is the expression of the satisfaction of the nature of God. God's very nature, being what it is, holy and righteous and true, and everything that the very nature of God is, if it is satisfied then there is a state of glory. If God finds that which corresponds to His very being, His disposition, His nature, His way of thinking, His way of acting, and all that which is just God essence, then there is a state of glory. If God finds that which answers to Himself, then there is a state of glory. There is a state of glory when things are as God wills that they should be, then it is glory.

Earlier, we referred to the creation, and God had made all things and was able to say of His work, "it is very good." It was a glorious state, a really glorious state. It would really have been good to be there at  that time, dear friends, for it was such an atmosphere of contentment and satisfaction and rest and peace and joy. It was heart-ravishing, nothing present to irritate, to distress, God was completely satisfied. It was a state of glory in the creation.

Let us follow that through to another of the many connections of glory - take the Tabernacle. God gave a precise, meticulous, detailed prescription of the Tabernacle, for the simple reason that it was not just a Tabernacle that God had ultimately in mind at all, but it was His Son. Therefore, the command was: "See thou make all things according to the pattern which was shown thee in the mount." And when  it was done, and all things were so made to a detail, to a thread, to a pin, then glory came down and filled the Tabernacle. All things answered to God's mind, and so there was glory. Every part of it was glorious, and the whole was glorious, because in every part it was as God willed it to be.

The same, of course, obtains in the case of the priests, the high priest and his sons. As we are told, they were clothed with garments of glory, prescribed by God Himself. As to the clothing everything about them, the material, the colors, the shape, the size, everything was shown to be of heaven. And when the priests were so clothed according to God's mind, this clothing was called garments of glory, satisfying God. And what was true of the Tabernacle in all its parts and its priesthood is true of the Temple later.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 30)

What Would You Ask For?


What would you ask for?

(Joseph Alleine, "Alarm to the Unconverted")

"That night God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said: What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!" 2 Chronicles 1:7

If God would give you your choice, as He did to Solomon--what would you ask for?

Go into the gardens of pleasure, and gather all the fragrant flowers there--would these satisfy you?

Go to the treasures of mammon--suppose you may carry away as much as you desire.

Go to the towers, to the trophies of honor--and become a man of renown.

Would any of these, would all of these satisfy you, and make you to count yourself happy? If so, then certainly you are carnal and unconverted.


Converting grace turns the heart from its idols--to the living God. Before conversion, the man minded his farm, friends, pleasures more than Christ. He found more sweetness in his merry company, worldly amusements, earthly delights--than in Christ. Now he says, "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ!" Philippians 3:7-8 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 28

The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway Of the Glory

We are going to spend a little time in these remaining hours with another one of "the unsearchable riches," and that is, "the riches of glory." There are two passages of Scripture that I want to read. To begin with, the Letter to the Romans, chapter nine at verse 23, "That He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory." The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter three at verse 16, "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inward man". "According to the riches of His glory."

I think it only needs to be mentioned for you to call to remembrance that grace and glory go together  very much in the Scriptures. "He will give grace and glory" (Psalms 84:11), and we are "to be unto the glory of His grace" (Ephesians 1:6). The glory is the result of the grace; grace is unto glory.

As to this word glory, which is not easy to understand, and if I may just remind you is first of all attached to each Person of the Godhead, the Triune God. God is spoken of as the God of glory. Stephen said, "The God of Glory appeared unto our father Abraham" (Acts 7:2). Paul in his prayer said that it was to "the Father of Glory" that he bowed his knee (Ephesians 1:15-17). "The Father of Glory," which simply means, the Source of glory, the very spring and beginning of glory, the Father of Glory.

The Lord Jesus is more than once referred to as "the Lord of Glory." In writing to the Corinthians, the apostle, when speaking about the folly of the wisdom of the princes of this world, said had they really had true wisdom, they would not have killed "the Lord of Glory" (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Lord Jesus is "the Lord of Glory." If the Father means Source,  the Lord means Government. The government is committed to Him, and it is upon His shoulders and He will govern all things with glory in view, which we shall see shortly.

And, then, as to the Holy Spirit, He is distinctly called, "the Spirit of Glory," that "the Spirit of Glory may rest upon you" (1 Peter 4:14). So the whole Godhead is compassed and characterized by this one thought of glory. It is the Triune God of Glory.

Think again, and you will see that the whole Bible is horizoned by glory. It begins with God as the God of Glory, moving into a very inglorious situation and turning it into a glorious one. God was able to say, "it is very good" (Genesis 1:31); and whenever it is like that, as again we shall see, that is glory - when it is "very good." The end of the Bible is "the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God" (Revelation 21:10-11). The Bible is thus bounded by this thought of glory. Christianity is compassed by this same thing. Its inception was glorious, and it came in with glory, and the last thing about it is glory again. The Church is horizoned by glory. It was born in glory on the day of Pentecost; indeed, that was a day of glory (Acts 2). And again the last thing about the Church is in that great burst from the heart of the apostle, "Now unto Him That is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations of the age of the ages" (Ephesians 3:20-21). That is glory in the Church forevermore.

Christ is bounded by glory, although from the earthly standpoint, His coming into the world was in humility, in poverty, in weakness. However in heaven, it was "Glory to God in the highest" (Luke 2:13-14). From heaven's standpoint it was a glorious day when God's Son became Incarnate, for heaven knew what that meant. He passes by the way of suffering and sorrow, humiliation and the Cross, but it is only a circle, because then it is back up to the glory. Have you a bigger view of Him, that He had glory before the world was, "Father," He prayed, "Glorify Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was" (John 17:5). The Son was equal with God in the glory before this world was founded in its order. And God has received Him back to the glory and has "highly exalted Him, and given Him the name which is above every name" glorified. Do you see how everything has this encompassment, this horizon, of glory, and that is the end, that is the object?

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 29)