The Glory of the Lord

2 Corinthians 3: The Glory of the Lord

photo of pine trees covered by fog
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The early morning fog veiled the view from her window. The sun hid behind the gray curtain. It mirrored the heartache of the young woman’s soul. Why did it have to be this way? A tear slid down her cheek. She shut her eyes. Where are you, God? All who have suffered life’s hard challenges can identify with the young woman. What keeps us going forward? This week’s scripture holds our hope, our strength to continue.

This Week’s Scripture:

“But we all,

with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror

the glory of the Lord,

are being transformed into the same image

from glory to glory,

just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB

A hint of light filtered through the young woman’s closed eyes. She glanced towards the morning sky. The sun had risen above the treetops lifting the fog and chasing away the mist. Surrounded by wispy gray clouds a blue lake illuminated the sun’s brightness, it’s glory ignited hope in her heart.

For Thought: Where do you look for hope when life’s hard challenges overwhelm you?

Our Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we have seen your glory, your beauty, your goodness in the face of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When pushed to the limit, help us remember to look to you who are limitless in glory, power, and strength and know you are working your glory in us and through us.

Prayer and Praise for Strength

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He healed the lame, the blind, the deaf. He walked on water and calmed the sea with a word. He raised the dead to life – and He raised me.  Do you need strength? We have his promise to give it to us in abundance.

“Fear thou not:

for I am with thee:

be not dismayed:

for I am thy God:

I will strengthen thee;

yea, I will help thee;

yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Isaiah 41:10

The same Spirit indwelling Christ as He walked the earth, indwells each who receives him. The same power, the same might that raised Christ from the dead has been sent to strengthen us. He is the same Spirit with the early church and with Paul and Silas who when they prayed –

“The place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness…

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” Acts 4:31; Acts 16:25-26

This is the power of Christ in us. Take courage. Be strengthened. Who else can and wants to supply all you need when your flesh and heart fail you?

“Whom have I in heaven but thee?

And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

My flesh and my heart faileth:

but God is the strength of my heart,

and my portion for ever…

it is good for me to draw near to God…”

Psalm 73:25-26,28a

OUR PRAISE:

“Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power,

and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty;

for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine;

thine is the kingdom, O lORD,

and thou art exalted as head above all.

Both riches and honour come of thee,

and thou reignest over all;

and in thine hand is power and might;

and in thine hand it is to make great,

and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God,

we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”

1 Chronicles 29:11-13

OUR PRAYER:

  •  “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man…Ephesians 3:16
  • That I may know him,
  • and the power of his resurrection,
  • and the fellowship of his sufferings,
  • being made conformable unto his death…Philippians 3:10
  • Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power,
  • unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness…Colossians 1:11
  • the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while,
  • make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10

OUR ASSURANCE:

“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 glory in the church

by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.

Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20-21

He is able and willing to answer your prayer. It is a work only He can do. Are you willing to receive his answer and find his strength in your weakness?

Needing Strength?

“…spirit of counsel and might…” Isaiah 11:2

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I don’t know about you but I am needing a good dose of might – strength to perform anything. Today, I would settle for the mundane tasks of every day. You see, and old, uninvited, unwelcome friend came to visit last weekend and stole the strength of my back. In my weakness I am reminded how much I rely on the strength of the Lord each day. I hear the Lord telling Paul in his letter to the Corinthians –

“My grace is sufficient for thee:

for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 

It’s Paul’s answer that I struggle with –

“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities,

in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake:

for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Glad, glory, pleasure, and infirmities. Which word is not like the others.

Then I look at Jesus in his weakness and find hope.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith:

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross, despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

Jesus came to earth fully man. He came in the Spirit of the Lord God. He endured the weaknesses of the flesh. He experienced weariness, hunger, thirst, pain, rejection, and what it is to depend on the strength of the Spirit. He could glory in these things as He showed us the victory of living in the strength of the Lord, as He listened to and obeyed all his Father gave him, even to death. For the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him to strengthen him. He kept looking at the joy set before him – the glory that is his.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name which is above every name:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth:

And that every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father …

And the seventh angel sounded:

and there were great voices in heaven, saying,

THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD

ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST,

AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.”

Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 11:15

Jesus experienced it all, showing us God’s grace is sufficient to provide for our every weakness, physical, spiritual, and emotional. By the Spirit of Christ in us we have his wisdom, understanding, counsel, and might. Without the might to walk in the other characteristics of the Spirit we would not know victory over our weaknesses. With the strength of the Lord, we can do all things.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Philippians 4:13.

Including setting my eyes on the joy of the Lord as my strength when I experience weakness. No, I don’t enjoy pain – that would be sadistic. But, yes, when I remember where my strength comes from, I can still have joy. Whatever weakness we may suffer, the grace of God brings his children strength through the Spirit of Christ. He will bring us to victory. We don’t go it alone. He goes with us in our weakness, understands our weakness, and strengthens us through our weakness. When broken and in need of strength – lean on him. He does not disappoint.

“O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee?” 

Psalm 89:8a

Strength to Stand

“And because ye are sons,

God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts,

crying Abba, Father.”

Galatians 4:6

kidsThat first cry, the first cuddle, the first glimpse of a life born into the world. These things filled my heart with joy when I experienced the births of my three children. I remember the first time they stood on wobbly legs. Almost a year of countless bottles of milk, playing little exercise games with their legs, and watching them learn to crawl came before seeing them stand alone. Yet, they were not really alone.

A few years later each increased my joy. At different ages they declared their faith in Christ. At that time they didn’t understand being born again. They only knew for the asking and believing Jesus came into their hearts. They were babies in Christ born of the Spirit and now cried, “Abba, Father,” as they waited for us to continue feeding them the milk of the word.

“As newborn babes,

desire the sincere milk of the word,

that ye may grow thereby:

If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

1 Peter 2:2,3

All who have been born of the Spirit of God have tasted the Lord’s grace. Through the word we are strengthened to stand in the knowledge of our God, what he has done for us, and in us.

  • “Therefore being justified by faith,
  • we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
  • By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,
  • and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1,2

Our strength to stand in a world wanting to knock us down comes in learning who we are in Christ and recognizing it is not by our strength we stand. It is by the Spirit of Christ in us.

In Christ we are –

Justified by faith…

“the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

  • For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
  • Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Romans 3:22-24

Paul said all this to say this –

  • Christ’s death paid our debt of sin.
  • He took on our sin and gave us his righteousness.
  • We now have peace with God.
  • We are right/just before him since we have been born of his Spirit.
  • This is God’s gift of grace through Jesus Christ
  • and no one or power can ever take it from us.

Stand in this truth when Satan, the world, or personal weakness tries to accuse you otherwise.

“What shall we then say to these things?

If God be for us, who can be against us?

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,

how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s  elect?

It is God that justifieth.

Romans 8:31-33

We no longer stand in our strength but by the grace of God. And we do not stand alone. For the Spirit of Christ dwells in us –

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;

yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20

and he clothes us in his strength –

“Finally, my brethren,

be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

Ephesians 6:10

He has given us an arsenal of protection to stand against the darkness of this world. It contains His – 

  • Truth,
  • Righteousness,
  • Gospel of Peace,
  •  Shield of Faith,
  • Salvation,
  • and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Found in Ephesians 6:14-17)

The Spirit of Christ in us also carries us to the throne of God for strength when feel we cannot stand.

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:

for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:

but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us

with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,

because he maketh intercession for the saints

according to the will of God.”

Romans 8:26,27

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,

  • let us hold fast our profession…
  • Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
  • that we may obtain mercy,
  • and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

When your legs of faith become wobbly remember –

  • Christ in you is your strength;
  • He is your arsenal of protection;
  • He is praying on your behalf;
  • His grace is sufficient

“And he said unto me,

My grace is sufficient for thee;

for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me…

for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9,10b


When you are weak, where do you turn for strength?

 

He Is Able

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Are there days when you don’t think you can go another step?  Paul’s prayer today is for you…and me, too, and the church of which we are a part.

Paul prayed for the Colossians to be, “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;” (1:11). Take heart. Not only can we go on we can do it with joy.

“Strengthened with all might… “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” “…but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” “…My strength is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”(Isa. 41:10; Dan. 11:32b; 2Cor. 12:9b; Heb. 11:32-34).

“…according to His glorious power…” “Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.” “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.” “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”(IChron. 29:12; Ps. 62:11; Dan. 3:17; Eph. 3:16).

“…unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness…” “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”(Ps. 40:1; James 1:4). “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” “Persecutions, afflictions…I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.” (Rom. 8:18; 2Tim. 3:11). “…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” ”Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (Heb. 12:1c,2; 1Pet. 4:12,13).

Praying for each other in the body of Christ, “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 glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Eph. 3:20, 21.

Happy Thanksgiving! I won’t be posting tomorrow but will be enjoying with thanksgiving my family.