Re:Verse reading–Genesis 11:1-9 (day six)
Pastor Don has already written on the difference between the unity depicted in Genesis 11 and the kind prescribed for the church in John 17:21-23, but I can’t help but have a go too. It is clear that humanity’s aim in Genesis 11 is glory, not God’s but their own. They sought to make a name for themselves by building a tall tower that stretched to the heavens; ironically they fell short (don’t excuse the pun). God looked down upon their small tower and fractured their ill-aimed pursuit.
The truth is we are not designed to display our own glory, we are designed to receive a greater glory. Jesus prayed in John 17:22, “The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one.” Isn’t that remarkable? Humanity in Genesis 11 had it all wrong; they had no need to contrive a glory of their own, they only had to receive God’s glory by faith. Perhaps that is exactly what God intended when he made us in his image, and perhaps that is exactly what Jesus restores through the Gospel-God’s glory given to us!
Re:Verse reading–Romans 9:1-8, Romans 10:1-21 (day six)
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36
Paul introduces to the Romans (and to us) an immense God in chapters 9-11. Up to this point we have certainly encountered a God worthy of all our affections and thanks, but it is in these latter chapters that we begin to scratch at His immensity. All of salvation history is in His hands; Israel, the Gentiles, all moving towards a glorious end in the Gospel.
As he contemplates the eternal destiny of his brethren, Paul is overwhelmed by God’s glory displayed in His sovereignty. It is as if Paul wants us to feel just how small we really are; in fact,inspired by the Spirit of God,that is exactly how he would have us feel. This feeling is the beginning of wisdom…and worship.
Re: Verse reading–John 11:17-44 (day seven)
” ‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died’ “–v 21. She was disappointed with Jesus. You can feel it in her words. Her not-too-disguised question, “Why didn’t you come when I sent for you?” “Why didn’t you hurry?” I’ve been in her same place, asked her same question. But, the issue is larger than schedule. It involves purpose also. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the GLORY of GOD?”–vs 40. When I am honest, I can see that my ambitions and prayers are often no larger than comfort and safety. God’s purpose and plan is higher. He wants me to see HIS GLORY. And, if this ultimate purpose requires the payment of time and/or struggle, He is willing and gracious to require it of me. Often, we are disappointed with God because we forget how LARGE and GOOD His plans for us are.
It lurks in our heads. The fear of failure. Sometimes it is not even as clear as a fear. A pessimism about possibilites that tamps down enthusiasm like water on a fire. Faith is the cure. Not skin faith, only heart faith will do. Faith that prays “for Thine is the KINGDOM, and the POWER, and the GLORY with a confident shout! Faith that looks at the power of God rather than the size of the giant. Faith that is the “assurance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11) because it believes that “God is able”( Ephesians 3 ). On Sunday at FBC we will study John 12. It is the inspiring story of the Lord yielding His life to the cross with the expectation of MUCH fruit. He does not expect some fruit. He expects MUCH. He does not fear failure–not even the possibility. Today, as I pray His words, I’m asking Him to give me His fearless heart.