To God be the Glory

GodsGlory “So God glorifies himself towards the creatures also two ways:

(1) by appearing to them, being manifested to their understandings

(2) in communicating himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying the manifestations which he makes of himself.

They both of them may be called his glory in the more extensive sense of the word, viz. his shining forth, or the going forth of his excellency, beauty and essential glory ad extra.

By one way it goes forth towards their understandings; by the other it goes forth towards their wills or hearts. God is glorified not only by his glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in, when those that see it delight in it: God is more glorified than if they only see it; his glory is then received by the whole soul, both by the understanding and by the heart.

God made the world that he might communicate, and the creature receive, his glory, but that it might [be] received both by the mind and heart. He that testifies his having an idea of God’s glory don’t glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it.

Both these ways of God’s glorifying himself come from the same cause, viz. the overflowing of God’s internal glory, or an inclination in God to cause his internal glory to flow out ad extra. What God has in view in neither of them, neither in his manifesting his glory to the understanding nor communication to the heart, is not that he may receive, but that he [may] go forth: the main end of his shining forth is not that he may have his rays reflected back to himself, but that the rays may go forth.

Jonathan Edwards [1722], The "Miscellanies": (Entry Nos. a-z, aa-zz, 1-500) (WJE Online Vol. 13) , Ed. Harry S. Stout

Can you hear me now?

“But some seeds fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!”  Matthew 13:8

soilandseedlingThe good soil has none of the faults of the rest of the field.  It is loose and thus unlike the path, deep and thus unlike the rocky bit, clean and thus unlike the thorny infestation.

Jesus interprets this in one word: understands. While others  received the Word, and it had some growth in them, the distinction here is surely of a moral nature.

Biblical usage of “understanding” regards the action of the whole moral and spiritual nature, not purely the intellectual process.  It involves the grasp of the truth with the whole being, the complete reception of the Word of the kingdom not merely into the intellect but into the central self that is the undivided fountain from which flow the issues of life.  Only he who has housed the Word deep in his inmost soul “understands it.”  ‘

Alexander MacLaren In His Presence, June 26th, Emerald Books, 1998.

Walking like a Christian

0107WRK13 In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul is intent on helping Christians learn how to walk!  This skill is something that we do without thinking.  In fact, it is something we all think we mastered around the first year of life. Paul seems to think we need to be re-taught.

When you take a walk it is with the intent of being steady and consistent in your steps—not too fast, not too slow. You keep up the pace mile after mile. This image is the image Paul had in mind as he instructs us to think of the Christian life as a new walk.

    • “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world…” (2:2)
    • “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  (2:10)
    • walk in a manner worthy of your calling” (4:1)
    • “you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds” (4:17)
    • “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us…” (5:1)
    • "for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of the light.”  (5:8)
    • “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.”  (5:15)

Walking doesn’t seem to be as easy as it once was.  Paul’s thoughts make me know why the hymn writer wrote “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.” 

Soaking before God

cynthia heald I went to a Women’s Conference at the Hotel Jefferson Saturday morning.  There in the opulence of the Grand Ballroom a sweet 70 year old woman shone brighter than the chandelier as she reminded the women of the importance of “pitching our tents” near God.

Cynthia Heald’s message created a homesickness in my heart. I wanted to “go home” and meet with God in His Word—I knew what she was talking about and longed for it.  I also longed to be a woman who spends herself encouraging other women and pointing them to the truth of Scripture.

Oswald Chambers added to the theme of the weekend in His “The Unheeded Secret” devotion for this morning.

“It is not practical activities that are the strength of this Bible Training College, its whole strength lies in the fact that here you are put into soak before God. You have no idea of where God is going to engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what strain is going to be put on you either at home or abroad, and if you waste your time in over-active energies instead of getting into soak on the great fundamental truths of God’s Redemption, you will snap when the strain comes…”

It was a weekend full of new mercies.  It is good of God to send messengers with reminders that I need a good soaking every day!Bible (Small)