The Bare Soul - April 11, 2010
The Hope of Glory

The following is the message text and audio recording of a sermon titled "The Hope of Glory" delivered to the homeless
at the Kansas City Rescue Mission Chapel on April 8, 2010.

The Hope of Glory - April 8, 2010

Colossians 1:27 - to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

There is an innate desire in humankind to be partakers of beauty and splendor. We can be inspired by the grandeur of a setting sun over the expansive Grand Canyon, or be in awe of the beauty and majesty of the crashing surf along an idyllic coastline. These can be glorious settings that are merely expressions of their Creator and His very nature. To truly understand these awe inspiring scenes that we behold in His creation, one has to know the Maker who replicates His character over and over again to the visible eye. He hints to us of His glory and the immeasurable splendor of His majesty by these visual tokens. He beckons all, stating that paradise lost will once again be paradise regained if only we believe. What we now see is only a miniscule portion of the glory yet to be revealed to the chosen of God. Paul understood this when he spoke in context of what seemed like suffering in this present life compared to the one to come: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).

As Paul states, we will never know on this side of the veil the glory to be revealed. One thing is clear, however, that no one has experienced the fullest measure of His glory in human form. Even  Moses was told by God that he could not experience God's presence to the fullest or death of his mortal body would be certain (Exodus 33:20-23). Sinful flesh cannot experience the fullness of God's glory because of the holy nature of the manifest presence of God. Paul tells us in another place in Romans that all have sinned and "fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Whatever God had designed for His people was aborted by sin and its effects. The perversion of iniquity created a wall of separation that gave us eyes of sin that could never behold the true beauty of His revealed glory. That's why eyes that can only see the natural will never truly understand that there is a supernatural God of glory behind the beauty revealed all around us. It takes eyes of faith that can only come through a relationship with our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So how do we experience God's glory? Moses was awarded the honor in scripture to be called the "friend of God" (Exodus 33:11). This prophet and leader of Israel is a typology for the believer to understand that we too can experience the intimacy of God upon this earth while waiting for the manifestation of glory beyond the veil that separates the mortal from the immortal. Just as there was an intimacy between God and Moses, Jesus also called us friends if we kept His commandments (John 15:14). If Jehovah revealed Himself to Moses, how much more will Jesus reveal Himself to those who love Him and obey Him? The former covenant that Moses delivered through the law was beyond keeping -- it was impossible for any son of Adam to fulfill in the sinful flesh inherited from the first man. However, even through 40 years of disobedience and rebellion, God allowed Moses and the children of Israel to continually behold His Shekinah Glory in the cloud of His presence by day and the fire of His glory by night (Exodus 13:21-22). This was such a manifestation of the visible glory and splendor of God that the children of Israel cried out at one point that they were in danger of death if they continued in God's presence: Then they said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die."  (Exodus 20:19). However, Jesus Christ, through the new covenant by His blood brought us near to God to experience Him with the very eyes of faith that He has given to all who would but believe (Ephesians 2:13). Even so, the "hope of glory" that Paul speaks of in our lead verse is full of unfilled desire or longing regarding seeing with faith-filled eyes. It is spiritually charged with the yearning that hope creates but is also peaceful and trusting in the assurance of its revelation by the faith given by our friend, Jesus.  No longer do we need to fall short of His glory, Beloved! He has purchased us and befriended us if we will but obey. There will be no need for us to say to Jesus, "Show us Your glory!", for He has given us every spiritual blessing both in this life and the one to come (Ephesians 1:3). We merely need to believe and open our eyes to begin to experience the greatness of His glory here on earth as we will also experience one day in heaven (Ephesians 1:17-19).

While the beauty of this earth will always be resplendent in its own glory, there are other wonders that God desires to show us if we will but yield Him the eyes of our hearts. The viewing of nature becomes a "SUPER-natural" experience once we put on the eyes of God. If we will but open up our minds and hearts there is so much more than nature that He desires to share. To be captivated by the heart of God and to live daily experiencing His glory in all things around one's self is an adventure that only few will ever know. God desires that none of us would fall short of His glory. He longs for our daily participation in His glorious works, while always hoping for the day when we see Him in all of His splendor. We are always growing toward that wondrous day if we know Christ -- if He is truly in us and moving through us. For only as we know that Christ is living within, only then will we experience His glory day after day and hope for that glorious day of revealing!

Heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus Christ died so that we might live always in Your glory. Thank you for Your works of splendor here on earth and the glory to be revealed beyond the veil. Keep us ever mindful of the gift of glory You have given for all to share who would but believe. Praise to You ... the all Glorious One! In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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