The Truth About Glory

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When you’ve written as many words as I have over the years, it’s kind of a big deal to set one aside as the favorite.

As the author of creation I’ve always believed God has a special love for, and kindred spirit with journalists, because of all the things he could have used to communicate with us, He chose the written word. Ink on paper.

Transcend is my second favorite word of all time. I love that word. The way it looks in print, the way it flows from the tongue, the profound meaning it conveys to move beyond that which is commonly known and understood. Transcendence is such an honorable pursuit in anything worth pursuing.

Discern is a word that ranks high on my list.  I love this word especially because it engages so much more than a simple understanding. Discernment comes with time, experience, lessons learned, relational context, and it’s a wonderful characteristic of wisdom.  During the later seasons of life, we can discern things in a transcendent manner, I believe.

Infinitesimal – a word I simply adore for its meaning (an indefinitely small quantity with a value approaching zero) and for the wonderful memories I associate with it, as it was a favorite of my old boss U.S. Rep. Marion Berry. He loved using it as a description for the intellectual abilities of so many colleagues who disagreed with him, and the descriptor was often exact. I catch myself using it in the same manner far more frequently than I should.

Here’s a clip of my old boss in rare form on the House floor. This is one of my top three favorite memories of moments of service to this great Southern legislator. He didn’t use his favorite word here, but I know he wanted to. This is worth watching if you want to get your day started with a laugh. It’s classicly known as the “Howdy Doody-Looking Nimrod” clip in reference to a Republican colleague. Debatable judgment here, but nevertheless … MB wasn’t a happy camper this day. Occasionally, if but rarely, I miss the good ole’ days like this.

But glory, oh what a wonderful word to exalt. Glory. It’s my favorite beyond all others.

In the Greek, glory is best translated as weight. So when we ascribe glory to something in balance to other things, we give it significance and importance. It’s especially relevant in the context of God’s own desire for His glorification. It takes a transcendent discernment to know this isn’t a selfish Godly characteristic, but one that’s for our own good, especially in our pursuit of truth.

And it it helps if we understand several other of God’s characteristics and engage some linear thinking.

In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth and the life.” It doesn’t say He admires the truth or respects the truth, but rather that He IS the truth.

Romans 11:32 offers enlightenment of God the Father as transcendent of our earthy understanding. Here’s an easy-to-read version of that verse:

“Yes, God’s riches are very great! His wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain what God decides. No one can understand his ways.”

Read A.W.  Tozer’s thoughts on the pursuit and understanding of God the Father …  Tozer’s pretty deep:

“When we try to imagine what God is like, we must of necessity use that-which-is-not-of-God as the raw material for our minds to work on; hence, whatever we visualize God to be, He is not, for we have constructed that image out of that which He has made, and what He has made is not of God. If we insist on trying to imagine him, we end with an idol, not made with hands, but with thoughts; and an idol of the mind is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand.”

That’s worth a lifetime of meditation.

Yet, God clearly instructs us to pursue a holy knowledge of him, and the answer is right here.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” 2 Peter 3:18

It’s all about Jesus, and it’s a pursuit so beautiful in that it’s a never-ending quest. We can look forward to an eternity of developing a relationship with the Father, through Jesus the Son. Now, and forever. To Him be the glory, the weight, the relevance. The never-ending pursuit of truth is the glorious pursuit of Jesus.

It’s such a transcendent notion, my infinitesimal mind can barely discern it, but I’m trying.

How glorious.

Thank you, Jesus.

Vaya con Dios, for now.

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Mistaken Light

You are a natural seeker of Light. So am I.

Just one part of  God‘s great Design is that we are seekers of light. Our soul needs it; our skin needs it, our bones and eyes need Light.

And it’s a great paradox that sometimes, even though we already have the Light in us (see 2 Corinthians 4:6) that we go out and look for it, oftentimes in the wrong places.

In our daily walk, we seek out the Light. It’s our innate desire for understanding, acceptance, truth and self-identification.

Because of Old Testament prophecy, the people of the early first century were overly zealous in their pursuit of the Light. So hungry were they in their pursuit that they were easily mistaken, especially in the great case of John the Baptist.

Consider some of the most awesome scipture that ever was from the Book of John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …In Him was life, and the Life was the Light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

There came a man sent from god, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through Him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was true Light, which coming into the world enlightens EVERY man.” John 1:1-9

Even though the Light is in us, sometimes we have a need for supplemental light, and that’s ok.

Babies born prematurely need the warmth and comfort that incubation light provides for their proper development. Many doctors use phototherapy for the treatment of serious wounds, acne and other skin irritations. I often supplement my Bible reading with the works of great authors such as Barna, Viola, Buford, Idleman and others. They provide supplement to my daily walk.  All this is ok.

Then sometimes, especially as adults, we go looking for supplemental light in all the wrong places. In the search for life’s answers we find ourselves caught up in addictions, wrong relationships, schemes and other things that we believe will “make us happy.” That’s not ok.

You see, the darkness has a trick up it’s sleeve to make you think you can find the light in some bad places.

And as much as I prefer not to talk or write about these things, they are true. There is an enemy out there who wishes you harm and he will do everything he can to see you drawn to mistaken light.

Now I’m not naive enought to believe I’m important enough for the enemy to pursue me on a daily basis. He’s got much bigger fish to fry than me, but reading Frank Peritti’s book “This Present Darkness” a few years ago changed my view forever regarding how the enemy uses his legion of demonic spirits to bring me down. Again, forgive the demonic talk. I don’t like it and don’t go there often, but it is a reality, and here’s the support from God’s own Word:

“No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of Light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14

This is an amazing scripture – pure evidence of God’s magnificent design.

With all the negative influence the enemy can have on a fallen world, when all else fails, he’ll steal God’s method and disguise himself as “Light.”

All the more reason for us to stay in the Word which gives us wisdom, discernment and the power and authority to be the Light ourselves. False light can never penetrate pure light and we are the Light of the Word because Christ lives in us.

It’s going to be a beautiful spring-like day here in Arkansas today. I’m going out to catch some light. Make no mistake about it.