Week Six, 2020
“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,” (Acts 7:55).
It was a cold winter day as the four of us huddled together on a London train platform waiting for the local to go see one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. When we arrived, the outside was nothing outstanding, but when we entered, it was another story.
St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle is famous as the burial place of Henry VIII as well as the location where Prince Harry and Princess Meghan were married. I was amazed by its stunningly beautiful ceiling. But staring up at this exquisite architectural masterpiece is difficult, so a mirror has been placed on the ground.
When we stand before it, we can look down to see up. I couldn’t but think of a spiritual parallel. Jesus came down to earth so we could see the God who lives in heaven. There is one difference between Jesus and the mirror in the castle.
A mirror is not a person, though it reflects one. But Jesus is God, not just his reflection. He is “God made visible.” Colossians 1 states that the Christ is “the image of the invisible God” (v. 15). This is an astounding fact. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
When you watch Jesus in action, you watch God in action. When you hear Jesus teach, you hear God teach. When you come to know what Jesus is like, you know what God is like. You don’t need to be in the dark about God. He has gone beyond parchment and paper.
He has gone beyond tapes and cassettes. He has gone beyond videos and even beyond live drama. He has actually come and pitched His tent in our backyard and beckoned us to watch Him and get to know Him in the person of his Son Jesus.
So, to see the God above, look down and look around to see Jesus in action and God will come into your focus.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my border.
I was reading through 1 Chronicles and came upon the passage made famous by Bruce Wilkinson’s bestseller, The Prayer of Jabez: “Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!’ And God granted what he asked” (1 Chronicles 4:10).
For God to “enlarge” his “border” meant to increase his territory and influence. Jabez wanted his life to count as fully as possible. But he knew that this was impossible unless the “hand” of God was “with” him to lead, empower, and protect.
Such a prayer may seem audacious, but “God granted what he asked.” It seems that the Lord wants us to seek to be all we can be for His glory and the good of others.
• We are to “work heartily” in all we do (Colossians 3:23). Are you doing so?
• God wants us to “approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:10). Are you ready for that day?
• Our Father empowers what he expects: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). Are you seeking such empowerment? Jim Denison
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What would you guess might be the most popular Bible verse, according to You Version’s 400 million users?
Philippians 4:6 is the answer. The verse says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
What does its popularity say about us?
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
We cannot be like Christ without the help of Christ. Jim Denison
The phrase “do not fear” appears more than 300 times in the Bible. Kelly Knouse
Christians spend more time and money in the streets than the followers of other religions spent in their temples. Historian Eberhard Arnold
The church’s greatest need is the Word of God
God uses ordinary people for extraordinary plans. Ken Whitten
People cannot be saved unless Jesus saves them. Dr. Ronnie Floyd