Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dec. 12 – Joy, the (super)natural response to glory

Guest blogger, Stan Nussbaum, takes us on a journey through the messianic year calendar.

Welcome to the journey of our Messiah through the year with Dr. Nussbaum.

”Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”
1 Peter 1:8 (NLT)

As we saw last week, the arriving glory of God is too much for humans as humans. No one could see God and live. No one could touch the Ark of the Covenant. We just are not built to be able to handle it any more than we can stare at the sun. Part of us may be attracted to God’s glory but it is the fatal attraction of the moth to the flame. We cannot afford to get too close.

God in his grace has made two adjustments that raise our glory tolerance and allow us to see him. First he toned down the intensity of his glory by becoming one of us. The shepherds and the wise men did not die when they approached the baby. Even Mary was not destroyed as she carried him and delivered him. As God in human form, the Messiah serves us like a welder’s helmet serves a welder, enabling us to look at the bright light and even work with it but not be blinded by it.

Secondly God put part of his glory in us through the Holy Spirit. This means we are now powerfully attracted to the Messiah’s glory instead of being repelled like we used to be when we were “looking out for number 1” and seeking our own glory. Now that the Spirit has flipped the switch of our personalities, we do not try to compete with the Messiah any more. We flip from fearing, ignoring, opposing, or envying the Messiah to welcoming him with open hearts and open arms. “Worthy is the Lamb!”

This is the heart of the Messianic Year, the reason for all seven seasons, all these weekly reflections, and every breath we take. It all adds up to this, “Worthy is the Lamb!” He is the key to God’s master plan for the world and the universe. He is the one who is returning to cap off the entire history of the world with a glorious victory. He is already bringing us life, identity, freedom, power, forgiveness, courage, and glory. How could we not have joy?

So let the Christmas bells ring. “Joy to the world!” “Glory to the newborn king!” Let’s join the children in their recitation, “J is for Jesus, Messiah and friend. He was here once and he’s coming again.” Let’s join the nations as they embrace the one they have been waiting for all these centuries, the one who is coming back soon.

And let our joy bring joy to Jesus. Of all people, isn’t he the one who most deserves a merry Christmas? What would make him merrier than seeing billions of us welcoming him as Messiah by our worship, our obedience, and the way we represent him to his world? We glorify him. He brings us joy. He is honored. We are fulfilled. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Well, yes it does, actually.
“Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.” (1 Cor. 13:12, NLT)
We are heading for perfect joy, when he returns and changes our circumstances. The inner transformation already under way in us will be matched by an outer transformation as he destroys disease, death, evil, pain, corruption and anything else that cannot stand his glory. Then at last we will really know who the Messiah really is. And we are going to love it. Enjoy the anticipation!

Welcome: Glory to you, Jesus our Messiah. We cannot see you perfectly yet, but we can see that you are everything we need. Welcome!

Affirmation: Today is one day closer to the return of the King of glory.



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