Secondhand Glory

 

  •  "Then Moses had one more request,'Please let me see Your glory,' he said." Exodus 33:18......"Much of our looking at Jesus is secondhand, 'as in a  mirror,' reflected through the church, through books, through nature, through people. Hence much of our Christianity wears a secondhand look. It is moonlight (reflected) instead of sunlight (firsthand). One young minister said to another, 'You speak with authority. I quote authorities.' One was firsthand. The other secondhand." E.Stanley Jones...." I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." The Apostle Paul..."No attraction was ever allowed to hold the mind and soul of Paul save the face of Jesus Christ." Oswald Chambers
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  • E. Stanley Jones quotes the words of the philosopher Nietzsche, "If the Christians want us to believe in Christianity, they must look redeemed." To this Jones writes, "Few have the redeemed look. And they are the ones who are looking at Jesus." The world is desperate for those who have the redeemed look. Desperate for those who have not only seen the face of Christ, they continually see it. Sound too mystical for you? Maybe that's a great part of our problem here in the western church. We like what's tangible. We're uncomfortable with what is not. From the pulpit, in the midst of the congregation, to what is happening in our homes, workplaces, neighborhoods and communities, we need to hear from those who have seen the glory of the Lord, and continue to see it. This is what will speak to a world caught up in, trapped, in the philosophies of men. That world needs to hear from men and women whose deepest desire is to behold Him in His glory, and that continually. Men and women like Paul, who make no place in their hearts for any other attraction that might take the place of the face of Jesus Christ. Are we such people?

    When Moses left the presence of God, his face would glow with His glory. The people he led had a definite reaction. They either ran from, or to it. When he spoke, it was not with his own words and thoughts, or something he had gotten from a conference or seminar. He spoke that which flowed out of an encounter with God. The fiery presence of God filled the being of Moses. As it did with Paul, and as it has down through the ages in men and women such as Spurgeon, Wesley, Moody, Corrie Ten Boom, Chambers, Tozer, and so many more. As it does in those who are His today. Does this glory fill us as well? Do we truly "look" redeemed? Or, do we just pass along secondhand truth and glory. Relating what others have seen and experienced, but have never really or fully known ourselves? Do we dare allow Him to bring forth the answer? Conferences and seminars can serve a function, and many times those who speak at them have truly beheld Him. If so, do we come away longing to behold Him as well? Do we have a longing that cannot be denied? Or, do we just pass along that which someone else has seen and heard? Have our other "attractions" quenched that longing.....to death?

    I close with this, a quote Jones passes on to us. "Mary was listening to a sermon from a man who spoke out of firsthand contact with Jesus, and she said to herself, 'Listen ears, this is not preaching. This is revelation.' " The need is beyond desperate for those who have "seen, heard, and handled" the wonder and glory of the Lord. We do not lack for preaching. The world is crying out for revelation. So is the Church.

    Blessings,
    Pastor O
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