Fired by love's urgent longings, I am his rocketman.
Hope of Glory

Hope of Glory

Occasionally someone will ask me what do I really want?  By this they mean what do I want my life to stand for?  Or what is it that I desire to achieve? Or what is it that really motivates me deep inside?  This is and always has been an easy question for me to answer.  I want glory, pure and simple, glory.

From the time I was first able to think about this question as a young child, even before I knew it was a question, I understood that I wanted to be a hero.  The particular form of hero changed from time to time, but the basic idea was always there.  I wanted to be the cowboy with fast guns, a fast horse and a noble purpose.  At other times I wanted to be a great athlete, football, baseball, basketball, golf, whatever … It didn’t really matter what I was doing as long as the it ended in glorious victory.  I wanted to win the prize whatever the prize might be.

I believe my desire for glory is God given even though I haven’t always understood it or the proper way to express it.  In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul writes, “In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory.  (Eph. 1:11-12)  Later in the same chapter Paul records this prayer for us:

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead …  (Eph. 1:16-20)

There is so much here to try and understand; but at least for a start we need to know that our Father, is a God of glory, and he gives us power (and not just a little bit) and a portion of his glory, so that we can live to honor him.

Many times I have taken the glory that I have been given and turned it for my own use instead of living the life that I have been destined to live.  No doubt, I have wasted a lot of time pursing this, that or the other, chasing vain glory instead of embracing the “good works” which God prepared for me to walk in.  (See Eph. 2:10)  But there is hope, even for me, and if for me then definitely for you, because God is faithful to fulfill his promises and his power at work in us is immeasurably great, even if we are not always on board with his plans.

God does have a plan for each of us and he wants to use us for his glory.  Paul tells us in another place:

In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and earthenware, and some for noble use and some for ignoble.  If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work.  (2 Tim 2:20-21)

We can see from this passage that we have a role to play in whether we become noble vessels consecrated and useful to the master of the house or ignoble vessels.  If we want to be more useful, we must purify ourselves; that is we must commit ourselves to do whatever it is the Lord wants us to do.

Obviously some services are better than others.  At the time Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, vessels of gold and silver were used for eating and drinking.   However, the vessels of wood and earthenware were used for removal of trash and human waste.  When you consider which type of vessel you would like to be in this context, it sort of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

I have to admit that whenever the focus is on me, on what I have to do, I get a little uneasy.  I have learned through experience to distrust myself.  Like Paul, “I can will what is right, but I cannot [always] do it.  (Rom. 7:18) But also like Paul, I am learning the secret to living the kind of life I desire to live.  The secret is what Paul describes as:

… the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints.  To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Col 1:26-27)

This is the same secret Paul refers to in his letter to the Philippians when discussing his ability to be content whether he has a lot or a little.  “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.  In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.  I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”  (Phil 4:12-13)

The secret to living the christian life is “Christ in you, the hope of glory”.    My secret for obtaining the glory I have always wanted is “Christ in me”.  Left to my own devices, there is a long list of things that I have failed to do, that I cannot accomplish.  But “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”  

And so I join Paul in asserting, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)

Christ is all and in all.  (Col 3:11)  Christ is in me.  If I need peace, he is in me.  If I need patience, he is in me.  If I need love, he is in me.  If I need courage, he is in me.  If I need faith, he is in me.  Whatever, I need, Christ is all and in all — he is in me.

By the way, what do you need?

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