Beholding Glory

Our college group is spending a summer with Paul by reading through all his letters. We are tackling them a chapter a day. Every now and then I will post an encouraging word, explanation or meditation. Here is what I wrote today:

Love this verse!

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3:18

As believers, we have an unveiled face, with our unveiled face we behold the glory of the Lord. 

The glory of the Lord Paul is referring to is Christ. We see Jesus!

Not only do we see Jesus, but we are being transformed into the same image. As followers of Jesus, we should be more like him with every passing day. Paul uses the term “from one degree of glory to another.”

This is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. But how does that work happen? John Piper says we need to “behold glory”, but how do we behold the glory of Christ, when he isn’t present with us?

In 2 Peter, Peter describes his experience at the transfiguration, he uses words like seeing majesty and hearing the voice from Majestic Glory and yet after seeing and experiencing Christ in glory Peter says,

19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Peter 1:19-21

Peter says what I experienced was amazing, but y’all we have the scriptures, the written word fully confirmed, pay attention to the word.

How do you behold the glory of Christ? How are you transformed from glory to glory?

By the Spirit of God transforming you into the image of Christ through the reading of scripture. The author of the Bible becomes the author of heart transformation in your life, by revealing the glory of Christ through the scriptures. Which highlights the importance of spending time in the word daily.


The Early Bird Gets The Link

Here is your daily links.

On Bible Reading 

Here are some articles concerning reading the Bible and asking certain questions when reading your Bible. Five Great Reasons to Skip Reading Your Bible This Summer, “Summer is here! And we’ve got five great reasons to skip reading your Bible this summer:”

4 Questions You Should Ask When Reading the Bible 

Worth the read.

How Our Unbiblical Views of Forgiveness Perpetuate Our Social Media Outrage

The problem with this cycle is two fold. First, sorry isn’t repentance. Secondly, forgiveness isn’t unconditional. Forgetting these two points is why so many relationships have all kinds of junk bubbling under the surface. And it’s why our media/social media is caught in a vicious cycle of dumb outrage.

Three Untruths You’ve Probably Said to Hurting People

Here are three of the most common unbiblical phrases people use to comfort those who are hurting. Brace yourself, as you have most likely used or heard these! 

Finding Your Identity in Christ Looks Like Death

What does it mean to find your identity in Christ?

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Hope you had a restful weekend, here are some links to start your week.

Six Attitudes That Kill Evangelism 

why are our churches less evangelistic today?

Four Ways Husbands Should Lead 

Paul’s instructions in Ephesians 5, which draw from the creation narrative of Genesis 2, give us at least four ways the man was to have a Christ-like leadership role.

The Question Churches Can No Longer Ignore

Given the fact that many Christians feel like they don’t know enough about life issues, and many professing Christians are having abortion themselves, how can we create a culture of life within our congregations?

9 Ways to Raise Up Leaders in Your Church

Good and practical.

Signposts: Senator Ben Sasse and Russell Moore talk about how perpetual adolescence hurts the church

A conversation worth listening to if you find yourself with time.


The Early Bird Gets The Link

Here’s some links to start your weekend.

Six Great Devotionals to Read This Summer

God has graciously equipped his people to write about the truths of Scripture for specific circumstances, to explain God’s Word through books. One of the greatest gifts to the church is devotionals. These books force us to read Scripture more slowly and reflect on its applications.

7 Sets of Resources for Building Your ‘Theology and Culture’ Library

Some good resources here.

2017 Summer Reading List for Christians

So it’s summer time to me. Which means, of course, it’s time to gather some good books to read. Which ones are you reading this summer?

The Mushy Middle

Wonder Woman and the Gender Wars

Wonder Woman is unperturbed by all this. She’s been in the middle of gender wars before. In fact, she’s been there from the very beginning.

Do You Know How to Find Joy?

Everyone wants a happily-ever-after, but few people are willing to give up sin and autonomy to get it. In this lab, Pastor John shows how it is our joyful duty to live for God’s glory.


Final Thoughts On Romans For College Students

Our college group is spending a summer with Paul. We are reading all his letters, a chapter a day, beginning with Romans and ending in Philemon. Today was our last day in Romans. Before I leave this marvelous piece of writing I jotted down some questions and thoughts. 

Do you have Gospel friends? 

In Romans 16 we read a whole list of names Paul recommends, who have helped him. Christianity is meant to be lived in a community of believers who build each other up in the faith. Do you have friends who build you up? Are you part of a church? Do you have friends who will warn you when your slipping and keep you on track?

Do you have Gospel goals?

In Romans 15 Paul writes of his goal to share Christ in Spain when he leaves Rome. Do you have Gospel goals? Goals to grow in the Gospel? Goals to serve? Goals to share Christ with a person or people groups?

One Last Thing

One last thing, there is name that comes up in Romans 16 which is very interesting. 

“Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.” Romans 16:13
In first passing there is nothing which sticks out, but… 

If you flip your Bible to Mark 15:21 we read this, 

“And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.”Mark 15:21

This is the story of Christ being crucified, when Christ was struggling to carry the cross, out of no where Simon of Cyrene is chosen to carry the cross for him. Simon was with his two sons Alexander and Rufus. Church history believes the Rufus Paul is talking about is this Rufus, son of Simon of Cyrene. Rufus, “chosen in the Lord.”
Until Next Time

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. – Romans 16:20


The Early Bird Gets The Link

If you want to really know yourself, start by knowing God
Know the One in whose image we have been made. Know God so we can know our need for him. Know God to know the character of the One who sacrificed all to meet our need.

How to Win the War for Your Mind

We need to take captive our thoughts and examine them. To take something captive is to take control of it and put it in a controlled environment — like putting a ferocious animal in a cage. Then, we need to take a close look at our thoughts and consider what we are thinking or believing and why.

What We Need Most

Our main problem is not lack of time or resources or the annoying people in our lives. Your main problem and my main problem is that we do not see enough the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We are not amazed. We do not stand in awe. We are not rendered speechless in his presence.

3 Ways Complementarian Pastors Can Encourage Women

If your church has all-male pastors and elders, the number of women wanting to serve as a pastor or elder are likely few. So unless a woman specifically requests to serve in a capacity that your local church has reserved for elders and pastors, go ahead and tell her where there is freedom. Most of us have heard about the boundary lines, but not necessarily about where our leadership gifts would be a blessing to the body. (Italics are mine)

Emotional Intelligence Resources

Here’s some good resources, worth the time to check out. 


The Early Bird Gets The Link

The week starts for me today, which always seems odd, anyway happy reading. 

The Gospel Is True. Now Walk This Way

In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul tells us how we should walk in light of who we are in Christ. But even more importantly, he shows us where we get the power to walk.

3 Ways Social Media Is Hurting Your Local Church

The church can use online tools, apps, devices, and the internet as a vehicle for getting some ministry accomplished, but it cannot replace God’s ancient disciple making plan. Being social online is not the same as being social in person. Technology shields us from a certain vulnerability that’s necessary in the life of the local church family. Don’t become a self-focused narcissist by socializing, reading, talking, and interacting with groups in your church while constantly looking down at a device. Stop what you’re doing. Look up. Look into the eyes of real people and communicate.

Does God Want Mere Obedience?

Obedience is really the other side of the repentance coin. And Jonah teaches us a bit about the type of obedience that God is looking for. Again a few questions are helpful.

Seattle Reboot: Life After Mars Hill

Many of us were outsiders, spectators of the collapse of Mars Hill and yet sometimes we may forget real people were involved. “The collapse of Mars Hill released a tidal wave of hurt, disillusioned people. Many quit Mars Hill; some quit church or Christianity altogether. Hundreds limped into other area churches, asking about church bylaws and pastoral pay structures before even introducing themselves.”

When Prayer Is Difficult

Prayer is a spiritual discipline that needs cultivation. The ground needs to be turned over. Seeds need to be planted and watered. We wait like the farmer, trusting the seed will sprout and multiply its blessing.

Become Idolaters by Forgetting the Gospel

Everything we do as believers should be inside the framework of the gospel. Good works apart from the gospel have no real foundation and are themselves idols leading us away from savoring Christ.