The Glory that Awaits Us

Mercury Morris was a running back with the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only team in NFL history to go undefeated throughout an entire season. When asked what it was like to have been part of this unequaled feat, Morris thoughtfully reflected, “I asked Buzz Aldrin once, ‘What was it like to walk on the moon?’” Pausing briefly, Morris continued, “I still don’t know. All I know is what [Aldrin] told me.” Which is to say there are some things in life we cannot understand until we experience them. Such is the case with God’s glory.

God’s gift of grace is the overflow of His nature of grace. He is full of grace and truth,1 and in great love He lavishly pours out His merciful kindness to us undeserving people. In prodigious proportions, He showers us with His own righteousness, strength, and sufficiency, and in unmatched generosity, He saves us, redeems us, and transforms us into the image of Christ. Then consider this, also: though “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”2 the “God of all grace [has] called [us] to his eternal glory in Christ.”3 Even now, we are “being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory,”4 and it shows, for God works through our spiritual gifts, which is “the manifestation of the Spirit,”5 and “the fruit of the Spirit”6 in our lives testifies to the divine nature of Christ in us. And in all things, God’s glory in us ultimately glorifies Him. Paul writes, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”7 This is truth; this is grace.

Yet a far greater glory awaits us. To the Colossians Paul wrote, “Your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”8 To believers in Rome, he reflected, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”9 And to the Corinthians, Paul marveled, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him.”10 So, what will it ultimately look like to fully experience God’s glory? I still don’t know. All I know is what the Bible tells me. But it’s going to be good . . .

Father, Your promises are sure. Enlighten our hearts, that we may know the hope of Your calling, the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in us, and the greatness of Your power toward us who believe.11. In Christ we pray. Amen.

1 John 1:14
2 Romans 3:23
3 1 Peter 5:10
4 2 Corinthians 3:18
5 1 Corinthians 12:7
6 Galatians 5:22-23
7 2 Corinthians 4:6-7
8 Colossians 3:3-4
9 Romans 8:18
10 1 Corinthians 2:9
11 Ephesians 1:18-21


Wait ’til You Hear This

She had taken a test designed to identify one’s spiritual gifts, and was sharing her results with me. Being an insightful woman with the wisdom that comes with age, she noticed something beyond the obvious results, as well. “One of my top gifts was faith,” she said, “but I see myself as a naturally fearful person. My other primary gift was encouragement, but I tend to be somewhat critical by nature.” Without saying so directly, she was testifying to God’s grace in her life, His Spirit gifting her with what she lacked for Kingdom life and Kingdom work.

Nearing the end of his earthly ministry, Paul bade farewell to the Ephesian church. “I consider my life worth nothing to me,” said the aging apostle, “my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”1 Such clarity of purpose and focus! Yet we, too, can testify to the good news of God’s grace, for as we’ve seen over the past 16 posts, God manifests His grace to us “in its various forms.”2 Consider for yourself . . .

“God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus . . .3 Can you remember when joy in God’s presence replaced the fear of His rejection? If so, you have good news of God’s gift of righteousness.

[God] saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.4 Do you recall the relief of rescue from eternal separation from God? Then tell your good news of God’s gift of salvation.

This same Good News that came to you . . . is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.”5 Have you seen changes in your life that only God could make? Then you have good news of God’s gift of transformation.

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”6 Has God ever done something through you that far exceeded your natural ability? Then testify to the good news of God’s sufficiency.

And what of His sustenance in suffering, His call to works, His renewing of our minds? God writes His story into our lives, so we in turn may testify to His grace. For it is He who equips us with what we lack for Kingdom life and Kingdom work.

Father, You have done much for us. Remind us of Your work in and through us, that we may testify to the good news of Your grace in our lives. In Christ we pray. Amen.

1 Acts 20:24
2 1 Peter 4:10
3 Romans 3:24 NLT
4 Titus 3:5 NLT
5 Colossians 1:6 NLT
6 2 Corinthians 9:8


Grace Enough for Kingdom Work

Launching from college into my career, I realized my starting pay was greater than my immediate value to the company—they were investing in my potential, not rewarding my productivity. I had a title, but lacked expertise it demanded, so I labored to bring my managers at least some semblance of a return. Hard work led to a promotion to a new, unfamiliar job and another steep learning curve, which left me once again exerting myself in order to bring my managers value for their confidence in me. And so went the cycle: new opportunities, heartfelt gratitude, hard work . . . rinse and repeat. My focus was not on earning promotions, but responding to those so graciously given me.

Lamenting his background as a persecuting Pharisee, Paul confessed, “I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle . . . But by the grace of God I am what I am.”1 What a great confession of grace—God’s love and kindness overflowing to an undeserving us, even to the point of new identity and calling. Then by grace, fruitfulness follows. Continued Paul, “and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”2 Yet when we consider God’s call through the lenses of our own natural capabilities, it is intimidating, for only through God’s grace and power can we be effective in Kingdom work. Consider the authority of God’s Word . . .

No one in Christ lives without grace, for “to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”3

God’s grace to us is meant to overflow from us to the world around us. This is our calling. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”4

No grace is too small nor calling too big for our Kingdom work, for “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”5

In fact, God uses our weakness to showcase His strength; He speaks this universal truth to Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Then with the same confidence as the apostle, we “boast all the more gladly about [our] weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on [us].”6

Then so goes the cycle: God’s call, sufficient grace, effective work . . . rinse and repeat. God is our confidence. Bless His name.

Father, Your nature of grace pours out through Your gifts of grace. Use us as You will—speak Your call, be our sufficiency, and bless the Kingdom work of our hands. In Christ we pray. Amen.

1 1 Corinthians 15:9-10
2 1 Corinthians 15:10
3 Ephesians 4:7
4 1 Peter 4:10
5 2 Corinthians 9:8
6 2 Corinthians 12:9