How is it that Jesus has been glorified already? He has dismissed Judas to set in motion his crucifixion. There is no turning back.
Jesus neither pleads with Judas to reconsider nor calls the others to grab hold of the traitor and shut down the whole process. Jesus follows what he knows to be the will of God.
Jesus carries out God’s will through obedience, even obedience to the cross. The salvation God promises is imminent, and thus God is glorified.
How do we seek God’s glory? God’s glory comes not from mighty achievements that bring us accolades but from submitting to God’s will for our lives rather than personal glorification.
How often have people sought glory for God’s kingdom in the wrong places? How many great buildings and ministries’ cornerstones should have read, “For the Glory of God by the Pride of Men and Women”? We find God’s glory by the singular simple act of giving all to follow the will of God.
Many years ago, wandering through a bookstore, I picked up a book by Dietrich Bonhoeffer entitled The Cost of Discipleship. I stood there carelessly thumbing through the pages, past many wonderful words written by this great martyr of the faith. But then eleven simple words jumped out as if they had been printed in bold type, and they changed the direction of my life: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”*
In that moment all the sermons my pastors had preached on following Christ and all the lessons my Sunday school teacher had led, suddenly made sense. My life path changed, and I turned to follow the greatest of all plans.
*Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Touchstone, 1995), 89.
Lord, help me to take up my cross and follow you. Amen.
Change can be difficult. It is easy to get comfortable with what is familiar. In Acts, some in Jerusalem criticize Peter for having fellowship with the Gentiles. Peter explains that his actions are not his own idea but are inspired by a vision from God. This change leads to the spread of the gospel. Revelation speaks of a new heaven and a new earth. God cares for the earth that God created, but at the end of time everything will be changed and made better. Jesus tells his disciples in John a new commandment, namely that they should love one another. This is how others will know that they are truly Jesus’ disciples. Psalm 148 is not about change but is pure praise for the works of the Lord.
Read Acts 11:1-18. God calls Peter to initiate change. How do you respond to changes in your church’s culture? How do you discern what changes are from God?
Read Psalm 148. The next time you sing, focus on praising God and sharing God’s love through your words and melody.
Read Revelation 21:1-6. How do you live a full life in the waiting for the new heaven and new earth?
Read John 13:31-35. In the wake of betrayal, Jesus calls his followers to sacrificial love. When have you needed to heed the call to this type of love?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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