Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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June 7 – Seeing His Glory And Speaking Of Him

“Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.’ Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke of Him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in Him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” John 12:39-43

Devotional Thought For The Day

In these verses we are confronted with the mystery of God “blinding eyes” and “hardening hearts.” We should not fret too much regarding this mystery, as it beyond our ability to judge when a person has entered into such a state and condition [remember the apostle Paul]. Nor should we contemplate that this is God’s will toward anyone – He wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. [1 Tim. 2:4] However, as in the case of Pharaoh, who repeatedly hardened his heart in unbelief and rebellion against God’s Word, there comes a time when God confirms people in their hardness of heart and spiritual blindness. It seems impossible to fathom exactly how this happens in the heart and mind of God, but the focus ought rather be on the incorrigibility of those who refuse to fully embrace the glory of Christ’s redemption.

We are also made aware that it is possible for some to believe in Christ, and yet in the weakness of their sinful flesh they cannot make a proper confession and “come out” from their association with those who hate Christ and reject His redemption. Obviously, this is not viewed as the right thing to do, but rather a tragic thing. Nonetheless, that these people had faith is confirmed – even though their behavior was inconsistent with their faith. The cause of their duplicity is identified: “they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”  This is a common temptation, to compromise faith and morals [real love] for the sake of not losing friendship, or even to avoid animosity and persecution. This can also happen even within the church.

The real focus is on the Christ – and the healing that comes from God to all who humbly repent of their sin and rebellion, and turn back to Him for forgiveness, cleansing, mercy, renewal, life, and salvation.  If we can understand this glory, Christ’s glory, the glory which Isaiah and all true prophets of God saw, understood, and clearly confessed in their preaching and writing, we too become enamored with that glory – and it weans us away from anything that compromises or distorts our confession and allegiance to Christ Jesus. Thus we also are weaned away from loving the glory that comes from man – the comforts, praise, and prerogatives of ungodly associations, so that ultimately we love the glory that comes from God much more highly. Then we allow nothing to compromise, confuse, or obscure our witness to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So the mystery of unbelief and sinful rebellion against God remains, even as it did in the very presence of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. For we who believe in Christ, there is warning and encouragement not to allow anything to compromise our discipleship, our following Jesus, especially not earthly associations and friendships. If our focus is on the Christ, the glory of His redeeming love for us, nothing will matter more to us than to be found in Him, to be praising Him, and to be proclaiming His glorious love to others. We will not allow anything to deter us in this – and will rather suffer death than deny, obscure, or compromise His glorious love.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, there have been times in our lives when we have kept silent about You, hiding our faith and discipleship for fear of derision and persecution, loving earthly relationships more than Your glory. Forgive us for our weaknesses, and strengthen our faith by the glory of Your love, Your redemption. Enable us to be true and bold in our confession of Your Name, not only in what we say but also in what we do. Amen.