WE TEND TO THINK OF SIN AS A MORAL ISSUE, WHEN INDEED, IT IS A GLORY ISSUE.
WHEN WE CHOOSE WHAT WE WANT IN THE MOMENT, WITHOUT CONSIDERING GOD’S GLORY, WE ARE WEIGHING OUR GLORY AS HEAVIER THAN GOD’S GLORY.
THIS IS WHAT ESAU DID WHEN HE CHOSE TO SELL HIS BIRTHRIGHT (HIS BLESSING FROM GOD) FOR A MESS OF POTTAGE.
LATER, THE AUTHOR OF HEBREWS TELLS US:
For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
This understanding of “the weight of glory” could be paradigm changing in your struggle with sin. For example, when I am tempted to shade the truth, overeat, or gossip I could look at it as “breaking a rule,” and decide that in “this situation” it’s not so bad if I “break the rule.” But if I look at it as being like Esau, and weighing my wants, my “glory,” as heavier than God’s glory, it’s paradigm changing in my mind.
Let’s consider another difference, for example, between the religious and the gospel person, and how considering the weight of glory might transform our thinking and behavior
|My prayer life consists largely of petition,||My prayer life consists of generous stretches|
|and only heats up in times of need.||of praise and adoration. My main purpose is fellowship with God.|
Praise and adoration is a discipline, to take a truth and praise until the spark becomes a flame takes time. I often feel too busy, but that is because I am weighing my glory as heavier than God’s. This is paradigm changing.
In the same way, we long for prestige, popularity, and position. But the truth is, when we seek our own glory, we are like Esau, and are on the wrong track, headed toward trouble, heartache, and sorrow.
WHAT IS THE WRONG TRACK?
SEEKING OUR OWN GLORY.
IN DOING SO,
WE SETTLE FOR MAKING MUD-PIES
INSTEAD OF A DAY AT THE OCEAN
WHAT IS THE RIGHT TRACK?
SEEKING GOD’S GLORY IN EVERYTHING WE SAY AND DO.
WE WILL THEN,
TO OUR GREAT SURPRISE,
FIND A GLORY LIKE WE HAVE NEVER KNOWN.
IN MERE CHRISTIANITY, C. S. LEWIS PUT IT LIKE THIS:
Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.
IT SEEMS SO HARD, YET IT IS THE SECRET.
THIS TRACK WILL TAKE US TO WHAT OUR HEARTS DESIRE MOST.
HELP US TO BELIEVE, LORD.
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. Whatever you have chosen for your Lenten discipline, how could this concept of the weight of glory transform your thinking and behavior? Be specific.
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY
Begin memorizing John 12:25.
Pastor and Christian speakers are not immune from seeking their own glory. To my shame, I have done it.
How everyone who stands in such a grave responsibility needs a pulpit like this:
These words can impact all of us, however, every day of our lives.
3. Read John 12:20-26
A. What entreaty did the Greeks make of Philip?
Matthew Henry writes:
The great desire of our souls should be to see Jesus,
to have our acquaintance with Him…
and our communion with Him increased.
B. Do you have this hunger in your heart? If not, pray for it. If so, then ask God to show you how to increase your communion with Him. Write your prayer here.
C. Jesus does not answer directly, but He does answer. First, in verses 23-24 He tells what He must do to be glorified.
D. Then, in verses 25-26 He tells what we must do to experience glory. Put this in your own words.
E. Think about ways you have tried to seek your own glory. How could seeing this as a glory issue instead of a moral issue help you overcome?
F. Write out John 12:25 without looking at it.
4. Read John 12:27-29
A. What struggle do you see Jesus experiencing and what victory in this passage?
B. Where is your struggle today in dying to self? What is the secret to victory?
C. What did God the Father do when Jesus prayed in verse 28? What did people think had happened?
Thunder or the voice of an angel is an understandable interpretation to GLORY. God spoke. God has the weight of glory. If you are looking for a devotional to continue in Lent, I recommend The Weight of Glory.
5. Read John 11:1:8 and explain how Mary of Bethany is an illustration of the above teaching.
Thursday-Friday: Keller on The Weight of Glory
This is not free, but it is wonderful.
6. What notes or comments do you have on this sermon?
7. What is your take-a-way and why?