Seeing Through a Glass Darkly – week 2 / January 4th

“For now we see through a glass darkly, but then
Face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall
Know just as I also am known.”
1Corinthians 13:12

As we begin a New Year it is good to be reminded that we are on a glorious pilgrimage. This journey with Christ gives us all the power we need to make it but it only gives us hints of what is to follow in eternity. This is done to help us deal with what really matters for the present and this means overcoming our carnal natures and appropriating Christ. (Galatians 5:16-26)

While we have “all that we need for life and godliness in Christ” (2 Peter 1:2-3) there is one thing that God cannot give us and that is a willing heart. Thus scripture everywhere exhorts us to obey Jesus, live for Jesus, love Jesus and be faithful to Jesus. It also tells us to guard our hearts lest bitterness and un forgiveness (Hebrews 12:12-17) creep in and retard our journey heaven-ward. So, the Christian has to harness his will like Bunyan’s Pilgrim but then he or she also has to fight the good fight of defeating the powers of darkness who are constantly waiting, like a hungry lion, to bring them down (1Peter 5:8-11).This is not a mock battle but a very real one and we each one have to face it in 2015.

Paul therefore writes that we are to “forget what lies behind us” and press forward, with renewed joy and willingness, to know Christ (Philippians 3:7-14). In this regard, as he writes to Timothy, he says that we are to be like farmers having patience but ever attending to our “spiritual crops”. Or, we are to be like soldiers, fully equipped and ready for the battle and we are to be like athletes running, well focused, for the finishing line. These are all pictures of what it means to steady our hearts and minds on Christ (2Timothy 2:1-7).  Anything other than this will not do and, by the way, if you have stumbled and fallen, determine to put this behind you, get up immediately and press on. Jesus loves you, will forgive you, but you must press on.

The change of the year, in one way, means nothing but in another way it means everything. That is, you can use this New Year as a catalyst to make changes and to determine that you will henceforth focus the eyes of your heart on Jesus,the Author and Finisher of your faith.

So, while we cannot see the fullness of what we are headed for because we look through a glass darkly we can see enough to know that our God has prepared great things for us who love Him; and indeed the half has never yet been seen or told. This is amazing and makes serving Him a real joy and blessing. However, what is more wonderful is that we shall finally see Him as He is. This will be our real prize! Paul knew this and wrote that he expends all his will-power to know Christ and be transformed into His likeness. One day soon we shall see him as He is and that will be our chief joy. Heaven, will be the “icing on the top!”

We should then begin this year by getting our priorities right and then we shall be in a good position to reach the world, stand with Israel and bless the Church.

Happy New a Year every one!

Malcolm Hedding.