Servants of God,
“For in him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
As I write I hear two beautiful sounds. Thanks to technology, a piano plays classical music in the background. The other glorious sound is of rain falling on the earth. Both are wonderful. Each rise and fall. I am sure I cannot adequately appreciate either one. As I peer out the window, I notice the maple trees that (just a day or two ago) were glowing in red and orange and yellow, now stand naked against a gray sky. I tried to properly rejoice when they were bathed in sunshine and in full radiance, but the seasonal change has left a skeleton of branches where a body of beauty recently stood. The prairie grasses are waxing brilliant as they ignite the pastures and ditches with color. Wildlife is beginning to move in autumnal rhythms. How can anyone miss the glory of God in these things?
We could ask a similar question. How can anyone miss the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ? God’s work is full of “…splendor and majesty” (Psalm 111:3). If there is beauty in the creation, there is a far greater and more wonderful beauty in the person of Jesus Christ. His earthly physical appearance (attractiveness) was less than impressive according to the prophet Isaiah (53:2). His beauty is in his being—his character and his nature. He is the incarnation of God (God living in true humanity). In him we see the love and mercy of God on display in human flesh. For those who have eyes to see, there is no one and nothing more glorious than Jesus. The day is coming of course when he will be fully revealed in all his royal splendor but until then, we must see him with the eyes of faith.
There are many facets of the jewel of the incarnation but the Bible clearly teaches that he is the “author and perfector” of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). It is in Christ that “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are hidden (Colossians 2:3). The Apostle Paul warns of the danger of being deluded with “plausible arguments.” Most believers can see and avoid the open and clearly false arguments. It is the arguments that seem to be right that are the true danger. Anything that steals the glory of Jesus is false and dangerous. The fact that Jesus has made it possible for sinful humans to be reconciled to our holy Creator means he is to be the focus of our highest regard. He is to be recognized as “preeminent” in everything.
Given the current situation in the Middle East, it is certainly wise for Christians to be very concerned for all those involved or who will become involved. It is also possible to lose proper focus. American military involvement or even the future of the nation of Israel are neither one the Christian’s highest focus. We are to be locked in on the glory of Jesus and the spread of the gospel to every nation (Matthew 28:19,20).
I do not pretend to understand all the events in Gaza or the ramifications of the political and military actions of any of the nations or terrorist organizations that are or might be involved. One thing I know for sure is that there is no true peace anywhere among any nation or group of nations apart from submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ. He alone can properly deal with human hostility (Ephesians 2:15,16). The answer to hostility in the world is not bombs and bullets; it is reconciliation to God through faith in Jesus Christ. Let us all work and pray for a great outbreak of the gospel truth in every nation—particularly in those who think mayhem and murder are answers to the human condition.