2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT)
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Life is certainly about the choices that we make. Consequences flow from decisions that we make each and every day producing a ripple through our lives beginning with the poor one made by Adam and Eve in the garden that day. Each day is a gift given to us by the Father. Early each morning, He prepares an offering of new mercy produced by His Unfailing Love and Faithfulness when it comes to His Children. Like many mothers who rise early to get their children up and off to school. The Lord puts careful thought and attention into each new day. The standard care that we offer our children is usually a direct reflection of how we are cared for as children. There are parents who through the love and nurturing of their attentive and loving parents have become reflections of such. There are some parents who have taken the experiences of their own past to be better parents than they may have had. Then there are those that take the good and leave the bad behind creating their own model of parenting through the many knowledgeable sources in the world today. We do the best that we can do to offer our children better than we had if it is possible. Everyone wants to be a good parent when they hold that tiny infant in their arms. As if a voice on the inside calls for something more with the added responsibility, but everyone has a different standard in their head making a difference in approach for every person. I know that I found it quite overwhelming knowing in an instant that my weakness would impact my children. If I made a bad choice in life or a mistake that it would directly affect my child, I was devastated in my first day of parenting that I could not be perfect. I could not give him everything, do everything or be everything that he needed for the rest of his life. This only became stronger over the years with the addition of more children in my life. We just have to do the best that we can…we must never give up.
Over the last week, I have struggled with mental and spiritual exhaustion. I am tired. I am weary. I am weak. My strength is gone. I am tired of dealing with the trials and troubles that we face. I am quite frankly sick of them especially that stupid thing called cancer. I need the renewal of my spirit every single day and seek it in God’s Word, prayer, praise and worship of my God. Our present troubles may seem small to others but they are big to me. Just like whatever you are going through may seem insignificant to those around you but are monumental in your life. What is the purpose of the trials that we face? Why does the burden remain after many days in the journey? What is God doing in my life that requires such an overwhelming amount of endurance? Jesus Christ is producing His Glory in our life, friend. Maybe the pressure that we are feeling is not what we think it is, but rather the impending overflow of God’s Glorious Standard about to flow through and overflow from our life. The things that we see now are temporary but we are eternal. God is raising the standard of my life but to do so my life must resemble my God!
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NLT)
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
God has placed a treasure in our hearts. The entirety of His Kingdom is accessible if our heart is filled with genuine faith that is producing confident hope in the unseen rather than relying on what we see in the natural. God’s Power is invested in your life evidenced by His Holy Spirit. This is great potential to everyone who decides to cultivate the Kingdom of God in their life. It is a choice. When you ask Jesus to be your Savior, He doesn’t automatically become your Lord until you allow Him to do so. He doesn’t force His Way into your life but waits for you and I to find our way to Him. If you decide to make Jesus Christ your Savior, then forever will be changed for you by the Blood of Jesus Christ. If you decide to make Jesus Christ your Lord, everything will change both now and forever. By accepting the Authority of Jesus Christ over our life, we allow the Glorious Standard of His Kingdom to enter our life once more. This great power changes everything not just some things. “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:2-3) Sounds a lot like the promises in 2 Corinthians 4, I cannot find anywhere in the Old Testament or New Testament where we are delivered from trials and hardships in life. If you can find it for me, please send it to me so I can claim it over my life. God promises to keep us in it and through it producing His Glory out of it. I know, I know – whoopee! (Insert a slight bit of sarcasm here) Why? Why do we have to go through stuff all of the time? Where does God get glory in that? It’s not about God “getting” glory because all of creation represents His Glory. It is about you and I getting God’s Glory!
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NLT)
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Sin robbed us of God’s Glorious standard of living. (Romans 3:23) We were created to be Children of God dwelling in His Presence and enjoying all the benefits of His Kingdom. Sin was the reason that we were banished from His Presence or we would have been consumed by His Justice. So now, we live subpar and substandard lives no matter how wealthy or influential that you may be in this world. God’s Standard of Living is more than we could ever think or ask for. Most people are ignorant when it comes to who God is and what He wants to do in their life. They come to the Savior and ask Him to be Lord but do not take the time to review His Benefit package. He is a Preferred Provider. The Holy Spirit is our gift when we ask the Lord to come into our heart and save our soul. He is absolutely free and enters us either way. His Job is to help us in the transformation and transfer process of living in this world to coming to the realization that we are not of this world and there is so much more to life than this. The very fact that we have the Holy Spirit is a guarantee that every Promise God ever made us in the Word or spoken to our heart is now “Yes” and “Amen” because we have accepted Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:19-22) We are anointed by God to have these things. God has predetermined that we should have His Glorious Standard of life and now works inside us to receive it. It is divine purpose to raise our lifestyle to His Glorious Standard. Ok, so what’s in it for me? By doing things God’s Way, I am going to have to give up my way and the comfortable existence that I have created in my life. Just knowing the Lord has made my life better isn’t that enough! Well, my friend let me ask you this. If money was unlimited in your life, would you still buy your kids clothes at Goodwill? If you could raise your children in a nice home in a safe neighborhood, would you still live in the homeless shelter? We must know God for who He is – a loving Father who is working overtime in us and through us to raise our standard of living. We fight to maintain the known and comfortable afraid to put our faith and trust is someone else who will let us down. So we are presented with pressing, crushing and overwhelming circumstances that make us run to our Father for help! He gives us His Best when we would have surely settled for less due to fear and doubt. What is God’s Glorious Standard of Living?
Romans 5:1-5 (NLT)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
God does not want to disappoint you any more than you want to disappoint the people you love most. Most could stop right there and wait awhile as few understand the limitless love of God for His People. We are made right with God by faith. (Period) Nothing more and nothing less. By placing our faith in Jesus Christ alone, we are brought into a place of undeserved privilege that few believers operate in today. It is God’s Glorious Standard of living that produces His Glory in our life through faith that produces confident hope. Problems and trials break our dependency on other people, as well as ourselves. Naturally strong and determined people are even harder to break. Remember that when you struggle to hang on to what God may be telling you to let go of…He has something better. Confident hope is produced when we put our faith and trust in God as our Loving Father. What are the benefits? God’s Glory is our inheritance and therefore is not earned. (Ephesians 1:16-20) It is His Gift to His Children. That’s you! It begins with freedom to serve God without the penalty of death required for our sins (past, present and future). Jesus paid for our freedom so now we can return to God’s Glorious Standard of Living that it once kept us from. (Romans 8:20-21) That’s what the Good News of the Gospel is all about us returning to God’s Glorious Standard of Living. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) Now God’s UNLIMITED Resources belong to you, too. You don’t have to settle for less than God’s Best anymore. Your dreams do not have to die but have been given resurrection life. (Ephesians 3:14-17) God does not want to make this life better but your entire existence better. God has Glorious Riches. (Philippians 4:18-19) You will never do without living in the Presence of God. It is impossible. His Riches are not about money because the value of currency fluctuates and changes every single day. He begins by prospering your soul and as you begin to depend on the Lord sends your provision in ways that you never expected. Think about this – EVERYTHING was created by God and belongs to Him. God also makes His Glorious Power available to you! (Colossians 1:10-12) You need God’s Power whether you know it or not. There is coming a day when you will not be able to get yourself out of your mess no matter how “good” you are. There will be a time when money cannot solve the problem. There will be a moment when you enter the Realm of Impossibility known as hope. By accepting God’s Glorious Standard of Living, there will be more than enough available to save you, keep you, rescue you, deliver you, heal you, restore you and renew you. Whatever “you” need, His Power will provide it in that moment! Through it all God’s Glorious and Inexpressible Joy will belong to you along with the Peace of God that accompanies it. (I Peter 1:7-9) It brings laughter through the tears. Light shines in the darkness for the godly from His Great Love. God’s Glorious Standard of Living is the undeserved privilege that is spoken of and it is your inheritance – so why live in this world rather than doing things God’s Way, living according to His Word and having His Will! It is truly glorious.
2 Corinthians 3:8-11 (NLT)
Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!
It is time to expect more than this life can offer us. It is time to stop settling for less than God’s Best. It is time to finish the race of faith and claim that crown of righteousness that allows God’s Glorious Standard of Living to become our lifestyle! Jesus Christ lives in me. I live in Him. The Glory of God has been given to me – His Name is Jesus Christ. I now have the “undeserved privilege” of living in the Presence of God as His Kingdom makes my ordinary life extraordinary. I must keep my eyes fixed on Him and not the problems that I face. I must focus on remaining in His Presence to receive all the Glorious Things that my inheritance has secured for me there. I want to live a glorious life. I put all my expectation in the Lord today to fulfill everything He promised just as He promised. I refuse to settle for substitutions. I don’t have to. I am a Child of God! I am promised overwhelming glory in this new way which remains forever and I will have it forever beginning right now! Lord, give me Your Glory!
John 17:20-26 (NLT)
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
The Glory of God lives inside of me and you…isn’t it time to let Him out!