J.S. Park


Posts tagged with "glory"

A lot of times I imagine God trying to get our attention with a startling beam of sunlight through a slit of glass in a dusty room while we’re rushing on to the next thing, because He wants us to slow down and savor the life we won’t ever get again. I think probably I’ve walked by that sunbeam too many times, drowning in the motion of my autopilot and darting past the perfect swirl of His canvas. But so He has enough grace to draw the twisting fleck of dust in the beam again. Maybe one day soon we will know the artist of that persistent sun. In the silence we might find Him, in the darkness to embrace His certain grip in our trembling hand. In His grace we might crawl up that soft beam, where there is glory.
— J.S.

I think we exaggerate the battle of ‘self-glory’ and ‘idolatry’ and ‘vanity’ to a ridiculous level, so that Satan is laughing his butt off when the church is hanging their head in shame over nothing.

Should we be consciously seeking to glorify the Good Lord every single moment? Sure. But that should really be a way of life instead of a neurotic, twitchy, self-absorbed paranoia. Humility is an attitude, not a dang checklist. To be humble is to begin in a place of gratitude that we even have a voice at all.

- J.S. from this post

May 9

Is there any greater glory than living for the one who made us? I cannot live for my own glory. It is much too small, too vain, unstable. It’s like holding a candle to the sun.

- J.S.

Aug 7

Question: How Can God “Demand” My Worship?

Anonymous asked:

So, the whole “I can’t believe in a God who demands worship” card. Any advice on how to talk about this when the other party won’t believe/understand that we were created for God? And that we do better when we work to glorify Him because He is love and because when we glorify Him things just work out better?

You know: I totally understand what you mean when you say “God demands worship,” because you mean that the nature of God is demanding of praise.  But the one thing you must know, dear friend, is that God Himself never ever once demands worship from people.  Not once. 

Before you bring out the stake and lighter fluid to burn the heretic, here we go. The first time I heard this “God doesn’t demand worship” in seminary, I actually didn’t believe it.  Surely at least one time in the Bible, God at least asks for praise — right?

So then the professor spent the next four hours exegeting the entire fricking Bible for every instance of worship, and we slowly noticed that each time people worshiped, it was almost always spontaneous.  Never coerced.  God doesn’t even make a case for Himself or mildly ask for it — it just happens out of the gladness of peoples’ hearts.

I really wouldn’t go down this road of Worship God because you just better okay. Again, I know what you mean by this: of course God is worthy of praise.  Of course one day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord.  But only pagan deities have ever demanded stuff.  Even in the Old Testament, when the Israelites had to sacrifice animals in the Temple, this was never about worship: it was about the atonement of sin.  When the people saw they were eternally forgiven by sacrificing an animal (instead of like, you know, themselves), they were grateful.  That’s when worship happened.

For your second statement, I think you’d have to define a few terms.  When we glorify God, you say, “things just work out better.”  But a non-Christian would absolutely disagree.  If glorifying God means you can’t sleep with anyone you want, nor do drugs and get drunk, plus you have to love your enemy and forgive everyone, then no, a non-believer would not say that’s better. 

Really we need to show the other end of this equation.  God does not want us to have a shallow superficial life that goes halfway.  God ordains marriage to glorify Him because a covenantal promise between a man and a woman that is grounded by total mutual security always leads to the best sex ever.  Sleeping around is like a runner-up prize.  God ordains no mind-altering substances because it’s a little difficult to have loving relationships, hold down a job, and have joy and peace when your brain is desperately fixated on the next hit.  I could keep going, but you see what I mean. 

Please also don’t hear me as saying, “If I follow God’s rules, it all works out fine for me.”  I believe there must be a conscious decision to love God, love His Son, and lift up His name when we follow Him.  Otherwise it’s just blind legalism, which is exhausting and selfish.  You’re right in saying that we glorify God because He is love, and it’s only that very love which will break us beyond ourselves. 

If you really want to to explain to your friend why we should glorify God, then your friend needs to know the heart of the Gospel.  What Jesus came to do.  How Jesus lived, died, and rose again.  The more your friend hears this, the more the Holy Spirit will work, and by God’s grace, your friend will come to a place of surrender and worship.  Not demanded, but spontaneous.  I pray it happens.

Apr 3

Unka Glen Reblog: The Real Miracle


kylieeesue asked: Unka Glen! Have you heard of glory clouds? Like, when gold dust falls during worship services? I have never seen it in person and was basically wondering if it was legit? It seems kinda cool but I don’t want to get caught up in it if it’s not biblical. Can you give some insight? Thanks! 

Unka Glen answered: Each of us has an internal part of our brain that scientists call our “B.S. Detector”. Now you’re going to want to make sure you have that switched to “on” at all times as a Christian. Is this Biblical? Nope. Is it legit? I have no idea. Could it be fake? After more than two decades of working with criminals, I can assure you that anything can be faked.

I could give you a ton of egg-headed theology to tell you how to interpret stuff like this, but the problem there is, we all have the sense that if an egg-headed theologian encountered the miraculously re-animated corpse of the Apostle Paul, he wouldn’t even begin to recognize what he was dealing with.

So I’m gonna give you a simple principle you can apply to all these situations. Ask yourself: what is this miracle FOR? What is it that God is trying to accomplish? If I tell you that gold dust falls from the roof of my church, am I bringing glory to God, or to myself? Does this inspire you to go to church, or just MY church?

If you found that you had the gift of healing, would you go straight to a church and have them put you on stage? Or would you drive straight to the hospital? Jesus, as you know, often performed miracles on the down low, and more than once was urged to make himself more famous in the process. He declined.

The still unanimated Apostle Paul gives us an insight on why that was. Paul says that God’s plan to use miracles to bring glory to his name is clear. God gives glory to his name by picking the worst sinner He can find, and showing that person love and forgiveness, and raising them up in righteousness.

Paul said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:15b-16 

I have seen this miracle. The miracle of transformation. And I’ll bet you’ve seen it in your life. You used to be different, but now you’ve changed. You still aren’t perfect, yes, but you aren’t who you used to be. THAT is the biggest miracle I know. I see the fingerprints of God Himself in every transformed life I deal with down at the jailhouse, or out on that street corner. 

No other miracle I’ve ever heard of compares to that.

Absolutely right on. The killer line:

"If you found that you had the gift of healing, would you go straight to a church and have them put you on stage? Or would you drive straight to the hospital?"

How can you tell when you're actually living out your faith? Is it simply the fruits of the spirit gradually becoming apparent in your daily routine or does it look more radical?


So it looks we’ve set up a conflict here between fruits and radical living.  In other words: Is the Christian life just about personal holiness?  Or should I be fighting crime and rescuing slaves and beating up dictators?

Let’s be clear: The American church absolutely loves the whole personal holiness thing.  Almost every Christian book in your bookstore is about transformation, renewing your mind, a better you, “Gospel Centrality,” fixing your heart, tending to your emotions, and a bunch of other self-involved disciplines.  Not all these are bad, but the focus is obvious. 

Even missional work in America is considered a personal holiness thing.  I’ve heard it preached, “In the end you’ll grow closer to God and see what He’s doing for you.”  Again, not really wrong, but you see the implication.

We’ve very much disconnected God’s saving grace with His call to glorify His name.  When we stick a wedge between Grace and Glory, we’ve lost the Gospel. A lot of theologians want to set up Jesus and Paul like they were saying different things, but NO, they were not.  Jesus and Paul would both say Jesus is both the Gate and the Road.

I’ll put it simply, in sort of a rhyme:

The saving truth of God’s grace, the story of the cross, our redemption = LEADS TO = Empowerment for the glory of God, our sacred mission.

Most of us are in love with Jesus’ words but not so much his mission.  We like meditation and transformation and revelation but not suffering with Jesus for the sake of the Gospel. We do not intuitively embrace suffering for Jesus.  Therefore, you get the comfortable confines of an American church.  It is absolutely insane to think the majority of Americans understand the NT church; it’s freaking crazy out there.

So to answer your question: I’m not sure what particular convictions the Holy Spirit has given you about your journey, but the fruits of the Spirit will include you actually fulfilling the Great Commission. 

I’m not saying it’s 50-50 — I do believe that we must be resting in the glory of the Good News to really understand our purpose and His Story, so Prayer-Praise-Scripture is super-essential.  Then as you seek for yourself all the fruits of a God-centered holiness — the love, joy, peace, purity, and all the goodness in Him — this also means you’re Going, Making Disciples, and Giving for the Gospel.

Please don’t disconnect those things, and also check your heart that you’re not merely “doing to do.”  I believe God actually does care more about who you’re becoming, but out of your being will emerge the faithful doing.