Glorify Thou Me

Recently, I’ve been studying John 17 in regards to the desire of Christ to glorify His Father. The Holy Spirit has led me to some fascinating insights I’d like to share with you.

 

Before I do, however, I thought it appropriate to convey that we have an enemy who is in the business to attack each of us.  As my wife and I have been on more speaking engagements, the devil is upset and using others, especially relatives to slander, assail and accuse us falsely.

 

I recalled this well-known piece from a very respected man of God from the 20th century, H.M.S. Richards, Sr.  I like to share what he penned many years ago:

 

Keep At Your Work

 

"The Lord has given to every man his work. It is his business to do it and the devil's business to hinder him if he can. So surely as God has given you a work to do, Satan will try to hinder you. He may present other things more promising, He may allure you by worldly prospects, He may assault you with slander, torment you with false accusations, set you to work defending your character, employ pious persons to lie about you, editors to assail you, and excellent men to slander you. You may have Pilate and Herod, Annas and Caiaphas all combined against you, and Judas standing by ready to sell you for thirty pieces of silver; and you may wonder why all those things come upon you. Can you not see that the whole thing is brought about through the craft of the devil to draw you off from your work and hinder your obedience to God?

 

Keep about your work.

Keep about your work, that God has given you.

Do not flinch because the lion roars;

Do not stop to stone the devil's dogs;

Do not fool away your time chasing the devil's rabbits.

 

Keep about your work!

Let liars lie,

Let sectarians quarrel,

Let corporations resolve,

Let editors publish,

Let the devil do his worst;

But see to it that nothing hinders you from

fulfilling the work that God has given you.

 

Keep about your work!

He has not sent you to make money.

He has not commanded you to get rich.

He has never bidden you to defend your character.

He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood

which Satan and his servants may start to peddle.

If you do these things, you will do nothing else;

you will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.

Let your AIM be as steady as a star.

 

Keep about your work!

Let the world brawl and bubble.

You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted,

slandered, wounded and rejected;

You may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends,

and despised and rejected of men.

But see to it with steadfast determination,

with unfaltering zeal,

that you pursue the great purpose of your life

and object of your being, until at last you can say,

'I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.''

 

Now, back to John 17.  Picking up in verse 5 we find, “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own Self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.”  What is the glory Christ was talking to His Father concerning?  Well, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn it involved His disciples, until the end of time.  Note this statement from the book Acts of the Apostles, p.39-40:

 

“When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven's communication that the Redeemer's inauguration was accomplished.”

 

We learn here that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, glorified Christ (Acts 2). This is what Jesus was praying for the night before His death, that His disciples would receive the power to communicate the truths about the Cross of Christ to the world after His resurrection.  When that day came, the Bible says they were all in one accord.  They had been praying intensely for ten days, putting away all differences, seeking God for a fitness how to reach men. These precious days of preparation involved deep heart searching, for the disciples felt their spiritual need and were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls.

This prayer of Christ is still to be answered for us. He will not receive the Kingdom, until His people today recognize their great need of the infilling of the Spirit, until they repent of their lethargy and laodicean condition. Once God’s people allow the Spirit of grace and supplication to fall upon them, then God will work mightily for them.

 

The sufferings and severe trials that many of us are enduring have not come without a purpose. Our heavenly Benefactor brings about that deep heart searching under the convicting Spirit of God. As we look up and behold the suffering Saviour for us, our hearts are broken on the Rock.  We can be encouraged no matter how hard the path we tread may be, that One has walked this way before. A precious statement to me I’ve come across recently provides comfort in my present trial:

 

Jesus Smooths Hard Paths"This mighty conqueror of death, who had reached to the very depths of human misery to rescue a lost world, assumed the humble task of walking with the two disciples to Emmaus, to teach and comfort them. Thus He ever identifies Himself with His suffering and perplexed people. In our hardest and most trying paths, lo, Jesus is with us to smooth the way. He is the same Son of man, with the same sympathies and love which He had before He passed through the tomb and ascended to His Father" {5BC 1125.13}. 

 

One thing is for certain, we have a faithful and merciful High Priest who understands our sorrows and griefs.  He sends the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to direct us to His word, which truly is a sure foundation of consolation and comfort.  Though the storms will come and may thicken around us, though the devil may use others to be mean spirited and malign, yet we can have the peace of Heaven in our hearts. If we choose the mind of Jesus and let His forgiveness continue to flow, we will permit that heart of agape to fill us with His presence.

 

Until next time, It is my hope and prayer for you today, that you will allow the sympathizing, suffering Saviour to identify with you in your griefs and trials as He has done for us.