41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 1 Cor. 15:41-44
Hi folks! Before we look at the Word of God today, I wish first of all to apologise because I have been ‘off the radar’ for an unforgivably long time. I wish to assure my fellow bloggers that during my disappearance no ill-will was intended on my part and from the bottom of my heart I thank you all for your patience, prayers and love.
During my recess, I found myself thinking about stars – again! Star-gazing is so addictive, and I am already hooked…
In the 1990s the great soul artist Diana Ross would only need to sing the first line of her song, “When You Tell Me That You Love Me”, and the audience would go mad with applause. They would applaud so loudly and for so long that she would sometimes finish the first stanza while they were still applauding.
The first line to that song goes, “I wanna call the stars down from the sky”.
There is something about stars – their mysteriousness – that draws at people’s hearts. But the truth is that these great audiences would applaud because Diana was a star. If you or I were to try and sing that song and even post it on Youtube, we would be lucky to get one ‘Like’. This is because we are the great unknowns. But Diana was a star.
Unfortunately, worldly stardom is temporal at its very best. And the bad news does not end there. Much of the time, worldly glory brings pain and destruction to its bearers.
That is why when we as believers have our heads on right, we find ourselves distancing ourselves from the worldly glory in all its forms. This is because our inner spiritual eyes will have been opened to see another glory, another stardom that far (incomparably) surpasses this worldly glory in its beauty, purity and eternity. We may not have seen anything on the outside but on the inside we have.
In fact I remember when I got saved I had my ‘stars’, one of whom was a Congolese singer called Franco. I did not understand one word of French or the Congolese in which he sang his songs, but I was a goner with him.
I had a cassette player which I would put on the window facing the road (our house was right by the main village street). With the volume on full, I would play Franco the whole day, my impressionable young mind believing that the whole world worshipped at Franco’s feet.
On the day I got saved, something happened inside of me and in an instant I lost interest in Franco, Bob Marley, and everyone else. I ‘discovered’ the beauty of gospel songs, songs that spoke of the high praises of our God. I found myself carried away on an entirely different tidal wave.
God has reserved for us a different kind of glory than the worldly glory. All the worldly glories combined cannot compare to the tiniest bit of glory that we as children of God will be clothed in when we get to heaven in victory. All the worldly stars combined are as a mote, as a vapor, when compared to the smallest star in the Kingdom of God. And the heavenly one is eternal.
That is why I cannot understand a Christian pastor who gets listed in Forbes magazine because of the worldly wealth that he owns. Or the Christian author who wants to be listed on the New York Times’ bestseller list. Nor the ordinary born-again believer who is forever moaning and complaining about how everyone seems not to notice them. To what end is all this futile race for? What do we want to get noticed for?
If we want to share in the heavenly glory, there is a price to pay. Get lost. Die. Go dig a grave and bury yourself and do not even think of getting yourself out. God Himself will come after three days (that’s to make sure you are well and truly dead), and He will resurrect you from death. He will resurrect you to live a life of true glory, because you have discarded the fading glories of this world.
In Biblical and practical terms, it means to deny ourself, to take up our cross and follow Christ. There are many situations and circumstances where we are daily required to relinquish our lives, our pride, our prejudices, our rights, our likes and dislikes – and to count ourselves as nothing in this world.
In fact, you can think of a situation in your life right now where you are required to lose. You probably are not a man of great patience, like me. God will work on us till we become meek as Jesus. The solution to arriving there is simple: swallow your pride and allow the grace of God to break you so that you may lose in that situation. If you allow this to happen, in the Spirit you will begin shining right there and then. That’s the heavenly equation.
An understanding of the cross is so vital to the church. This is particularly so today where the gates of the enemy – the flesh, the devil, the world – are pressing so hard against the Kingdom of God. That is why we get to understand more and more why the Apostle Paul would not preach any other gospel save the revelation of the cross. He knew that this gospel alone had the power to deal with the flesh. And once you deal with the flesh you have dealt with the world and the devil – and sin.
If we are to be partakers of the heavenly glory, the heavenly stardom, we have a price to pay. We have to “plant” this worldly life by losing it.
[Lose your life happily?]