My daughter brought this home from school the other day. Can I just say I LOVE IT!!!! It is funky, wild and bright! It makes me want to go a little deeper. It makes me say, “ what’s beyond the lines? “ It makes me want to shout and it gives me great joy. There’s just something about it that reminds me of heaven.
It hangs in my kitchen where I can see it all the time. Every time I look UP, it’s there! It puts a grin on my face and I want to walk into the piece, but I can’t. It’s just paper, colored pencil and a bunch of flat lines. She did a great job showing us depth and drawing our eye to the center.
I’ve been reading this little book called “Secrets of the Vine” by Bruce Wilkinson and he shares his teaching on John 15 with us. “I am the Vine and you are the branches.” I know, I know, what does this have to do with anything, right?
Most people who know me know what a visual person I am and that I “read” God into everything. It is a gift that God has given me and one that I can’t imagine not having. So, thank you Lord, for this gift!
Ok, back to the book…in the book the author writes this: “ Jesus wants to pull back the curtains of heaven for YOU ( my emphasis) just as He did for the disciples.”
Now let’s just think about this for a minute or three…
Jesus came to show us a little piece of heaven…
He came DOWN to make us look UP! He came down because we were looking in the wrong direction and we can’t see heaven when we are looking down! This painting makes me want to look up and UP is where heaven is. We lift our heads UP to feel the glory of the Lord shining upon our faces!
What does glory mean?
The greek word for GLORY is DOXA.
1) opinion, judgment, view
2) opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone
a) in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory
3) splendour, brightness
a) of the moon, sun, stars
b) magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace
1) a thing belonging to God
a) the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
2) a thing belonging to Christ
a) the kingly majesty of the Messiah
b) the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ; the majesty
3) of the angels
a) as apparent in their exterior brightness
4) a most glorious condition, most exalted state
a) of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
b) the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven
I don’t know about you-but that makes my insides giddy and fills me with excitement and joy!
Do you remember in John 11 when Lazarus died and Jesus came to raise him up? It is one of my all time favorite bible passages. The first time I “got it” I was changed from the inside out. I realized that I had been looking at this story the wrong way. Jesus came to give us a new perspective. This drawing is all about perspective! It makes you want to lean in and get a little closer to the center. That’s what Jesus did for us and that is what He is calling us to do for Him now that he is back home, in heaven.
Let’s look at Lazarus just for a moment….
Mary had gone to get Jesus because Lazarus had died. Jesus wept. I always thought He was crying because Lazarus died, but now, it is my opinion that he was crying because no one could see Jesus for who He was ( and is.) Scripture says: John 11:40 Then Jesus said, ( to Mary) “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” ( there’s that word GLORY! Seriously look at the definition-close your eyes and see the GLORY of GOD in this story.) The glory of God was staring them right in the face! But their unbelief kept them from seeing Him. All they saw was a man of flesh and blood. WOW! John 11:41 says this: So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
Jesus looked UP. Did you catch that? He looked up and talked to his Dad. He is pointing us in the direction of heaven! UP!!! Then in John 11:42 he says this: “ I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
He knew that His Father ALWAYS HEARD HIM! God hears His children, but do we believe it?
The next line really gets me because it is like an arrow straight into my heart…
I said this for the benefit of the people standing here…that they may BELIEVE that you sent me.
Listen folks-Jesus came to show us the way ( to heaven) so that we might believe. He also died and rose again so that we might believe. When he returned to heaven he didn’t leave us alone. Yes, he left us physically, but he sent a helper to be with us-the Holy Spirit. Instead of residing with us in the physical realm, He now resides INSIDE of us in the spiritual realm. As Christians who believe in Christ, we aren’t alone. EVER. We have the power inside of us to do the work that He has commanded us to do- to GO and makes disciples! We just have to BELIEVE IT! Our unbelief is like the grave clothes of Lazarus.
Matthew 28:19 says we are to make disciples… what does that mean, really? To me it means this…pulling back the grave clothes that are over our eyes and uncovering heaven one step at a time. It takes time, it takes work and it takes prayer. Heaven is where our HOPE is, not here. When Lazarus rose from the grave, he was covered with grave clothes. John 11:44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Jesus said to THEM…who is THEM???? On that day it was the friends of Lazarus-today it is US! We are called to help others take off the dead things and put on the new glorious things! Are we doing it? Some are, some aren’t. Some don’t think they can. I was one of them. I’m not anymore. Today, I SEE! I have been freed from my fears and inhibitions. How? By changing my perspective and the place where I was looking! It took others ( them) to help me get here and it took me saying, “ Here I am, Lord. Raise me up and fill me with your glory!” ( splendor, magnificence, grace, and majesty! WOOHOO!)
All I had to do was look a little deeper and lean in and look UP!
What will you do? God wants to use YOU to show other people a little piece of GLORY! Heaven! Will you do it? Will you step up to the plate and say “Yes, Lord?” Stop asking questions and trying to figure out God’s plan-He ‘s not going to tell you until you take one tiny step. Just one step forward. When you do-you better hang one for the ride of your life!
God is inside of you just waiting to come out! You hold the key-it’s your “yes” or your “no.”
So I dare you to lean and listen…
Have a GLORY filled day!!!!!!!
I thank You for art teachers and for kids who bring their projects home to Mom! I thank You for the gift of GLORY, color, lines, and spiritual vision. I thank You for our personal deeper walk together and I thank You for sending people to make me lean in a little closer and look up towards heaven. I especially thank YOU for my readers! I pray that these words will penetrate the marrow of the readers and draw them nearer to God-the GOD who loves deeply and dearly , the God who is alive and living inside each of us! The God who wants you to show you heaven from His perspective! Glory Hallelujah!