Links Daily Devotional

To Glory

When [Judas Iscariot] was gone, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him.” (John 13:31, NIV)

Golfers, especially those playing among friends, can move toward overspeech. That is, their happy banter includes plenty of “I’m going to do this, and it’s going to be awesome.”

It’s not something golfers do alone. In the roar of our own minds, the din is normally comprised of a whole lot of negative self-talk. But emboldened by camaraderie and the bravado that arises in its midst, we get to saying that this next hole is “mine” or that this crazy long putt is “going in.”

In his last hours, Jesus kept speaking of his glory. This was strangely bizarre, really, for he also kept noting that he was headed to his death. In Jesus’ life, these two courses were always inextricably bound together: his death and his glory.

In the upper room, as the disciples ate the Last Supper with Jesus, the Lord discussed his betrayal. Within minutes, Judas was identified as the one who would disclose his whereabouts to the Jewish leaders and forsake the friendship of the Savior. All the while, Jesus knew just what this was about. The time for his earthly calling to close had come. He was hours from being crucified—and hours from being glorified.

If you or I could foresee our own futures and the pictures in our mind offered as harrowing a harbinger as Jesus was certain of in his, we might call what lay ahead many things. We would almost certainly not call it glory.

Jesus, though, saw the fullness of his mission—not just his actions, but the results of his actions. He knew that God had given him a job to complete. He had been accredited by his signs and wonders (Acts 2:22, Hebrews 2:4); he had been admired for his compelling words (Matthew 7:28-29, Luke 20:39-40); now he was to be glorified for persevering to the bitterest of ends. He would be lifted up, but in this act he would “draw all men to myself” (John 12:32). Jesus knew that it was only by his death that he would be crowned king. It was the promise of this coronation that led him onward through the worst of trials.

We do well to claim the promise of James 4:10, that after we have humbled ourselves God will lift us up. We clearly see this example in Jesus. But the demands may be great, and we are prone to balk, even to deny our place with Christ as Peter did. What we want instead is to be commended for our faith, like the martyrs lauded in Hebrews 11. To get there we must plant our feet with our faith, praying that God would compel us by the eternal wonders ahead to stick with the calling he has given us, no matter how challenging the road.

The bravado of men may make for laughter among friends. But the confidence that comes from grasping the call of Christ is something far more rewarding, both now and forever.

Jeff Hopper

September 4, 2012

Copyright 2012 Links Players International

The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.