Getting Beyond Ourselves
By Joe Stowell
I have one of those friends who seems to be better than I am at just about everything. He is smarter; he thinks more deeply; and he knows where to find better books to read. He is even a better golfer. Spending time with him challenges me to become a better, more thoughtful person. His standard of excellence spurs me on to greater things.
That highlights a spiritual principle: It’s crucial for us to spend time in God’s Word so we can connect with the person of Christ. Reading about the impact of Jesus’ unconditional love for us compels me to love without demand. His mercy and His free distribution of grace to the most undeserving make me ashamed of my tendency to withhold forgiveness and seek revenge.
I find myself becoming a more thankful person when I realize that, despite my shameful fallenness, the Lord has clothed me in the beauty of His perfect righteousness. His amazing ways and unsurpassed wisdom motivate and transform me. It’s hard to be content with my life as it is when in His presence I am drawn to become more like Him.
The apostle Paul calls us to the joy of beholding Christ. As we do so, we are “being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18).
Lord, help us to come into Your presence with eyes
and hearts wide open to all that You are and want us
to become. Thank You for revealing Yourself to us
and for the joy of basking in the greatness of Your glory.
Stay close to God and you will never be the same.
InsightPaul underscores the superiority of the new covenant over the old covenant (2 Cor. 3:7-11) by referring back to Exodus 34:29-35. Moses’ face so radiated with God’s glory after having communed with God that the Israelites were afraid to come near Moses (Ex. 34:30). Paul says the ministry of the Spirit is much more glorious (2 Cor. 3:8).