Posted by: rcottrill | February 18, 2019

Only Glory By and By

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Words: Avis Marguerite Burgeson Christiansen (b. Oct. 11, 1895; d. Jan. 14, 1985)
Music: Wendell Phillips Loveless (b. Feb. 2, 1892; d. Oct. 3, 1987)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Avis Christiansen born, died)
The Cyber Hymnal (Avis Christiansen)
Hymnary.org

Note: A lifelong resident of Chicago, Mrs. Christiansen’s husband Ernest Christiansen was a vice president of Moody Bible Institute. In addition to being a busy homemaker, Avis wrote a great many poems, and sacred songs.

At the beginning of each Olympic Games, the athletes pledge to compete within the rules…

“In the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams.”

It’s a noble aim. But, in reality, rules are broken many times, sometimes disgracing the athlete, and bringing dishonour to the team and the country it represents.

Glory and honour (close to being synonyms) come to us at the human level for many different reasons–some that seem more worthy than others. But here we’re going to look at the subject from a biblical perspective. Some form of the word “glory” (glorious, glorify, and more) is used in Scripture more than 470 times.

There we learn that supreme glory belongs to God. “The Lord is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens” (Ps. 113:4). Meditating on the Lord, the psalmist revels in “the glorious splendour of Your majesty” (Ps. 145:5). “Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matt. 6:13). And we’re called to “sing out the honour of His name; make His praise glorious” (Ps. 66:2).

Even in those few references we can see that the word has a number of applications. It can identify God’s rightfully supreme reputation, and honour. It can speak too of the joyful praise and worship of God. “Give [ascribe] glory to the Lord your God” (Jer. 13:16). In contrast, idolatry is described this way: “[They] changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Rom. 1:23).

Glory can also refer to the splendour and majesty of God’s person. And sometimes it’s applied to a glorious light associated with Him. When He appeared to Israel on Sinai, we’re told, “the sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain” (Exod. 24:17). And when an angel visited some shepherds to announce Jesus’ birth, “the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid” (Lk. 2:9).

The latter texts suggests that God’s glory radiates from the holy angels, as they associate with Him and represent Him. The same will be true of human beings, especially in our eternal state. Colossians speaks of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). For this we are “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Col. 1:12).

Psalms tells us “the Lord will give grace and glory” (Ps. 84:11). For now, daily grace to meet our needs.

“He [the Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect [brought to maturity and on full display] in [your] weakness” (II Cor. 12:9).

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14-16).

Grace for the struggle now, but eternal glory up ahead. And as we face the trials of life, trusting in the Lord, He works in them to bring about an even more glorious future.

“Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us [and preparing us for] a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Cor. 4:17).

That’s the message of a gospel song written by Avis Christiansen. Only Glory By and By, published in 1929, expresses the prospect of future glory for the saints of God.

1) There may be tears to shed as we travel home,
There may be weary hours, dreary days and lone,
But there’ll be no more heartaches ‘round the heavenly throne,
Only glory, wondrous glory by and by.

Only glory by and by, only glory by and by,
When we’ve crossed the river to our home on high;
Only glory by and by, only glory by and by,
Every heartache gone forever–only glory by and by.

3) Then travel on with patience–Jesus holds thy hand;
Some day we’ll know the mysteries hard to understand,
And then as conqu’rors enter that fair promised land
And the glory, wondrous glory by and by.

Questions:
1) How should the prospect of eternal glory up ahead affect our lives here and now?

2) What trial(s) are you experiencing now for which the Lord is supplying daily grace?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Avis Christiansen born, died)
The Cyber Hymnal (Avis Christiansen)
Hymnary.org


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