Strangely Dim | August 4th, 2020
“Just look at the sparkle on this one!” I exclaimed to my dear friend Liz.
Shopping together for vintage costume jewelry has always been great fun and a challenging hunt for us to find the pieces with the most sparkle. Whenever we enter any antique stores, we are like little kids in a candy shop. We both have such a passion for repurposing treasures with a history in a creative new way.
After many years of collecting vintage jewelry, I have discovered that not every piece keeps its original sparkle. Some of these historical jewels have yellowed or darkened over time or simply lost their shimmer. Even after a deep cleaning, the sparkle it radiated years ago will never be quite the same.
Lately, I have been doing some thinking about how similar that vintage sparkle is to the many sparkly pleasures I have enjoyed in this world. Eating out at gourmet restaurants, being entertained, getting pampered with pedicures and facials, and going shopping for the latest fashions are a few of my favorites. After the coronavirus pandemic hit it affected everything, significantly dimming the brightness of the sparkle that these indulgences provided.
The fear of the virus, having to stay socially distant, and wearing a mask everywhere we go has affected the desire for many of us to get out and enjoy life as we once did. It seems as if the world’s sparkle has become strangely dim.
Knowing God Intimately
I believe there is a good reason for this. We have lost our focus on our primary purpose which is to know and be known by God intimately. He is our “Abba Father,” one of the most significant names of God when understanding how He relates to us.
The word Abba is an Aramaic word meaning “Father” which expresses affection, confidence, and trust with a close, intimate relationship of a father and his child.
And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6
You may have heard people say that we are all children of God. It is true we are all His creations, but we do not have the right to be a child of God and call Him “Abba Father” until we have believed in and accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior. Once that happens, we are adopted and become a part of the family of God. How incredible it is that we can call the Almighty God, “Father!”
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12
Intimacy with God takes effort. When you desire to know more about someone, you take the time to get to know them. For a close relationship with God, this means taking time to be alone with Him, slowly reading His Word and meditating on what He is saying to you. As you do, He will reveal more about Himself as your loving Father and He will also reveal more about yourself so you can learn how to be like Him, reflecting His righteousness.
Knowing God intimately is not just an intellectual pursuit. It is also very personal. It requires being transparent as you talk to Him daily in prayer. Although God already knows every detail of your life, He still wants you to share your heart with Him. Intimacy with the Lord is such a privilege!
I have had several people tell me that they don’t pray to God because, in their minds, He is just some unreachable, impersonal, far away Being who would never want to listen to them anyway. How far from the truth that is!
When you are His child, you can boldly come before your Father who loves to listen to you and wants to hear you tell Him all that is on your mind – what makes you happy, grateful, sad, angry, fearful…anything! That is how you experience His deep love for you and His grace in your life.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
At this point, it should be clear to everyone that the sparkle of the things we used to enjoy is only going to become more and more dim. Chaos is increasing at an alarming rate and it is obvious we will never go back to “normal” as we once knew it. We are well past the point of no return. God is helping us loosen our grip on the fleeting, sparkly things of the world that we may have been holding way too tightly. His desire for us, instead, is to hold tightly onto Him and His promises.
Knowing God intimately will give you the comfort, strength, and security that only He can offer. Here are some of His encouraging promises you can cling to when the world around you becomes more and more troublesome…
Promise # 1
As a child of God, He promises to be right by your side no matter how rough and scary life gets. You have His assurance that He will never leave you or abandon you.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
As a child of God, you will not have to endure the wrath of His judgment on those who have turned their back on Him. A quick look at the daily news headlines will tell you the stage is being set for His wrath in the final seven years, also known as the Great Tribulation which is described in detail throughout the book of Revelation. It will be like hell on earth, the worst time in the history of mankind for those who are left here after the Rapture. We are getting a taste of it right now as we go through these perilous times. God is patient and is pleading with people to repent and turn to Him while they still have time, before the very end. As His child, you will be spared from having to suffer His wrath in those final years of judgment.
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:9
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 3:10
As a child of God, you have the Blessed Hope of the Rapture when you will be caught up to meet Jesus Christ in the air in the twinkling of an eye. No one knows the day or the hour when this will occur, but we do know it is imminent. It can happen at any moment! There is nothing else in Bible prophecy that must be fulfilled before the Rapture takes place.
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
Those who have accepted Christ and died before us will be raised first, and then the believers who are still alive (not asleep) here on earth will be taken up immediately following, instantly changed with new glorified bodies.
As a child of God, you have a beautiful, eternal Home with Jesus that is being prepared for you. Nothing on earth, no matter how luxurious, could ever compare to it!
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2-3
As a child of God, you are promised eternal life and nothing can ever take that away from you!
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28
The more intimate your relationship with your Abba Father, the more you will find your grip loosening on the things of this world and will notice its sparkle beginning to dim as He prepares your heart for your forever Home with Him. He is coming soon!
I am reminded of the lyrics to the chorus of a song I often sang in church as a little girl. It was written in 1922 by Helen Howarth Lemmel, a vocal music teacher at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. The name of the hymn is “The Heavenly Vision,” also known as “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.
As this world grows ever darker and dimmer, turn your eyes upon Jesus, your Abba Father who knows you and loves you, for you are His precious child. Hold tightly to Him and His encouraging promises that will sparkle brightly all through eternity.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
If you haven’t done so already, ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and be your Savior. Acknowledge that you are a sinner and repent. Thank Him for the free gift of eternal life, offered to you through the sacrifice of His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. Know that you will be safe and secure in His loving arms for all eternity!
Sparkler #2: Action
Take time to know and be known by God intimately. Spend quality time with Him each day in His Word and in prayer, sharing your heart with Him. Get to know who He is as your Abba Father and experience His deep love for you.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
Exchange your grip on the things of this world that are quickly losing their sparkle for God’s eternal promises that will never grow dim!
*Click on the link to hear Alan Jackson sing the beautiful hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”
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