An Exhibition of Excellence

This morning I made it my first Allies men’s breakfast at Timberline Church. I enjoyed the event and the discussion with the men at my table. However, the big day yesterday and the early morning activity seemed to “tucker me out”. I was able to get in some good rest, but have taken it fairly easy today and did not get to the fitness center as planned. I did take the dog for a walk and used my regular wheelchair to navigate our regular route which is pretty good exercise. That walk and raking some leaves was my main physical therapy for today.

Yesterday when I was at the capitol, I corralled Denver Post Reporter Lynn Bartels long enough to get a quick picture. There was quite a bit of activity as usual in the life of a reporter; they are trying to nap someone for an interview or a quote and rushing to meet a deadline. I was glad to see that she at least managed a smile for the picture. Lynn has been very gracious over the years and because she knows me actually was helpful in keeping some spurious articles out of the paper. When I contacted her earlier in the year she was eager to get some information on my progress and the article actually ended up in the main paper instead of just on the paper’s political blog site.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”  1 Thessalonians 2:19,20  “All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.”   John 17:10

The word “glory” is one of those “church” words I remember growing up. We sang songs and talk about “giving glory to God.” But as Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica,  we find him sharing with strong feelings his commitment to the work of the gospel in the city. He shares about the sacrifices he made and uses endearing terms to describe the nature of his ministry among them. And then he makes the statement, “you are our glory….”

In Jesus high priestly prayer in John 17, He refers to the glory He brought the Father and then He turns it around and says of His disciples, “I am glorified in them.”

Many years ago a mentor of mine share a message in which he defined “glory” in this context as an “exhibition of excellence.” In other words that which is representative of achievement or that which displays accomplishment. You could substitute the word, “trophy” as something people relate to today. Have you ever heard the expression, “trophy of the grace of God?”

I recall the year the Denver  Broncos won their first Superbowl Championship. The first victory of this magnitude always seems the most exciting. I went downtown Denver to watch the victory parade. The team sat high upon firetrucks parading the streets to the cheering fans. Finally the “main event” – John Elway hoisting the Lombardi Trophy as high as he could in the air. It was a vivid picture and expression that says, “this is our exhibition of excellence, this trophy proves we deserve this praise.”

The thrilling and encouraging word-picture for you today, is for you to see yourself as an “exhibition of the excellence of Jesus Christ.” There may be battle scars and wounds. At times it doesn’t feel like you are worthy of championship status. But we have One who is our great High Priest, Captain of the Armies of our God, the One whose name is above all names and He is pleased to hoist you high for the world and the powers of darkness to see as an exhibition of His excellence and His glory and the reason He deserves all praise!