Glory Days…
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Sunsets St.Pete 011Every creation of Jesus is better than the one before.

Bruce Springsteen sings a song called “Glory Days.” In the song he talks about running into old friends and talking about glory days gone by, when they were much younger. I can relate. When I was young I loved to play basketball. However, about a year ago, after teaching an evangelism class at the nearby church school, I walked into the gym and saw a basketball. I picked it up and started shooting baskets. No, truth is, I tried shooting baskets. I could not make a basket to save my life. As I walked out of the gym I told myself that this must be why old men like me play golf. We just can’t do what we did when were young any more.

This morning I picked up my Bible started reading the book of John, as I am reading through the New Testament. I read in John 2:1-10 where, after Jesus turned the water into the wine, the host of the party accuses the servants of saving the best wine till last. I thought to myself, that is how it is with Jesus! God’s plan is not for us to grow old and talk about glory days gone by. The best is always yet to come! Every creation of Jesus is better than the one before.

A couple weeks ago at a home game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a ceremony remembering their super bowl championship ten years ago. Some friends and I kind of laughed because you know things are pretty sad for the team when you have to go back ten years to find something to celebrate.

This is not how God has designed life to be. In Psalms 23:6 David declares, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” David did not serve a God of glory days gone by. He served a God ready to bless and prosper Him every day. After years of captivity, when Israel was tempted to long for their glory days gone by, Jeremiah reminded them that the best days were yet to come! “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

As I enter 2013, I am not looking to make it like the good ole days. No, I am looking for it to be better than ever!  When the Israelites entered Canaan they were to take all of the land. However Judges 1:19 tells us, “And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.” Really? Those chariots of iron were just too much for God, huh? I don’t think so. That was no excuse, and God knew it.

Earlier in Joshua 17:18 God commanded, “for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.” So what was the problem?

Zephaniah wrote about the church, “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees.” Those who are settled on their lees, are riding on their past experience. I imagine this was true of the Israelites when they entered Canaan. They had crossed through the Red Sea and the Jordan River. God had seen them through a lot. Let’s stop now and just rest. Why go further? The iron chariots were just the excuse they used to stop where they were, content to rest. They became a bunch of has-been’s, relying on past experiences.

When I was in my early 20′s I drove out to a little town in Western Oklahoma to preach one Sabbath. I went downstairs into the basement where the drinking fountain was and I saw several nice large children’s Sabbath School rooms – all empty! During lunch after church, an old patriarch told me that those rooms used to be filled with children, and I could tell by the way they looked, that he was telling me the truth. He explained how those children had all grown up and moved away and started families elsewhere. Logical explanation, and I am sure a lot of children had grown up and just moved away. Even so, even as a young Bible Worker at the time, I had enough experience to know that if you gave me a church directory from a few years ago, I could still find a lot of them right there in town. I will never forget the feeling I had, standing alone in that empty hallway on Sabbath morning, peering into all those empty classrooms, imagining what they looked like full, back in their day. Back in their day? That is a term God does not even know! He is the Great I AM! Not the Great has been!

Friends I can guarantee you, God never would have given us 2013 if He did not think it would be better than any year before! There are fresh victories to be gained. We may even have to change our ways and try something new. When I was a kid I tossed the basketball around and never thought about golf. Today I stand in tee boxes facing fairways I have never seen before, or even thought about when I was younger. I’m not a kid any more. Life is moving on and my God is moving along with me, taking me to new challenges and victories.

I remember when my late grandmother went into a nursing home for a while. Many would have seen that as the end, but my grandmother made new friends!

In 2013 we will meet new people, new opportunities and new victories! Let the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate their super bowl ten years ago – while I celebrate new victories each and every day in 2013. By God’s grace, instead of looking at how vibrant my church was in days gone by, I will be looking at it in 2013 and think, wow! I have never seen such life before. Sorry Bruce. I can’t sing that song of glory days gone by with you. I am still experiencing God’s glory today!

It’s 2013 and I can see Jesus breaking out the new wine!

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Comments

Glory Days… — 25 Comments

  1. Thank you so much this article. I now look at 2013 in a very different way, knowing that my God has bigger and better things for me so I need not dwell on the past, but I really can look forward to the future which I am rest assured is in Gods hands.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY! Never be weary of writing these uplifting and thought provoking articles

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  2. Hmmm. But we should count blessings. Mine just so happens to be light of the knowledge of the glory of God. From what I understand it is a promise of the glory days that I'll have on Earth and on New Earth! To share in Christ's reign is an honor that will last for eternity!

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  3. Thanks for the inspiring message, but can you check what you have written re Joshua 17:8 God commanded, “for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.”

    based on the Bible Joshua 17:8 - (Manasseh had the land of Tappuah, but Tappuah itself, on the boundary of Manasseh, belonged to the Epharimites)

    it seems different.

    thanks,

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    • You are right, Sonny. The correct verse is Joshua 17:18. (It is now corrected.)
      Glad to know we have some Bereans among our readers - people who check their Bibles to see whether things are so. :)

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  4. Thank you very much,William, for the encouraging words! A Happy New Year to everyone. Tears came to my eyes as I read your article. I have been facing many challenges, including completing my final research paper to obtain my masters. It has been extremely challenging. Your article has encouraged me tremendously to make me not only know but believe that Our God is not a God of past glory and challenges in our lives are opportunities for Him to show His great glory if we have faith. Thanks very much again.

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  5. William,
    Thank you for your uplifting words.
    I think the Holy Spirit inspired you to write such an encouraging article. The very first day of 2013 I read the local newspaper, and I couldn't find any good news. Everybody is talking about crisis, and how 2013 looks darker than 2012. Reading about my God as the great I am, and of course, The One who makes new and better every thing (new wine, new creature, new heavens and earth), changes my perspective. Now I feel blessed and confident, looking at the future with hope and expectancy, living one day at a time.
    Happy 2013, and happy today to all.

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  6. God has a way of using people to help one another. to me i was looking at 2013 as one of those year that will never go good. judging from the past, but i want to thank you for opening my eyes to the future with jesus. Now i am looking for the victories ahead. Glory to God. there is still hope. let us hope for a bright future, making good memories this year, claiming God help in all we do and say. making great testimonies, where we can say we have been with Jesus. happy new to you my brothers and sisters.

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  7. McLee when I get tempted to boast of myself. I remember the publican who taught us how to put Paul's admonishments into practice. Paul said, in Ephiasians 2:8,9. "For by Grace are you saved through faith, not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works, least any man should boast." When I was in college my roomate taught me a lesson after I had stolen his girlfriend. He left me with this message. "No outward observances can take the place of simple faith and entire renunciation of self. But no man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work. Then the language of the soul will be, Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul." Christ Object Lessons Page 159. Now William and I are not getting senile just because we remember glory days. Senile is when you live in Tampa and hop on your bicycle for a casual ride, and end up in Saint Petersberg in, police department not knowing where you live anymore. Yes glory days are days are in the present also, I have a wounderful wife, children, and God is oh so faithful to us. The Bible talks about His faithfulness from cover to cover. Check out Romans chapter three. We are all like Peter we can walk on water just like Christ, as long as we have our eye, and heart fixed on Him. Ezekial 11:19 and Ezekial 36:26 tell us what Christ can do for us in this catagory, if we also read of what He has done for us, in Peter 2:24, 1Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:10,19 and many others, we can garner a relationship with Him. The more we read the closer we get to Christ. The more we pray, the stronger our relationship with Christ becomes. We are to prayerfully boast in the Lord with adoration, praise, thankfulness, and supplication. Now may the Lord grant you your hearts desire in this new year.
    Happy New Year.
    Good day

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  8. I love this hymn so much:all the way my savior leads me. I am very much confident that 2013 is also going to be a year of meracles in my life. Thank you jesus

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  9. I like the explanation or rather the simplified analogy of best wine served when Jesus was around.

    This gave me a better understanding that when Jesus is around we become better creations and not just improved beings.

    Zolile Petshane.

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  10. Love, love, love this post!! I can totally relate.

    Isaiah 43:18-19 (KJV)
    18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
    19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
    Isaiah 42:9 (KJV)
    9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

    I think this verse means don't look back in time:
    Luke 9:62 (KJV)
    62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

    So don't look back and remember what happened to Lot's wife!!!

    This is very important:

    2 Corinthians 10:12 (KJV)
    12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

    Let's try not to compare current friends, pastors, wives, events, churches, leaders, etc. with former ones. Now is the day of salvation and God has given us people and events for today. Let's look at today with the Godly eyes that we have been encouraged by William. Thanks so much! and Happy Sabbath!

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  11. I just love your messages through the Sabbath School lesson summary. Your stories are always very interesting and thought-provoking.

    God bless you in 2013 and always.

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  12. Praise the Lord for new victories, I too plan to celebrate new vistorys in 2013. A lady told my wife the other day, "you and your husband have been an influence in 2012 to my husband and I to be good." I pray we all will have at least one encounter for Christ this year, genuine victories.

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  13. How awesome to read your arcticle. I try to have pity parties for myself as my age increases and the aches and pain start in. Praise God for what you said... There are many who did not get the opportunity to have aches and pain today. I will rejoice and be glad!! This is the day that the Lord has made. God bless!!

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  14. Dear William,

    Happy New Year! Always a great read and a blessing appreciating your message. Made me think of a time ahead, soon to come when Jesus returns for us His children. As an earlier post mentioned, to bathe in His glory forever, rather than reminisce of the glory of days gone by:

    Revelation 21
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    All Things Made New
    21 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.

    God's rich blessings, ulalei

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