You ever sing "The Sands of Time are Sinking"?
We did just this past week at church. It's a great song. I just have trouble with one line.
It's verse number 4.
"The bride eyes not her garment
But her dear bride-groom's face
I will not gaze at glory
But on my King of grace
Not at the crown He giveth
But on His pierced hand
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Emmanuel's land"
It sounds funny to save I have trouble with this line because in many ways it is great. I mean, the Lamb is all the glory of Emmanuel's land. We should primarily long to be with Him. Jesus is more beautiful and more wonderful than all the gifts He gives.
But my question is this: what's wrong with gazing at glory? Is there a problem with looking at the crown He giveth?
Personally, I don't think it's either or. I don't think looking at the crown necessarily means you aren't looking at the crown giver. Instead, I think just the opposite. The more I look at the crown, the more I look at glory, the more amazed I am by the One who purchased all this for me. In fact, I'm convinced that one of the reasons we aren't more amazed by Jesus Christ is because we haven't fully appreciated all that He is going to do for us throughout eternity.
In other words, I NEED TO GAZE AT GLORY.
If I weren't supposed to, why would there be all the descriptions of heaven throughout the Bible? On top of that, all the talk about our rewards?
Jesus Himself goes so far as to make direct admonitions about behavior on the basis of the rewards we will receive in heaven. (Or won't.) Just one example: Matthew 6:1: "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your father in heaven."
The clincher of course is the fact that we are commanded to think about these things...just check out 1 Peter 1:13.
"Therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."