15th May 2020

I Can See Clearly Now

“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”
1 Corinthians 13:12 (MSG)

The love chapter, from which my featured verse comes, is a passage of scripture that many people are familiar with, even if they don’t always realise it comes from the Bible, often giving William Shakespeare the credit for it. The main reason for its familiarity is its common use at weddings, in fact I have included it in the wedding services of three of my children, and will no doubt do so with the others if and when the time comes.

Sadly, it’s too big a passage to cover in a short study like this, so instead I would like to hone in on one small but mighty section – verse 12. This is one of my favourite verses from the Bible, although to paraphrase Papa in the novel, The Shack, just like my children, ‘they are all my favourites.’ The reason I love this verse so much is that it speaks of the kingdom of heaven as a sure and certain thing. Now we see only a reflection – because, even though we are daily being made into a new creation, we still live in a fallen world. Try as we might we aren’t able to grasp the incredible future the Father has prepared for us or catch His vision in anything like its fullness. “Then we’ll see it all as clearly as God sees us” – what a promise! The apostle Paul confidently makes this statement as though it is a done deal. Well why not? It is! We will see the glorious kingdom the Father is preparing for us, and it will be more amazing than even our wildest imaginings. As C.S. Lewis puts it, “there are better things ahead of us than any we leave behind”.

In the final part of verse 12, Paul saves the best till last: “We’ll see it all then…knowing him directly just as he knows us!” How well does God know us? Even the very hairs of our heads are numbered (Matthew 10:30). He has engraved our names on the palms of his hands (Isaiah 49:16) and he knew us long before he formed us in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). For the first time in our lives, we will be able to know the fullness of Father, Son and Spirit. See God as clearly as he sees us. And be able to love him as extravagantly as he loves us.

Almighty Father, thank you for painting through the writing of Paul such a beautiful word picture of your coming kingdom, where we will be able to know you fully even as we are fully known. As the words of the hymn, ‘There is a Redeemer,’ tell us, when we stand in Glory, we will see your face, and there we’ll serve our King forever, in that Holy place. In Jesus name.

Study by Peter Mill

About the Author:
Peter Mill is an Elder and the Missions Developer of the National Ministry Team of Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. He and his wife, Jackie, are Pastoral Workers for Grace Communion International in Scotland and Ireland.

Local Congregation:
GCI, Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
Ravenscroft Street
EH17 8QJ

Meeting time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Peter Mill
Email: edinburgh@gracecom.church

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