That smile, that one smile I confess, is the single most dominating thought I have. Several months have elapsed since last writing here on UCJ. It was not for lack of want or desire. Ever since returning form overseas it has been one roller coaster ride after another. Then there was the transition from one job to another accompanied by a host of other issues/activities. It was during this time that one vision in my mind had been reoccurring regularly. So dramatic is it to me, I sometimes find it hard to breathe. Numerous times I have endeavored to write on this vision, that smile, which keeps my mind occupied with thoughts of Scriptures and a joy words are hard to find in expressing it adequately.
There have been very few things in my life which have elicited the emotions giving rise to an experience that consumes me. When I was younger, as I would walk on to the soccer pitch, my stomach would start to tingle. As I write, those memories come back and for a moment it seems they are new afresh and hastening me back to that time when there was nothing else, save soccer in my life, with much meaning. Then, very recently, I watched Holly lay on the floor, with our dog (Jacob), curled up in her arm, with his head in the nook of her arm and shoulder. The look which was on his face and the complete relaxation in his body was only surpassed by the loving comfort of Holly as she laid still and comforted him. Scenes like that or children who have that smile at their parents, have a way of just silencing my lips and my mind and heart overflowing with awe inspiration. Yet, even these are a mere shadow eclipsed by that smile, that one smile which I am longing to see. Somewhere in my mind’s eye, I come so very close to being granted to have just the vaguest of glimpses, fleeting as it is, like the glory of a clear sunrise or sunset; always seeming, just at the tip of my fingers, but in reality, way beyond my grasp. That smile, the one which I am so hard pressed to describe, is that which I believe we were created for. Now with what appears to be to great a task accompanied by the limited vocabulary of any known language, by GOD’S grace, HE will grant me to paint a picture, no matter how distant from the real, which will also take your breath away.
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.
Psalm 27:4 NASB
For several years I have been blessed of the LORD JESUS to go into the highways and along the hedges to preach CHRIST JESUS and HIM crucified. There is such a sweet fellowship with the LORD through the SPIRIT when declaring the excellencies of CHRIST openly. However, recently, after returning from overseas the LORD has had me focused on the local church and to be more specific, the influence of false ministries which creep silently like a shadow into the Body slowly. Sadly, the smile which I had while going into the church I attended, left as I witnessed them give ear to those who take men’s eyes off of CHRIST and onto their personal experiences. Like a supernova explosion, the same vision of that same smile flashes through as lightning on a dark night…its power and illumination unmistakable, from which you can not hide. This vision of that one smile overcomes and reduces all other areas to minute after thoughts.
As I read through Revelation, Daniel, and the rest of the Scriptures I have become more and more aware of the truth that the Triune GOD (FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT) is a relational GOD and always has been. The LORD would lead me in thought and meditation regarding this charter of HIS; truly this state of being. GOD is a personal relational GOD from eternity past and always will be! Then it struck me like the clarity of looking through the clearest of lenses. We have all been created in HIS image. We have all become HIS image bearers and reflect HIM in some manner, though corrupt because of sin. GOD smiles! Think on that for just a second…the transcendent GOD who is far above all of HIS creation, who is sufficient in HIMSELF with no needs…smiles. The question which darts into my mind, making me go further and further into the glories of the gospel, is this fact: the greatest love, the greatest unity and perfection is in the GOD head and the greatest smile is that of the FATHER toward HIS SON! One day I will be granted the honor and blessing of seeing the FATHER and the LORD JESUS CHRIST, HIS SON, smile at each other! GOD will not despise or reject me from seeing such a personal and intimate exchange – a FATHER’S love for HIS SON and by HIS SPIRIT, understand the depths of that love! I am fairly sure there will be several who will think on this and gloss it over. Something to the effect of, “Sure it will be good to see that smile but we will be enjoying HIM and delighting in HIM.” I feel these persons miss the gravity of and the enormous joy this will bring…I know I cannot even begin to understand, but what little I do, I cannot breathe – it is so beautiful!
Many in our culture, here in America, have no concept of kingship, a monarchy. However, if you travel back in the corridors of time, the monarchy was the central focus and the pinnacle of a country. The king was so highly exalted no one could just walk in unannounced. Common people would dare not even gaze upon the king without fear of sudden and immediate punishment. In some countries, a common person was not even allowed to have their head above the foot level of the king. In Scripture, look in Esther to see what would occur if a person came in before the king without being summoned…immediate death, if the king did not extend the golden scepter. GOD shows us clearly in HIS Word that the king is to be highly honored. Kings were the representation of those countries with the great responsibility of leading them. Even more, the kings of Israel were to always fear the LORD and lead the people in HIS ways. It is this understanding of the magnitude of royalty that puts into perspective that smile. In America today, we can still get a picture of this when we think of meeting the president or any other figure who represents the highest of authority. There is just a different air about the individual – the room where they are is transformed into and becomes a place of distinction. Now consider the LORD of Lords and KING of Kings who suffered, bled, and died to bring glory to HIS FATHER by making the way possible for GOD to be the just and justifier of those who have faith in HIS SON. We, by grace through faith, have been granted to enter into the very presence of GOD and enjoy HIM, enjoying HIMSELF. We get to be intimately involved with seeing the radiant smile of the FATHER looking upon HIS beautiful SON and the SON looking upon HIS father with a joyful smile, knowing HE had completed all HIS FATHER’S works perfectly. We are granted to look upon the ONE who emptied HIMSELF so we might have life. I get to look at my GOD hearing from HIS GOD, “Well done MY SON in YOU I am well pleased.” One day, by HIS grace, I will have the experience of looking upon my CREATOR, smiling with such purity, I cannot think of anything else I would want to look at for all eternity. O LORD, let me gaze upon YOUR beauty…that smile which speaks more that all the words ever spoken from the creation of time or ever will be. Let me be so moved by the joy of YOUR heart LORD JESUS…never let my heart or eyes depart from seeing your face shining, as YOU look upon YOUR, glorious and beyond beautiful, FATHER. Let me never depart from this and, in YOUR mercy, grant me to sing and proclaim YOUR praise forever more!
Yes, my friends, it is this smile – a smile radiating from both FATHER and SON which shines brighter than all of creation combined…this sight, this vision which overcomes my senses and leaves me gasping for air. To know that GOD has so loved HIMSELF so perfectly, that HE would make a creation, though they would rebel, which by HIS grace could, by HIS SPIRIT gaze upon HIM without fear, being fully pardoned, and rejoice in HIM leaves me completely astonished. Oh friend, if you have not come to the FATHER through HIS SON…come today, repent of your sin, your wickedness, receive forgiveness and eternal life in JESUS, and then eagerly await that day when we will see HIS smile! GOD is good and HE will not cast away those who come humbly and contritely before HIM. HE created you in HIS image…come and drink of the water of life without payment and receive abundantly the joy of the LORD for all eternity. Trust in CHRIST today…you have no guarantee of tomorrow. Grace and peace to all who are in CHRIST JESUS. Amen!
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved;
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
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Shane Sands is the founder and president of United in Christ Jesus. In addition to local and statewide outreaches, he has organized and participated in numerous evangelism trips around the world and helped to establish a Reformed home church in Norway. Shane is a devoted husband to his wife, Holly and together they desire to follow the Lord’s leading to be based in Northern Ireland.