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November 28, 2022 - 1 Corinthians 13:12

I have finished with Matthew’s Gospel. I think I will embark on a path that, over the years, I have not followed in my daily reading. That is, I will allow an author and his book (actually, a collection of his sermons) to direct my daily reading and thoughts: W. G. T. Shedd, Sermons to the Natural Man. A. A. Hodge wrote of this collection, “[These sermons], are, if not absolutely the best, yet [are] of the very best doctrinal and spiritual sermons produced in this generation.” Though addressing, primarily, not the one who has come to Christ, but the one who needs to come to him, there’s a lot here for us. Shedd was a 19th century theologian and Presbyterian pastor. In his sermon “The Future State of a Self-Conscious State,” he reflects on Paul’s statement: “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

This is the great faith-hope-love chapter. Shedd: “The apostle Paul made this remark (our verse) with reference to the blessedness of the Christian in eternity.” Earlier in the letter, Paul wrote, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (2:9). Shedd continues, “While upon earth, the arrangements are such that we cannot but see every thing, and must walk by sight . . . Hence it is, that the preacher is continually urging men to view things, so far as is possible, in the light of eternity.” We get so caught up in temporal matters, both joys and sorrows, and our gaze is distracted from eternity. But how should we live? Jesus tells us: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

I can only imagine

What it will be like

When I walk by Your side

I can only imagine

What my eyes would see

When Your face is before me

I can only imagine


Surrounded by Your glory

What will my heart feel?

Will I dance for You Jesus

Or in awe of You be still?

Will I stand in Your presence

Or to my knees, will I fall?

Will I sing hallelujah?

Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine

I can only imagine. –MercyMe (1999)

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