2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
We serve an Awesome God! That is obvious. That is true. It is also our human way of saying; Our Creator is so amazing that we can’t find words perfect enough to illustrate His greatness. His love for us is evident in all that He does.
Some items in Creation we’re spoken, we were formed. This Great and Powerful God, who verbalized countless things into existence, formed man out of dust. He spoke Light and crafted us! As the old song says, “What a God we serve!”
10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.
33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] His judgments, and His ways past finding out!
He has been so good to me that I cannot tell it all. Two writers in The Bible use a specific phrase, only two. It is the phrase, “past finding out.” They are Job and the Apostle Paul. Two of the greatest men who ever lived, could not explain completely how wonderful He is.
In admitting the limits of man’s expression, they also teach us something. In everything God does, He has purpose for our lives. I believe that this includes the Glory Of God. His Glory formed the worlds, His majesty made the Heavens, and yet that isn’t all it does. As wonderful as it is to praise Him, the purpose of The Glory Of God wasn’t simply so He could be worshipped.
An all powerful, completely perfect, merciful sovereign will be praised voluntarily by someone. If it were just exaltation, He would have simply made billions of creatures whose only thought was to worship their King. Instead, God created men and women with the free will to choose.
Like Job, and Paul, we are mortal, with limited understanding. The first time we hear about God’s Glory, we try to understand it the only way we can. We try to compare it to what we know. We understand human glory, and human jealousy.
So when we first read that “He is a jealous God”, or that “His Glory, He will not give to another”, we hear it through human ears. Our incorrect, but finite perception, is someone who is focused on Himself. That could not be further from the case with our loving God.
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.
While He will be worshipped, we know from Calvary, that His Glory has even a greater purpose. He has reflected this from the beginning, He spared Adam and Eve when you and I would have just started over.
The question then is, what is the purpose of The Glory Of God? The answer is the same as when Christ was prophesying of His death in John 12:32. The intent of God’s Glory is as a vehicle to bring God and man closer. His Glory was created to be a vehicle of revelation, and a vehicle to care for His people.
I believe that all of Creation is a allegory of one word, relationship. God created us so He could share our lives. As our (Point Of Mercy’s) Senior Pastor, Pastor Denny Livingston brought out so well recently in our #heartmatters series, “He gave” is more than a famous verse of Scripture, it is the heart of God.
The Lord longed to enhance and enrich our lives with everything that He had, including His life. God started time, our solar system, this universe, preparing to share it with His people. He plans to enter eternity with us, doing just that.
Sin resulted in a separation that has plagued mankind ever since we fell. It has also grieved The Lord since the garden. From Noah to Abraham, to Moses and beyond, God’s entire plan was to purchase our freedom. Calvary was the ultimate sacrifice, and the perfect expression of God’s love.
Every act before Calvary, and everyone after, are for our well being. This is not only true of His mercies, but His judgements. Like a parent and a child, they are not meant to punish us, but to instruct us. In the Old Testament, when He told Israel that He was a jealous God, it was to detour them from worshipping idols. This wasn’t for His sake, but for their own.
Anything that comes between God and us, or that takes God’s place in our lives, will ultimately destroy us. It isn’t that God will punish us because we aren’t focused on Him. It’s that what we are focused on will drain us of what we have. It was that way in Deuteronomy, it is that way today.
His desire is not to withdraw from us, but to draw closer to us. His Glory was designed, not to scare us, but to change us. In Isaiah 6, God’s Glory fills the Temple. Isaiah seeing it, realizes how sinful he, and all we are. If Isaiah was sinful, how much more so you and I?
What does God do? He doesn’t rebuke Isaiah, He cleanses Him. After the cleansing, He allows Isaiah to volunteer for service. God’s Glory came not to condemn Isaiah, but to redeem, and equip him.
God is the only self sufficient and self generating Power. He alone is The Light Of The World, The Water Of Life, and The Bread Of Life. Notice the common thread between these three things, they are all sources of energy.
Light gives energy. Through hydraulics, water powers cities. Bread gives the body nourishment. Warmth, fuel, and nutrients, these resources enrich and sustain us. Just as His Glory will sustain us, it will also change us, and finally, it will complete us.
My glory will not do any of those things. When someone says thank you to me, nothing happens to them, unless I respond with a kind word, or an equal reaction to their compliment. However, when I say Thank You Jesus, or whisper His name on my lips, something incredible happens.
At the thought of Him, I’m reminded of a God that loved me enough to forgive me. One that took all my despair, all my depression, all my fear, and shed His Light on it. I was at my wit’s end at the foot of the cross, and He rescued me! Into the heart of my darkness, He brought Everlasting Light. I was starving in sin, wanting for hope, crying out for something more. He fed me, He clothed me, and He redeemed me.
Why does The Glory Of God excite me? Because I’ve seen it take the alcoholic and change him. I’ve watched it take families that were torn apart, and put them back together. His Glory turned murderers into Ministers. His Glory cleansed the leper, and raised the dead. The Glory Of God filled time and eternity, so He could one day fill a human heart.
God knows, that when we are full of Him, sin can’t reign in our hearts. We will make mistakes, but we have the power to overcome them through Him. The envy that tempts us, the hatred we could fall to, the lies that would destroy us, won’t have room to dominate us. When He rules our hearts, He will help us to execute righteousness, and terminate wrong.
The same Glory He used to bring us together, will keep us on our journey to meet Him. God’s Glory is a vehicle, not for His promotion, but for our own. The first time and the last time the word glory is found in The Bible isn’t referring to God’s glory. The first refers to the wealth of Laban. The last refers to the glory of nations being brought into the New Jerusalem.
Instead, the first thing He mentions is the act of creation. The last thing He refers to is that He is coming soon. He created His Glory to reveal His Grace. He did this so that we could experience a relationship with God, and one day soon, to share eternity with Him!
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.