January 26: The Glory of God (part 1)

Everything we have said so far has been leading up to this topic: glory. And we can’t go any further in trying to understand life or the life of Christ in us without understanding glory. Life is all about glory. Imaging God, working, protecting, intimacy, impact, desire, love, liberty- they are all about glory. Glory within and glory given.

But what is glory? Glory is weightiness, value, significance, beauty. Everything that God created has some degree of glory. This is glory within. The mosquito has glory, but the horse has more. A portrait has glory, but a person has more. We have glory, but God has more.

Glory within flows outward as glory given. Because of God’s overflowing glory within,  he has shared his glory with his creation. And his creation reflects that glory back to God.

Psalm 19:1. The heavens declare the glory of God. 

Psalm 8:1. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

Psalm 8:5-6. Yet you have made man a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hand.

God’s glory is his invisible characteristics- like his holiness and goodness. But God’s glory is also made visible. God’s creation is one of these visible manifestations of his glory. But so is the beauty, radiance, light, color, fire, and angels that surround him at all times.

Isaiah 6:1-3. I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Ezekiel 1:26-28. And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27 And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face.

Revelation 4:3-6. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

To live is to have and share glory, and “to live is Christ.” Christ is the greatest glory in creation. He is creator (glory giver) and creation (glory receiver) and savior (glory sharer). Without him we stumble through life seeking lesser glories that can never satisfy.

Won’t you stay with me over the next few days as we explore God’s glory, our pursuit of glory, and the all encompassing glory of Christ?

 

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