2 Corinthians 3:18. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
How does change occur in the life of a Christian? That’s the question we’ve been answering using this amazing verse.
So far we have seen that we must believe that we have an unveiled face, that is, we are already changed by God’s grace. Then we behold the glory of the Lord. Beholding is worship, and our worship must be focused on the glory of God as seen in the cross of Christ.
OK, so we change by worshipping God by beholding his glory in the cross? Yes.
But how is this possible in the day to day lives that we all live? Are we supposed to just sit around all day looking at a crucifix? Do we stop going to work and playing with our kids and just meditate on Jesus all day?
It’s actually quite the opposite. Everything you do every day is meant to point you to the blazing center of the glory of God in the cross of Jesus.
Think of the things of life as like our solar system. And at the blazing center of the solar system of your life is the glory of the Lord God. He is the sun. All the planets revolve around the sun.
Likewise, everything, and I mean everything, in our lives revolves around the SON.
You see, everything in our lives can either distract us from the glory of the Lord, OR it can point us to the glory of the Lord. Nature is glorious, but if it ends there, we will worship nature. Sex, money, children, work, music, the body, are all glorious. And each of these (and anything) can become what we worship. Or it can point us to the even more glorious one – Jesus himself. Everything revolves around him. He made it. He sustains it. He ransomed it. He rescued it. He will fix it. All of it will be under his authority and command. All of it will praise him and his goodness.
Now, think about the universe as sort of like a target. At the center of the target is the Lord God and his glory and goodness. Everything in the outer rings points us closer and closer to God’s glory. On the outside rings might be things like a good cup of coffee or the sandwich I had tonight from Panera (Turkey, Apple, Cheddar – yum). As we move closer inside there might be things like success at work, or a nice email, or a great catch in football. Moving closer still are our relationships and feelings and experiences.
You see, everything on this “target” is good. And because it is good, it reflects the goodness of God. And everything good on this target requires sacrifice and love. And so everything on this target points me to the love and sacrifice of the cross. That is, if I’ll resist falling short of the glory of God and worshipping the creation instead of the Creator.
Let’s keep going to the center of our target. Just outside the blazing center is the church. The lives of fellow believers. This is where the glory of God chooses to dwell today, just like it did in the Temple of old. And so, each Christian is sitting just to the right of God himself in all of his glory. The glory of God is blazing brilliantly out of each and every Christian. Can you see it? Often it’s veiled, but it’s there.
Now we have made it to the blazing center. It is Jesus and his cross. Besides the church itself and all of us Christians, Christ is the greatest display of the glorious goodness of God. Christ’s work on the cross and his resurrection are the greatest reflection of the mercy, grace, holiness, and righteousness of God. And what the cross reveals to us, is that even the suffering we experience in this life is on the “target.” It’s in the “solar system.” Even our sorrow points us to the glorious goodness of God. Along with everything else that is good, or turned into good, by God’s grace.
“To live is Christ” revolves us around the blazing center of God’s glory in Christ, but it also places that same glory inside of our hearts. The One that is the center of the universe lives in you…… This means all of the goodness in the world points to the Goodness that is in you. This gives meaning to every little thing you do.
How would your life change if you truly believed that the goodness and glory of God resides in you? How would it change if you believed that everything you do has meaning? That everything either points you to the glory of the Lord or steals glory from the Lord depending on how you interact with it?