Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

6.30.2009

The Glory of God: How it Changes Your Life, Part II

Read "The Glory of God: How it Changes Your Life, Part I" if you haven't already for the first part of what Sarah, Lauren, and I learned during our Bible study in Utah.
II Corinthians 3:7-18 was a life-changing, eye-opening passage for us: “But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
(NKJV).”
This brought us to a conclusion that we could now firmly base in Scripture: the Law outlines God’s glory, and Christ’s fulfillment of the Law revealed God’s complete glory to those who believe. Imagine, for example, a puzzle where all but one, central piece is put together. You look at the picture and can make out the idea of it, yet you still do not have the precise message because there is not only a piece missing, but also “seams” in between every single puzzle piece. This is similar to what the Law did for the glory of God. However, Jesus came and finished the puzzle; He put the last piece in and brought the whole scene into clear focus by eliminating the seams. Because of this, if we will look at the “puzzle” (the glory of God) and not hide our eyes (as the unsaved who, without the conviction of the Holy Spirit, do), then we will perceive God’s glory.
Furthermore, all mankind can see God’s glory, but man cannot glorify God until he believes in God as II Corinthians 3:14 and 15 says. Only those whose eyes have been opened will see God’s glory. When one believes in God and “chooses” to glorify God (which is not a volition born out of one’s own sinful heart, but rather out of the conviction of the Holy Spirit), one will see God’s glory: “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 9:23-24).” Therefore, it is only when a person is filled with the Holy Spirit and believes in God and His glory that one can see His glory in a small part: “But he [Stephen], being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God (Acts 7:55).”
This study has brought many spiritual things into perspective as I have realized that any glory I can offer to God is rubbish. It is not God who needs my glory, but I who need to glorify God. In “The Weight of Glory,” an excellent sermon by C.S. Lewis, Lewis says, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
I have seen the glory of God—all of us who are Christians have—but I continue to make mud pies in the slums. Now, however, I have tasted a holiday at the sea, and I know that I will never be the same again. What can compare, I ask you, to living in the rays of God’s glory and reflecting those rays back towards Him? It is a human’s ultimate purpose, man’s greatest joy, and God’s most generous gift.

3 comments:

  1. Beautifully said and so true m'dear! This study has so enlightened every-day Bible reading for me - it's amazing how much makes sense when one realizes that God works and moves for the glorification of Himself! No more mud pies! :)

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  2. P.S. I like your new header! :p

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  3. Thank you and thank you. It took me quite a few hours to make it, so I'm inordinately proud of my masterpiece. ;)

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