Tonight, for just a brief time of meditation on God’s Word, I want you to open your Bible to 1 Corinthians chapter 10, and I want to draw your attention to one verse, and then to just a brief look at some truth that elucidates the meaning of this verse as we share together in the culmination of this wonderful day.
First Corinthians chapter 10 and verse 31. The apostle Paul says, “Whether, therefore, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” He points out eating and drinking because those are the most mundane, routine, necessary things of life that occupy us, whether we desire them to or not. That’s just the routine of life. And what Paul is saying is that everything, even those very mundane, routine, normal things in life are to be done to the glory of God. That’s the bottom line in all of our living, isn’t it? Everything we do, we are to do for the glory of God. That is the most important thing in the universe.
Through the years, this has been a particular theme in my own heart, one that has, in many ways, set the tone for my own ministry. The basic principle of glorifying God. In 1 Corinthians, a little earlier, you’ll notice in chapter 6, verse 19, Paul says, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God” – that is the Holy Spirit – “and you’re not your own? You are bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body.”
In whatever you do, glorify God. Since you are redeemed and bought with a price, glorify God in your body. This is the call, in simplicity, to Christian living. We are to live to the glory of God. In fact, that’s the key to everything. That’s the key to everything that exists. Everything God ever made, He made with the purpose of giving Him glory. We find that in Psalm 19 where the Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” When God made inanimate creation, when He made the heavens and the Earth, they were for His glory. And even when He made the animate creation, you know, it says in Isaiah 43 that, “The beasts of the field shall give Me honor or glory.” Everything that God ever made was for His glory.
In Colossians 1:16, it says, “All things were made by Him and” – what? – “for Him.” For Him. Everything that has been made has been made for the purpose of glorifying God. And in Isaiah chapter 48 and verse 11, God says, “My glory I will not give to another.”
Everything, then, is to be to the glory of God. Everything, then, is to bring praise and honor to God. That’s why creation was brought into existence and, basically, creation cooperates. The stars glorify God. They don’t rebel. There has never been a rebellion of the stars. They’ve never sinned against their Creator. The Earth itself does not rebel. The flowers don’t rebel; they just do what flowers are supposed to do: send out their wonderful fragrance, their beautiful color. The animal world does not rebel; it does not curse God, does not deny God His rightful place. The animal creation and that which is natural in the world does what it was intended to do. It declares the glory of God. And in all of the world of God’s creation, the two highest creatures He ever made were angels and men, and they were the only two that rebelled. They were the only two that had a choice, and they made the choice against God.
Angels chose to rebel against God and were forever cast out of heaven, becoming the demons, as we know them, who work for the enemy Satan and will spend eternity in hell. There is no redemption for angels; those who fell have fallen, and it is set that they will forever be wicked. Those who did not fall are forever secured in righteousness. So, the story of the angels, as it were, begins and ends with that one moment in eternity past when they fell.
But then there is man who fell, and by God’s wonderful grace, God has sought to recover man, to bring him back. There is no salvation for angels; that’s why angels, it says, desire to look into the things regarding salvation. That is why Paul, writing to the Ephesians, says that God is doing things in the church, to show His wisdom before the angels. The angels do not understand firsthand the meaning of redemption or salvation or restoration. But God has set out to recover the rebel man, the man who has set against – set his heart against the God who made him.
And what is God asking of man? God is asking that man give Him glory, that man glorify Him as he was intended to do. It’s just that basic. That’s the problem of man. Look at Romans chapter 1 for a moment, and you’ll see what man’s problem is. Verse 21, “When they knew God” – that is, man had the knowledge of God all around him and in his conscience; God has revealed Himself to man in conscience and creation – “But when they knew God” – here it comes; here is the basic definition of the fallenness of man – “they glorified Him not.” They glorified Him not. They would not give God His rightful place. They would not offer Him glory. “They rather were unthankful and became empty in their own imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. And they thought themselves to be wise without God, when in truth they became fools. They changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.” In other words, men made gods out of snakes and birds and animals, and gods out of their own kind as well.
“And then God gave them up to uncleanness.” God turned man over to his sin because man refused to give Him glory. That’s the basic sin of man. God created the world. God created men that are in the world for the purpose of giving Him glory. Men said, “No,” so God gave man over to his uncleanness, but didn’t leave him there. For Romans doesn’t end there. The rest of the epistle of Paul to the Romans goes on to tell about how God wants to recover man back. Yes, Romans 3 says, “All have sinned and” – what? – “come short of” – what? – “the glory of God.” Bu God is set to bring man back. And so, the whole story of the redemptive process is God desiring to bring man back to the place where he lives to give Him glory in whatever He does - even something as mundane as eating and drinking. And our life as Christians can be reduced to that; we lived the glory of God. Everything we do, everything we say, everything we think ought to bring glory and honor and praise to God. That’s the qualifying factor in all that we are. I mean we only need to ask ourselves one basic question at all times, “Will it glorify God? Is it to the glory of God?” That becomes the qualifier for every deed done, every thought thought, every word spoken: will it glorify God? Will it bring Him honor?
And so, because of man’s fallenness and refusal to glorify God, from the very beginning, God set out to recover man. Let’s look at how God did that in the past. Turn in your Bible to the third chapter of Genesis for a moment. We’re going to take just a very fast tour to come to a climactic point of practicality in our thought. But in Genesis chapter 3, we are given the instruction of the fall. Prior to the fall of man, it tells us that man walked with God, man knew God, man fellowshipped with God in the cool of the day, enjoying God’s presence, fellowshipping in innocence and purity with God. All was well. Man glorified God; gave Him proper worship, praise, adoration, and honor. And then man sinned in chapter 3.
And so, we come to verse 8. Man has sinned, and it says man – that is man and woman, Adam and Eve – “They heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” They heard God approaching. And there was some presence, some manifestation of God with which they were familiar, some way to know that it indeed was God. And God is a Spirit, but He manifested Himself in His presence. We call that the Shekinah, a visible light. God revealed himself in light, moving through the garden, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence, from the Shekinah, the light of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Now, here is God’s presence mentioned, the Shekinah, and it was a cloud-like light that represented the presence of God. It was His glory. He is manifesting Himself in light, if you will. He’s showing Himself in all of His attributes as manifest in this glorious Shekinah light in which He fellowships with Adam and Eve. But because of their sin, they hide from God, and the fellowship is broken.
And in verse 23, “The Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden, to till the ground where he was taken. So, He drove out the man and placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim, angels set to guard the holiness of God, and a flaming sword which turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” In other words, man was thrown out of the garden. God was saying, “If you will not recognize My glory, if you will hide from My glory, if you will choose no longer to honor Me but to entertain sin, then you forfeit fellowship.”
And God always dismisses rebels from His presence. Just like in Romans 1, it tells us that, “When they would not glorify God, He gave them up to uncleanness.” He let them go the way they chose to go in sin. But from the beginning, God had revealed His glory and asked man and woman to give Him glory. They turned their back on that, and God put them out of His presence. But that wasn’t the end, for God wanted to call them back.
Turn with me to the thirty-third chapter of Exodus. And in the thirty-third chapter of Exodus, God has brought together a people, the people of Israel. And through them He desires to call fallen men all over the Earth back to Himself, back to giving Him glory. And so, He sends His Shekinah back. That from which men hid, that from which they were restrained by holy angels with a flaming sword, that Shekinah glory comes back to call men to a place of giving Him the glory that He is due, and Moses becomes His tool.
In verse 11, “The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend.” And the Lord says to Moses, in effect, “I want you to represent Me. I want you to call the people back to Me.”
“And Moses said to the Lord” – in verse 12 – “‘You say to me, “Bring up this people!” And Thou hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me.’”
In other words, God said, “I want you to bring My people out of Egypt, lead them across the wilderness, lead them into the Promised Land.”
And Moses said, “You’re telling me to do this, but you’re not telling me who’s going with me. You realize what a task you’re asking?” When they finally came out of Egypt, of course, there were probably two million people. “Are you asking me, by myself, to do this? Who’s going to go with me? Now You’ve said, ‘I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in My sight.’” In other words, “I know you know me, and I know I’m on good terms with you, but this is a very large task. Who’s going to go with me?”
“Now therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found grace in Thy sight, show me know Thy way, that I may know Thee, that I may find grace in Thy sight and consider that this nation is Thy people.” In other words, “God, You’re going to have to help me. You’re going to have to help me.”
And in verse 14, “God said, ‘My presence’” – there’s that word again - My glory, My Shekinah - “‘will go with you, and I’ll give you rest.’
“And he said, ‘If Your presence doesn’t go with me, carry us not up from here.’” In other words, “If You’re not going, I’m not going either. I’m not going without You.”
And so, “God says, ‘Moses, My glory will go with you. My glory will be your strength and your guide.’”
And Moses, who was somewhat weak in faith, hadn’t heard enough. So, in verse 18, he goes a step further, and he said, “‘I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory!’” I appreciate what You’re saying, but I need to see it to believe it. Show it to me so I’ll know that I’m really communing with You, and that You really mean this.
“And He said, ‘All right, I’ll make all My goodness pass before thee, and proclaim the name of the Lord before thee.’” In other words, His glory is all that He is - His goodness. And verse 19 mentions His grace, and it mentions His mercy, and then it says, “The name of the Lord” – and the name of the Lord embodies all that He is. “I’ll show you all that I am manifest in the Shekinah glow of light.” He said, “I’ll reveal My glory, but” - there’s a qualification in verse 20 – “you can’t see My face, for no one can see My face and live!”
In other words, “I can’t show you all My glory or it would consume you; it would burn you to cinders in an instant.” That’s why when Jesus comes back in unveiled and full glory, the people on the Earth cry for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them, to hide them from the face of the One who comes in glory. So, He says, “Moses, you can’t see it all; you can’t look at all My glory and even survive.”
“The Lord said” - in verse 21 – “‘There’s a place by Me. Stand on a rock; it will come to pass, while My glory passes by, I’ll put you in a cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand while I pass by. And I’ll take away My hand, and you’ll see My back parts, but My face shall not be seen.’”
In other words, God says, “You get in that rock place there, hide in that little crack, and when I come by, I’ll put My hand,” as it were – not a – obviously not a physical hand – “I’ll veil your view, and I won’t show you My full glory, but a little of My back part sort of shine on you so you’re not consumed.” What a marvelous promise. God said, “You want to see My glory? I’ll show you My glory because I want men to see My glory. I want men to recognize My glory.”
Now go down to verse 5 of chapter 34, and it says, “And the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord.” In other words, He revealed Himself in all His fullness. “And the Lord passed by before Him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, Lord God’” – and those are all different terms describing the nature of God - “‘merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and on the children’s children unto the third and fourth generations.’”
In other words, God let’s Moses see a little of His attributes manifest in light and glory. And what was Moses’ response? Verse 8, “In a big hurry, he made haste and bowed his head toward the Earth and worshiped.” He worshiped. It’s the right response, by the way, when you see the glory of God.
Now what happened? Here was Moses up on the mount, and he has this personal vision of the glory of God. And God is about to use Moses as a tool to get men to see His glory. And so, Moses, having met with God, comes down out of the mountain, and we pick up the narrative in verse 29. And as He comes down out of the mountain, “It came to pass when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two Tables of Testimony in Moses’ hand” – he comes down with the Law, the Ten Commandments that God’s given him – “when he came down from the Mount, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.”
What was God doing? Once in the garden, God had said, “Here’s My glory, will you please receive My glory? Adore Me, worship Me, honor Me, give Me the glory that I am due.”
Man said, “No,” turned his back on God’s glory, hid himself from God’s glory. God then separated that glory from man because of man’s rejection.
Now in great grace, God is bring back His glory. He brings it back on the face of Moses. And Moses comes walking into the camp of Israel, a disobedient Israel, by the way, and God is again saying, by shining from the face of Moses, “Will you please see My glory?” And God is using a human instrument to convey His glory to the people, that they might recognize who He is and give Him the honor He is due. And so, Moses speaks to them with the glory on His face.
But, “When he spoke” – verse 33 says – “he put a veil on his face.” He veiled it.
You say, “Why did he veil the glory? Oh, they all knew it was there.”
Sure they knew it was there, because they saw it before he veiled it. Why did he veil it? Second Corinthians tells us in chapter 3, “He veiled it because it kept fading away, and he didn’t want to see it fade away.” And every time it would fade away, he’d run back up in the mountain, get back in the crack in the rock, and get more glory on his face, and come back down again and continue his speech. He didn’t want the glory to diminish. He didn’t want the them to see it diminish. But on the face of Moses, reflecting the glory of God, was God giving the message to Israel, “Please recognize My glory. My glory.”
In verse 35, “The children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone. And Moses put the veil on his face again until he went in to speak with Him” – that is with God again. He would repeatedly speak with God, come back and veil himself. The glory would fade. He’d go back and do it again and again. He was a tool to call men to give God glory.
And so, man refused to give God glory in the garden, but God came back and said, “Give Me glory,” and He used the face of a man as a vehicle. Go with me for a moment to the fortieth chapter of Exodus, and here we find that God uses another means to call men to recognize His glory. In Exodus chapter 40, they were building the Tabernacle, the first place of worship. And when the Tabernacle was complete, a very incredible and glorious thing happened. At the end of verse 33, of the last chapter of Exodus, chapter 40, it says, “So, Moses finished the work.” The Tabernacle was complete, and instantly, it says in verse 34, “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation” - that’s the Tabernacle – “and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.”
Now, here comes the glory again. First it was in the garden, and man refused it. Then it came on the face of Moses. And you remember what happened ultimately, of course, when Moses came down from the Mount with the Tables of Testimony initially. The people were worshiping an idol, weren’t they? And it didn’t take long for them to complain and gripe even wandering in the wilderness. They were very short-lived in their response to glorify God.
So, once God established the Tabernacle, God said, “I’ll send My glory back again. This time it’ll dwell in the Tabernacle, and there, in the Holy of Holies, and over the Holy of Holies.” And every time the glory rises out of the Holy of Holies into the sky and moves, the children of Israel were to pack up and follow it. And it was a cloud by day and a pillar of – what by night? – of fire. And that was the glory of God before them at night, before them in the day, descending onto the Holy of Holies when they camped to worship. They always knew, “This is God revealing Himself and calling us to recognize His glory, the shining light which speaks of His goodness and grace and mercy and all that is true about Him.”
In fact, the glory was so overwhelming, verse 35 says, “Moses wasn’t able to enter the tent of the congregation because the glory cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.” He couldn’t even get in it because it was filled with God’s glory. “And when the cloud was taken up from over the Tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journey. When the cloud was not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the Tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.” God was saying, “See My glory? Would you see My glory?” And all the while they complained and they griped and they paid less attention to the glory of God than they should have. And as a result, they died. That whole generation died in the wilderness, didn’t they? It really is a sad story. God gives His glory in the garden, and they choose to follow Satan. God sends His glory on the face of Moses, and the people’s response is very short-lived. God sends His glory back in the accomplishing of the building of the Tabernacle, and they pay little attention to it. And they should have paid more. The tribes, you know, were organized around the Tabernacle in proper places, all 12 tribes focusing in on it. So, they had to look at the glory of God all the time. But even in that, they ignored it.
Finally, they settled in the land. And when they settled in the land, God commanded them to build a building. And this is the temple, 1 Kings, please, chapter 8. And they built the temple. And when they had finished building the temple, a glorious venture, a magnificent edifice. Upon the finishing of that Solomonic temple, that glorious place, verse 10 of 1 Kings 8 says, “And it came to pass when the priests were come out of the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.”
Now, they finished the Tabernacle and the glory came. They ignored that. They finished the temple, and the glory came again, and God was saying, “Here, in a permanent place in your own land, the glory of God will dwell in the Holy of Holies, and it will call you to give Me glory.” And you know what happened? By the time you come to 2 Chronicles chapter 9, the Queen of Sheba comes, and she looks at this temple, and she looks at all the wonders that Solomon had produced, and she doesn’t at all give glory to God; she gives glory to Solomon. And you read about that in 2 Chronicles chapter 9, verses 3 to 6. She says, “For thou exceedest the fame that I heard.” O Solomon, you’re more wonderful than I thought. And it doesn’t take long before the glory of God is lost and the glory of Solomon is the issue. It would have been bad enough if it had ended there, but it didn’t end there.
Go to Ezekiel chapter 8. And in Ezekiel chapter 8, we have an incredible vision of the temple defiled. In Ezekiel chapter 8, we get a glimpse of the temple that is really tragic. Verse 9, “He said, ‘Go in’” – go in. He had seen the glory of God in chapter 8, verse 4, the glory of the God of Israel was there according to the vision that he had in the plain. But when he comes to the temple to see what’s there, he is instructed, in verse 9, “‘Go in and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.’” So he went into the temple where the glory of God was supposed to dwell. And what did he see? “Every form of creeping things and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel portrayed on the wall roundabout.” They had painted all their idols on the walls: snakes, beasts.
“There stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand.” “Every man his censer in his hand” means everybody was acting like a priest; they were violating the priesthood. They were violating the single worship of God with all their idols. The place was filled with that; it was loaded with incense. “And there was imagery” – says verse 12.
Verse 13, “‘Turn,’ he says, ‘and I’ll show you something even worse than this.’ And there were” – in verse 14 – “women weeping for Tammuz” – this is Baal worship. Baal worship. Tammuz is the name of the false God that’s identified with all kinds of different names like Isis and Adonis and many others in Greek mythology.
“He says, ‘Look, and I’ll show you something even further,’ and he brought me” – verse 16 – “to the inner court of the Lord’s house. And behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord” – the door of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies – “there were twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple” – they had their backs to the Holy of Holies – “their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun.” No doubt influenced by the Egyptians who worshiped the sun god Ra. The whole temple has been abominated and desecrated. And Ezekiel sees this in his vision. “‘Do you see it’” – verse 17 says – “‘O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? They have filled the land with violence; they have returned to provoke Me to anger. I will dear in fury with them,’ he says.” And here God sent His glory in a temple, and they didn’t accept that any more than they accepted His glory in a tent, or His glory on the face of Moses, or even His glory in the garden.
And then you have one of the most tragic things in all of Scripture. You have “Ichabod” written on the people as the glory departs. And if you follow through chapter 10, progressively the glory of God leaves. “First” – verse 3 – “the cloud fills the inner court.” Verse 4, “Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub and stood over the threshold of the house, and the house was filled with the cloud and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory.” And progressively – we won’t take the time to develop it – as you move through the chapter, the glory of God comes up, and finally it moves away. And it goes far away.
Verse 18, “The glory of the Lord departed” – and it progressively goes away until “Ichabod” – the glory has altogether departed – is written on that place. And Hosea tells us that vultures circle the temple of God.
Now, all through this Old Testament, God is calling men to realize His glory, calling men to give Him glory. His glory came in the garden. His glory came on the face of a man. His glory came in a tent. His glory came in a building. And there was one more time that He sent His glory, and this time He sent it in the form of a man, His only Son. And when Jesus Christ came into the world, do you know who He was? He was the glory of God in a body.
In John 1:14, it says, “We behold His glory.” And in Luke chapter 9, He pulled back His flesh, and He revealed His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. He showed that He was none other than the Shekinah, the same glory, the same essential reality of God revealed in light in the Old Testament, that dwelled in the temple, that dwelled in the Tabernacle, that shone on the face of Moses, that came in the garden and walked with man. The glory was back, and God in Christ was saying, “Will you give Me glory? Will you give Me glory?” And God cried out, “This is my beloved Son; hear Him; hear Him.” And man did to Jesus Christ exactly what man had done every other time God sent His glory: rejected it, turned His back on Christ.
You say, “Is God through?”
No. No, God’s going to send His glory back in the future. Let me talk about the future. I’ve talked about the past; may I talk about the future for a moment? In Matthew chapter 24, we get a picture of the glory of God coming in the future. In Matthew 24 it says, “Immediately after the tribulation in those days, the sun will be darkened” – verse 29 – “and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven; the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” In other words, God turns out all the lights in the heavens. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven” – now Christ is coming – “then shall all the tribes of the Earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power. And now, for the first time in Scripture, great glory. This is unveiled glory. This is not partial glory. This is great glory, and it is then, I believe, that the people in the world cry for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them, to hide them from the face of His glory.
Well, the glory’s coming back. Chapter 25 of Matthew, verse 31, again repeats the same idea. “The Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him; then He will sit on the throne of His glory.” Listen, when that occasion occurs, when Christ comes in full and final glory, there will be no choices. The Bible says, “His glory will fill the whole Earth, and He will reign as King of kings and Lord of Lords, and He will judge instantly all of those who do not know Him.”
In that time that He comes in full, final glory. Man will have no choice, for His glory will fill all in all, and the rebels will be instantly dealt with.
You says, “Well, where will we be then? He’s coming with the angels.”
I think we’re going to be there, too. Colossians 3:4 says, “When Christ shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him” – where? – “in glory.” I believe when Jesus comes back in His glory with the holy angels, He comes also with the holy redeemed and raptured saints. The glorified saints will come. We’ll be a part of that glory cloud that comes to fill the Earth.
Listen, in the past, God endeavored to reveal His glory to man, and man refused it. In the future, God will bring His glory, and man will have no choice. That leaves only the present. What about the present? Where’s the glory of God now? Is it on the face of a man? Is it in the garden somewhere? Is it in a building or a tent? There is no incarnate God here. And not yet have we seen it blazing out of heaven. Where is the glory of God? Where is it?
Oh, I think the best understanding of that comes from Colossians 1:27. Listen to it – just listen to it. Paul says this, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” And I think that not only has reference to a future manifestation of glory, but a present one as well. “Because,” he says, “the riches of the glory of the mystery of salvation is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” And what he is saying is between God’s revelations of glory in the past and God’s revelation of glory in the future, God has not left the world without a revelation of His glory. But the only way the world is ever going to see His glory is when you and I live to manifest that glory. Do you see that? That’s it. That’s where we all are as Christians. That’s why whatever we do, whether we eat or drink, we do all – what? – to the glory of God. Because that is His glory revealed. We are the temple the world sees. We are the Tabernacle. We are the shining face. We are the presence in the world of Christ. And that’s why, since we’ve been bought with a price for that purpose, we must glorify God in our body. That’s why, according to 2 Corinthians 3:8, which I always put under my name whenever I sign it, as we gaze on the glory of the Lord, we are transformed from one level of glory to the next by the Holy Spirit.
The focus of the life of a Christian is to gaze on the glory of Jesus Christ. I’ll tell you, when you look to the Word of God, and you see His glory, and you see His glory, and you see His glory, you go away like Moses. You don’t go away proud, but you go away manifesting His glory.
I remember the story of a young man who came to D. L. Moody one time and said, “Oh, Mr. Moody, we’ve been in an all-night prayer meeting. See how our faces shine.”
And Mr. Moody said, “Moses didn’t know his face shone. Somebody had to tell him.”
So, we are the revelation of the glory of God. And as 2 Corinthians 3:18 says it, “As we look, gazing as it were, into the glory of God, focusing on the glory of God,” it says, “with an unveiled face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image from one level of glory to the next.”
The longer you gaze at Christ, the more intently you focus on Christ, the more you lose yourself in Him, the more you are transformed into His glory from one level to the next. And when you move through the world, you are the Shekinah for this age, and so am I. For the church is called to represent His glory, to be His glory in the world. And if the world is to see the glory of God, if they are to see the God they are to glorify, they need to see in us that glory.
That’s why in 2 Peter 1:3 – listen to this – it says, “God has called us to glory and virtue.” And as you live that virtuous, obedient life, you and I manifest the glory of God. Well, I can’t think of a higher calling, can you? I can’t think of a higher calling. I mean I have grown up studying the Bible and always had a great sense of awe in thinking of the presence of God in the garden; a great sense of awe in thinking of Moses seeing the glory of God on Mount Sinai, coming down with it on his face; a great sense of awe in imagining the cloud filling the Tabernacle in the temple; a great sense of awe about the incarnate Christ who was veiled glory. And oh, what a marvelous – what a heart-searching thought it is to realize that in this time and for now I am that vehicle to transmit the glory of God to a watching world so that whatever I do, eat or drink or whatever I do, I do it all – what? – to the glory of God. May it be so. Let’s bow in prayer.
Our prayer, Father, together tonight is that we would fulfill this high and holy calling to live to Your glory; to seek not for our own, but for Thee; to be not concerned with ourselves, but Thee; to show the world not us, but Thee; to manifest not our abilities and our talents and our skills, but the glory that Thou hast planted in us by the indwelling of eternal life in Christ. May it be that we shine, and that the world, when seeing us, will give glory to God who shines through us. May we adorn Thee, as Paul said to Titus.
We thank Thee for our fellowship today, and because Jesus Christ was willing to die and rise for us, we can give Thee glory. For that we rejoice.
And we thank You also, Father, that we have committed unto Your hands and Your care our dear friend Ron Perez, who loved You with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, who lived his life for You. We thank You that he now rejoices in the presence of the One he loved and served, and the One in whom he hoped so greatly, and hope is now reality for him. We bless You for that. But he, being dead, yet speaks and shall ever speak, of trust and faith and hope and strength and courage to all of us who knew him. We thank You for that lesson.
And, Father, we pray tonight for those who may not yet know what it is to reflect Your glory, that ere this day passes, they’ll seek to know. And we are confident that to those who seek there shall come an understanding, for that’s your promise, for Christ’s sake, amen.
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