Archive for the ‘The Glory of God’ Category

When Michelle and I first got married we lived in a small apartment at 620 N. College Ave. just north of Belmont Ave. in Fresno. We paid $97.50 a month; today you can rent the same apartment for $600 a month. If you’re not sure where that is, it’s in the hood! We were very young and not yet serving the Lord so let’s just say things that happened at 620 N. College STAYED at 620 N. College.

One thing I would enjoy doing on a Saturday afternoon was to sit outside of our apartment, crank up my 8-track stereo and listen to Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. One of my favorite songs was “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” a soulful ballad sung by Teddy Pendergrass. You need to understand that we were in love, but we really didn’t know each other.

The same was true about my Heavenly Father. I loved God from the moment He saved me April 15, 1980 but I didn’t know Him. That’s one of the wonderful things about the glory of God and the words of Jesus; we can get to know our Father in heaven.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:25-26 (NIV)

God will manifest His glory so we can know Him personally, not just to know about Him. That happens through His glory coming down and His Word going in our hearts. Jesus came to earth to reveal the Father to this desperate world and He continues to make known the Father to all.

There is so much to know and so much to learn that every time I think I got it, something new and wonderful (or new and corrective) comes from God’s presence and His Word right into my life. The cool thing is God wants us to benefit from knowing Him personally. His glory is so much more than just knowing about God, its experiencing God every day. The Apostle Peter put it this way, “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. (MSG) …he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us!” (TLB) 2 Peter 1:3 There is a catch to His glory though, it’s not only for our benefit or pleasure, it’s to equip us to please Him. I’ve made some dumb mistakes and violated scripture in my life (that’s fancy talk for “I sinned”) and I’m sure I have more dumb things to do, but the best thing I did after I got saved was to commit my life to pleasing God. And because of that commitment He has blessed me immensely and I know I don’t deserve the life I have, but I’m extremely grateful to God for His glory expressed to me over the years. Oh yes, one more thing… I love Michelle more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow!

PEACE

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There is an old chorus we used to sing that I love called “See His Glory”. Its one of those melodies with simple lyrics that can warm the heart. But because of my immaturity as a believer at that time in my life I was always under the assumption that we would see some type of outward manifestation of the glory of God that would transform our church. We had, and still do have some powerful experiences with God’s glory, but now that I’m older I have a deeper insight to the purpose for God’s glory.

God, the Father wants His glory to be seen by the world around us and the best way for that to happen is for the glory of God to be seen in us by everyone we come in contact with. Let me put it this way; when people look into our lives it should be like looking into a mirror and the reflection they see is the glory of God in us. 2 Corinthians 3:18 As all of us reflect the Lord’s glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (GW) As we allow the Holy Spirit to do His life-changing work in us we reflect the glory of God. And if we are following God wholeheartedly people will see an ever-increasing glory from the Spirit of God!

Jesus prayed that this would be our reality in John 17:24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Jesus prayed two things that are our responsibility if we desire to reflect God’s glory 1) Jesus wants us to be with Him. He wants us in His presence. That takes a deliberate decision by us to “enter in”, to open our hearts to the super-natural presence of God. 2) Jesus wants us to be where He is. That implies movement. God is moving in powerful ways today, we must again make a deliberate decision to move with Him. I think the best way to move with Jesus is found in John 12:26, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” Those who have committed their lives to serving Christ will be in a better position to see the glory of God. And those who understand that serving Christ means serving others with no strings attached and no expectations of receiving from the ones we serve, they will reflect an ever-increasing glory. The greatest manifestations of God’s glory in my life have come when I serve others in the power of the Spirit! May we all see His glory as we serve Him.

PEACE

I have a friend that has a very good habit, whenever something positive happens he will enthusiastically say, “Glory!” giving God praise for that particular moment. But my limited mind has trouble at times grasping this very important reality; the glory of God in our lives.

Before you jump to any wrong conclusions, I’ve experienced the glory of God and truly believe in the power of God’s glory but I think most people don’t really understand the purpose for God’s glory in our lives. Here are a couple of definitions for us to consider…

GLORY: visible sign of God’s greatness. Dignity, honor, praise, worship…

When God appeared to people, his glory was often seen as a bright light or as fire and smoke. Jesus’ glory was seen when he performed miracles, when he was lifted up on the cross, and when he was raised from death.—Contemporary English Version Dictionary

In John’s Gospel Jesus speaks (actually prays) about the purpose of God’s glory in our lives. The prayer is progressive; He begins praying for Himself, then for the disciples, and concludes by praying for people who would believe in Him through the message of the disciples (that’s some of us). Jesus prays that, as believers, we are to be in complete unity.

In John 17:21 He makes a remarkable statement, “…that all of them may be one,”. In this verse He gives us the possibility that ALL of the Church can be one. But then He gives us the standard, “Father, just as you are in me and I am in you…” WOW! Jesus prayed that we would have the same oneness as the Father and the Son! That’s a pretty tall order but, realize this, it is possible or Jesus would have never prayed that way.

Looking at the state of the Church throughout the world we are far from being united. Unity in the Church based on the unity of the Spirit must be a priority. It is crucial to the plans of God for the salvation of the world. “…May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” As we become one with the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and with every believer, the world will see the beauty and splendor of the glory of God. More to come…

PEACE