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The Glory of God
The passages below are taken from Max Lucado’s book “It’s not about me,” published in 2004 by Integrity Publishers.
Moses asked to see it on Sinai.
It billowed through the temple, leaving priests too stunned to minister.
When Ezekiel saw it, he had to bow.
It encircled the angels and starstruck the shepherds in the Bethlehem pasture.
Jesus radiates it.
John beheld it.
Peter witnessed it on Transfiguration Hill.
Christ will return enthroned in it.
Heaven will be illuminated by it.
It gulfsreams the Atlantic of Scripture, touching every person with the potential of changing every life. Including yours. One glimpse, one taste, one sampling, and your faith will never be the same.
To seek God’s glory is to pray, “Thicken the air with your presence; make it misty with your majesty. Part heaven’s drapes, and let your nature spill forth. God, show us God.”
What the word Alps does for the mountains of Europe, glory does for God’s nature. Alps encompasses a host of beauties: creeks, peaks, falling leaves, running elk. To ask to see the Alps is to ask to see it all. To ask to see God’s glory is to ask to see all of God. God’s glory carries the full weight of his attributes: his love, his character, his strength, and on and on.
David celebrated God’s glory.
Bravo, GOD, bravo!
Gods and all angels shout, “Encore!”
In awe before the glory,
in awe before God’s visible power.
Stand at attention!
Dress your best to honor him!
GOD thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness—
GOD, across the flood waters.
GOD’s thunder tympanic,
GOD’s thunder symphonic.
GOD’s thunder smashes cedars,
GOD topples the northern cedars.
The mountain ranges skip like spring colts,
The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.
GOD’s thunder spits fire.
GOD thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh shake.
GOD’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches.
We fall to our knees---we call out, “Glory!”
(Psalm 29:1—9 MSG)
The word signals high honor. The Hebrew term for glory descends from a root word meaning heavy, weighty or important. God’s glory then, celebrates his significance, his uniqueness, his one-of-a-kindness. As Moses prayed, ”Who among the gods is like you, 0 LORD? Who is like you---majestic in holiness, awesome in glory working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11 NIV).
When you think “God’s glory” think “preeminence.” And, when you think “preeminence,” think “priority.” For God’s glory is God’s priority.
God’s staff meetings, if he had them, would revolve around one question: “How can we reveal my glory today?” God’s to-do list consists of one item: “Reveal my glory?’ Heaven’s framed and mounted purpose statement hangs in the angels’ break room just above the angel food cake. It reads: “Declare God’s glory.”
God exists to showcase God.
He told Moses: “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified” (Leviticus 10:3 NKJV).
Why did he harden Pharaoh’s heart? “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them [the Israelites]. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD” (Exodus 14:4 NIV).
Why do the heavens exist? The heavens exist to “declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1 NIV).
Why did God choose the Israelites? Through Isaiah he called out to “everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory” (Isaiah 43:7 NKJV).
Why do people struggle? God answers, “I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act” (Isaiah 48:10—11 NASB). “Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory” (Psalm 50:15 NLT).
He spoke of “this people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise” (Isaiah 43:21 NKJV). The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “You lead Your people, to make Yourself a glorious name” (Isaiah 63:14 NKJV).
Christ taught us to make God’s reputation our priority in prayer: “Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9 NASB).
Every act of heaven reveals God’s glory. Every act of Jesus did the same. Indeed, “The Son reflects the glory of God” (Hebrews 1:3 NCV). The night before his crucifixion, Jesus declared, “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, g1orify your name!” (John 12:27—28 NIV). Paul explains that “Christ has become a servant of the Jews . . so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:8—9 NIV).
And Jesus declared his mission a success by saying, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4 NIV).
God has one goal: God. ”I have my reputation to keep up” (Isaiah 48:11 MSG).
Surprised? Isn’t such an attitude, dare we ask, self—centered? Don’t we deem this behaviour ”self-promotion”? Why does God broadcast himself?
For the same reason the pilot of the lifeboat does. Think of it this way. You’re floundering neck-deep in a dark, cold sea. Ship sinking. Life jacket deflating. Strength waning. Through the inky night comes the voice of a lifeboat pilot. But you cannot see him. What do you want the driver of the lifeboat to do?
Be quiet? Say nothing? Steal his way through the drowning passengers? By no means! You need volume! Amp it up, buddy! In biblical jargon, you want him to show his glory. You need to hear him say, “I am here. I am strong. I have room for you. I can save you!” Drowning passengers want the pilot to reveal his pre-eminence.
Don’t we want God to do the same? Look around. People thrash about in seas of guilt, anger, despair. Life isn’t working. We are going down fast. But God can rescue us. And only one message matters. His! We need to see God’s glory.
Make no mistake. God has no ego problem. He does not reveal his glory for his good. We need a strong hand to pull us into a safe boat. And, once aboard, what becomes our priority?
Simple. Promote God.
We declare his pre-eminence. “Hey! Strong boat over here! Able pilot! He can pull you out!”
Passengers promote the pilot. “Not to us, 0 LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your loving-kindness, because of Your truth” (Psalm 115:1 NASB). If we boast at all, we “boast in the Lord” (2 Corinthians 10:17 NASB).
The breath you took as you read that last sentence was given to you for one reason, that you might for another moment “reflect the Lord’s glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV). God awoke you and me this morning for one purpose: “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples” (1 Chronicles 16:24 NIV).
“God made all things, and everything continues through him and for him. To him be the glory forever” (Romans 11:36 NCV, emphasis mine) “There is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him” (1 Corinthians 8:6 NLT, emphasis mine)
Why does the earth spin? For him.
Why do you have talents and abilities? For him.
Why do you have money or poverty? For him.
Strength or struggles? For him.
Everything and everyone exists to reveal his glory.
Including you. (25-32)
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