Thursday, January 7, 2010

Glory...ours or God's?

There's a worship song that's one of my favorites called "Everything Glorious."  The idea behind the song is that somehow, in a mysterious way, God has passed on His glory to us.  This is an astounding thought, since most of us believers grow up in the faith thinking, rightly so, that our ultimate goal is to bring glory to God.  Still, check out these three verses in Scripture;


Psalm 3:3:  "But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head."


John 17:22-23 [Jesus]: "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me."


John 1:14: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[d] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."


2 Cor 3:16-18: "But whenever anyone 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 freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."


So what's going on here, exactly?  Who's glory is it anyways?  


Webster's defines it this way;


1 a : praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent : renown b : worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving (giving glory to God)
2 a : something that secures praise or renown (the glory of a brilliant career) b : a distinguished quality or asset

3 a (1) : great beauty and splendor : magnificence (the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome — E. A. Poe) (2) : something marked by beauty or resplendence (a perfect glory of a day) b : the splendor and beatific happiness of heaven; broadly : eternity


Another great article on the Biblical meanings of the word can found here (click on link);


Now it would be extremely presumptuous of me to think that I have the answers to these questions.  There are men and women far more qualified to answer the questions as to what some of these verses mean.  However, clearly, there is something mysterious going on here.  So let me make some points...


1. Do you ever take time in your life to STOP and think about God?  He is mysterious...and a part of worship is just that - thinking, pondering, observing, wondering...I heard someone once say that "wonder" is the beginning of worship.  My point?  Reading these verses about God's glory leads to something; a type of worship that has at its root, wonder and mystery.  I don't know about you, but I want a God I can't fully understand.


2. When it comes to glory, for sure, there is a part of God's glory that we will never touch.


3. However, it is also clear that He has, at least in some part, bestowed His glory in us/on us.  Think back to the very beginning - man and woman were created in the image of God...in His very likeness.  That alone is amazing.  And Jesus makes it pretty clear when He's praying for us that in some way, He's given us "glory."


4. As we come to Christ, He begins to transform us and shape us to be more like Him...and I think it's in this sense that Paul writes that it's with ever-increasing "glory" that this happens.


5. Jesus is the true reflection of God's glory.  Jesus, after all, is fully God.  His name "Immanuel" - "God With Us" alludes to this truth...want to see God?  Look at Jesus.


In the end, my brain cannot fully wrap around the implications of all these verses...but man, it sure is fun to think about it, and wonder...and that is worship.

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