This month has been a wonderful Advent journey! We have arrived at that very special day Christians around the world celebrate Jesus’ Birthday! Let’s start with 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 Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. “So God became man, and yet was still fully sinless God, uniquely Jesus, and took up residence with mankind. That word “dwelt” literally means tabernacled. This is an analogy referring to the OT tabernacle in the wilderness where God pitched His tent among the Hebrews and manifested His glory there. So Jesus identified Himself with humanity by becoming flesh. And we beheld His glory. Here’s a few questions:
1)What IS the Glory of God?
Glory= (doxa) in the original language of the Bible. Refers to God in all His fullness, especially as He interacts with man. Honor given to people, nations, and individuals, praise and worship. In the New Testament Doxa means “splendor, radiance, and majesty” centered in Jesus.
Ezekiel describes it this way when he encounters the glory of God’s Presence: Ezekiel 1:28, “Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.”
II Chronicles 5:14, After King Solomon dedicated the Temple to the Lord, the priests were overwhelmed by the Presence of God! They were worshipping in unity with the singers and musicians when the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud. “and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.”
Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
2)How do we experience the glory of God’s Presence? In Exodus 33:18, Moses asks God “Show Me Your glory”. Moses’ request was not just for a display of God’s power-but to learn more of God’s ways. Moses truly desired intimate knowledge of God Himself.
The awesome news is this: God’s glory is available for all people to experience!! In John 17:21-23 Jesus prays to the Father: “May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent me.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—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent me and have loved them even as You have loved me.”
Even in persecution the Bible promises us that the Spirit of glory and God rests on His people, when we are reproached for the name of Christ.
3)How does the glory of His Presence affect us? We are changed!
2 Corinthians 3:17 -18, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Holy Spirit.” This transformation leads us to understand the purpose of God’s glory in our lives!!
On a Personal Level: We can maintain spiritual health because we don’t need to allow the trials of this life to control us= As we remember to: GAZE at the Blessing—and GLANCE at the pain!
Corporately: The Church is called, anointed and empowered to present the glory of God to a community! God’s love for all mankind shall be spread everywhere through His people bearing the glory of God, as they follow and obey Jesus’ commands.
In Conclusion: Jesus came to earth in the glory (on mission to redeem us) and He will return to earth in the glory- to reward each one of us according to what we’ve done! Matt 16:27, “For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what they have done.”
You can trust in Jesus to bring you without shame into His presence.
Jude 24-25 promises: “To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious Presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! “ Amen!