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Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Glory of the Lord

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.”
“And the glory of the LORD will be revealed
and all mankind together will see it.”
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Isaiah 40:1,5 NIV
What does “The Glory of the Lord” look like? I imagine “The Glory of the Lord” to be brilliantly bright! Our eyes do not allow us to look directly into the sun, nor can we who are mere mortals, look directly upon God. When the angel, accompanied by the heavenly host appeared to the shepherds what did the shepherds really see?  Did the heavenly host illuminate the night sky or did they simply hover over the Bethlehem hillside? Was this splendor a reflection of “The Glory of the Lord”? Does “The Glory of the Lord” fill our heart with fear? Isaiah said, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” Why? Because “The Glory of the Lord” will be revealed and all mankind together will see it.” Seeing “The Glory of the Lord” is not to be feared by those who love the Lord, but rather something we are to look forward to and be comforted by.
On the night of Jesus’ birth, he left the splendor of heaven and came near to humanity. God, who created this world, was now being created in the form of a man. A baby fresh from heaven! God came into this world as a baby who would be dependant upon a mother and a father to provide for his needs. From an earthly perspective there was not much glory found in that stable. The baby in the manger did not produce fear, nor did he shine so brightly that Mary and Joseph could not look at him. Jesus was simply wrapped in swaddling clothes. Upon their arrival at the stable, I doubt the shepherds saw a Christmas card picture of the Holy family with halos surrounding the heads. Still, from a heavenly perspective, this baby was clothed in the invisible “Glory of God”.
As believers, when we find Jesus and begin to follow him we experience unspeakable joy that is full of God’s glory! As we begin our journey with Jesus and we walk with him daily in a personal relationship, we are overshadowed by “The Glory of the Lord”. This glory is permeated with God’s amazing grace.  The Bible tells us that now we only see in part but someday we will see “The Glory of the Lord” as face to face! As believers, we are free to worship our King. This relationship allows us to be completely satisfied with Jesus because he fulfills all of our inner longings and gives us peace in the midst of all of our circumstances when we trust him. It is in this experience with the God of the universe that we experience in some small way a foretaste of the divine. It is just a glimpse of what is yet to come.
“The Glory of the Lord” looks like Jesus. It is important for us to remember that it is our kind, encouraging, loving words and deeds that enable others to have a sneak preview of “The Glory of the Lord”. “The Glory of the Lord” is also reflected through our unexplainable and unspeakable joy! “The Glory of the Lord” is seen by others when they observe unexplainable peace in our life in the midst of adversity. “The Glory of the Lord” is displayed through our unshakable faith in God and our love for God and others. We recognize “The Glory of the Lord” in others and others recognize it in us. When others see Jesus through us and we see Jesus in others, it is God who is glorified!
As we observe God at work in our world, we definitely get a taste of his glory. When we observe God’s goodness in any situation wonderful things happen. Lives are changed for the better, love is expressed, hearts are healed, needs are met, hope is stirred, and in all of these scenarios “The Glory of the Lord” is revealed!
When Jesus returns to this earth, his second coming will be noticed by all. Unlike Jesus’ first visit to our planet when a sleeping world didn’t even notice his arrival. However, when Jesus comes a second time to our world he will rule and reign and his glory will be revealed! What will that look like? “The Glory of the Lord” will be manifest in perfect peace, love, and joy. Order, will be restored to this world and his glory will be evident. What man could not accomplish will be accomplished by Jesus Christ and “The Glory of the Lord” will be revealed to all those who rule and reign with him. Now we see only the shadows of is glory but then we will see his glory face to face.
Take comfort in the fact that those who love this King of Glory will be rewarded in heaven for all eternity. I believe that “The Glory of the Lord” will be revealed in heaven in such a way that we will experience a brilliance we have never known before. All the twinkling lights of Christmas will pale compared to the glory of the Bright and Morning Star. “The Glory of the Lord” will be revealed and reflected throughout all of heaven. When we experience the streets of gold and the crystal sea, this will simply be reflections of “The Glory of the Lord”. The truth is that in heaven there will be no need of the sun because the Son will be the light. At this point in time my finite mind can only pitifully imagine the full blown “Glory of the Lord” and what it will be like when it is revealed. But because I belong to Jesus, I am not afraid. I am comforted.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord Almighty, he is the King of Glory! Embrace the comfort of this Christmas message. “The Glory of the Lord” is found in none other than the Son, who came into this world as a baby to seek and save the lost. Those who seek him find him. Do you know this King of glory, who is Jesus Christ the Lord?

  1. Does “The Glory of the Lord” intrigue you?
  2. How have you experienced “The Glory of the Lord” in your life?
  3. Have you seen “The Glory of the Lord” in someone else?
  4. Do you look forward to and long for the day when you will see the complete “Glory of the Lord” revealed?

Dear Father in Heaven,
Holy is your name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Father, to you alone belong all power and all glory forever and ever! I stand amazed at your glory! I am filled with inexpressible and incomprehensible thoughts when it comes to understanding your glory. Yet, today I feel your glory in the form of love in my life. I am in awe of this earthly shadow of your glory. I thank you God that you have allowed me to experience a taste of your glory. Today I am full of hope as I wait for that day when “The Glory of the Lord” will be completely revealed. Father, I pray that I will be the kind of Christian that will be trusting and obedient. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and pour me out to others unbeknown to me. Pour me out to others in a pure way that is free of selfish pride. Use me as you choose to reflect your glory to others. Restore in me the joy of my salvation so that I might be used as a tool to reflect your glory. I do not fear your glory because your glory is my comfort, my peace and my joy. I know that sometimes circumstances are so devastating that I struggle to see your glory, but still, my faith in what is unseen knows that you are always near. Someday I will understand the things that are now hidden from me, but for now, I will accept that some secrets belong to you alone. Father, Christmas is a perfect time for me to reflect on your glory because two thousand years ago heaven came down to our world at Christmas. Because of the fulfillment of that blessed prophetic event, glory fills my soul today. As I worship you, I also bask in your glory!
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.