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Reflecting His glory

Why would the Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, after the fall of Adam, choose to redeem mankind back to Himself through the death and resurrection of His Son? Why, furthermore, would He put His Holy Spirit inside a mere man, made from the dust of the earth?  Romans 3:23 says that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Therefore, the first step in reflecting God’s glory, is to come to Christ and acknowledge that you need Him to save you.

 

What is the meaning of the word ‘glory’?

The word ‘glory’ means very great praise, honour, or distinction bestowed by common consent. Synonyms for ‘glory’ could be ‘brilliance’, ‘majesty’, ‘grandeur’, ‘magnificence’, ‘wonderfulness’!

One of the most fascinating Scriptures is found in Exodus 33:18 where Moses poured out his heart to God when he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Something in the passionate pursuit of Moses moved the heart of the Creator in making a way for this to happen, way before the Lord Jesus came to earth.

Another man with a heart after God’s heart was David. He writes in Psalm 63:2 – “So, I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.”

It seems that when someone truly has a heart after God, they have one desire – to see His glory. The desire to see God’s glory speaks of a deep passion for walking with God like Adam did. Like Enoch did. In simple terms, it is to be so captivated by His glory that one’s being, words and conduct increasingly reflect God. Is that at all possible for us today?

 

What does it mean to reflect God’s glory?

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 says, Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

To reflect the glory of God is to be conformed to the image of God. It means, less of us and more of Him must become visible in and through everything we do. Our conduct with others, with the affairs of life must reflect love, truth, righteousness, justice, holiness and purity.

 

How did Jesus reflect God’s glory?

In everything Jesus did, He often said; “…I do nothing of Myself” (John 8:28), and “also the works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me” (John 10:25), and “whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son”. (John 14:13). This means that everything Jesus said and did reflected His heavenly Father. Jesus revealed Himself as Messiah, especially to His disciples. They learned through Jesus what and who the Father was and how to reflect everything He is in heaven on earth.

Jesus taught His disciples the ‘Our Father prayer’, and the principle of ‘His kingdom to come on the earth as it is in heaven’. Earth must become a reflection of heaven. Believers in the Lord Jesus are to reflect Him on the earth as He is in heaven.

The Lord Jesus had a very special relationship with His heavenly Father, and it was reflected especially in His prayer life throughout His earthly walk. He spent whole nights in prayer (Luke 6:12), often withdrew to pray (Luke 5:16), and sometimes they looked for Him and found Him praying. (Mark 1:37). Because of His extraordinary prayer life, He was able to reflect the deeds of His heavenly Father on earth as it was in heaven.

 

How can I grow in beholding and reflecting the glory of God?

For us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus will be no small endeavour, but absolutely possible! It is a life-long process, a life-long journey to be transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus, manifesting our heavenly Father in and through us. We can behold the glory of the Lord by allowing the Spirit to speak to us through the Word.  This brings God’s truth to our hearts with fresh power and urgency to obey it. However, there are many more ways in which we can glorify God:

 

1. Praise Him with your lips

Psalm 63:3 – “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.” The words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart are to be acceptable before Him all the days of our lives. (Psalm 19:14).

 

2. Obey Him

1 Sam 15:22bBehold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” Acts 5:29 – But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:32 – And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him. It makes absolutely no sense to continue to follow your own desires, your own heart and mind if you are a child of God. God must become our one and only desire, and our complete allegiance must be to Him – so we will reflect His glory.

 

3. Pray in the name of Jesus

John 14:13-14“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” The word used here for ‘name’ in Hebrew means: ‘authority’ and ‘character’. When we pray in the likeness of Christ, in His character and in His authority, anything we ask will glorify God and therefore He will answer it.

 

4. Bear fruit and abide in Christ

John 15:8-9 – “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” The more we submit and surrender our lives to the Lord, the more fruit will come from our efforts in His Kingdom. Our dependency on Him and abiding in Him through prayer and supplication bring Him glory, and that glory becomes visible to those around us. Some nine of these fruits are mentioned in Galatians 5:22-26 as the indwelling Holy Spirit builds His character into us. In the same way our good deeds (Colossians 1:10) and winning souls to Christ (Romans 1:13) glorify God.  Whether we eat or drink, whatever we do, should be done for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31). It is our conduct that will be observed by those around us, therefore we should let our light ‘shine’ before others so they may see our good works and give glory to our Father in heaven (1 Peter 2:12, Matthew 5:16).

 

5. Unashamed when persecuted

1 Peter 4:16 – Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” To remain bold and confident in the Lord when we are ridiculed, belittled or persecuted is a way in which we glorify the Lord. It also says in Luke 12:8-9 – “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”  Be bold and never be ashamed of the name of the Lord before men!

 

6. Dying a martyrs death glorifies God

Jesus told Peter the death he would die would glorify God (John 21:19). Paul also stated that he desired for Christ to be glorified in his death (Philippians 1:20). One way of showing God’s greatness, is in the way we approach death because we know to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).

 

The Christian’s privilege

To live a life that glorifies God is the most wonderful privilege given to man. What a privilege to honour our God by reflecting Him to the world around us! Ask the Lord to put a deep hunger and thirst to be changed into His image, to abide in Him and to be a light in this world for His glory, all the days of your life.

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