The glory of God
The Rev. Kathy Brumbaugh, Special Writer
Background text: Psalm 19:1-3
Devotional text: 2 Corinthians 4:6
God’s glory is expressed in a multitude of ways in the Holy Bible. As we read some of these scriptures, we begin to get a clearer picture of who God is.
Let’s look at these scriptures as we seek to know God in our lives.
Psalm 19:1-3 says of God, “The heavens declare the glory of God and their expanse declare the work of his hands; day to day pours forth his speech, and night to night reveals knowledge … ”
These words make me think of the sun and the moon and the stars. Shining in the sky to be seen by day or night, the heavens display the awesome power of God’s creation.
As a young person, I had the opportunity to view the night sky through a telescope. Vividly, I remember seeing the bright rings surrounding Saturn and a star cluster looking like a gigantic diamond sparkling in the sky. Since that time, my love for the night sky has led me to view the cosmos through photos taken by the Hubble telescope. Seeing the array of colors and shapes found in nebulas opened up a whole new world to me. What a wondrous expression of God’s creation.
Back on Earth, several years ago, my sister and I witnessed the undulating curtains of the aurora borealis that filled the night sky as we traveled through upstate New York. It was a rare and momentous occurrence. Little did I know that at the same time the curtains of light also appeared above the church I was serving in Hannibal, N.Y. The photographer who lived across the street captured the lights as they formed, in part, a cross above the church. We used that photo as the cover for our next church directory.
As I thought of these glorious sights, a thought came to mind: “All heaven sings and the earth does ring with the glory of his love.”
So, we understand the glory of God to be in his creation.
Romans 1:20 tells us: “Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities have clearly been seen, being understood from what he has made.”
The word glory comes from the Latin gloria, meaning fame or renown. In Wikipedia, the term is described religiously as “the manifestation of God’s presence as perceived by humans according to the Abrahamic religions.”
It goes on to say that, in the Christian faith, “the understanding of God’s glory is giving one’s self 100% to Christ.”
Let’s look at scripture that enlightens us about God’s glory being Jesus Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 4:6, we see God’s glory in Christ as the scripture reads, “God … made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
As believers, we have that same light of God’s glory through Christ shining through us. How well I remember a child as she accepted belief in Christ as her Savior. Her face and eyes lit up with God’s glory. We see the same thing many times as people come to know the Lord.
Going to John 1:14, we read, “The Word became flesh … we have seen the glory of the one and only Son … full of grace and truth.”
Although we have “all sinned and fall short of the glory of the Lord,” we also are “all justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ” (Romans 2:23-24).
In reading the entire text of Romans 8, we find God’s glory in his Son, Jesus, and how we are saved according to God’s love by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Verses 29 and 30 inform the believer that Jesus was the firstborn “among many brothers and sisters (believers)” and that “those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
In summary, what the scriptures say to us here is that Jesus is the glory of God and, that as believers, we too receive God’s glory.
Through scripture, we learn that God created us for his glory (Isaiah 43:7) and that we glorify God through the ways we express his goodness to the world.
Expressing goodness comes in many forms, including trusting friendships, kindness to strangers, hospitality and help. Also, we find expressions of goodness in the way we love one another, in the words we speak and in the actions we take.
Goodness can be revealed in art and music, as they soothe the soul and reveal expressions of peace and happiness.
Goodness, being one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, given to all believers (Galatians 5:22), is but one of the ways we express the glory of God that is in us.
The glory of God is unique, in that it is an action word that can only come from God. It doesn’t have its foundation in man, nature or earth. God’s glory is given freely to all believers through the manifestation of his glory, Jesus the Christ.
The very presence of God comes in his glory. It is the power to deliver us; it is the power of the resurrection; and it is the power to transform us into new life.
Next, I will continue with the glory of God as we look at how God’s presence has appeared to us throughout the Bible.