[forthright] Glory

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 17:46:02 -0300
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


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This week's theme: Give glory to God.
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COLUMN: Final Phase

Glory
by J. Randal Matheny

    "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and
    the glory of the Lord has risen upon you."
                                 Isa. 60:1, ESV

For many, "glory" is a nebulous concept. The main
Hebrew term comes from a root meaning "heavy" or
"weighty." The word is used figuratively to denote
an important or impressive person. The glory of
the Lord is his own character, his splendor,
holiness, and power. That glory is closely tied to
his revelation of himself, his self-disclosure
that leaves man tongue-tied and weak-kneed.

Some writers quibble that we cannot add to God's
glory, and I suppose they have a point. Perhaps we
can but recognize God's glory and reflect it to
others. At least, we can enlarge the shining of
God's glory among men.

Isaiah's verse above suggests to us several
lessons about the glory of God.

First, God bids us leave our sin. Jerusalem is
pictured as a prostrate, humiliated woman,
punished for her sins, now bidden to rise to
welcome the coming of God's glory. How can we
cling to the past, to transgression, to guilt,
when God shines upon us?

Second, God bids us bask in his light. His desire
has always been to bless man. The first thing he
did after creating Adam and Eve was to bless them.
God's favor spills upon the penitent, upon the
one who is willing to rise to meet the splendorous
shower of his presence. His light is cleansing,
transforming, empowering.

Third, God bids us fulfill his mission. Shine
God's light to the nations. "His glory will be
seen upon you" by the peoples of the world (v. 2).
Stand up straight, stand tall, let God be evident
in you to those around you. "Let the beauty of
Jesus be seen in me," we sing. Yes, indeed.
Through word and deed (both are necessary) God
will be made known and the nations will come to
him.

Give glory to God by leaving sin, receiving his
glory, and shining as lights in a dark world. Now
that's heavy!

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