Saturday, May 28, 2005

God's Glory

Jesus' whole mission on earth had to do with revealing God's glory. I've always loved what that Christian hedonist John Piper says about missions-that missions exist because worship of God does not. And what is worship of God but bringing glory to Him? The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever, according to the Westminster Catechism.

I just read Jesus' prayer in John 17:1-25. Jesus is in the Upper Room with the disciples and is preparing himself and them for the cross. The overwhelming theme is God's glory. He asks God, "Glorify your Son, so he can give glory back to you." He says, "I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do. And now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began." Jesus on earth left the glory of the presence of the Father, but brought that glory to earth through his obedience. Jesus' obedient reflection of God's glory allowed us to see it.

This glory did not leave when Jesus ascended into heaven, however. As he shifts his prayers to his followers, he says, "My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. And all of them, since they are mine, belong to you; and you have given them back to me, so they are my glory!" His glory remained in his followers. We are his glory!

The Christian community is to be reflective of God's glory and this glory should bring them unity... "I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are-- in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you've given me to be with me, so they can see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me even before the world began!"

Could it be that if we individually and corporately were seeking more after Jesus, his glory would be reflected more broadly in our lives? Could it be that if the church universal focused on God's glory and not celebrity status or individual church growth, that we could achieve unity? Might this not affect how the world sees God?

How, indeed, can the world know God? Only by his power reflecting through us.  "O righteous Father, the world doesn't know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. And I have revealed you to them and will keep on revealing you. I will do this so that your love for me may be in them and I in them."

Lord, Jesus, help us as your body to be filled to overflowing with your glory in a unified, communal life of worship and love that shows to the world that you are the one deserving of glory.

Micah Girl


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