I was having dinner with a good friend tonight – talking life – talking God. At some point the conversation went to the holiness and gloriousness of God. You know, as dinner conversations usually go.
It’s funny, because at a new guys Bible study at my church we’re going through a book called Glory Veiled and Unveiled: A Heart-Searching Look at Christ’s Parables. As you can imagine, it walks through some of the most well known parables in the Bible. (“In this spiritually rewarding Bible study, the author shows students of Scripture how to read the parables in a way that takes into account the truth that Scripture searches us as we subject ourselves to it…”) At the end of each chapter, there are questions that initiate discussion in the group. The other week, one question in particular stood out to me.
“What happens when churches and people treat the Bible in a way in which they don’t see its glory?”
It’s a question that has been on my heart, both directly with relation to churches, but, particularly my view of God and His Word…
So what is glory? The term “glory” is really an umbrella of many words to describe who God is.
Now, jumping back to the conversation between my friend and I at dinner. Basically, we were talking about how we are generally always thankful and praise God for the good things He gives us – answers to prayers, jobs, family, health, house, friends, Himself, etc. If we’re really being “super spiritual” (sarcasm intended) we’re also thanking Him for the pain and struggle because we understand it’s role in growing us to rely more heavily, in faith, on God. (Romans 5:1-11) While this is all well and good, it’s such an elementary and small view of God and His power.
In regards to churches: when they treat the Bible in a way that they don’t see the glory in it and in God, you end up with churches that just follow rituals and orders of traditions past. You find people who know the right words to say and sing, who go to church events, and who serve because they think they should or they always have – but who’s hearts don’t sing with praise and burn to learn.
That was me. 9 months ago. Chugging along because it’s what I thought was right. And what I always did. So naive and not vocally appreciative of the glory of God reaching down to me, wrapping His arms around me, and pulling me out of the pit of doom I would have headed down.
God is the creator of the universe. He wrote and empowered humans to pen His word in a book filled with truths that would remain relevant thousands and thousands of years later. God was gracious enough to gave us this book, The Bible, to show generations who He is. When we are in Scripture, we can see the attributes of God. With the Holy Spirit empowering us and opening our hearts, we can see who God really is. When we see this, we can be in awe of God – and really appreciate His Glory – His holiness – His power – and His love. It’s a transformative thing. (Ephesians 3:10–11)
God [absolutely] is love. Summarized, the Gospel is very much about God’s love in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and rise from the dead, to fulfill the law – which we couldn’t fulfill on our own because of our inherent sinful nature. God is love, and glory, and holiness, and power, and just, and righteous, and so much more! We should preach God’s love and forgiveness – the Gospel – along side of His glory and holiness.
This certainly is no theological masterpiece – I’m not finished – as I haven’t yet figured it all out for myself. I want to better understand what I believe as truth. It is just a springboard for me to re-evaluate how deep I let God permeate my mind and heart – to not put God in a box of just love – to just seeing what He’s doing in my life – and answering prayers. To really dig into the essence of who He is – His glory. His holiness. “..And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” -Romans 5:2. To see what all that REALLY means – for my spiritual walk, growth, day-to-day grind of life, where I’ll serve, and my purpose in life.
Maybe it’s an encouragement for you to do the same? I hope.
Everywhere You are there
Earth or air surrounding
I’m not alone, the heavens sing along
My God You’re so astounding
How could You be so good to me
Eternally I believe that
–David Crowder Band
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior