Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11). [B]ring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. (Isaiah 43:6-7).
And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3).
...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. (Romans 3:23-25).
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Glory is one of those words which we find difficult to get our minds around. Let’s be honest, you’ve probably not used the word in your own conversations recently. So, what is glory, exactly? And furthermore, what, if anything, does it have to do with us?
Glory is defined by Webster as, “splendor, or brightness.” It’s the shine that comes off something beautiful. It’s the renown that goes before someone wonderful. In short, glory is the manifestation of all the perfections of God. It’s God’s brightness. It’s the shine that comes off all his beauty. And his shine—his glory—is totally, completely unique. The psalmist reminds us that no one is glorious like God. No one’s perfections shine in remotely the same way.
God’s glory is a topic about which heaven is consumed. We’re told that in the new heavens and new earth, God’s glory will shine so brightly for us to see, that we won’t need any sunlight. We’ll have God! Even more amazing still, is this: we can share in his glory. We can participate in the shining perfections of God. God cries through Isaiah, “bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.” That means that God is calling for his sons and daughters to join him in his glory.
This all begs a big question: why? Why would God want to share his greatness and glory with us? What could we possibly have to add to attract God’s attention? Answer: Nothing.
You and I don’t have anything to add to God’s glory. That’s why his invitation to join him is such good news, because it’s totally by his grace. Romans tells us that you and I actually repeatedly fall short of the glory of God. We can’t make it. We fail. You and I don’t shine like him. But God has brought a wonderful solution to our problem. In stead of casting us off like trash, God put his glorious Son to death. In Jesus, God has offered us an invitation to the greatest, most exhilarating life there is; the life spent pursuing and enjoying the glory of God. It is a beautiful invitation, with letters written in the blood of his Son.
You and I and everything everywhere was made to glorify God. Why? Because there’s nothing better than the glory of God. So, in inviting us to glorify him, God is calling us to the life of highest joy, significance, and satisfaction.
What’s the result? As we live this way, we are transformed “from one degree of glory to another.” That is, the more we gaze at the glory of God, the more we reflect it ourselves. Don’t miss this, Christian. Consider your calling: you’ve been invited to participate in the glory of God, and that’s very good news.