Glory is when holiness comes to expression. How we glorify God.

As God is the saints’ glory so they are His.

An amazing statement. Hear Jesus pray in John 17 that, “I have given them the glory that you gave me.”

Glory is the extraordinary, mind-blowing weightiness of God’s presence as He brings to light or manifests all the goodness that He has and is. Glory is when holiness comes to expression.

At creation, only man was given a deposit of this glory, we were made in the image of God  (imago dei). God animated our souls with His God breath.  Man can express our worship of God only because from our spirit, where that deposit of glory rest, our soul’s interpreter speaks using man’s tongue. The glory of man above all created, uses words to declare praises. This is to glorify God.

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. Heb 13:15

To glorify God is to be used to bring Glory to Him.

I write “used” because we are incapable of doing this ourselves. The imperfect cannot show or explain the perfect. When we glorify God it is God glorifying Himself through us. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Phil 2:3 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Cor 4:7

How does God work in us and through us to bring Himself glory?

Using the different meanings of glory we can better understand what glorify means.

Light: Jesus calls us the light of the world and we need to shine and illumine our area of influence with the presence of Christ. Light reveals. To glorify God is to reveal God so others see Him. See Him, not us.

Majesty: Recognizing God as our great Lord and King. To glorify God is to live in submission to His will and purposes. We exalt the awesomeness of God’s sovereign rule, absolute power and majestic creation.

Brilliance: Make God look good by our love and unity with believers. To glorify God is to make Him beautiful, desirable, and attractive in the eyes of man by the radiant way that we live out our love for Him and others.

Boasting: Holding God in high esteem we value, delight and take pride in God, valuing our relationship with God above everything else. We give a witness to God’s work in our lives and boast of Christ and the good news of His grace and gospel. To glorify God is to live our lives so that God could boast of us like He did about Job.

Honor:  Publically show the value that we have toward God. To glorify God is to express God’s worth to us in praise, worship and adoration. We magnify God’s name by making God’s name heard then pronouncing it great so others will also fear, which Biblically means be in awe of and respect, Him. We promote the name of God with great respect with the purpose that the mere mention of God’s name would evoke praise from men.

There are also ways we steal glory from God.

We glorify creation instead of the creator. We give glory to ourselves, our opinions, our works, ways and wills or we give glory to the world, men or objects, events or emotions. We ignore God, omit Him in conversations or fail to model Him to others. We profane His name with words or actions. We are taken over by pride. We put something above God, called an idol, that hides God’s character or distorts it as all things that lie to us do.  We don’t do what we say which labels us a hypocrite.

How can we glorify God with great intention.

Prepare our knowledge, attitude and will to this end by an earnest desire and commitment to glorify God.
Shift our attention to live out a life of worship by becoming aware of God’s presence and giving honor to Him.
Pray for a desire to glorify God, a consciousness of when we steal glory and a commitment to live it out.

In the Westminster Shorter Catechism the question, “What is the chief end of man?” is answered.
Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
The second question is “What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?”
The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.

Psalm 145 describes what glory is, why it is to be given to God, and how we are to give it.

First David describes what glory is and how it is to be given:

1 I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. 2 Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. 4 One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. 5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. 6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds.7 They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The psalmist goes on to describe the character of God in a way that makes Him desirable to men:

8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. 9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 10 All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, 12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.

The writer continues with God’s noble acts:

14 The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:3

Want to learn more, read The Honor Series, parables about God’s glory expressed in contemporary fiction.

Affliction. This is light? a study of Glory in 2 cor 4:17-18

Affliction. Troubles. Times, when as the Message says, ‘things are falling apart on us.’ And God’s true Word says these moments are light.
As in light in weight, a burden easy to bear. Cancer, light? Wayward children, light? This back pain, light? I’m in debt, light? Without a job, light? Divorced, light? None of this feels, light. Suffering presses body and soul down into the dust with its weight and it is hardly ever ‘momentary’. This trouble started months or years ago and its peculiar nature could continue to remain for the rest of life. I don’t call that momentary.

But neither our foreboding nor our feelings on suffering can be taken as proofs of how a matter really stands. We must receive the Spirit of Truth’s testimony not our fallible feelings or false fears. If you answered the call of grace and know Christ as your savior then you, child of God, are called to carry on these light and momentary afflictions so that these troubles can do their work.

Neither our foreboding or feelings can be taken as proofs of reality- We must receive & believe the Spirit of Truth’s testimony in the Word. Tweet: Neither our foreboding or feelings can be taken as proofs of reality- We must receive & believe the Spirit of Truth’s testimony in the Word.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 2 Cor 4:17(KJV) Link to this another working verse, the ever faithful promise found in Romans 8:28 in all things God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good.

These light in weight and easy to bear troubles come in two varieties: temporal and spiritual.

Temporal afflictions that people are subject to by reason of the fall are universal and come as bodily afflictions, family sorrows, and providential trials.  Summing it up so we don’t rabbit trail, here are some principles:

  • Health troubles prove out a sanctified illness is far better than an unsanctified health.
  • Earthly happiness is much derived from family but too often we set up these ‘family idols’ as our household gods and they usurp the place of God and chain us down too closely to earth.
  • There is a poverty found in riches and a richness found in poverty.

Spiritual afflictions are unique to the children of God. What is loss of health, family, friends, job, property … to the hidings of God’s face, to guilt of conscience, to the smell of death on an unbeliever, to the anticipation of the coming day of wrath? What are the temporary afflictions you suffer compared to the frown of your Beloved savior, the pruning of his sheers, the touch of His weighty hand?

How can these be light when we feel them so heavy?

Holy Spirit makes no mistakes. He describes things as they really are in God’s sight so they must be lined up in our sight. Let us confess we are wrong. Again. In how we feel about things. Now let us return to God and see if Spirit can come along side to help us see truth and believe it.

Compare and contrast is a good place to start to understand something. And we are in the process of changing how we think about Affliction so let’s go deeper.

If Glory is heavy, affliction is called light. 2 cor 4:17-18  Tweet: If Glory is heavy, affliction is called light. 2cor4:17 http://4jlkelly.org

Weigh your blessings against your afflictions. First look at your stewardship compared to your blessings. Your ROI (return on investment) to Christ’s sacrificial love and abundant blessings. You’ve been given every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Eph 1) Every. Spiritual. Blessing. And if you can’t fill a book with your gratitude for these then you need to stop now and take up Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are and be given sight. You’re blind my friend to the work of God.

Put blessings into one scale and all your afflictions, both temporal and spiritual, into the other. Are your afflictions heavy now? Compare your light and temporary troubles to the eternal torments of those damned in hell. Compare your sufferings with the Lord Jesus Christ’s passion week. Have you drank the dregs of the cup of God’s wrath? Do we really suffer with a little body pain, a child afflicted, not quite so much money, a marriage more a trial than a comfort and think to compare our afflictions with the Man of Sorrow?

And if the light of these is ever so heavy, Spirit still says it is ‘but for a moment’.

There is an expiration date on our suffering marked momentary.

What is time compared to eternity? A grain of sand to the beach, one star to the galaxy, a drop compared to the ocean. They are insufficient to even compare. Time and eternity can never be compared together. Today cannot stand against all the past and every tomorrow.

Think about this. What if all of Job’s suffering were yours. If all of Paul’s, Jonah’s, David’s, Leah & Rachel’s, the ancient martyrs, all of these put upon your head to live out. When death came and your soul was transformed to eternity, what would they be? Only a moment.

If we let undisciplined minds run amuck and imagine the absolute worst, we forebode joy. Only one Man ever took on all the suffering upon His head. This Jesus will never lay upon His own more than they can bear. “He knows are frame, He remembers that we are dust.” Go to an Ash Wednesday service this lent and experience the reminder of who we are in His sight.

Dust.

But we are also bruised reeds He will never break and smoking flax He will never quench. And chosen people He calls his friends that He knows so personally the intensity and duration of every suffering is shifted through his scarred hands. Under the heaviest afflictions, the Lord grants the greatest support and in the deepest sorrows He sings the most precious songs. There is always a promise given, a word of comfort and a peace provided in Him that lights up every darkness with Shekinah glory.

Why does God allow these light and momentary sufferings? For the sanctifying of the soul, His own glory, and the anticipation of heaven.

Seen this way and now considered, can we call our own affections ‘light?’ Fixing our eyes on eternity, can we endure in this present state ‘but for the moment?’ Spirit of Truth has enlightened the enigma. Now can we leave rebellious opinions, self-pity and unbelief behind.

2-corinthians-4-17-18

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.  2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (MSG)

Want to learn more, read The Glory Series, parables about God’s glory expressed by J.L. Kelly.

GLORY. This is heavy. What does Glory mean?

“Glory is a word of uncertain origin,” the etymology dictionary stated well.
One of those ancient words we use but what does Glory mean?

The Hebrew root words seem deep as they define Glory as heavy or weighty. I read that the first time and thought, heavy? I thought glory was bright and brilliant, magnificent splendor and it is defined that way in Old French.

Gloire “the splendor of God or Christ; praise offered to God, worship, glory (of God); worldly honor, renown; splendor, magnificence, pomp” (11c., Modern French gloire).
From the Latin there is gloria “fame, renown, great praise or honor.”
The Greek took the Latin word and gave us another way to think about Glory, they called it doxa (From dokeō, “to  seem”) and defined it as “expectation” (Homer), later “an opinion, judgment or estimate and hence the honor resulting from a good opinion.”

Glory is used of the nature and acts of God in self-manifestation, what He essentially is and does, as exhibited in whatever way He reveals Himself in these respects.

In worship, God is Glorified; ascribing honor to Him as we acknowledge Him as to His being, attributes and acts. A doxology from the Ancient Greek (doxa, “glory” and logia, “saying”) is a short hymn of praises to God and the tradition derives from a similar practice in the Jewish synagogue to end each section of the service.

Listen to Nicole Nordeman sing the doxology.

Opps…rabbit trail...quickly forming…

Back to the future and our topic.  “Whoa, this is heavy!” I repeat what was proclaimed in all three Back to the Future movies by Marty and the slang helps me understand glory as heavy:

1) When something is unbelievable, out of the ordinary.
2) When something is good, excellent, brilliant.
(Urban Dictionary)

Let me sum up Glory by combing these thoughts into a stated definition.

Tweet this defintion: Glory is the extraordinary, mind-blowing weightiness of God’s presence as He brings to light & manifests all the goodness that He has & is.

When God’s presence appeared, manifested, was brought to light from the supernatural unseen world into the natural seen world, people were blown away, overwhelmed, almost crushed as they fell to their face under just a glimpse of the ‘weightiness of God’.

Glory has no true metaphor.

Its truth is so unbelievably heavy that the finite mind can’t hold it all.
The Bible tries to help us with examples like a glory that surrounds a king, the fruitfulness of a forest ( Isa 35:2 ; 60:13 ), even the awesomeness of a horse’s snorting ( Job 39:20 ), or the ornateness of expensive clothing ( Luke 7:25 ).

Glory is the extraordinary, mind-blowing weightiness of God’s presence as He brings to light or manifests all the goodness that He has and is. Glory is when holiness comes to expression.

We see. God for who He is. “Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God’s glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified—glory all around!” John 13:31-32 (the Message)

Jesus Christ the son of God is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:3

This Jesus; crucified, dead and buried—was resurrected. Heavy. Hallelujah! Glory! Yes.

At creation, only man was given a deposit of this glory, we were made in the image of God  (imago dei). God animated our souls with His God’s breath.  Man can express our worship of God only because from our spirit, where that deposit of glory rest, our soul’s interpreter speaks using man’s tongue. The glory of man above all created, uses words to declare praises.

Man’s highest glory is found in his lowest posture, laying crowns at Glory’s pierced feet; for only He is worthy to receive glory and honor and power and praise.

Man has his glory days. They are found in his worldly position, in the sense of his possessions, in a young man’s strength and old man’s wisdom. At a deeper level man’s glory is found in our willingness to overlook the faults of others or avoiding strife, or sacrificially serve others. But too often man’s pursuit of folly shows that we do not live up to our glorious calling to worship God and our human glory can become an expression of independence from God. We find our eyes fixed on the earth instead of heaven. The glory days ring with ‘look at me, think of me, do not neglect me. Wash-rinse-repeat me. Busy, busy, glorifying me. What breaks the cycle?

Affliction and suffering, trials and tribulation. Call it a financial crisis, health scare, family difficulty. Those nasty things that weigh us down and bring self to a screeching halt when we realize, ‘self cannot do this life thing alone’. We turn back to God (repent). Now, if you are a partaker of grace and are able to weigh the Lord’s dealings with you, look at the results of those trials. What spiritual profit have you reaped from them?

Transformation has glory’s fingerprints all over it.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also– knowing that tribulation works patience, and patience experience, and experience hope; and hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us.” Romans 5:3

Glory is a gift given to us in Holy Spirit.  Christ in you, the hope of glory (col 1:27); that extraordinary, mind-blowing weightiness of God’s presence as He brings to light or manifests all the goodness that He has and is. Glory is when holiness comes to expression.

J.C. Philpot preached, “There is a certain preparation necessary for the manifestation of that grace to the soul which is the beginning and the pledge of eternal glory. For instance, ‘guilt of conscience’ prepares the soul for the blood of sprinkling. The arrows of the Almighty, shot into the heart from his unerring bow, prepare it for the balm of Gilead; a taste of hell for a taste of heaven; the thunders of the law for the consolations of the gospel; views of self for views of Christ. Apprehensions of the wrath to come hunt the soul out of every false refuge, convince it of its need of an imputed righteousness, and preserve it from resting in a name to live. It is thus that the deepest trials usually issue in the greatest deliverances, the sorest distress in the sweetest consolation, and the pangs of hell in the joys of heaven.”

Paul is telling us, “In our sinful state, with our finite mind and our weak, frail body and emotions, we could not bear the weight of the immortal glory prepared for us.” Remember, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 cor 2:9

This is the “weight of glory” that the apostle speaks of– beholding and enjoying that mind-blowing weightiness of God’s presence in the Godhead trinity of Father, Son and Spirit for eternity. “We shall see Him as He is and know even as we are known.” 1 John 3:2

Jesus prayed for us this way, “My prayer is for those who will believe in me … I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17)

As God is the saints’ glory so they are His.

That’s heavy. It blows my mind. It bows my body. It lifts my empty hands and opens my speechless mouth. It swells up in my soul and manifests in an overflow of God breathed words.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Glory.

The extraordinary, mind-blowing weightiness of God’s presence as He brings to light or manifests all the goodness that He has and is.

Want to learn more, read The Glory Series, parables about God’s glory expressed.

TrAAcking Time. God’s grace in Ocular Myasthenia Gravis

I’m TrAAcking Time today. TRACKING MIKES FLIGHT TO SHAIGHAI

Using flightaware.com, watching as my husband’s 787 moves across the western side of America toward Shanghai. It’s been five years since he piloted a plane. Five. Years.

I’ve always known he was a badass. It’s what attracted me to him in the very beginning. JMK had the ‘it’ factor-brains, authority, tenacity and a work ethic that exhausts the rest of mankind. It was all packaged up in that Irish soul, a deceptive kind of strength. Like Bond, James Bond. Who doesn’t look like a badass until he’s in a bad ass kind of moment. Then watch out, he engages. And it’s do-or-die time and that’s when you want a badass in your corner. In front of you with confidence, taking care of business and telling you exactly what to do. And not do. (I forget this sometimes. That the very thing that made me fall in love can also make me… um, get extremely frustrated.  Badasses are notorious bullies.)

But for five years my badass got grounded from his occupation. Ocular Myasthenia Gravis– grave muscle weakness- it attacked his eyes and gave him double vision. In the beginning he looked the part- badass pirate mike. He could do anything with an eye-patch-Harley, ski, hunt, fish as he friend-ed, fathered and husbanded and brother-ed us all on. But he lost his flight medical and took a seat at a desk job beside me. We thought God was crazy. Anyone will tell you don’t go into business with your wife. But we beat the odds and our marriage even prospered along with the business. And our spiritual growth, well it was on more steroids than mike’s daily dose of prednisone.

There isn’t enough paper and ink to chronicle what we learned in 1825 days-what we gave up and what we gained. But God. But. God. My two favorite words put together. But God, how we changed. Financially, to live with less and appreciate more. Spiritually, to live out that we trusted God to be in control. Physically, that God can heal anything and if He chooses not to or calls you to wait, that His grace is sufficient. Emotionally, that our worth and purpose is found in Christ-we are loved by Him and becoming like him is our chief ambition-not being a pilot, business owner, badass, or writer. Relation-ally, that what is eternal is found only in relationships. There God supplied everything we needed.

Jesus is a badass too.

The original badass but that’s a rabbit trail you can read about another day.

I thank you, and you know who you are- You and you and you. Family. Friends. We thank God for your prayers, encouragement and love.
Today, as I track time I am intensely sentimental and overwhelmed with gratitude and pride. Pride that we finished the race we were called to run. The last 42 days were all uphill in this marathon. Flight Training.
I can only explain it this way. Five years ago you drove a ’78 Ford standard shift truck held together with duct tape-78 ford dashboard

and now they drop you into an Indy racer ie-787 Dreamliner high-tech simulator.

dreamliner 787

And you’re 54 now. Your eyes are great-thanks to bi-focals but the brain is foggy. And the paper manual I picked up at Kinkos-1000+ pages printed both sides- you have to memorize. Of course they want you to study it off an Ipad. Now. That’s where your flight manual is housed. It used to be 20lbs of kit bag. Now it’s all on the Ipad, if you can find it with a swipe.  I joke, he can, now… but for 42 days it was badasserie at its finest. A juggling act of bi-focals (for 3 focal points), Ipad, Dreamliner and temper that sat beside Daral-a God send AA check-airman captain.

The final exam always comes at the end of the course- I’m talking about the five year grounding – and he passed. American was so glad to have him back they started sending him free stuff- Ipad, Cole Hahn briefcase, beautiful new uniforms! Ok… yes the FedEx guy told me he was delivering them all over DFW this week. But I like to think everyone was celebrating with us. And as the new uniform was hung on the door hook of the closet and his new CCK;) bag tags were put on his carry on luggage and he did what badasses do—preflight the next day. I felt so proud of him and for him.  My badass is back in the cockpit.

Ocular Myasthenia Gravis enabled us to behold His glory.

“We [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception). (And I testify of this)  For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].
John 1:14 & 16

May you see God and His furious love in whatever your circumstances are today. Grace upon Grace, and Peace.