The Gift and the Glory – Part 2

Ever since 2 Corinthians 3 found me, I have been in awe of the truth that we who have turned to the Lord reflect the Lord’s glory [and] are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Did you catch that? He created us in His image to begin with, then we pretty much ruined it, and now His purpose is to restore us to that image of His own glory.

This has completely changed my former thoughts about glory. First, I always thought the attribute of glory belonged to God alone … but there’s a long list of Scriptures that say it’s meant for us to share, too.

My NLT Word Study System says the Greek word used here for “glory” is a noun meaning “radiance or splendor, with a strong association of importance or display of power. It refers to eye-catching, wondrous beauty, perhaps with a focus on the object shining or reflecting light. Glory means ascribing honor or praise, emphasizing that the person being honored is powerful, beautiful, important.”

Whew. Radiance, splendor, importance, power, wondrous beauty. All of those things, we know, find their ultimate expression in God.

But … all of those things in ME ?

Second, my idea of the glory awaiting followers of Jesus was that it was some reward in heaven, when we will be transformed and made perfect. But this is His plan NOW — He reclaimed and brought us back from the kingdom of darkness so that He can transform us into His glorious image once again. And He’s not waiting — He’s doing it NOW.

And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

The Spirit of Christ that brought you a new life is the One who is now transforming you into His image. Hebrews says the Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God. And the Son lives in us.

Isn’t that amazing?

Ann Voskamp, in her very poetic book, One Thousand Gifts, says:

          He means to rename us—to return us to our true names, our truest
          selves. He means to heal our soul holes … He means to fill us with glory
          again.

In 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul quotes the Scriptures from Isaiah:

No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
    and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
    for those who love him.

Yes! This is hard to imagine. I know me. I know what I once was. And now He is transforming me into the likeness of God, planting in ME the glory that shines in the Lord of the Universe?  This is astounding.

Yet, Paul goes on to say, because we have received God’s Spirit, we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

I want to understand. I want to know the wonderful gifts that He’s prepared for me.

Receiving a new life. Inheriting His riches, hope, and power. Transformed into His likeness. Created first in His glorious image … ruined … now being restored.

How can we ignore such a gift?

Spirit, help us believe and understand.

 

 ***

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV); Colossians 1:27: Hebrews 1:3; 1 Corinthians 2:9,12 (all NLT)

More Scriptures about the glory planned for us: John 17:22; Romans 5:2; Romans 8:16-18; Romans 9:23; 1 Corinthians 2:7; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; Hebrews 2:10; 1 Peter 4:14; 2 Peter 1:3-4

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