Let’s see a show of hands, please. How many of you would say that radiance, splendor, importance, power, and wondrous beauty … are found in YOU?
Ever since 2 Corinthians 3 finally soaked into my head, 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.
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 that shines with 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 tell us it is 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.”
Glory. His glory. In ever increasing measure. In us!
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—to fill us with “ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. (Colossians 1:27)
The Spirit of Christ that brought you a new life is the One who is now transforming you into His image. The book of Hebrews says the Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God. And we have that very Spirit of the Son living in us!
Ann Voskamp, in 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 Scripture from Isaiah:
No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.
I can’t imagine it. We haven’t seen the complete picture yet, the total fulfillment of this promise. I’m still struggling with the part of the picture that’s here and now, in this world. Those WWJD bracelets seemed like a good idea to remind us who we follow, but I have to admit that often I’m stumped at answering the question. What would Jesus do in this situation? For me, the answer’s not always clear.
So I’m still learning. Scripture assures us that the more we get to know our Creator, the more His power transforms us. I’m counting on that. I’m pursuing knowing Jesus better. His Spirit has come and made His home right here, and He’s working at producing the character our Lord desires.
We can’t see what we will be, ultimately. But God says that He is changing me into His likeness and planting in ME the glory that shines in the Lord of the Universe. He’s continuing to create a new nature in me.
Right now. Even when I’m stubborn or foolish or a slow learner. He’s continuing to create.
Give me an undivided heart…
(from Psalm 86:11)
More on the promise of a new nature/ new heart:
Psalm 51:10; Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 32:38-39; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Romans 2:28-29; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 3:26-27; Galatians 5:22; Galatians 6:15-16; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:21-24; Ephesians 5:8-9; Philippians 1:6, 11; Philippians 2:13; Colossians 1:27; Colossians 3:1-15; Titus 2:14; Titus 3:4-5; 2 Peter 1:3-4.
© Elaine Starner 2015