A glory is the shine in our lives, what gives them brightness, a glow and a driving passion.
Scripture is FULL of glory! Glory all the way. The glory of holiness, the glory of the world to come, the glory of the righteous. Glory that you understand and know me, says God through Jeremiah.
The glory of the Lord filled the temple. Ezekiel’s visions were shining with glory. Revelation is filled with praising the glory of God. Paul said,
2 Corinthians 10:17–18 17…“he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 18For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.
The apostle Paul had such a glow in his life, from an unusual motivation. He wrote to the Galatians:
Galatians 6:14 14But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
There’s a story of a man who put a strongly positive attitude—even glory—on a common task.
The story is told by a Reverend Gornitzka about a traveler aboard a stern wheeler on the lower Mississippi River. He was wandering about the ship and looking over the captain’s bridge and the engine room, covering the ship like an inspector.
Then one day, what a surprise! His eyes widened as he stood in the doorway to the engine room. Here, where in the past he had usually found a dirty, greasy hole, he now looked at the most shining, most sparkling engine room he had ever seen. What had happened?
Then he spied the engineer sitting on a stool in that engine room humming a tune and whittling on a stick of wood. The man expressed his amazement at such a clean engine room. In a cozy drawl the engineer said these words, “Well, sur, you see, sur, I got a glory. “
He was an engineer who wanted to be an engineer. Not the governor of the state, not the chairman of the board, not even the captain of the ship, but the best engineer on any ship on the Mississippi. Because, he said, ” I got a glory.”
A glory is a joy, a light, a sparkle in your life, something that gives it light and meaning.
God had given Himself to be a glory to Israel, to define their lives and give them a future and a hope, to set them apart from those around them and protect and care for them.
But they didn’t want it. They didn’t want that glory. God gave it to them, but they changed it. Hear the sad words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah,
Jeremiah 2:11 11Has a nation changed its gods, Which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory For what does not profit.
Israel had glory—the glory of the God of heaven—if only they had continued with it. If they had appreciated it. But they didn’t want it. Instead they wanted the images of lifeless wood and stone—vanity, idols—like the nations around them.
So they made the exchange. They changed the glory of the great God, something of intrinsic worth, for something of no value whatever.
God offered them a great future, but they turned it down. He delivered them and placed them in their own nation …
Jeremiah 13:11 11…‘that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.’
They didn’t want what He offered, any more than they wanted the land of Canaan, the good and pleasant land.
The promise is reserved for a better people, a people worthy of the name:
Isaiah 28:5 5In that day the Lord of hosts will be For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty To the remnant of His people,
The promises are magnificent.
What does Scripture tell us about the glory of God in relation to the heavens?
Psalm 19:1 1The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Paul says we are looking for Christ to come in His Father’s glory. The passage reads:
Titus 2:13 13…[we are] looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
The translation of this verse is not clear. The meaning from the original is not that the great God is our Savior Jesus Christ, but that we are
looking for the appearing of the GLORY of the Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Two distinct individuals, not Jesus being God.
Paul spoke of the glory of God being seen in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6 6For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Notice Paul explains that it is the light of the “knowledge of the glory of God” that Jesus was shining with, the same spiritual “light” that God caused to shine out of darkness in Genesis. Christ came teaching God’s knowledge, spreading the word of the Kingdom of God everywhere he went. This was His special mission and the LIGHT of God’s glory.
The Bible pictures Jesus coming back in the glory of His Father with His angels. Jesus own words describe it:
Matthew 16:27 27For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
When Peter, James and John saw Jesus transfigured before them, can you imagine the glory of that sight, Jesus appearing in all His glory?
Matthew 17:1–2 1Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
It was all divine glory, splendor, brightness.
Matthew 17:5–6 5While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.
Years later these disciples still remembered it vividly—wouldn’t we? John recalls,
John 1:14 14And … we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Peter calls it Christ’s majesty. He says:
2 Peter 1:16–18 16For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Peter says the voice commending Jesus came from “the Excellent Glory.” What was it like to see and hear that glory! It was their very REAL experience!
18And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
Not a shadow of doubt in their minds!
Christ’s coming is described as the appearance of glory. He will be coming FROM the heavenly glory above.
Isaiah 60:2–3 2For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
In the same way, God’s people are called His glory.
Isaiah 46:13 13I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.
Also in His long-term promise for filling the earth:
Numbers 14:21 21but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord—
In the meantime, isn’t it an honor to work to His great glory, to be part of God’s glory?
1 Corinthians 10:31 31Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
God says of His people, that they are created for His glory.
Isaiah 43:6–7 6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth— 7Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
Paul explains that there are two levels of glory, one terrestrial (earthly) and another celestial.
1 Corinthians 15:40 40There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; … the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
The terrestrial is the glory of the character of Christ in a mortal body; the celestial is the glorified body, made immortal like Christ’s. First the terrestrial, what we do now in serving God and refining our naturally stubborn nature; and second, the celestial glory, if we are worthy to be made like Christ when He comes.
There is so much about glory in Scripture, because that is God’s plan: to take this old world and remake it with His glory. That is why the finished world will be filled with His glory.
Habakkuk 2:14 14For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.
Then, we won’t even need the sun and moon anymore, there will be so much glory of God and so much glory of Christ and so much glory of celestial beings all around. Isaiah says,
Isaiah 60:19 19“The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory.
With such a picture in view, can’t we give the same diligence and love to our Christian work that every day will shine with glory? Can’t we have a glory that will shine in our faces like the glory of Christ—because we are on the way to real glory, glory that will never end. It is in the list that Paul says we are seeking for, it will be in the bundle with immortality. It will be:
Romans 2:7 7eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
What about you and me? Do we have a glory now? We CAN have.
Prominent business advisors agree that if you’re going to succeed, you have to love what you do. You have to have a passion for it. It has to be first in your mind and first in your life. It has to be your glory.
It’s the glory of attaining that character of Christ, to be like Him, in view of the glory to come. His life was shining with the glory of His Father, and our life can shine with HIS glory.
We can have the sparkle of God’s glory in our lives even now, even when things around are dark. Even now we can reflect the glory that is coming. Like the engineer had for his engine room, we can have it for the One we serve, because He will soon be coming to inspect our work, coming soon, and coming with power and great glory!
We want to see the glorified earth. We want to be part of the glory to come. Let’s give His glory to the work WE do. Dedicate it all to God, whatever it is.
Lord, give me a glory!
I wonder if Berton Braley had the story of the engineer when he produced this bit of verse. Listen to it, if you will:
Ya’gotta get a glory in the work you do,
A hallelujah chorus in the heart of you.
Paint, or tell a story; sing, or shovel coal.
But ya’ gotta get a glory or your job lacks SOUL!
The men whose shining armor make our pulses throb
Were the men who got a glory in their daily job.
The vision might be gory and the odds unfair,
But the men who got a glory never knew despair.
O Lord, give me a glory; Is it much to give?
For ya’ gotta get a glory or ye’ just can’t live.
When you get a glory, it is like the sun
And you can see it shining in the work you’ve done.
Fame is transitory, riches fade away,
But when ya’ get a glory, it is there to stay!
O Lord, give me a glory and a workman’s pride
‘Cause ya’ gotta get a glory or you’re dead inside!
There is glory in going on to the end, to get the crown of glory. Let’s sing about it.
All the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2:14). Imagine yourself being a part of that glory. We will be, if we do all to the glory of God. Whatever you do, “get a glory” in the work you do. Make it your passion!
We have to have a glory now to be made like Christ when He returns, then we too will be crowned with glory, shining like the noonday sun.
If we “got a glory” now others will see the glow in our faces, in our lives. Who knows but what some life you touch will “get a glory” too.