Sunday, July 16, 2006


I heard a very good description of 'glory' recently. This was while I watching TV at a time that I never would have otherwise been watching! The day before, we had flown back to St. Louis after a week in San Diego, so we were used to time being 2 hours earlier, and we spent the night at a motel so we'd be fresh for the drive back to Iowa. I woke up in the motel at 5:30am (which was 3:30am San Diego time)! I could not sleep. I was up for the day. It was weird.

I don't normally watch TV in the morning, but after a Sudoku puzzle or two, and going down for the continental breakfast, I decided to turn it on while waiting for my family to get up. On one of the Christian stations a man was talking about God's glory. He had some great things to say and he said it so much better than I could. I'll just try to use my own words to describe it.

This man spoke of a rose in full bloom and compared it to a rose still in its 'bud' stage. When a rose is in full bloom we say "there's a rose in all its glory!" In the bud stage, we don't say that about a rose, but yet it's the same plant! It is a rose, but the beauty (glory) hasn't yet been revealed. As I listened I also thought of the story of the ugly duckling, which didn't appear to have much 'glory,' and I thought of a caterpillar being glorified as a butterfly.

Just before going to the cross Jesus said, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified . Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." (John 12:23-24) The 'glory' comes after death, where new life begins.

A bit later, while talking to His disciples, Jesus said, "By this My Father is glorified , that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." (John 15:8) He just said that the way to bear much fruit is to abide in Him and His word in us... just as He had abided in the Father and the Father in Him.

As Christians, we have died and have been resurrected. Jesus spoke of it as being born again (John 3:3,7) and Peter furthered the explanation by saying that we have "been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." (1 Peter 1:23) Paul said that we have died to the law so we can be married to another, Christ Jesus. There is much talk of death and resurrection in the life of the Christian.

So to get back to 'glory,' what I'm fascinated with is that God is glorified in us bearing much fruit. I used to think this meant that God would be glorified if I worked hard for Him and got a lot of things done for the Kingdom. But I began to see that if it's MY work, then it's MY glory, not His! The Father is glorified in me when HE works in and through me, a weak vessel. I bear much fruit by God's work in me, when I lay down my life and trust in Him to produce fruit through me. I bear the fruit, just as a branch bears the fruit that the VINE has produced!

When you see a wonderful work being done in the life of a Christian, God is gloried, not because that Christian has struggled and strived to produce something great for God. It is because God Himself has done a work through a weak vessel! "Glory to God!" If you want God to be gloried in your life... if you want to be seen in full glory... stop trying so hard and LET HIM! :)

1 comment:

  1. That is right on Joel...because if it was fruit that I would be rotten, rotten, rotten. He grows the fruit in other way that some of this fruit has come to fruition (if you like) in me...for sure. It is His patience, His peace, and on and on....His love...that exudes from me....nothing from me..only from Him. His glory doesn't always shine so bright from this lowly stick...but this branch is strengthening as the Vine so strengthens. :) Glad you are back having had what sounds and looks like a wonderful time with family. God's blessings.