December 3, 2017

The Glory Defined

Luke 2:7-11 (NASB)

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

We are familiar with the story of Christmas. We know Jesus, the Son of God, was born in Bethlehem. We know the shepherds heard the announcement from the angel Gabriel. We know King Herod sought to kill the newborn Jewish boys for fear of this newborn King. But in this series, we’ll focus on one phrase:

“And the glory of the Lord shone around them” (Luke 2:9, NAS).

This is an astounding statement. Something tangible “shone” around the shepherds. What is this glory?

  1. God’s glory is the revelation of God’s presence.
    God is everywhere. God is omni-present, but cannot be seen. The Creator of the universe is invisible, immeasurable and immortal. God transcends your ability to know Him unless He condescends to you. When God chooses to reveal Himself, His glory is seen. In Hebrew, this glory is called shekinah glory. Moses was called to lead Israel out of their bondage in Egypt. Moses needed to know God’s presence. “I will do this thing which you have spoken; I pray You, show me Your glory (shekinah)” (Ex. 33:17,18).
    1. God’s glory is revealed through light.
      “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). After Moses saw the glory, his face shined (Exodus 34:29).
    2. God’s glory is revealed through fire.
      This is the fire on Mt. Sinai, the fire of God’s glory. “For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). The fire of hell is the glory of God consuming the wicked (Job 4:9). God’s Shekinah is light and fire.
    3. The Holy Spirit is symbolized as a brilliant flame of fire.
      “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16).

  2. God’s gloryis the power of God’s character.
    God revealed His glory saying, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you” (Exodus 33:19). “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3). The goodness, holiness, and character of God fully displayed constitute His glory revealed. Light and fire display it. Light reveals; fire heals. Light uncovers; fire discovers. Light and fire are aspects of God’s character. Like Israel of old, our thoughts should be on the presence of God in where we go and what we do. “Among those who are near Me I will be sanctified; before all the people I will be glorified” (Lev.10:3).

  3. God’s glory is the source of God’s blessings.
    What are the blessings you seek in life? Ultimately, God’s glory is the greatest blessing of all.
    1. Where God’s glory is, there is rest.
      God declared to Israel, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14). Why is there rest where God is? Because no mountain is too high, no valley is too low. The Creator of all things is with you. Therefore, in marriage, business and all of life, God’s glory is needed.
    2. Where God’s glory is, there is confidence.
      Isaiah 30:20-21 – “Your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” The Bible declares, “The righteous are as bold as a lion” (Prov. 28:1).
    3. Where God’s glory is, there is purpose.
      The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. God’s glory is the purpose of life.

You can view the video for this sermon HERE.