Years ago, a preacher from Virginia named Sumner Wemp, would come to preach at our church in Memphis. Though I cannot tell you any topic on which he preached, I do remember his favorite saying: “Well, glory!” He would be preaching, and seemingly for no reason, would just shout out “Well, glory!” He would be eating lunch and all of a sudden, he would say “Well, glory!” God’s glory was what he talked about, it was what he sought and longed for. He wanted everyone to seek and be aware of the glory of God. The glory of the awesome God Jehovah is an overwhelming thing to behold. Moses saw it and had to cover his face [Exodus 34:29-35]. Isaiah saw it and had to humble his heart [Isaiah 6:1-8]. David saw it and boldly fought the enemies of God [1 Samuel 17:45-47]. Peter saw it and did not want to return to life as he had known it [Matthew 17:4-6]. John saw it and excitedly cried out for the Lord Jesus to return quickly [Revelation 22:20]. Every person to whom God revealed Himself has been changed, never to be the same again.
Glory in the Old Testament actually carries the thought of heavy abundance of honor. God’s glory is weighty and beyond measure. It is the honor which is due His magnificence and awesomeness. The brilliance of God’s glory will make the need for sunlight in heaven unnecessary [Revelation 22:5]. It is such an awe-inspiring thing that when Moses asked to see it, God would allow him to view only His trailing glory as He passed by Moses [Exodus 33:21-23]. Being sinners in rebellion against God [Psalm 51:4], created from the dust of the ground [Genesis 2:7], the Holy Righteous glory of God in all His wonder is more than we can withstand and survive [Exodus 33:20].
Christians around the world celebrate Easter and are essentially celebrating the glory of the Lord. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. His resurrection is the paramount event that fulfilled His work of reconciling men to God. It is the foundational hope of Christianity. Through the resurrection of Jesus His faithful followers are also assured of being resurrected one day. Therefore, they join Him in His glory.
Believers in Jesus Christ are graced with the Holy Spirit residing within them [Colossians 1:27] to transform them into the image and glory of Jesus [Romans 8:29], God’s only begotten son [John 3:16]. Since Christians are His, bought by the blood that He shed on the cross [1 Corinthians 6:19-20], they always live their lives to glorify their Father in Heaven [1 Peter 2:12]. Jesus says that His followers glorify their Father by producing much fruit through their lives [John 15:8]. Therefore, we should live to produce the fruit of righteousness, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and the fruit of love and mercy. The church exists to collectively produce the fruit of righteousness [James 3:18], of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23], and of love and mercy and thus glorifying our Father who is in heaven. Let us, as part of the Body of Christ, be obedient to His Spirit, resist temptation and evil, draw nearer to God, repent of sins, purify our motives, and humbly live for Jesus [James 4:8 & 10].
Hugh Folds, Interim Pastor SPBC