WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – The next time someone asks how you are, try this answer: “I am glorious, thanks!” Most of us would have a hard time saying that with a straight face – partially because we don’t use the word “glorious” much anymore, but partially because we don’t feel glorious. By the end of a hard or tedious week, we’re happy if we can respond, “I’m making it” or simply “OK, I guess.”
Dear friends, God called us to more than that.
“From the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:13-14).
“He called you …
so that you might obtain
the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The eventual meaning of that promise is that we will one day join Christ in the glory of heaven. But that’s not the only thing nor, I think, the main thing Paul had in mind. The immediate meaning is that we can join Him now in the glory he displayed on earth.
That was Paul’s daily prayer for the Thessalonians: “we always pray for you that our God will make you worthy of his calling … so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified by you, and you by him” (2 Thess. 1:11-12).
Jesus offered the Father the same prayer and promise for us: “I am glorified in them” for “I have given them the glory You have given Me” (John 17:10,22).
Jesus isn’t much glorified by those who are living under the same pile of troubles as the world. He is glorified by those who, though they have the same pile of troubles, no longer live under the pile. They know that God has “made us alive with Christ” and “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens” (Eph. 2:5-6). In this faith, they “set their mind on the things above” (Col. 3:2).
Jesus is glorified by people whose lives have been transformed and for whom He is the obvious transformer. The Jews saw Saul the persecutor become Paul the apostle, “and they were glorifying God because of me” (Gal. 1: 24).
WONDERFUL THING IN MY LIFE – I want people to see something in my life that could only be explained by the grace of God: peace in chaos; joy in hardship; faith without proof. I want them to see that Christ has made a difference. I want to fulfill my Master’s wish: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
The main way I work at this is to gaze often at His glory. That’s what transformed the first disciples: “We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). That’s what’s transforming us now: we stare “at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). And that’s what will complete the process: “When He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).
The more you look at Jesus, the more you will reflect His glory.