March 1, 2023

Glory to God

Growing up in a pastor’s family, I had what some people may label an “inherited faith.” It was in college that I sorted out my belief system for myself. Even at a Christian university, it could have been easy to succumb to the pressures of my culture and walk away from my childhood faith. But instead, I found a new close relationship with Jesus and I have continued growing spiritually ever since. I remember dissecting a short essay in my English class titled “Dogma is the Drama” by Dorothy Sayers, and was forever marked by her radical words.

Author
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Joy Barker

Associate Children's Ministry Pastor

She says, “We do [Christ] singularly little honor by watering down his personality till it could not offend a fly. Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ.”

This week, I was convicted of watering down my Lord while reading John 5.
“How can you believe [in Me], when you [seek and] receive glory and approval from one another, and yet you do not seek the glory and approval which comes from the one and only God?” John 5:44 (AMP)
I so often minimize the value of God’s approval of me. I water down His glory. My people-pleasing flesh would rather have the momentary accolades of my girlfriends than the eternal glory only God can give me.

The Greek word for “glory” in John 5:44 is doxa, meaning: a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honor, and glory.

It’s literally the same word used in Mark 2:9 to describe the atmosphere surrounding the angel who appeared to the shepherds the night Jesus was born. “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” (NIV)
God has a good opinion concerning me, which results in praise, honor, and glory. He literally correlates the atmosphere of angels with … ME. And for some reason I’d rather have glory or approval from my girlfriends rather than from God? Hence the conviction.

May we stop watering down the glory that our Lord desires to show us. May we truly believe that God has a good opinion concerning us; may we truly believe that He thinks highly of us - that He loves us. May we stop striving for the approval of man and instead discover the true peace of our souls in the approval of the God of the universe.

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The construction of the tabernacle found in Exodus can be one of those sections of scripture that can be easy for us to simply skim through, as a new covenant believing American Gentile. We are thousands of years removed from the culture, tools, materials, and measurements. What does acacia wood look like? How many feet are in a cubit? I didn’t even know you could weave thread from goat hair. Furthermore, the significance of the fixtures and furniture commanded by God to be constructed for consecration and worship are incredibly alien to us who worship God in renovated buildings with screens and speakers. In light of all this, we tend to exegete, or interpret the meaning or application of these chapters in Scripture, in one of two ways:

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Exodus 31:14
You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you; everyone who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it shall be cut off from among the people.

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