Devotionals for this week run from Tuesday, December 26 through Saturday, December 30, 2017
But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NLT)
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Today's Scripture focuses on "the glory of the Lord" and that is a great focus with which to anticipate the beginning of the new year, 2018. Most of us are familiar with the lofty thought that our lives are supposed to glorify God. But what does this mean? Let's start with this thought: when our lives glorify God, God's glory comes back to him. When God's glory comes back to him, he is glorified. Notice today's Scripture again. It says we are those who have had the veil removed. As ones who have had the veil removed we are free to behold God. When we behold God we see his glory. When we see his glory, we become ones who can reflect his glory. We are able to reflect his glory because the Lord, who is the Spirit, changes us into his image.
So, (1) we are those who have had the veil removed; (2) as ones who have had the veil removed we are free to behold God's glory; (3) as ones who behold God's glory, we become like him through the Spirit changing us into his image; (4) as we increasingly are changed into God’s image, we reflect his glory. We said earlier that when our lives glorify God, God’s glory comes back to him. This is the glory cycle but it includes a 5th item and that’s because when we reflect God’s glory it isn’t being directed toward him but toward other people. As other people see God’s glory in us they are impacted by it. The impact of God's glory on others produces a response by them to God who is drawing them to himself by the manifestation of his glory through us. When others respond to God's manifested glory, his glory comes back to him (sort of like a return on his investment) and he is glorified.
When others turn to the Lord in this way and are reconnected to him, this glory cycle begins to take place in their lives as well. And on and on it goes as God wonderfully advances his glorious kingdom here on earth. So, we can see that just setting out to try to live for God's glory is not the answer. The answer is plain from today's Scripture: beholding God's glory is the key to reflecting his glory and reflecting his glory is how we glorify God with our lives. It is also true that the more we behold God's glory, the more we will be able to reflect his glory and the more we reflect his glory, the more we glorify him with our lives. These thoughts form the basis of a wonderful commitment on our part for 2018. The commitment is this: to seek God and his glory with our whole being, to behold God and his glory fully and continuously, and to reflect God and his glory clearly and completely.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, this is my commitment to you: I promise to seek you and your glory with all that I am in the sanctuary of personal prayer where I can commune with you and behold you and your glory as fully as possible. I know it is here that I will behold your glory and be changed into the image of Christ. Lord I promise to be a clear and complete reflection of you and your glory for those who are all around me to see and respond to. I am yours, Lord, and I am counting on you, through the impact of your powerful presence within me, to bring this about as I seek to live fully in the flow of your glory cycle in 2018. I thank you and praise you for what you are doing. I entrust 2018 to you and anticipate a great return on your investment in me throughout the coming year. Amen!
Posted on Sat, December 30, 2017
by Ken Hart