Are you shining? I hope so. I'm not talking about putting your charming personality or your splendid talents on display for all to see. Rather, are you allowing God's glory to shine through your life? Too often we think God's glory is something mystical or untouchable, something that we have no business even talking about. But this is not so. In fact, we read of one man in the Bible that wanted to know God so intimately that he declared, "Please, show me your glory" (Exodus 33:18), and God honored him by revealing His very nature to him. This man was Moses.
Recently I have been reading about Moses guiding the Israelites through the wilderness. I have been soaking up each chapter not only to fully understand the story but to gain insight into God's nature. So how do we come to understand the God we serve? We are told in Philippians 2:6 that Jesus has the very nature of God. Through Jesus' life we come to understand a deeper level of who God is and His heart towards us. It is one of compassion and love. God absolutely loves mankind. If He didn't, He could of destroyed this world with all its wickedness and rebellion a long time ago. But we come to understand through Him sending Jesus that He wants the world reconciled to Him. He hasn't abandoned us; he has reached out to us.
God's choices reflect His very nature as well. When Moses stood on Mount Sinai and pleaded with God to show His glory to Him, this is what God revealed: "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation" (Exodus 34:6-7). Moses had a pure revelation of God's nature and it caused him to respond in the following way: verse 8 says, So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. After Moses' encounter with God's glory, we are told his face shone. It was obvious that he had been with God. The same is true today. The more time we spend with God, the more our lives will shine as well. Not necessarily the skin of our face like Moses, but our hearts will shine with God's nature. It's literally impossible to come near God and stay the same. Changes happen in us when we get closer to our Creator, and it will definitely show!
There is something pure and righteous about God's nature. What a relief that is! Can you imagine if the Creator of the earth was evil, unjust, prideful and malicious? What hope would we have? He would not care for mankind other than to abuse or use us. But thankfully our God is not like that. Actually, He is the total opposite, and the more we comprehend this, the more love and appreciation we have for Him.
SHINING BEFORE ALL MEN
Is your life glowing with the glory of God? I remember my first real job as a law firm secretary. I had just graduated college and was both excited and yet nervous. The only thing I knew about law was jury duty, and I didn't think that was going to help me out any. As I began my first week, the lawyers began to pile on the work. I had a ton of questions and no one to really train me. There was another secretary that worked there that was extremely helpful. Although I hated interrupting her so much, I always went to her when I was in a jam. As the days went by, I knew there was something different about her. Despite her heavy load, she never became annoyed with my many questions. In fact, she seemed happy to help me out. I instantly liked her and her attitude. It didn't take me long to find out she was indeed a Christian. She was allowing God's glory to shine through her by the virtues of patience and joy. Too often we think in order to radiate God's glory we must be doing "spectacular" things to get others' attention. When really, it is through our normal everyday lives that we have the chance to let Him shine through us.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Jesus taught us that it's through our "light" that others will turn to God. The light is referring to Jesus in us. There is nothing good in us without Christ. When his nature is being lived through us, others will be graced with his goodness. If we can't love the unlovely, they won't know God's love towards them. We are His hands, his feet and His voice to the world. How bright are you allowing your light to shine? You will only shine as bright as you are willing to deny yourself. You see, we are selfish beings. Most of what we do is for our benefit, but we are called to deny ourselves and consider others better than ourselves. When we do this, we can't help but treat others with love and respect, even when they don't deserve it.
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