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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 09/21/16

Shine, Jesus, Shine

willis-meme-shine-jesus-shine

STORY: Star Hill

During the day, all focus was on the parades, the turkey and fixings, and family fun. But when day was almost done and the sun faded away, something special happened every year. The lighting of the giant star atop Marzolf Hill. That star held such special meaning to so many of us, the hill was simply, “Star Hill.” It represented a magical season when joy burst from unlikely sources (even my prickly teacher).

Star Hill was also the location where witnesses allegedly spotted  Mo-Mo the Missouri Monster. Later they refuted the legend, but I digress...

To me, lights shining and other shiny things represent Christmas in such a magnificent way, because Jesus shines. This devo-study starts a new series on the word “glory” in Scripture. We’ll see that in both the Old and New Testaments, one of the descriptions of glory is that it shines.

STUDY: God’s Radiant Glory Illuminated

Glory Shines Worldwide

Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth. (Psalm 57:5, 57:11 and 108:5 NLT)

  • What does it mean to be exalted?
  • Why do you want God’s glory to shine everywhere?

Radiant Glory Displayed

[For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be sung to the tune “Lilies of the Covenant.”] Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock. O God, enthroned above the cherubim, display your radiant glory. (Psalm 80:1 NLT)

  • God has many different facets. What do you think of when you consider Him as your Shepherd?
  • What do you think of when you focus on His radiant glory being enthroned above the cherubim?
  • The Message paraphrases that last section this way, “Throw beams of light from your dazzling throne.” It makes me envision God casting these magnificent sunbeams from His wrists (like Spiderman casts webs)! I can imagine the throne being so illuminated because of the One Who sits upon it!

The Glory of God’s Presence

Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east. The sound of his coming was like the roar of rushing waters, and the whole landscape shone with his glory. And the glory of the Lord came into the Temple through the east gateway. Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple. (Ezekiel 43:2, 4-5 NLT)

  • It’s interesting that the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east because in the New Testament, the star (also radiant!) appeared in the East to guide the wise men to the Christ child.
  • Ezekiel does a great job of capturing the grandeur of God’s glory. What does it mean to you when you imagine God’s presence in this scene?

His Light Shines

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 NLT)

  • What does the light represent? Why is that a good description of Jesus?
  • Where does He shine His light?
  • Why does He shine?
  • Where is the glory of God seen?

The Son Radiates Glory

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3 NLT)

  • Radiate means to exude or glow. I love the word picture of the Son (like the sun) radiating. What does the Son radiate?
  • What does the Son express?
  • What does He sustain? How does He sustain it?
  • Where did He sit after He cleansed us from our sins?
  • Why is that a place of honor?

We Trade our “g”lory for His “G”lory

It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. (Revelation 21:11, 23-24, 26 NLT)

  • This passage in Revelation is drawing a picture of the New Jerusalem at the end times. How is it described?
  • What is significant about God’s glory illuminating the city? What is it’s light?
  • Any little “g” glory the nations have will be brought to the city to face the big “G” Glory. What a day that will be!

STEPS: Shine on Me / Shine in Me / Shine Through Me

  1. Pray for God’s glory to shine in your life. Before you think, pray. Before you act, pray. Before you speak, pray. In giving Him this priority, you open the door for His glory to shine. (This is the ideal, but where we often fall short.)
  2. Seek His glory in your attitudes and actions. Focus your motive on pleasing God and pointing others to Him, rather than on earning the praise of others.
  3. Reflect His glory to others. Your words and works can light their way to Jesus.

Copyright 2016 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.

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