“Joy is a muscle that needs to be exercised.” That’s just something I heard in church this morning, an interesting thought! It’s definitely true in the sense that you can forget about all the things/reasons you have to be joyful.
Plus, the exercise of joy can give you exercise… Even Elizabeth’s fetus jumped for joy, when the mother of her Lord greeted her! There sure was a lot of glory goin’ round, that first Christmas–angels, bright stars, etc. It made the shepherds jump up and run! (“They ran everywhere, telling what they’d seen & heard…” check out Luke 2)
God wants to reveal his glory to us. When we are moved to “glorify” him (meaning things like jumping up & down and saying “Wow God!!!”), it means that we are enjoying him fully. And that’s his purpose–our enjoyment!
So, how does God reveal his glory? (And you thought I’d forgotten about sermon notes! :P)
- Through his creation
- Through special kinds of “appearances”, in times past (the burning bush, and other kinds of miracles)
- Through his spoken word (scripture)
- Through Jesus (The Word)
- Through the Church, as they live out their faith
Of course, the ultimate revelation of God’s glory is through Christ Jesus: by way of his miracles (did you know they weren’t just for the sake of healing people?); his words (and he always spoke to reveal God), and other mind-blowing things (God speaking from the sky “This is my Beloved Son”), including of course, the final “stamp” that proved it all: the Resurrection.
“The revelation of God’s glory in Christ leads people to faith in him.” (BR) So–it’s a circle story: people who are led to God, are able to enjoy him and give him glory! And don’t forget the other aspect: they then become a reflection of God’s glory, and lead others to him. (More circles are spinning in my mind here–look at that last point in the list above!) “…This is my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit…” (see John 15:7-8)