Luke 2:11-14 – For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 – Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Reflect On: Luke 2:11-14 and 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12.
- Praise God: For the greatness of His glory.
- Offer Thanks: Because God has created you to be His image bearer.
- Confess: Any tendency to be more concerned for your glory than for God’s.
- Ask God: To fulfill His primary purpose for your life.
My daughters love things that sparkle—stars that glow in the dark, rainbow stickers, pink glittery wands. Through the years I have had to fend off many a request for gaudy red shoes “just like the ones Dorothy wore in Oz.” I trace these attractions not so much to feminine stereotypes as to a basic human yearning. Boys display their own form of this yearning when they wear superhero capes and brandish plastic swords. But what is this yearning? It’s a longing for something beautiful and shining and powerful, for something beyond ourselves that we can make a part of ourselves. It’s a yearning for glory.
But what does this yearning have to do with Jesus as Savior? To begin with, it is important to realize that Jesus’ saving work has both negative and positive dimensions. First, we are saved fromsomething—Jesus rescues us from God’s wrath directed at our sins. Second, we are saved forsomething—Jesus saves us so that we can fulfill the primary purpose for which God made us. Think for a moment of a time when you sat by the edge of the ocean or by a lake, transfixed by the beauty of the waves as sunlight danced across them. That’s a picture of how we are meant to reflect God’s glory to the world. We are to shine with His presence, power, and love.
Scripture is full of this notion. The book of Daniel tells us of a time when those who belong to God “will shine like the brightness of the heavens…like the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). Paul assures the Roman Christians: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Additional passages speak of “the Lord of glory,” “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” and “the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
This craving for glory seems to be imbedded in our spiritual DNA. It is something God has hardwired into our souls. But sin has so distorted the human genome that our search for glory is often misguided. We look for it in flimsy, temporal things, such as success, money, relationships, personal charm, and beauty—none of which can ultimately satisfy. No matter how many sparkling red shoes we own or how many superhero capes we don, we find they are never enough.