“My people need My Glory.”
I recently invited a friend to speak to my midweek small group. My pastor friend, Al Bethea, lives and serves a congregation less than an hour away. So, it was relatively easy for him to travel our way to engage in spoken ministry.
He had studied and planned to teach a different topic and theme. However, during our brief time of worshipping with music, he sensed a leading in another direction.
While we were singing “The Goodness of God,” Pastor Al received a strong impression in his mind. The declarative thought was this: “My people need My Glory.”
By the way, here’s a theological truth for believers. When God’s people are open to hearing from Him, He delights in speaking to them. Being surprised by the voice of His Spirit is not a rarity. There are guidelines and general cautions, for sure. But that’s another subject for another time.
“My people need My glory” was repeating in Pastor Al’s soul. So, in response, he perceived it as the Holy Spirit’s leading to talk on that phrase. This led him to make use of Exodus 33:18-20 for the opening text. It begins with Moses’ request.
“Please, show me Your glory.”
Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”
Pastor Al gave us what I would describe as the sermon in a sentence. “The glory of the Lord is revealed in His goodness in Jesus Christ.“
3 action points were provided for our handling of God’s glory. As well, I’ll mix in some of my own notes and commentary.
Moses asked for it! He specifically prayed. Please let me see Your good presence (my paraphrase).
This is a good desire for God’s people who have found grace through Jesus Christ. You can and should ask God to show you His goodness.
We often “have not, because we ask not” (James 4:2). Therefore, we don’t frequently see Him because we’re not talking to Him and looking for Him.
God’s response encouraged Moses to look for His goodness.
God told him, “I will make all My goodness to pass before you.” But He went on to tell Moses, I’ll show you, but you can’t really handle seeing the fullness of My glory (my paraphrase).
A covering was provided by God. Moses was sheltered in the cleft of the rock. Without His protection, his mortal body would have melted in the fullness of God’s glorious presence.
After Moses’ Sinai experience and receiving of the Law, Moses was lit! Seriously, the end of Exodus 34 reveals that his face shone from the presence of God. His face was so radiant from the glory of God that it was covered by a veil.
Are you looking for God’s goodness so that you, too, can reflect His glory?
GO and SHOW
That was then. This is now. The Law came by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ.
This is the record of John 1 (verses 16-18) about Jesus.
“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
Moses saw a portion, albeit a significant amount, of God’s glorious presence. But it was temporary. And because of the frailty and fearfulness of the Israelites, Moses had to limit their exposure to the glory of God that he reflected.
But the New Covenant has come to perfection through Jesus Christ. And His perfect love casts out all fear.
Friend, Jesus Christ is the express image of the glory of God! And unlike Moses, who had to cover His face with a veil, we get to reflect the fullness of God’s glory (see 2 Corinthians 3).
We spend time in His presence and behold Him with unveiled faces. The result is our being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory. This ministry is accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord.
Unlike the negativity and pessimism of those who do not know our Lord, we have a higher calling. Child of God, you are called to show the Lord’s glory. Demonstrate His goodness everywhere you go.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Here are some questions for you to thoughtfully answer:
- Do you see how the glory of the Lord is revealed in His goodness through Jesus Christ?
- Do you understand your responsibility to ask, look, and go to show His glorious goodness to others?
- Do you ever get surprised by the voice of the Holy Spirit?
The glory of the Lord is revealed in His goodness in Jesus Christ.