Monday, November 20, 2006

Transformed by Glory

Isaiah 35
1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;2 it shall blossom abundantlyand rejoice with joy and singing.The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.They shall see the glory of the Lord,the majesty of our God.3 Strengthen the weak hands,and make firm the feeble knees.4 Say to those who have an anxious heart,“Be strong; fear not!Behold, your God will come with vengeance,with the recompense of God.He will come and save you.”5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,and the ears of the deaf unstopped;6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness,and streams in the desert;7 the burning sand shall become a pool,and the thirsty ground springs of water;in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,the grass shall become reeds and rushes.8 And a highway shall be there,and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;the unclean shall not pass over it.It shall belong to those who walk on the way;even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. 9 No lion shall be there,nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;they shall not be found there,but the redeemed shall walk there.10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall returnand come to Zion with singing;everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;they shall obtain gladness and joy,and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

One of the most amazing, mysterious truths of Scripture, consistent throughout the Old and New Testaments, is that we are transformed by beholding the glory of God. Think of it! You wonder what you can "do" to make a difference where you are ... you wonder how your sleepless nights and long hours are any different than that of the governmental worker or contract employee.

And yet within you is the treasure hidden in earthen vessels ... the Holy Spirit whose job is to glorify Christ. Christ in you, the hope of glory ... the hope that the world needs.

Isaiah 35 speaks of a future day of restoration. But look closely at verse 2. In what context does the joy, fruitfulness, wholeness, purity, and restoration described in the chapter occur? It is when they see "the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God".

They see His glory when you reflect His character and His attributes, when you serve Him in love, when you reveal to them through your attitudes, actions, and words, all He has come to be to you. They see His glory when you share His Word. They see His glory in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, beloved Son, very God of very God.

It sounds so strange, and yet have we not also experienced this transformation by His glory? 2 Cor. 3:18 tells us we have: And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

My prayer this morning, as I pictured some of your precious faces during my quiet time, was that God would transform you by His glory, and that He would transform the people you love so deeply by that same glory.

"Faithful is He who calls us, and He also will bring it to pass." (1 Thess. 5:24)

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