Glory to Glory

Glory to Glory

Sometimes the Spirit hits you between the eyes with a verse that you have read several times before.  He did that to me this morning.  I was studying this verse, “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.” II Cor 3:18.  This verse is speaking about how every believer in Jesus Christ is being progressively changed, by the Spirit of God, into the image of Jesus.  While this is a work of the Spirit, it is also accomplished as we do our part.  We must live lives that are beholding the glory of the Lord.  When we spend time worshiping, reading the Scripture, and meditating on the glory of the Lord, the Spirit uses that to change us into the image of his Son.
Now, what struck me was the phrase, “from one degree of glory to another”.  Is that not an awesome way to describe your life?  Can you imagine coming home after a long day and your spouse asks you how your day went and you reply, “Awesome, the Spirit moved me from one degree of glory to another today.  What could be any better?”   You, as a believer in Jesus, who sees the glory of God, are being transformed into the image of Jesus, “from one degree of glory to another”.  You are more glorious now, then you were five years ago. That change in your temper is you being moved from one degree of glory to another.  Your greater patience with those who are doing you wrong, is you being moved from one degree of glory to another.  The fact that you are a more gentle NJ driver than you were five years ago, is the truth that you are being moved from one degree of glory to another by the Spirit of God and your beholding of the glory of the God.  You are more like Jesus than you were before and one day this will culminate in your perfect glorification.  It is so wild, though, to describe your life, right now, as being moved from one degree of glory to another.
Your time looking at God’s glory in church each Sunday.  Your time spent in the Word and prayer.  The joy you had yesterday meditating on the glory of God in creation, all of these things, are resulting in you being moved from one degree of glory to another.  We spend an unbalanced amount of time recognizing and fretting about how we fail. It is good to recognize our sin and to keep short accounts of when we fail, but it is just as good to spend time reflecting on the amazing work of God in our lives each day.  Each day we receive new mercies that move us from one degree of glory to another.  Each day the Spirit takes our small efforts to behold the glory of God and uses them to make us more like Jesus.  
These kind of truths, when they hit us, should freak us out...at least a little bit.  While I know that I am destined for glory because of the work that God has started in my life, it probably has never dawned on me that each day I am being moved from one degree of glory to another.  To be honest, I am not sure I fully understand it all.  I just believe what Paul says.  Knowing that is how my life is defined in Christ is a total encouragement.  It also accomplishes something else.  It motivates me to take my eyes off of those temporal things that often consume me and drives me to behold his glory more each day.  
When God saved me he promised me that he has made me a new creature.  A totally different being than I was before.  I love the idea of changing by degrees.  It reminds me that God is moving me away from what I was and making me more and more like Jesus.  While I am a new creature, I still long to cling to the old man.  God is slowing prying me away from that old man, one degree at a time, and one day I will be completely like his Son.  What an amazing way to describe my life now.  

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