[Column] Let us Live the Life of ascribing Glory To God on Occasion of Christmas

It is said that in the Old Testament there appears the prophecy concerning Christ 456 times: 57 times in the Pentateuch, 243 times in the prophetic books, 138 times in the rest of the book. The Old Testament prophecy of Christ as Messiah has been fulfilled completely except for the second coming. The birth of Messiah was the ultimate truth that had long been predicted. In Luke chapter 2, angels appear to shepherds and announces “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). In this verse, what does the word glory mean? The word glory in Hebrew is kabowd referring to all attributes unique and exclusive to God. In the world of physics, phenomena can be manifested in different forms. An example would be light particles manifested as shadows. Likewise, the glory of God can be manifested as light. When Moses completed the tabernacle according to the instruction given by God, it is said that the glory of God filled the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35). Because God emanates incredibly radiant light, man in his mere physical state cannot behold Him or stand before Him (Exodus 33:20).

Apostle Paul says when he met the risen Lord he “saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun” (Acts 26:13). Paul has never seen Christ in person. He has only seen the light emanating from Him. Because this light was more intense and radiant than the Sun, he went blind. Similarly, Isaiah says in the last days, when the glory of God manifests the Sun will be darkened.

Isaiah 13:9-10: See, the day of the Lord is coming a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.

Because the Sun is brighter than stars, stars become darker when the Sun comes out. Likewise, the Sun will grow darker when the Lord appears. The core of divine glory is Jesus Christ. Approximately 400 years before the birth of Christ, Prophet Malachi prophesied concerning Jesus Christ saying “the Sun of righteousness arise” (Malachi 4:2). God manifested His glory through Jesus Christ and shined His prophecy in our hearts: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”(2 Corinthians 4:6). The incarnation of the Word of God was indeed the glory of the only Son of God filled with truth and grace (John 1:14).

To receive the Lord of Christmas is to live a Christ-centered life by ascribing glory to Him. We must not live the glory of man more than the glory of God (John 12:43). Sin is ascribing glory unto oneself. The fall of humanity was brought on by Satan who tempted Adam and eve that they will be like God. To undo the damage caused by the fall and save mankind from sin and death, the Lord came to us. As the newborn Savior manifested the glory of God through His humility, we can glorify God through humility. Rather than flaunt our rank, prestige, wealth, and talent at church, we must look only to God and ascribe only to Him glory. To do that, we need the humility of Jesus Christ.

One, there was a donkey that a king rode. As the King travelled around the country on the donkey, people applauded and cheered not only for the King but also for the donkey because it was beautifully decorated for imperial procession. Then one day, the donkey threw off the King. Why? Because it wanted to be the sole recipient of glory and honor. The donkey was under the illusion that without the King it will be the center of everyone’s attention. Because of his blasphemous behavior against the King, the donkey was sentenced to death by beheading. Man can enjoy glory only when he abides in the Word of God, the Scriptures and Jesus Christ. Once he lets go of God, honor and glory disappear and there come only death and destruction.

This Christmas, let us commit ourselves to live for the glory of God through whatever we do (1 Corinthians 10:31). Let us live by inviting Christ into our hearts. Let us know and confess Him more and more. Let us worship Him more (Luke 2:13). We experience the glory of God by entering into God’s presence and worshipping Him through Christ. Because angels exist primarily and solely for the glory of God, they worship God throughout eternity. That means wherever God is worshipped there are angels. Rev. Cho Kang-soo from Youngmoonbak Church in Incheon held Sunday service only for his wife and himself for the first two years. At the time, there were no church members. One day in the Sunday service, his spiritual eye opened and saw the angels of God entering and filling the church. After this revelation, the church started to grow. God’s glory is manifested through worship. His glory is also manifested when we witness the name of Christ.

The degree of our honor and spiritual radiance in heaven will vary according to our dedication and commitment to God on earth. 1 Corinthians 15:41 says, “The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.” Daniel 12:3 says, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Jesus Christ must become the glory of our lives.  Let us make the following confession. Let it be our true confession of faith: “May You, O Lord, receive all honor, glory, and love, not me. May You, O Christ, be seen and heard, not me. May You, O Jesus, abide in my thoughts and words, not me.” Glory to God in the highest.!

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