“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” I Corinthians 3:17
Giving God glory today in some ways appears the same as it did 3, sale no rx 800 years ago. Israel for example, demonstrated its glory giving by regularly attending the Tabernacle. During those gatherings Israel acknowledged God for all He was (Deuternomy10:17-18), all He had done,(Deuteronomy 8:15-16), and all that He would do (John 4:25-26).
Gods’ chronological “parenting plan” for mankind as a whole began in the Garden of Eden and ends when Christ returns. This parenting plan parallels the birth and development of a child. Israel represented toddlers in God’s kingdom. The following are four aspects of a toddler that Israel demonstrated.
- Toddlers depend on repetition as their key method to learn. In God’s wisdom, He gave Israel many repetitive routines for worship. (Exodus)
- Toddlers have short attention spans (Joshua 24:25-27, Judges 2:7 & 10).
- God understood this, and supplied Israel with many strong leaders to counter their susceptibility to forget the truth. (Moses, Joshua, David).
- Toddlers are very impressionable. The ten great miracles performed in Pharaoh’s presence bolstered Israel’s faith. Ousting Pharaoh was only a follow-up to these events. (Book of Exodus)
Toddlers are concrete thinkers; rules and boundaries mean everything to them. God accordingly provided Israel some strict laws to govern their spiritual conduct. (Leviticus)
The church today (the post adolescent era) honors God no less than their brothers and sisters did during these early Old Covenant years. Acknowledging God for who He is, appreciating Him for what He has done, and putting faith in what He will do reigns from generation to generation. The difference lies not in what glory is, but in how it is applied now. The Israeli faithful put themselves in God’s presence when they entered the Tabernacle. God’s glory reigned down on them in a cloud of His presence. On the contrary, New Testament believers carry within themselves the glory of God, which now reigns from within. As the Scripture teaches, each believer is a temple now, and the Spirit of God takes up permanent residence from within (I Cor. 3:16-17). Therefore glory can only be expressed outward from within the heart of each believer: man, woman, or child.
Incredible as it sounds, each member in your Christian family holds now the glory of God within them. When Jesus said, “You are the light of the world, you should not hide it,” (Matthew 5:14-)that is exactly what He meant. A worship leader on Sunday morning, or even a gifted preacher has no more glory than your seven-year-old child. The difference is the degree to which each lets God’s glory shine forth so that all can see. Expressing who God is, what He has done, and what He will do is the glory giving that God wants all of us to share. I will discuss more what this means in the next articles.
A Teachable Moment to help your children understand the glory of God they hold within them can be illustrated at home. Escort you entire family to the street one dark evening. Make sure every light in the house is turned on With flash light in hand, read Matthew 5:14-16. Tell your children that when they invited Christ into their lives, they invited not only the Savior, but the entire glory of God(2 Thess. 1:11-12; John 17: 22-23, I Cor. 6:19-20) Then ask them to go back into the house to pull down as many shades and blinds as possible. When they return tell them this is what they look like when they do not let the glory of God shine as it was intended to. Ask them to add to their prayers each day the desire to let God shine forth from them, so that they can tell others about all that He is, all that He has done, and all that He will do.
Deuteronomy 10:17-18 17 “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. 18 “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.
Deuteronomy 8: 15-16 15 “He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. 16 “In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.
John 4: 25-26 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
Joshua 24:25-27, Judges 2:7 & 10 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day…and wrote these words in the book of the law of God… “Behold, this stone shall be for a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us; thus it shall be for a witness against you, so that you do not deny your God.” Judges 2:7 The people served theLord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the Lord which He had done for Israel. 10 All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know theLord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.”
I Cor. 3:16-17 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
Matthew 5: 14-16 14 “You are the light of the world
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hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
2 Thess. 1: 11-12 11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count
you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I Cor. 6: 19-20 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
John 17: 22-23 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.