This week, in a solemn ceremony at the White House, President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to the widow of John Chapman, a U.S. Air Force technical sergeant, who was killed in 2002 in Afghanistan after a heroic stand to defend the lives of his follow soldiers. After taking out two machine gun nests, Chapman was thought to have been killed. A half hour later, as a helicopter was landing to pick up survivors of the fire fight, Chapman, though gravely wounded, emerged from a bunker to fight off attackers who tried to take the helicopter down. He was killed in that final stand. He saved many lives as he gave his own. His actions and the magnificence of his courage and sacrifice were officially given ‘glory.’
I am so very thankful for those moments of shining kindness and love that are sprinkled around us like a ‘thousand points of light’ to borrow a phrase from another US President.
God desires to work in us and to give us a glorious quality of life. Sound somewhat exaggerated to you? Take a look at this from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18, NIV) Paul is alluding to the radiance that shone in Moses when he came down from his time on Mt. Sinai with the Lord. It was so noticeable that the Bible tells us Moses had to cover his face for a time to avoid making people afraid, such was his ‘glory.’
The Spirit, alive and at work in you and me, can give us a kind of radiance, too. He comes to live, not merely with us, but in us. His Presence gives us ‘it,’ a holy splendor that brightens the world in which we live. Ever met that Christian with that hard to define yet unmistakable glory? They love deeper. They serve with quiet persistence. They change ever room they enter, not with personal charisma, but with an intangible yet very real quality that is the Lord shining through them.
There is only one way to gain this ‘glory’ and that is to spend time with Him! We must not confuse leadership skills, physical beauty, or remarkable accomplishments with the Holy Presence of His Spirit. He may use and bless those gifts, but they are not the same as the glory the Lord. What a privilege to be full of the Spirit, our ordinary lives marked by ‘ever-increasing glory.’ Is this your prayer? Is your desire to let His shine brightly through you?
Let me leave you with this word from the Word.
“As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, … thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
… Keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you
in every good thing you do and say.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17, NLT)
Let’s walk humbly with Him, honestly before Him, and seek to let the Light shine.
Invite the Lord to make you into a new, holy person;
full of His holy Presence,
which is full of glory and marked by exquisite joy!
(an older song but one of beautiful worship and prayer)
O the glory of Your presence
We Your temple give You rev’rence
Come and rise from Your rest
And be blessed by our praise
As we glory in Your embrace
As Your presence now fills this place
© 1983 Birdwing Music | BMG Songs, Inc. Steve Fry CCLI License No. 810055