Posts tagged ‘glory’

Worship In The Shadow

The Word of God, at its very beginning, speaks of mankind as being created in the image of God. But what is meant by that phrase? I believe there is a clue or two in the original Hebrew of the text. The word translated as “image” is “tzelem” which comes from the word “tzel” which means “shadow”. So there is a definite connection, since whenever rays of light fall on something it casts a shadow, which is a type of image. So according to the Bible, we are in the image of God in the same way that our own shadows look like we do in a way.

Another connection can be seen when, in Exodus 31 God appointed a person named Bezalel to create the Tabernacle and its furnishings. His name in Hebrew, Betzalel, literally means “in the shadow of God”. The Tabernacle was used to facilitate the worship of a God by the ancient Israelites. When a human worships the God of the Universe, it is as though he or she were standing in the shadow of God, who dwells in unapproachable light.

which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. (I Timothy 6:15, 16 NKJV)

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But how does this apply to us today? In Hebrews 1:3, the author describes Jesus as the “express image of His person”. We are in the image of God in the same way a shadow shows His image, but Jesus is the express image. It’s the difference between a shadow outline and a photograph. While people can and should be able to tell that God is with us, they will only get a clear and detailed picture of God when they see Jesus. And that biblical imagery should carry over into our worship today. When we worship God, we stand in His shadow as those who are created in His image and looking upon Him who is the perfect picture of the Father.

There are some things that are true when that standing occurs. For one, in order to worship in the shadow of God, like we were created to do, He blocks our view of other things. Those lesser things may be visible in our peripheral sight, but our focus will be on the One who overshadows us. Worship occurs when we “fix our eyes on Jesus” and give our while attention to Him. As we habitually do that, we will slowly but surely be changed ourselves into clearer images of Him.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18 NKJV)

This may be bold, but I believe it is accurate. Anything that does not point us to Jesus and cause us to focus on Him is less than true worship. In the modern church over the past few decades, there has been a restoration of the truth about the joy of The Lord in Worship. What we need now is a restoration of the awareness of the awesomeness and glory of the One who alone is worthy of our adoration and worship. In doing so, we fulfill the destiny of why we were saved in the first place.

And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. (I Corinthians 15:49 NKJV)

So next time you spend time in worship of God, whether alone, as a family, or with other believers, I would encourage you to focus on the One in whose shadow you stand. Contemplate the brightness of His glory, the perfection of His holiness, and the enormity of His power, and realize that as you stand there, He gazes back in love to you and knows your name, your thoughts, and the number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30). Know that He alone is worthy of worship, and look away form those things which have become idols in your life. Let no rival thrones survive as you gaze upon His majesty. Fix your eyes upon Jesus and from your heart, and love The Lord your God with all your might, mind and strength. You will be ruined for cold ceremony or dead rituals. But you will be worshipping in Spirit and in truth.

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Why Is There A Universe?

How many times have you heard someone say that you need to use the right tool for the job. Most things work best we they are used for the purpose for which they were designed and made. The entire created universe is the same way. Most reading this would agree that that Jesus was used by the Father to create the world and everything in it. But we need to know why the universe was created if we are going to know how to use it.

First, we need to believe that Jesus made all things.

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3 ESV)

In the letter to the Colossians, Paul says this about Jesus Christ;

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16, 17 KJV)

Second, we need to establish how Jesus made all things. They creative force that was used was the very word of God.

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (Hebrews 11:3 ESV)

Thus the creation story if marked by the phrase, “and God said, let there be” and creative events occurred (the real Big Bang).

And finally, the question of why everything was created. Was it for mankind’s enjoyment? Was it because God was bored and we are an arts and crafts project? Of course not.
The worlds were made by Him and for Him! Just like it said in Revelation 4:11,

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11 KJV)

All things were made for His pleasure.

What this means for us today is this. Whatever exists for us to use must be used in a manner consistent with the will of God. Anything we use that does not bring glory to our Lord and Savior is being misused. Everything that we can see was designed to bring glory to God, and we must be diligent to make sure we use them in such a manner that brings Him pleasure. Stop and think about that for a minute. What things do we see in nature that are being defiled and thus prevented from their designed use of glorifying God? Are we misusing what God has designed, like DNA, in ways that are contrary to the purpose of its Grand Designer?
Let us remember who really owns this world and use it for His pleasure.

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Romans 11:36 KJV)

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