The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever! 2 Corinthians 3:7-11NLT
After two days of trying to define glory I’m giving up. Its something that belongs only to God, but He for some incredible reason has decided to share it with us.
Now the first glory — the one that was on the face of Moses — is easier to understand. That’s a glory that stayed on Moses’ face after he had been in the presence of God. Moses was closer to God than any mortal man has ever been. Scripture says that God passed in front of him and let Moses see His back side. (Not sure what the back of God is, but it’s all Moses could handle. He might not have lived through seeing the face of God full on.) This happened while Moses was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments on stone. But when Moses came down from the mountain, his face shone like the sun. He had been so close to the actual presence of God that some of the glory stayed on his face. It was strictly an external thing — some interaction of the glory and his skin that retained some of that brilliance, but it was not God Himself. God was still on the mountain. Moses just got the afterglow. And as soon as he left the presence of God, the afterglow started to fade. That’s as good as glory gets with the old covenant.
The second glory is the one that’s harder to understand but it’s the glory that goes along with the new covenant. It’s the one we have inside us. It’s different than the first one; it’s internal. It’s not on our skin, it’s on our heart. It’s harder to see because it’s not shining like the first one. You don’t see this glory; you don’t define it; you experience it, and you experience it more in other people than in yourself. It’s why this glory lasts. Unlike Moses, who had only the afterglow of God, we have God alive in us in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and He is a permanent possession — “the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us” (2 Corinthians 1:22NLT). This glory is not going anywhere, in fact, we know from the rest of this passage that this glory is only increasing the longer we live.
And how do we see it? It’s a mystery. It comes in a glance, in a warm, healing touch, in an embrace — through tears or laughter, through a conversation, a song sung, a word delivered in season, or through silence. And though this glory is an internal thing, my mother, in the last waning years of her life when words escaped her and loved ones for a lifetime turned into strangers, still retained a sweetness on her face that could have rivaled the face of Moses. For she still had that gleam in the corner of her eye that told you this was the glory of God.
So all of us … can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord — who is the Spirit — makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
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The 21 Day Challenge
– Day Eight –
The Greater Glory of the New Covenant
2 Corinthians, Chapter 3: 7-11
will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
- When was the last time you had a chance to show how much you can do with what we have? Was it all that long ago that you might have said, “I’ve been trained for that” – or “I’ve got the skills” – or “I’ve got the gifts” – or “Let me show what I can do.”
- If you are an athlete, you know what I am talking about.
- If you are in business, you do too.
- Who is making the impression? Who is getting all the credit? Who is being glorified?”
- How long does this attractiveness last? Is the impression sustaining? Is it transforming?
- Why or why not?
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