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In your opinion, what is the most important word in the Bible?

And you can’t say God or Jesus.

I’m sure if I surveyed pastors on this question, I would hear answers like…

  • Salvation
  • Grace
  • Gospel
  • Forgiveness
  • Heaven
  • Cross
  • Resurrection
  • Worship

But I want to suggest a different word.  It is a word that is tossed around a lot in Christian circles. It is found frequently in our worship songs, and we mention it regularly in our prayers. What I’m talking about is a word that describes God’s essence.  It is a word that expresses the sum total God’s attributes.  The “word” that might be the most important word in the Bible is the word GLORY.

In 1643 the English parliament pulled together some of the greatest theologians and biblical scholars of the day.  These men met at Westminster Abbey over a period of 5 years.  One of the results of their meetings was a document called the Shorter Westminster Catechism.  This catechism answered a series of doctrinal and theological questions.  Question #1 was “What is the chief end of man?”  Their answer was just 11 words.  “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. “

This distinguished group of scholars and students of Scripture said the ultimate purpose for which man exists is to GLORIFY GOD.

The Hebrew word  for glory is “kabod” and derives from a root word that has the basic mean of “heavy” or “weighty”.  The “weightiness” or abundance of God’s amazing attributes make up his glory.

Ancient Hebrews would refer to a rich person as “heavy in wealth,” much like we might refer to someone who is rich as being “loaded”. So, when it comes to God, we could say he is loaded with power, splendor, beauty, holiness and love.

In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul says that this amazing glory resides in us.  It resides in you as a pastor.  You are a carrier of the glory of god.

18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplatethe Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

I know that being a pastor can some days just feel like a job.  But I want to remind you today that you are an outpost of God’s glory, no matter where you serve or how big your church.

I want to give you 2 practical challenges when it comes to the glory of God.

1.   Contemplate (ponder) God’s glory

What does it mean to “contemplate”? It means to think about, meditate on, linger over, soak in.

You can’t contemplate in a hurry.  You can notice, glance, look, and scan in a hurry, but you can’t contemplate in a hurry.

If you want a great marriage, you have to become a student of your spouse.  If you want a great walk with God, you must become a student of God’s character and glory and beauty.

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4 NIV)

So, the next time you pick up your Bible, don’t hurry. Contemplate!  It is an opportunity to ponder the beauty and wonder of God’s character.  Each story and passage reveals a facet of God’s glory.

When I contemplate the glory of God we are reminded of the high and holy calling that we have in representing God to our people.

2.   Serve with Bodacious Boldness

In that same passage in 2 Corinthians 3 that talks about God’s glory, verse 12 says

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.

Since we have the hope of God’s glory, we can live boldly.

What does God’s glory have to do with living boldly?

If God’s glory is actually, literally real…

  • And the glory of God can settle on Mt. Sinai so that it looks like the top of the mountain is on fire
  • And if Moses can encounter just a glimpse of the back side of God’s glory and it literally causes his face to shine
  • And if the beauty of the created universe is God’s glory on display
  • And if Jesus was the glory of God in concentrated form
  • And if heaven won’t need an electric power plant because the glory of God lights it up

If all that is true, I can live with confidence and boldness, because our God is real.  And He is large and in charge.  He is not sitting up in heaven wringing his hands about the chaos in our world.  And we don’t have to wring our hands and panic either.

So, follow God boldly. Share your faith boldly.  Pray boldly.  Serve others boldly in Jesus name.

I leave you with this verse to ponder today. 

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV)

Notice that the passage doesn’t focus on some great spiritual event or worship service or missions trip.  Paul challenges us in the everyday, normal, common, mundane things of life to GLORIFY God.  So as you move through your week I want to challenge you to bring glory to God in everything you do.

 

Lance is the founder of Replenish ministries and is often referred to as a Pastor’s Pastor.  He is also the author of the book Replenish, which is dedicated to helping leaders live and lead from a healthy soul.  Before launching Replenish, Lance served 20 years as a senior pastor and 6 years as an Executive/Teaching pastor at Saddleback Church. 

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Jonathan Hughes

commented on Aug 22, 2016

Love which is charity which is being like a humble child. God is love. That is the bond of perfectness. Love does not condemn. Love does not look for a reason to give death.

Curtis E. Nester

commented on Aug 22, 2016

AGAPE

Curtis E. Nester

commented on Aug 22, 2016

AGAPE

Curtis E. Nester

commented on Aug 22, 2016

AGAPE

Jonathan Hughes

commented on Aug 22, 2016

God's glory is fire vengeance, wrath, to violent liars who have no understanding having no love having no natural affection.

Art Braidic

commented on Aug 22, 2016

I think the most important word in the Bible is the word ?if.? For example out of the hundreds of cases consider a couple: IF thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. IF ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses

Edmund Chan

commented on Aug 22, 2016

Pardon me. It is philosophically and theologically impossible to determine the MOST important word of the Bible. I am amused at the katapathic absolutism assumed here. Every word has a context. And it serves a purpose within that context. So, there are several pertinently important Bible words. Thus, it would be more accurate, in the philosophy of language and meaning, to say that GLORY is one of the most important words in the Bible; rather than to assert or suggest that it is the MOST important one. In any case, if we were to pursue the inquiry, then any word that could lead a sinner unto salvation is the MOST important Bible word! To my mom in Singapore, the word is WHOSOEVER. She heard John 3:16 preached at a school chapel and thought to herself: "WHOSOEVER includes ME!" - and she prayed to receive Christ about 70 years ago!

Peter Tang

commented on Aug 22, 2016

AMEN Brother!

Chris Surber

commented on Aug 22, 2016

I don't think the author was aiming at logical accuracy and may not have had a dictionary at the ready to look up "katapathic." He's just trying to generate discussion, which he clearly did.

Peter Tang

commented on Aug 22, 2016

I'm a layman. Is there a place for the most important word in the Bible? Not at all. The Christian faith (discipleship) is not anchored upon a singular word or a biblical emphasis. We need the whole counsel of God. Likewise, I think preacher of the Word should refrain from saying "this is one the most important verse / passage in the Bible". All scripture is inspired by God.

Tim Johnson

commented on Aug 22, 2016

I agree that it would have been better to say that glory is ONE OF the most important words in the Bible, but thank you, Lance, for the great reminders to contemplate the Word and to live boldly for the glory of God. Sometimes we need to get past a way of stating a point to see an excellent point. I for one was encouraged by this article.

Brian Mcnulty

commented on Aug 22, 2016

Love..."...the greatest of these is Love."

Suresh Manoharan

commented on Aug 23, 2016

I see eye to eye with Brother Lance when it comes to prioritization in our Christian walk (article was for those already walking with the Lord). If we make glorifying our Heavenly Father our primary aim then many things would fall into place by themselves. The article was all about putting the horse before the cart!!!,

Bill Parker

commented on Aug 24, 2016

From where I sit, this is what I see. I don't think Brother Witt's purpose was to attempt to make any of us to accept his position on the "most Important Word". His first three words in his message are "In your opinion"---.38 words later, he says, "But I want to suggest---". I think he was challenging us to study, in depth, a rather important question.

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