The glory of God is the beauty of His spirit. It is not an aesthetic beauty or a material beauty, but it is the beauty that emanates from His character, from all that He is. James 1:10 calls on a rich man to “glory in his humiliation,” indicating a glory that does not mean riches or power or material beauty. This glory can crown man or fill the earth. It is seen within man and in the earth, but it is not of them; it is of God. The glory of man is the beauty of man’s spirit, which is fallible and eventually passes away, and is therefore humiliating—as the verse tells us. But the glory of God, which is manifested in all His attributes together, never passes away. It is eternal.
Part of how we view God’s grace is often birthed out of our experience with each other. Whether it’s a parent, relative, or our general view of mankind, our experience with sinful and broken people affect our view of our holy and righteous God. We’re unacquainted with grace, mercy, and truth that’s untainted by sin. Humanly speaking, though we’ve experienced grace, we’ve never met a person that embodied grace perfectly.
As I reflected on how we love and show grace, two things stood out to me about man and our motivation to forgive:
- Natural man is motivated to be gracious because man is aware (to some extent) that he’s just as guilty as the person in need of grace.
- Natural man forgives others because he often only knows a small piece of all the other person is actually guilty of.
I’m sure there are more human motivations for showing grace, but from these two alone we discover two factors that play enormous parts in our ability to forgive — our own sin and ignorance.
“When a man becomes a Christian, he becomes industrious, trustworthy and prosperous. Now, if that man when he gets all he can and saves all he can does not give all he can, I have more hope for Judas Iscariot than for that man!”
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Even if you have an anointing to preach or teach, a strong desire to win the lost, or a unique charismatic ministry gift such as prophecy or healing, it does not necessarily mean God wants you to quit your job and start a church. Like the apostle Paul I have the tendency to wish everyone were like I am, going to the nations and preaching the Gospel full time. But we must not forget that ‘each has his own special gift from God, one of this kind and one of another‘ (1 Cor. 7:7, AMP). If you venture outside the call and gift of God, you will not have the grace to do the job, and this could be disastrous for the one who has wrongly discerned God’s call and all those unfortunate enough to wind up under his leadership.