Dec 15, 2021
At Crossgate Church, we have one purpose “We make more and better disciples for Jesus Christ”—and we have seven priorities: glory, truth, love, prayer, community, generosity, and reach. At Crossgate, we say, “Our highest purpose is to worship God and focus on his glory.”
There’s a lot of talk about God’s glory in Christianity:
Today, we’re going to see the priority of God’s glory in the big scheme of things.
1) The Glory We See
Isaiah saw the Lord “sitting up a throne, high and lifted up”—exalted in a position without compare, without rival, without equal, without competitor. In our words we would say, “I saw the Lord . . . large and in charge.”
But what does Isaiah not mention that we know about God’s visible glory from the rest of the Bible? One thing is for certain, when Isaiah saw the Lord, he saw a light that beyond description—which is why, most likely, even the angelic beings had to cover their eyes.
2) The Glory We Hear
Not only did Isaiah SEE something amazing, but he likewise HEARD something earthshaking: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
The word “Lord” is the same word in English—although it’s capitalized differently—but it’s a different word in Hebrew. While the Hebrew word in verse one is ADONAI, the Hebrew word in verse three is YAHWEH, which is God’s personal name.
Exodus 15:11 – “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”
By the way, what’s the relationship between saying “God is holy” and talking about God’s glory? “When God’s holiness is on display, it’s called glory. The glory of God is the radiance of his holiness.”– John Piper
3) Our Priority
After seeing and hearing this amazing scene, Isaiah reflexively, in-voluntarily responded to what he saw and heard with humility, repentance, and availability. But I would venture that most people who call themselves Christians aren’t ready, willing, or able to be brought low in humility and catapulted into a deeper life with God. They’re pretty satisfied with their walk with the Lord—they admit they’re “not perfect”—but they’re not ready to say, “Woe is me!”
Jesus said in Luke 6:45 – “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Regardless, through his experiential vision of God’s holiness and glory, Isaiah became acutely aware of his sin. This scene reminds us that it is entirely possible for someone who is—on the surface—"right with God” to have sin which they must desperately confess.
Isaiah heard God say, “Who will we send? Who will go for us?” He didn’t say, “Well, it depends on what you want me to do” or “It depends on where you want me to go” or “It depends on how much it will cost.” On the heels of deep humility and repentance, he said, “He am I! Send me!”
This Christmas season, we’re talking about the glory of God. Why? Because I’m praying that God gives us a fresh understanding of his glory and holiness, that we might be catapulted into a deeper life with God.
Yes, I want you to have a merry Christmas. But even more than that, I want you to have a transformational Christmas—a Christmas that bring radical change in your life with Jesus Christ.