Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive...glory!

What does this mean? And what does it mean for us, today?

What is “glory”? It’s connected to luminosity, to light: the sun’s brilliance is glorious. It’s an essential attribute of God: God is glorious. And it’s something we give God: give Him glory! All three of these uses appear in Revelation.

Are these connected? Yes. God's glory is so full it overflows into creation and appears especially in awe-inspiring nature, and in His image bearers (us) who are commanded to return glory to Him in praise.

To begin: God is glorious—that is, He is so full of beautiful, true, sight-giving, joy-imparting, characteristics that it all overflows, it spills over.

The sun is like God in that it burns so unceasingly bright, with such constant heat—it makes the crops grow, warms our air, disrupts our radio waves…and only one-one billionth of the sun’s energy reaches earth! It’s no wonder people have worshiped the sun. But this is just an image of God’s glory.
God alone is glorious, but we call other things glorious when they remind us of this feature of God’s character. A thing is glorious when its beauty is overwhelming, spills out of the frame, and enters our souls, turning lights on within us. 

And nothing does this more than Jesus. Everywhere we look in Jesus we behold something extraordinary: that here, in this man, God spilled over and…did all that Jesus did. As Paul writes, “the glory of God [is seen] in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor 4:6) There’s a wastefulness to the love of Christ, a largeness—He just…loved! Everyone! And He kept loving! And He is still at it!

“We have seen [Jesus’] glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father.” (John 1:14) Jesus is the ultimate revealing of God’s glory. There’s no where to look to get a better picture of what makes God great than to Jesus. There’s no where the essential luminosity of God is better seen than in Jesus.

What does it mean for us to give God glory or bring God glory? (Rev 11:13; 21:24) First, we are the recipients, in every good thing we enjoy, of God’s glory. We are like collectors of God’s overwhelming majesty and light. Every good thing in our spirit’s catch-all drawer of delights—“these are a few of my favorite things”—are bits and bobs special to us because…because they put us in mind of a glory bigger and beyond us. They put us in mind of God.

And we ourselves are made in the image of God. We are uniquely called upon to glorify God because we possess a unique glory from God. We were made in the image of God for the purpose of glorifying God. An image-bearer exists to draw attention, gratitude, and worship to the One in whose image it was crafted. That’s us. We possess a reflective-glory as well as a collected-glory. Glory in our pockets and glory in our persons, all from God. In your smile is a bit of His smile. In your wallet is a taste of His riches. In your muscles, a bit of His strength. In your passions, a spark of His delight.

God is glorious. That glory made us. He made us to reflect His glory. And that glory fills our lives. He has made all things reflecting His glory in some way.

And why? So that we might glorify Him. We take all the glory that we are, and all the glory that we have, and we present it to Him, in gratitude, in worship, in service.

And just as the glory He shines is best seen in Jesus, so the glory He receives is meant to come to Him through Jesus: “Father…glorify the Son that the Son may glorify You.” (John 17:1) "Do everything in the Name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Col 3:17) So the host of heaven, in the Spirit-filled Scripture of Revelation 5:12, calls us to give glory to the Son. That’s how you glorify God: you glorify Jesus.

What should we do with this, today?

Shine. Smile, friend. Let your countenance reflect the fact that the Most Generous person who exists runs all things. UBOK2. A smile is a small thing, sure, and not “commanded.” But surely that’s because it’s assumed! Peace and joy are our defining features. And they’re hard to feel without smiling.

Sing. To glorify is to praise. And to do this in a way that’s appropriate. This God? His glory calls forth song! The command to sing might sound like old time hokum, but it’s just saying, “This God deserves voluminous noises to accompany descriptions of His character and works!”

Serve. Just as the glory of God is best seen in Jesus, and there in His sufferings, His service, so also it is reflected back to Him loudest in the service of His people. Serve others, for Him, despite the accompanying sorrows.

Because the glorious Lamb deserves our glories--all glories--to glorify to Him.

Photo by Randall Ruiz on Unsplash