“Faded Glory : Mirrored”
November 3, 2019, 11:15AM
Good morning, everyone. Turn around and give somebody a high five and say, “I’m glad you’re here.” Then I would say, man, I’m glad I got an extra hour of sleep. Is that beautiful or what? Thank you for being here. Thank you so much for being at Fellowship.
I hold in my hand a mirror, and I have a question about a mirror. Does God ever look in a mirror? That’s the question. Does God ever look in a mirror? We look in mirrors, don’t we? We look in mirrors all the time. I read a study recently, it was out about four years ago, and it was researching the vanity of men and women. And it talked about how often men and women look at themselves in mirrors. It said that the average woman looks at herself in a mirror 16 times a day, 16 times a day, ladies. The study said the average man looks at himself 23 times a day. When I read that, I said to myself there’s no way that’s true. So, I researched the research and sure enough, that’s what research revealed. It went on to say when women look at themselves, they focus on their body parts they’re self-conscious of. They say when men look at themselves, it said they admired themselves, especially their arms. Ladies we are so self-unaware, you have no idea.
Mirrors, they’re everywhere. Even office buildings are made out of mirrors. We have mirrors in our homes, mirrors at the office, mirrors at school, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. I am going to talk to you about a mirror, because that’s why we’re here, a mirror. That’s right, the essence of why you’re here and I’m on planet Earth is this thing right here. I mean, it’s a metaphor, an illustration. We are here to mirror the glory of God. Let me say that again. We are here to (is it cold in here? I’m cold as a wedge, maybe we can change the… anyway). We’re here to mirror the majesty of our maker. We are here to glorify God.
People are always trying to find the meaning of life. We’ve kicked that question around for a long, long time. why am I here? What’s my reason for existing? Am I on a planet, a blue planet spinning into nowhere? Am I here just to fornicate, recreate, do deals, and die? Or is there a bigger meaning? Well, I’m here to give you the meaning of life. The meaning of life is to glorify God, is to reflect the nature and character of God.
So, to Glorify God, and I’m calling this series Faded Glory, means to reflect God’s greatness in everything I do, say, touch, and feel because God glorifies God and everything he says, does, touches, and feels. We glorify God. So, if your purpose does not start with God, if my purpose does not start with the Lord, I’ll never understand myself, I’ll never understand life. You’ll never understand yourself and you’ll never understand life. No wonder so many people are so clueless. The prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah chapter 43, verse 7, “Everyone who is called by my name, who I have created for my (let’s say it together) glory.” The word glory is pronounced in the Hebrew, you were probably wondering, I wonder what the Hebrew word is for glory? You probably were thinking about that over your morning coffee. Well, it’s pronounced kabob. It means heaviness, it means weightiness. You might hear someone say, “Wow, that’s heavy, man. That’s weighty. That’s what it means when we hear the term glory. Glory, God is glory.
It’s interesting how God unfolded the story of his glory. Throughout the pages of Scripture, we see that God is a God of glory. It is something he is. God’s glory is intrinsic, it’s self-generating. He doesn’t have to get flory from you or me. He doesn’t have to get glory from something outside himself, or someone outside himself, he is glory. we might have nicknames for people. We have nicknames for celebrities, nicknames for our friends, maybe nicknames for our parents. If God had a nickname, glory. Glory. Glory is who God is. So, what cold is to ice, what sweet is to sugar, glory is to God. I mean, ice doesn’t look for cold. You find some cold? Sugar doesn’t look for sweet. Oh, that’s sweet! Yeah, we get some sweet. It’s just a part of it.
God doesn’t search for glory, it’s who he is. He doesn’t need your glory or mine. He doesn’t need Fellowship’s glory. He doesn’t need worship songs. He doesn’t need your tithe (some are going, “Great!”), he doesn’t need me to serve or to preach. God is glory. I’m talking about the is-ness of God. You’re not gonna understand this, there’s no way, because no human being understands what I’m talking about. No one, no one. I am talking about the is-ness of God. I’m talking about the God-ness of God. I’m talking about the fact that God is glory. Now we can study it. We need to know a little bit about it, as much as we can, but we’re not gonna ever, ever get it. The Bible says we’re made – check this out now – to glorify God, right? To reflect him in everything we do, say, touch, and feel, because God glorifies God in everything he does, says, touches, and feels.
So, we glorify God. We have a moment in our lives, because we have a freedom of choice, to say, OK God. I’m going to give my life to you. God remakes and remolds our mirrors, because our mirrors are cracked because of sin. The Bible says, and I’m gonna give you a lot of Scripture here. Just write it down. Romans 3:23, “For all have (what? What’s that say), all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” So, the sin guts the glory of God. You’re a sinner, I’m a sinner, everybody’s a sin-sin-sinner. Are you following me? So, we come to a point where we give our lives to Christ. Our mirrors are refinished, they’re refurbished, then we reflect the glory of God. Say reflect with me. So, we either have a choice, either we reflect the glory of God or deflect the glory of God. Those of us who follow Christ say, OK, I’m going to reflect the glory of God. So, we live our lives, then, the Bible says, we die. And the Bible also says that everybody (I’m giving you the unfolding story of God’s glory), the Bible says everybody will glorify God. You mean everybody? That’s right. You mean atheists? That’s right. You mean hellions? That’s right. Everybody is going to glorify God. Now, those of us who made the decision to glorify God, we leave this earth (because we’ve glorified him) and we have (get ready to clap) new glorified bodies! All right. And we move into glory and Heaven is a place that will take us forever to comprehend the glory of God. But our human bodies, they would fry. We are too frail. Our bodies can’t take the glory of God, that’s why we have glorified bodies, and Heaven is called Glory. Are you with me? Are you tracking with me? All right, I got ya now.
Those who take their mirror and never turn it to God, those who look at themselves, which we were all in that condition one day, right? Oh yeah, it’s about me. It starts with me. Those people had opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to glorify God. They said no. Yet, when they die, those people who don’t know the Lord, they’ll glorify God. It will be the last view they have of God, but they will glorify God. Then, because they made the choice, they’ll go to hell for the rest of eternity. Hell is a real place.
Now, why do you have Fellowship Church? Is there a Hell? Why are you spending $31 million in Frisco? Is there a Hell? Why do we have 10 campuses, and campuses in prisons and why are we on television and why are we on… seriously. Is there a Hell? So, if there’s not a Hell, if there’s not a judgment, let’s just sell everything and just retire and chill. What do you say? But there’s a Hell. And we have an opportunity to glorify God. You see, lost people cannot see God, but they can see God’s glory reflected in your life and mine. God’s glory – I want you to notice this, I will say it again – it’s intrinsic. It’s who he is. It doesn’t give out. God doesn’t have a beginning or ending. He doesn’t need it from somewhere else.
His glory is also independent. I mean, the glory we might see in a person here is just something that is derived. Are you following with me? Just nod your head again. Give me the white man overbite, the white people here. That’s about all we got. OK. So, what’d I just say? I was saying something important? Intrinsic, oh yeah. It’s intrinsic. It’s independent, and the independent nature is that everything, every bit of glory we have comes from outside of ourselves. In other words, it’s something that we obtain. The glory of God, he just contains glory. I mean, no one poured it into his life, he just is glory.
Now, I gotta brag. I gotta brag. One time I was sitting in the parking lot out here, cell phone, boom. I’m like, what number is that? What is that? Answer it. This lady goes,
“Hi, are you Ed Young, pastor of Fellowship Church?” I go,
“Yeah.” She goes,
“I represent Bono from U2, and he would like to have coffee with you Thursday at 4:00.” Somebody help me out. Bono! I’m not making this up. That’s all you got? Bono! He’s my favorite rock-and-roll singer! I was freaking out! I’m going there’s no way Bono wants to have coffee with me! She goes,
“Just you and just a couple of people.” I said,
“How many people?” and she was like,
“Three.” I go,
“Let me check my calendar. YES! I’ll be there!”
So, I showed up (#humbled #blessed #blessedlife #favorofgod). I’ll come back to that in a second. I’m telling you, man. I gave Bono glory, because Bono is like, in my opinion, the best. It’s Bono. Billionaire Bono. <singing> “In the name of love…” Pretty good? Bono is a short little guy. And I was right there next to him with two people, sipping strong coffee, for an hour and a half. And I will never forget this. I’m a very detailed person. He had all this dirt under his fingernails. He’s got a nasal hair. I’m like, man, brother. Come on. But anyway, it’s Bono! Who cares about that, you know? <singing> “What more in the name of love?”
So, I was thinking to myself, man, you are the man! Bono! All of this talent, though, one day will go back in the box. I mean, he just has, I’ll glorify him, we’ll glorify someone like Bono for a couple of little areas. He’s not totally full of glory but he can sing and he can lead and all that, right? That’s about it. But one day his voice is gonna fail. One day he will get wrinkled. One day his hair transplants will fall out and he will go to the box and his glory will go in the box with him. Beauty fades. Talent fades. Man, that guy was so fast! You wouldn’t believe how fast! He’s slow as dirt now, man. Faded glory. Let’s just be honest here. You know I’m talking to you. You know this is right. It’s from the Bible, man. God is a God of glory.
And I’ve got to ask you, are you glorifying God? I mean, when you wake up are you reflecting the net effect of his nature? Are you reflecting his actions and activities and attributes? By the way you look at that girl, by the way you conduct yourself in business, by your language, by the way you treat your spouse, by the way you parent your kid, everything we do should be glory. We have a glorifier in us and we have an opportunity to reflect the glory of God.
The book of Genesis, the Bible says we’re made in the image of God. We’re not animals. We’re not spawning salmon, we’re not dogs in heat. They might tell you that in Biology class, but that’s not true. We’re the crown of God’s Creation. We’re unique, we’re one of a kind, we’re made in the likeness of God. We are made for the glory of God. Genesis 1:26 says this, “Then God said, ‘Let us (us – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, three-in-one, one-in-three, the Trinity – and we are trinities, body, soul, and spirit. That’s a whole ‘nother message)… Let us make man in our (our what?) image (there’s the image again) according to our likeness.’” So, we reflect, bounce off, bounce back to God, the majesty of his being. Adam and Eve did that perfectly. We have a freedom of choice. They dropped the ball. The mirror was marred, and again, as I said earlier, they gutted the glory of God. They had a chance but they blew it.
God, though, here’s how glorious God is. So, God’s glory is intrinsic. It’s not like Bono, maybe like, OK, I can glorify him in one or two areas. It’s not obtained from something outside of him, it’s contained, it’s who he is. So, it’s intrinsic. He doesn’t need your glory or mine. It’s also independent. It’s the is-ness of God, the Godness of God, and it’s invitational. God loves you and me so much, he wants us to reflect the brilliant blaze of his being and his attributes.
But let me say something that’s gonna mess you up right now. The chief quality of God is not love. Hello! You might have been taught that. If you’ve been taught that, that’s not Bible. Oh, there’s a lot of churches around here. “Oh, God is a God of love.” He is, but that’s not the first thing about him. Love does not define God. God defines love. God is glory and he has many, many, many, many attributes. One, of course, being grace and being love, but that’s not his chief attribute. We are going to find out his chief attribute is holiness. And we don’t hear a lot of preaching or teaching about holiness. Oh, I want to talk about grace and mercy and favor and the blessed life!
Well, Adam and Eve messed up. What did God do? Because God loves the world so much he started revealing his glory. Exodus 3:13 and 15. They’ll put it behind me on View-A-Verse, while I tell you the whole deal. Basically Mo was having a conversation with God and Mo, I’m talking about Moses, Mo is his nickname. Mo goes, OK, and he stuttered. And it shows you even though you can be inadequate, we’re all inadequate, God can use you and wants to use you no matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter what your deficiencies, God will use you. And wants to use you. So, Moses was like, all right. I go to all these people, I talk to pharaoh, what do I say, God? I say, like who is sending me? <singing> What’s your name, what’s your name? Say my name, say my name. It’s not what’s your name. I got that right in every other service. Say my name, say my name. Right? I can’t believe I blew that song, that’s pathetic! But see, I’ve spoken so much I can get words mixed up in the service.
So, Exodus 3 says this whole deal about God. But I want you to notice something real quick. What I want you to understand is God is substituting his nature for his name. This is interesting. Moses goes, “What’s your name?” and you would think he would say, “the Lord, Yahweh”, which he says later. You know what he says? “I am that I am.” I mean, I am. “Tell them ‘I am’ sent you.” So, he’s talking about the nature and his character because he wanted Moses to know, hey Moses, I exist. I want you to be energized. I want you to be blown away because I exist. The is-ness of God. The Godness of God. So, he’s revealing himself. So, you see his nature and his name and you’re going to see, too, how it’s tied into glory. Because from there the glory cloud, as it guided the Israelites, God’s people, you see and you know that the reason you have the whole exodus is for the glory (the Bible says) of the name of God. That’s the reason. You have God coming down into the tabernacle, God coming down into the temple, and then ultimately the full manifestation of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
And Jesus Christ has so much glory in him on the Mount of Transfiguration, John chapter 17, you’ve got Moses there, Mo is back, and Mo represents the law. You’ve got Elijah, Elijah represents the prophets. And you’ve got Jesus and <whoom… whoom… whoom> the glory. So, the more I walk with Jesus the more I’m gonna have glory. I have a glorifier in my life, and I’m made to mirror the majesty of my maker, to reveal, to reflect, not deflect, to reflect the nature and the character of God. Does that make sense? I mean, all you’ve got to do is go outside and you’re gonna see the glory of God. People are like, man, I wish I could see the glory of God. Well, just open your eyes. But, as I said earlier, if you’re a believer. Non-believers have an opportunity to see the glory of God in your life, in your mirror, as you reflect who God is. What kind of God are they seeing? I mean, are they really seeing the real deal? That’s a very, very, very convicting question.
The psalmist says in Psalm 29:1-2, “Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings. Honor the Lord for his glory and strength. Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.” There we go. The name of God. Glory, it means weighty, it means heavy, the glory of God. It’s just this name, the essence of who he is. It says, “Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” So, the glory of God, the glory of God, the glory of God, the glory of God. So, the unfolding story of the glory of God is, in the book of Genesis everything was working well. They were glorifying God. They dropped the ball. They gutted the glory of God. Then, you have God revealing himself to Mo and the children of Israel, and you have situations like Moses asking to see the glory of God. And God’s like, “Hey you can’t see the glory of God, but I will show you the backside of my glory.” He saw that. And the people wanted to know, are you really hearing from God? God came down, the glory of God, in a big cloud. So, the glory of God, the glory of God, the glory of God, and then you have the full manifestation of the glory of God in the person of Jesus. It goes back, though, to this right here.
Let me talk to believers. If you’re a Christ follower, what kind of reflection are you giving people right now? Could your mirror be cracked because of anger? Because of temper? Because of freaky feelings? Are they seeing a cracked mirror? Is your mirror foggy because of lust and sexual immorality? So, you’re saying you’re following the Lord and living the life but you’re sleeping with someone outside the marriage bed? Well, that math doesn’t work. How about, maybe your mirror is all bedazzled and it’s all decorated, you know? Because you think it’s about fame and fortune and success.
I don’t know about you, but I like a BLT. Do you like a BLT sandwich? Anybody? I might have one for lunch. I love those things. They aren’t the healthiest thing. Anybody here on Keto? God bless you. Anyone else? Any other diets we’re on? What else is there? Paleo? Paleo, Paleo, who’s here on Paleo? Intermittent fasting? Eat anything you want? That’s me. Amen! Yes!
Now, here’s what the Bible says. Let me, you know what the Bible says? Check this out. 1 Corinthians 10:31, see I had a reason for going crazy on you for a second. “Whatever you do (and this whole verse says whatever you drink and eat) do it all for the <audience: Lord.”> Let’s clap on that one. That was good.
So, I like BLTs and a lot of us only worship God – I’ve done this before – we only want to give God glory if he’s Blessing us. Oh, the blessed life. Really? The blessed life? That’s it? You’ve got to be kidding me. The blessed life, I mean, blessings.
The other day I was running in my neighborhood, and the speed limit is 30 on this road, and I’m running down the road. I usually run like 5-minute miles, and as I’m running this expensive SUV is flying, I mean, like right toward me. And I’m thinking, what’s this car doing? And I look and I said to myself, oh no. It was a woman in an SUV. Now, I love women, but this was the quintessential Texas woman, bleach-blonde hair, and she was flying in this who-knows-how-expensive this SUV was. And as I looked in a nanosecond, she was like <sound effect>. She has not seen me yet. So, I’m thinking to myself, man, I’ve got a choice to make. So, I jumped into the ditch and I glanced and on her license plate it said “Blessed.” You know, she is, I guess. She has a really nice car.
And sometimes I’ve glorified God and I’m like, OK, God. I’m blessed and you’ve taken care of me or given me this, or I’ve made this amount of money on something. Blah, blah, blah, the blessed life, the blessed life, the blessed life. That’s good. Worship God. Glorify God because you’re blessed. B.
L – How about God you Love me. You’re all about love and grace and mercy and kindness. You love me, you love me. It’s all about love. I can live like Hell, but you love me. Love, love, love. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love, love, love. God, you love me. Love, love, love. Don’t talk about, I don’t want to hear about your judgment. I don’t want to hear about your condemnation. I don’t want to hear about your holiness. I don’t want to hear about your glory, but I just love you. And there’s a lot of churches that it’s all about love. Oh, I like that church, it’s all about love. Sorry, no cigar. And I like cigars. I do. I make burnt offerings regularly. Not all the time, kids, not all the time. On special occasions.
BLT. T-You’ve got to Take care of me. So, God if you take care of me, I mean, my mom was sick and I prayed Lord, and she came out of the hospital. Whoo! I’m gonna glorify you now! But I prayed for my mom to be healed for three years as she suffered, and she died. That’s me. What do you do about that? That’s not the blessed life. That’s not your best life now. That’s not faith. What do you do when your mom dies a hellacious death? What do you do? Oh, God loves me! Sorry, it’s not enough. God blesses me. Really? That’s the blessing? You’re not that shallow, are you? I am not. End of the hunt. God, take care of me. At the end of the hunt there’s a bigger med out there called the glory of God. I don’t understand it all. I don’t get it all. You don’t either. God, though, is going to get glory. It doesn’t mean I don’t pray for healing. It doesn’t mean I don’t play for blessings. Somebody help me. It doesn’t mean I don’t pray for love. It doesn’t mean I don’t pray that God will take care of my loved ones. But the overarching, giant, massive net is the glory of God. We’re made for the glory of God!
So, every moment of every day there’s a reason to give glory to God, to worship God, because he is. You understand that? I don’t, really. It’d take us forever to really get that. But I’ve got to leave you with one more question. Does God look in a mirror? Yeah, he does. and that mirror is you. Let’s pray together.
[Ed leads in closing prayer.]