The glory of God is a well-read term in Scripture, yet I would submit it is an often misunderstood term. So what exactly does it mean to experience the glory of God and does it have any significant long term impact on our daily Christian walk? Furthermore, how is the glory of God connected to our relationship with Christ and our focus on the message of the gospel as it applies to our lives? These are the questions probed and answered by musician and author Matt Papa in his outstanding book Look and Live: Behold the Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory of Christ.
There are some authors who have the ability to translate deep theological thought into words that are easily understood and that truly excite the reader to grow deeper in the knowledge of God, and in relationship with Him. Matt Papa is one of those authors. A gifted musician whom I have long respected for his lyrical and musical abilities, Papa can now add gifted writer to his repertoire. This was a book I admittedly could not put down and look forward to the next opportunity I have to pick up, and resume reading. Not many books have garnered that level of attention for me lately.
The overall premise of Look and Live is the necessity for the believer to behold the glory of God for by looking to God, we can find life and liberty. Papa spends a great deal of time properly defining the term glory. This is a somewhat confusing term as it has quite often not been properly used in Christian parlance. Ultimately, we worship that which we find glory in which means we all worship. Since God alone is worthy of glory and honor, our focus must be centered on Him. As Papa so rightly notes, “Glory entices and begins worship…Glory is foundational to worship.” Papa helps guide the reader to a firm and lasting realization that our focus must be rooted in the glory of God and His Son Jesus.
The most significant portion of the book in my humble opinion was the chapter called “The Blazing Center.” In this chapter, Papa focuses on the transformative power of God’s glory through the power of the cross. Experiencing God has to be far more than just a passing conversation or a half-hearted relationship. Falling in love with God involves pursuing God. Moreover, Papa saliently notes “The gospel is good news because in the gospel we finally see a glory that will totally satisfy us and enthrall us forever – the glory of God.”
Jesus is more than a friend. He is God and our Savior. Papa aptly notes “He is polarizing. He demands everything.” Those in passionate love with God will have the desire to give to God that which He so rightly deserves, namely everything we are, and all that we do. That burning desire is indeed “soul-thrilling” and “sin-destroying” for nothing can stand in the presence of the glory of God.
I highly recommend this book for all believers. Papa’s engaging writing style, honest personal examples, and passion exude from every page. This book is challenging, biblically sound, and sorely needed. Those who read it will find their passion for God renewed, a passion for God ignited, and the desire to share this message of the gospel with others while at the same time better understanding the need to deal with sin and to focus at all times on glorifying and worshiping God. This is a must read and while you are at it, I also recommend you pick up a few copies of Matt Papa’s music as well. You will assuredly enjoy it.
This book is available for purchase from Bethany House by clicking here.
I received this book for free from Bethany House for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”