Vol. 12 Issue 1
Giving God the Glory
As we enter into the season of giving, we seemingly become preoccupied with endearing thoughts of those individuals we love and have come to appreciate. We reflect back on our life experiences and relive precious moments we’ve spent in the company of family, friends, and loved ones. Although we may have expressed our sentiment many times throughout the year, we feel the need to do something special to just express our love at this time of year.
This is tue of the sanctified believer as well. Reminescing over one’s walk with the Lord and His faithfulness as He delivered victory after victory, drives one into serious soul searching to discover that something special to they can add to their character that will give God the glory.
Understanding that God takes no pleasure in good deeds that simply promote one’s self, or acts that are not characteristic of His nature, His children seek to find ways that reveal His power and Agape love that has so generously been imparted in their lives. Whereas actual physical gifts cannot be maticulously packaged, wrapped and tied with beautiful glistening bows and then offered to the Lord, we are reminded of what the Lord requires and takes pleasure in.
The answer lies clearly in God’s Holy Word as recorded in Scripture.
“And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” – Deuteronomy 10:12, 13
Does Your Gratitude Fluctuate with Happenings in Your Life?
Outward displays of thankfulness and appreciation come easy when life serves us up eventful and memorable experiences. Our capacity to render good deeds and return kindness is seldom a challenge because we are overcome with a readiness to show just how much we value what we have encountered. As we look for ways to give back and express our feelings, the sky is often the limit.
On the other hand, troubling and distressful experiences that surface are too often accompanied by stress and anxiety. Thus, our persona has the potential to chart our appreciation levels in extreme highs and depressing lows. Yet, as Christian believers who have rendered our hearts to God, we must learn to stabilize our gratitude toward God for the things He has allowed to surface in our lives. While we do not rejoice that life has served us unfavorably, we do rejoice in the knowledge that our God is able to sustain us and will deliver us in due time.
Such knowledge shifts our response from a condition of happiness to that of spiritual joy. Joy alone enables our spiritual character to be marked by Godly consisteny. Rather than responding to happenings based upon how happy they make us, we respond to hope and our confidence in our Almighty God.
Minister Valerie Harmon writes…
One Out of the Ten
In the book of Luke, chapter 17:11-19, we are told of a life changing event which happened to ten different people who suffered from the same horrendous disease of the body, which was leprosy, and the same horrendous disease of the soul, which was sin.
In this account, Jesus was travelling through the midst of Samaria and Galilee, and as He entered a certain village, there met Him, ten men that had some special needs that only Jesus, the son the living God could fulfill. Being desperate, they cried out to Him for mercy and our Savior in His great love and compassion for mankind gave them one simple command, “Go show yourselves unto the priest.”
Without any questions or hesitation the ten went and the Bible declares that as they went, something supernatural happened, “they were cleansed.” Just imagine that you were in their shoes, these men had lived a life of a cast out; one that was considered unclean; one that was shuned and looked upon in disgust and pity. Then all of a sudden you become new, all the sores, disfigurement and all the other affliction that were associated with this horrendous disease are gone. You look down at the once afflicted hands and they are healed, oh the joy, just to know that Jesus had mercy on your poor soul. I believe that this was the happiest moment in these ten men’s lives. If we could ask them today, I believe that they would tell us how happy they were, but as we continued to read, for some unknown reason only one out of the ten that were healed, returned back to the healer to give Him thanks and glory.
When Jesus noticed that only one out of the ten that was healed from leprosy had returned to express how grateful he was, He questioned about the rest. Then He rewarded the lone healed and grateful man with not only the healing of the body, but the healing of his soul. Jesus said unto him, “Thou faith has made thou whole.”
We that have been born again can truly relate to the loathsomeness of the leprous men, for once we were considered unclean, but Jesus has washed us in His precious blood and now we too are cleansed. To God be all of the glory.
Now let’s fast forward to the latter part of year 2013. We all can look back at many healings, both physical and spiritual; many doors of opportunities; many situations that only this great Jesus could have worked out for our good; many prayers that He have answered for us. Which example have we followed? Were we like the nine that received the Blessings from God and neglected to give Him the glory? Or were we the one out of ten that returned and glorified God for His goodness.
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High.” – Psalm 92:1
Apostle Ivan L. Grant, Sr. writes…
Who Gets the Glory – God or Man?
There is much “to do” within the church community about giving “glory to God.” Anything done in the name of the Lord is seen as bringing glory and honor to His name. Ministry and all that it entails (preaching, singing, praise and worship, care for the less fortunate, etc.) is typically viewed as glorifying the great name of our Lord.
The question that must be answered when glorifying God is what was the motivating factor that prompted the action; was it done to be seen, was it done for shameless self promotion, did money play a key role, or was there any other hidden agenda at work?
Certainly, all of the above named good deeds are admirable and should have its place in kingdom building. The major concern, in the light of eternal weight and value that should be pondered, is did God say amen to it? One holy and wise man of God characterized it this way; “what DID God tell you to do?” Only what God ordains and sanctions brings glory and honor to His name.
First and foremost holy living glorifies God. Before anything is done an undefiled life must be lived “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” (Philippians 2:15). Clean living as commanded by God speaks volumes above and before anything that is said or done in His name. Holy living is the only thing that gives credence to any form or mode of ministry. The scripture is yet beckoning for all to hear and obey “because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).
Secondly, God is sovereign and has the exclusive right to do as He chooses. Thus, He calls, anoints, and equips those for specific purposes in building His kingdom. More times than not, it is not what an individual wants to do but rather an unction and a fire placed in the belly that cannot be ignored. Resources or the lack thereof, whatever opposition is present, will not deter the called of God. Competition and comparisons are irrelevant as what God has called for is the only object and focus. This unwavering commitment indeed brings glory to Him.
Lastly, glorifying God must be sought from and acted upon the perspective of God. It is not what the church able to do for God but rather what He can do for His church. It is only what He can do for the body of baptized believers that will bring honor and glory to His name. Humanity is too frail and powerless to accomplish anything for God. “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:24-25). Glorifying God in essence is what He wants to do through His people.
May the church of the living God be ever conscious of what God wants to do. “Not unto us, O Lord not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and thy truth’s sake” (Psalm 115:1).