Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Glory to God

I know many of us stand in church during song service and shout "Glory! Glory! Glory to God! Glory!" When we tell others of something we have been believing God for or something good that has happened to us we will say, "Glory to God!" It is like that phrase or those words have become so commonplace to us that we give little or no thought to what it means, or if we are really giving or bringing glory to God.

We have been taught that looking good, having nice things and having money draws people to Jesus and brings glory to God and not having nice things and not looking well dressed and well off makes God look bad. That is not true. We have been taught that digging in the Bible and finding a verse that somehow applies to something we want, or to something we want done and standing on it until we get what we want brings glory to God and draws others to Him. That is not what Jesus said.

In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus is teaching on the mountain and in His message He is speaking of those who will be blessed. In the Amplified Bible, the word blessed in these passages means....."happy, to be envied, spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions". The word blessed has nothing to do with having money or nice things. It means to be spiritually prosperous regardless of outward conditions. He goes on in this passage to explain who is blessed... the humble, those who rate themselves insignificant...those who mourn...the mild, patient and longsuffering...those who hunger for uprightness and right standing with God...the merciful...the pure in heart...the makers and maintainers of peace...those who are persecuted for righteousness sake (for being and doing right)...those who are reviled and persecuted and have evil spoken about them for Jesus' sake. He tells us...Matt.5:16 Amplified.."let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven." THIS is what brings glory to God. The way we act, what we are and how we treat others, not how much money or nice things we have or how good we look.

All the money, nice things and expensive clothes in the world will not glorify God. Only people themselves can do that and not because of what they have but because of how they act toward others and who they are. All the polish and practice at looking good cannot disguise the way a person acts when they are persecuted or treated badly. Do they turn the other cheek, give their coat when someone takes their shirt, go two miles when forced to go one, give to those who beg, love their enemies, and pray for those who persecute them? And I don't think Jesus meant pray for bad things to happen to them or that God would "beat their enemies down before their face".
Jesus said that if we only greet our brethren... the heathen do that, and if we only love those who love us, what reward do we have.

Love in action and the fruit of the spirit being evident in our day to day lives is what draws others to Jesus and brings glory to God.

It is time for us to grow up! We are not a bunch of kindergartners on a playground. We are supposed to be God's children letting Him live through us. We should be concentrating on "growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity" not concentrating on what we have or what we can get.


Deanna said...

Wow, this is a great post. I remember hearing that "beat my foes down" verse quoted many years ago from a pulpit. I thought even then, aren't we supposed to bless our enemies and do good to those who persecute us?
We should LIVE from the teachings of JESUS, and not pull obscure OT verses out of context to apply them erroneously.

Anonymous said...

Amen! Amen! Amen! This is the absolute truth. I have never thought about it this way, but I love what you said - things don't bring glory to God, people do.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Yea, that "beat my enemies down before my face" comment always bothered me because when they used it, they used it in the context of Christians that were "coming against them." Was God going to "beat down some Christians?" It just never made any sense to me. Keep shedding the light!