Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Glory of God~ Heather Young

Many times in the Bible, there is evidence that God appears to be an egomaniac, all about Himself and His glory.  Actually, that is true, but perhaps not in the sense you may think.  In the following verses, there are clear statements that show how much God cares about His glory:

“Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
Exodus 34:14

“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
Deuteronomy 4:24

For My own name’s sake I delay My wrath; for the sake of My praise I hold it back from you,
so as not to cut you off.  See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.  For My own sake, for My own sake, I do this.  How can I let Myself be defamed? I will not yield My glory to another.”
Isaiah 48:9-11

If God was not all about His glory, we would not be alive today.  We deserve death, but God has mercy on us because of His glory, not because of anything we do or are.  In thanks, we should give glory back to Him, so that He may be even more magnified through us.

“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.”
Ephesians 1:4-6

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31

We were created to give Him glory in everything, but we don’t have to choose between God getting glory and us getting joy.  Instead, “we were made to find our capstone of joy by forgetting ourselves in the presence of magnificence.” (–John Piper) God is the one Being in the universe for whom self exaltation is not an act of a needy ego, but an act of infinite self-giving for our enjoyment.

“I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Isaiah 43:6-7

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11

Moreover, God is a just God, and deserves whatever praise we can give Him.  When we disobey Him, however, He must deliver punishment.  Although we don’t deserve a satisfying “reward” (the cross), God gives it to us anyway.  The cross is the heart of Christianity.  God put Christ forward to absorb His wrath and His anger against our sin; the punishment is removed from us when we choose to accept His gift.

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”
Psalm 103:8

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Romans 3:23-26

“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in sinful man.”
Romans 8:3

God’s God-centeredness is a powerful test of our God-centeredness.  Ask yourself these questions: Do I love for God to love His glory? Do I love for God to magnify His name? Or do I love for God to be centered on me?

Finally, if Jesus is more glorious than anything, what better could He do than ask His Father that we could be with Him? (See verse below.)

“Father, I want those you have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory you have given Me because you loved Me before the creation of the world.”
John 17:24

There are many ways to give God glory in everything, and here is just one example that a pastor at my church shared:
            When you get up in the morning, as you pour your orange juice, thank God for all the work that went into getting it to your hand.  Thank Him that you didn’t have to peel and squeeze the orange yourself.  Thank Him that you have money to be able to buy orange juice, and a fridge to store it.  Thank Him your family members didn’t drink it all.  Thank Him you have a cup from which to drink it.

Maybe even more ways can be found how to thank God for that one little thing.  Wow, right there are six reasons to give glory to God for what He has given you.  Just imagine how much our lives will be changed if we focus our attitude on God all the time, giving Him thanks and praise for all He has done.  We could turn the world upside down!

Did you know that Heather went on a missions trip to Mexico last summer?!?!

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