Saturday, March 01, 2008

GIVE GLORY TO THE GOD OF ALL GLORY

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In the graphic I try illustrate a number of spiritual truths. First, God is the God of all glory. He is glorious because of His nature that is seen in everything created by Him. It is glorious to see Him. Moses and Israel saw the glory of God when it settled on the tabernacle (Exodus 33). On judgement day, we will see the glorious God. Our God is glorious.

The glory of Christ tells us something of who He is. Jesus is the "only begotten from the father" was and is the "radiance of the Father's glory, and the exact representation of His nature (John 1:14; Hebrews 1:3). John wrote, "and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." Jesus said the glory He had was that which He had with the Father from before the beginning of the world (John 17:5). My illustration shows that to see Christ is to see the glory of the Creator. To see Jesus teachings and ministry in life, death, and resurrection, is to come to understand the glory of God.

The whole creation, which is God's handiwork, tells or declares the glory of God (Psalm 19:1; cf. John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16).
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Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy." - Psalm 96:11,12
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Without a mouth, the heavens tell the glory of God by reflecting it the way that an invention reflects the genius of the inventor. Anyone who has an ear to hear and eyes to see, can understand the glory of God in the creation. This is what is meant by the angels who sang, "Holy, Holy, Holy.... the whole earth is full of His glory." Whatever God touches reflects His glory. Man is the only exception.

The creation of man reveals the crowning glory of God. Created in His image (Gen. 1:26), the Psalmist said, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well" (Psalm 139:14). God created man with a free will so that man might choose to believe, love, and obey Him. Because man is created with free will, man chooses whether he will glorify God in His words and deeds. Man is a magnificent example of God's handiwork and a remarkable testimony to the wisdom, power, and love of God. But being a living soul and not a robot, each person must choose to give glory to God. The graphic illustrates that the Son of God, the creation, and the godly man all reflect the glory of God. The illustration shows one man seeing and acknowledging the glory of God. But the second man is the only thing in all creation (this is also true of Satan and his demons) that does not give God glory. The first man worships God while the second man foolishly worships things. There is no excuse for choosing to worship the creation instead of the Creator.
Thus they exchanged their glory For the image of an ox that eats grass. - Psalm 106:20
Paul says that some men suppress the truth of God and exchange the glory of God in order instead to worship the creation (Psalm 106:20,21). They foolishly worship idols and deny their Maker. They are not like those who glorify God because they see the work of God in all the creation. The wise man sees the glory of God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so he glorifies God.

To seek glory or to glorify a man is to take glory from God and it is part of the foolishness of man to worship idols. C.S. Lewis said,
"We must go on to recognize the real Giver. It is madness not to. Because, if we do not, we shall be relying on human beings. And that is going to let us down. The best of them will make mistakes; all of them will die. We must be thankful to all the people who have helped us, we must honour them and love them. But never, never pin your whole faith on any human being; not if he is the best and wisest in the whole world. There are lots of nice things you can do with sand; but do not try building a house on it." - Mere Christianity, 1960, p.163
It is the failure of men to see and know God that is at the root of our problems. We worship and adore what is unworthy and unreliable. It is sin when we fail to acknowledge the blessings and help of God, and it is a hindrance to a relationship with Him. We cannot minimize the effect that irreverence toward God has on our lives. If we do good and relish receiving praise and glory for it, we seek what rightfully belongs to Him. We ought rather to know our true sinfulness and our condition before God. Only when we are weak can we be made strong; and only when we are humble can we be exalted.

The Psalmist wrote: "Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array" (Psa 29:2) Like the angels in heaven, who sing day and night that He is holy and worthy of glory, honor, and praise, so we too ought to choose to glorify Him with our every breathe, in every hour, in every way that we go (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8; 5:9). A man who knows God, is a humble man. His deeds are not done so that he might gain the favor and praise of men. In fact, everything he does is done to the glory of God. If you praise a godly man and try to exalt him, he will point you to God and give Him the glory. Such a man does not exalt himself, and does not take delight in receiving the glory of men. Peter said, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time" (1 Pt. 5:6). Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." A man who loves the Lord, points people to God that they too would glorify Him. This principle of not taking glory, but it giving it all to God, applies to every aspect of our lives. Paul said, "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).

Our lives should be so conducted to give the proper respect and honor to God. When we are plan our business, give glory to God saying "if God wills" (Jas. 4). When you sit at the table, give God thanks so that the eating may be sactified (1 Tim. 4:5,6). To so acknowledge Him in everything is to glorify Him. Whether you pray or give, or whatever you do, it is to be an expression of your faith in God. By this you glorify Him. It is good and right when men, like all the rest of God's creation, give praise and glory to Him. Amen.
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Legalism is not the strict adherence to God's word

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