Giving God the Glory


                ‘Now around the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach.  And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this man know letters, having never studied?”  Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not my own, but His who sent me.  If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on my own authority.  He that speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him” (John 7: 14-18.)


                The educated men who heard Jesus were astonished at his perfect knowledge of scripture.  Unlike them, he did not attend a notable Hebrew school; nor did he sit at the feet of a prominent rabbi; his knowledge and wisdom came from God (not man.)  For their extensive learning, the Jewish scholars demanded admiration and praise; Jesus however, sought to honor God.  To seek glory is to embrace unrighteousness; to glorify God and his only Son is to live rightly.  One man, who thoroughly understood this, was John the Baptist; when Jesus began baptizing people in the Jordan river, John’s followers became concerned; they said, “Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, he is baptizing, and all are coming to him.”  John replied, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven […] he must increase, and I must decrease.”  John was devoid of selfish pride; he humbled himself and sought only to glorify the Son of God (the savior of the world.)

                To glorify Jesus Christ, one must embrace humility.  God does not share praise with those who serve him.  A disciple’s benevolent acts are the possessions of God.  Every work of love is done in the name of Jesus (not in the name of Thomas, Danny, Timothy, or Rhonda.)  The savior has said, “For whoever gives you a cold cup of water in my name […] he will by no means lose his reward.”  When we exercise charity; when we give; when we love; the Lord obtains the credit.  Upon receiving salvation I made great efforts to glorify God.  Whether buying a sandwich for a homeless person, or giving to someone in need; each act was accompanied with a statement; “This is from Jesus Christ.”  At Christmas time the presents I gave were labeled, to: ‘blank’, from: ‘Jesus Christ.’  I began signing my oil painting with the initials ‘JC’ instead of ‘JP.’  I deleted my photos from Facebook, and replaced them with pictures of Jesus (also, I am now committed to posting only scriptures in my status update section; instead of my own thoughts.)  God has used me to start a ministry called ‘Jesus Speaks;’ a ministry solely devoted to the teachings of His Son.  In nearly every area of my life, He has increased and I have decreased.  (Shortly after my conversion I frequently visited an orphanage in Mexico.  On one occasion, as our missionary group waited to cross back over in to the United States, a man approached our van begging for money; I handed him some cash and told him, “this is from Jesus.”  Over a year and a half later, I was browsing in the church bookstore when I bumped in to a woman who had been in the van when I had given the man the money.  The incident had made an impression on her, and she told me that at the time she didn’t understand why I said that (she even implied that it seemed strange.)  As she continued, she told me that she had just heard a lesson about doing things in God’s name; it reminded her of what I had done; she finally realized that I was simply attempting to give God the glory.

                Although Jesus Christ reigns in heaven, his deeds continue on earth.  He performs his miracles through his disciples.  Those who desire glory will take credit for God’s works.  Trustworthy servants however, render to God the praise and honor He deserves.  To glorify God we must humble ourselves.  He must increase, and we must decrease.  Are you willing to forgo admiration so that God may receive what is His?  Will you lift his words up above your own?  Are you able to live in the name of Christ; to give in the name of Christ; and to love in the name of Christ?  May you decrease, and may He increase; may you die so that He may live; give God the glory, and He will provide you with immeasurable joy and everlasting peace.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, may You increase as we decrease.  May we let go of our selfish need to be praised; that You may receive the credit for the good works that You are accomplishing in us, and through us.  May we be vessels of Your love and mercy.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit Lord that we might be pleasing to You at all times.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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