Give God the glory

How often do people take credit for something they haven’t done or accept praise that they don’t deserve? If we are honest, we will recognise that human tendency all too well. But sometimes this can get us in trouble, as it did Herod in Acts 12.

“Now Herod was having an angry quarrel with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they joined together and presented themselves before him. And after convincing Blastus, the king’s personal assistant, to help them, they asked for peace because their country’s food supply was provided by the king’s country. On a day determined in advance, Herod put on his royal robes, sat down on the judgment seat, and made a speech to them. But the crowd began to shout, ‘The voice of a god, and not of a man!’ Immediately an angel of the Lord struck Herod down because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:20-23 NET) Continue reading “Give God the glory”

Exalting God together

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Psalm 34:1-3, ESV).

The fundamental motives for evangelism and missionary activity are frequently identified as love for the lost and zeal to spread the good news of salvation. Somewhat less obvious today, but prominent in the New Testament, is the goal of exalting God in an unbelieving world.

Jesus spoke repeatedly about his earthly purpose, which was at least in large part to “glorify God” (John 17:1, 4). He taught his followers to live so that “others … may see your good works and give glory (i.e. praise) to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). One significant result of God’s plan to save mankind from sin was to demonstrate his glory both to all creation and to all the spiritual realm: Continue reading “Exalting God together”

To God be the glory

“Now to him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith – to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27 NKJV).

Paul’s letter to Roman Christians is widely recognized as the most complete explanation of the nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ found in any single New Testament document. It begins with an assertion that there is one true God who is manifest through his creation (Romans 1:19-21). It ends with a beautiful doxology (an attribution of honor or glory to God) to “God, alone wise.” Continue reading “To God be the glory”

To him who is powerful

The glory of God unleashes praises. Several biblical writers break out in emotional moments of adoration to God for what he has done in Christ and for what he will still do for his people. The writers are not able to contain themselves before such goodness and grace. These exclamations have been called doxologies, which are often spontaneous expressions of praise to God, such as can be found in Romans 9.5, Ephesians 3.20-21, Revelation 5.13 and Jude 24-25. This term is not found in the Bible itself. Continue reading “To him who is powerful”

Watch what you say!

“For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters. A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water” (James 3:7-12 NET).

Of all the wild animals in the world, the one that is the most difficult to tame and control is…our tongue! Not that our tongue is really a wild animal, but every animal we can think of we have learned in some way to subdue and control. Continue reading “Watch what you say!”

Majesty and mountains

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills – From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2 NKJV).

One of my favorite pictures from my most recent trip to Nepal is a landscape shot of the Himalayas, taken from the south end of the Katmandu Valley. We had very few clear days during the month that we were there, so a rare sighting was greatly treasured.

The vast, lofty Himalayas are unique in the world. No other range is so high. Their majesty and beauty are without parallel, at least in my experience. Whenever I am there, and the view is available, I can hardly cease from staring at them. Continue reading “Majesty and mountains”