“Taking glory for yourself is stealing the glory from God,” says Forrest, 10.
We are born thieves. If you doubt this, look at babies throwing a tantrum. We want to be the center of attention.
When you see the thief in yourself or the glory grab by others, think of grass and flowers.
“All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,” (I Peter 1:24).
Riches, power, fame, talent, beauty. Here today, gone tomorrow. God wants us to occupy this world as aliens passing through on the way to a home where the radiant glory from the Lord Jesus is so bright that it replaces sunlight (Revelation 22:5). Can you imagine carrying a flashlight in the midst of this kind of glory? The flashlight becomes totally irrelevant.
When Christians start to be occupied with God’s glory, the passing glory of this world becomes as irrelevant as a flashlight in the New Jerusalem. Our focus on temporary glory is like a child playing in a sandbox who cries because his parents want to take him on a vacation to the beach. If only he could understand what awaited him, he would quickly lose interest in the sandbox.
As writer C.S. Lewis noted, our problem is that our passions are too small. God wants to take us to a much larger place.
People who seek praise from people before seeking God’s glory “want to be famous on earth instead of heaven,” says Caelan, 9.
Jesus spoke a lot about rewards. Eternal life is not a reward, but rather a gift to be received by faith alone in Christ and his payment for our sins on the cross (Romans 6:23). However, the Lord Jesus will reward generously those who seek his glory in this life. In essence, Jesus said you can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.
Jesus said when you do good things, do them before an audience of One: “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).
We live in an age of social media where everyone has the ability to broadcast everything they do. If you want the Lord to reward you for doing good, there are times when you must act like a secret agent and tell no one about your good deed. God knows your heart and sacrifice to help others. If you resist the temptation to broadcast your good deed, God will reward you.
If the temptation to tell someone becomes great, try looking at your left hand: “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:3-4).
Another spiritual exercise is to imagine getting in a time machine so that you travel into the future 200 years. Will anyone remember you or your good deeds? If you cease from becoming a one-person public relations firm in trying to temporarily impress people, you can be sure God will eternally remember everything you did for his glory.
Think about this: God knows the motivation of everything you do.
Memorize this truth: Matthew 6:1 previously quoted.
Ask this question: Are you living for your glory or God’s glory?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CAREY KINSOLVING