Thursday, July 28
Giving God Glory
Jesus’ request as He looked to the cross was that He might glorify His Father. (See John 17:1.) That is to be the desire of our hearts as well. From the moment we wake up each morning, and then as the day unfolds and as news of tragedy or success reaches us, our request is to be, “Father, glorify Yourself.” In the simplest tasks as well as in the hardest ones, a Christian’s longing should be to reflect the Lord to others.
When we pray for His glorification, we’re saying, “God, do whatever will bring You the greatest honor and make You known to the world.” It means that we are also surrendering what we want the outcome to be. God in His sovereignty will choose what will bring honor to His name. And whatever happens, we are to believe He has done just that.
It will come as no surprise to hear me say we live in a world that doesn’t always give God the honor due His name: There will always be some who reject the Son of God and refuse to believe in Him. But our desire should be the same as our Father’s—for people everywhere to know the perfection of His character, which never changes.
God calls us to praise His name and reveal Him. We honor the Lord as we worship in our churches, as we testify to His work in our lives, and as we proclaim the truth of His holy Word in our communities.
By our attitudes, actions, and words, we have the privilege of revealing our loving Father to a world that desperately needs Him. Let us join together, united in love, to give Him the glory.
Wednesday, July 27
The Pursuit of Glory
1 Peter 4:11
When we become Christ followers, our view of life should change. No longer are we the center of our world; instead, Christ is (Gal. 2:20). It’s essential that we switch our thinking to a Christian worldview because what we believe dictates how we behave. Many of us have a “patchwork quilt” type of perspective, where we have taken some truths from Scripture, some from our upbringing, and some from our culture to determine what we believe. We often don’t even realize we have done this.
As believers, we are to search Scripture to find answers for all of life’s questions, such as: Where did I come from? (see Gen. 1.); What happens when I die? (John 14:1-4); How do I explain human behavior? (Rom. 3:9-18); How can I determine right from wrong?(2 Tim. 3:16); and What is the purpose of man? (Isa. 43:7). If we have biblical answers—a Christian worldview—we will think and behave in ways that glorify God.
The most vital question is, What is important to God? From the Bible, we learn that all of nature declares the glory of God (Ps. 19:1), the chief aim of man is to glorify the Lord, and Jesus’ mission on earth revealed God’s glory. So we know that what matters to God is His glory.
Does this surprise you? We often fall into thinking that the world revolves around us and the Lord’s work has to do with our needs, wants, and pleasures. But the truth is that life is all about God and glorifying Him. Let us humbly bow before Him, change our thinking, and join Him in the pursuit of His glory
Tuesday, July 26
God's path to Goodness
Although the Lord showers His goodness on all men and women, the ability to perceive and enjoy it is limited by a refusal to reverence Him as God. To experience the fullness of His kindness, we must honor Him by choosing His way of submission and obedience. The Lord will never withhold His goodness from those who walk uprightly with Him.
In love and wisdom, the Father has specifically designed a pathway for each of His children. Because no two people are alike, each path will look different. What may be best for one person may not be good for another. Comparison of God’s ways in different lives will lead only to discouragement and misjudgment. We have neither the wisdom nor the eternal perspective to understand why the Lord leads some people down a road of pain and hardship, but we can know that He is always good.
Every step on God’s pathway represents a deliberate choice to follow Him. By looking around instead of fixing our eyes on Jesus, we may start thinking that we are missing out on some really good experiences or possessions. If we leave the Lord’s course to follow one that looks better, we will forfeit His good blessings and discover, as Adam and Eve did, that any other way leads to loss.
Take time periodically to ask yourself, Am I on the path the Lord has chosen for me, or have I taken a detour to follow another direction that looks good? To build our own course and ignore the goodness and abundance of His pathway is foolishness. God alone knows the way we should take.
Monday, July 25
Discerning God's Goodness
I’ve often heard folks proclaim, “God is good!” when all is going well but then doubt His benevolence when the blessings they envisioned don’t materialize. Because God alone is good, only He can accurately determine what is best for each person. His kindness is expressed in more ways than simply provision of wealth, health, and relationships. Some of His gifts are experiences we would never choose, but the Lord knows we need them in order to grow in faith, obedience, and perseverance. Consider the following expressions of God’s goodness toward us:
Loving Discipline. Since God’s love is unfailing, He corrects us when we refuse to follow Him and instead go our own way. The process is painful, but the result is “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11).
Wise Limitations. Satan offers a world of opportunities and possessions that seem to promise happiness but ultimately draw us away from God. With great wisdom, the Lord lovingly withholds those things that prove detrimental to our spiritual life.
Useful Suffering. God knows which refining experiences we need in order to become fruitful in His kingdom. What appears to us as a valley of weeping is God’s place of preparation for godliness and service.
It can be tempting to interpret God’s character on the basis of our circumstances. If evidence compels us to doubt His goodness, we must remember that while His gifts come in a variety of wrappings, they are always beneficial. As Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.
For more Biblical teachings from Dr. Charles Stanlely, visit www.intouch.org