What would you think if I told you that God wants to glorify you? Would you believe me? Would you dismiss my words and remind me that it’s supposed to be the other way around?
Many Christians act as if they’re afraid of any kind of attention being drawn to them. They try to hide from compliments and recognition like they’re scared somebody will assume they’re prideful, and think they’re trying to make it all about themselves. Guess what?!? When God’s children receive glory, He receives glory!
Think about it like this – if a child is well-mannered, respectful, and kind and helpful towards others, and somebody notices, who will they usually make a comment to about it? The parents! Why? Because the way that the child is behaving is likely a result of how the parents raised them. By giving the child credit for being a good kid, you are giving the parents credit for what a good job they are doing on raising their son or daughter!
In the same way, God is our Heavenly Father, so when people recognize us in a positive way, what they’re really recognizing is what God is doing in and through us. When God glorifies us, He gets glory in the process!
Still not convinced? Check out these scriptures on how God glorifies us!
God’s glory is upon you! (Is 60:1-2)
You display His splendor. (Is 61:3)
He has made you great. (Ps 18:35)
He’s endowed you with splendor. (Is 60:9)
God has crowned you with glory and honor. (Ps 8:5)
In the movie Woodawn, black high school running back, Tony Nathan, is encouraged to use his gifts for God. The sports chaplain tells him that it may be God’s plan for him to be a star. His coach takes notice of him, and gives him a chance to play a starting position at which he excels, thrusting him into the limelight. When he feels down because of the obstacles and difficulties he encounters, he is reminded by several people that he has encouraged and given hope to those around him by what he’s been accomplishing. As a matter of fact, the pastor of his church acknowledges in front of the entire congregation that he’s glorifying God by using his ability in football, and applauds him for it.
Sometimes Christians can have this mindset that you can’t desire or strive for success and truly be following God the way you should at the same time – almost like if you’re successful, you mustn’t really be on the path that God has for you. There’s this mentality that if you happen to have a lot of money, are in a career that puts you in the limelight, or really, really succeeding, you’re somehow less of a believer. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth!
God actually WANTS his people to succeed! He desires to lead and guide them, setting them up for success. He promises that if we delight in His Word, EVERYTHING we do will prosper (Ps 1:2-3). Psalm 45:12 declares that people of wealth will seek our favor. Isaiah 60:3&5 say that nations will be drawn to God’s light shining through us, and that the wealth of nations will come to us. Does this sound like God is against you succeeding?
Oftentimes, success can actually open up a greater platform for God’s people to share Him with the world. Those who have an abundance of money have an increased opportunity to bless others financially. If someone is well-known, as long as they stick with God instead of getting caught up in the fame, they are just in a more visible position to tell others about their faith. When believers experience success, and unbelievers ask how they achieved it, they have the chance to point them to the God who is responsible for it!
Obviously not everyone is famous or a billionaire, but God does desire for His people to live a prosperous, successful life in every area – to have successful godly relationships, to have all that they need and more in their finances, to do well in the career path He has for them, and to prosper in every other arena of their lives.
It saddens me when people think they need to choose between God and success. Just like Tony Nathan was able to glorify God through his success, pointing others to Him with the platform he’d been given, God wants us to prosper, and glorify him through that prosperity. Commit your life to the Lord, with the determination to stick close to Him even in the midst of success, and discover the amazing things He has in store for you!
When it comes to serving, what is your mindset? How do you approach it? Where does your motivation come from?
When you think about what the Bible has to say on serving, what story pops into your mind first? Could it be where Jesus washes His disciples’ feet in John 13? We often use this chapter to say that Jesus set us an example of serving others, and because He did that, it is important for us to follow that example and serve those around us as well.
One of the verses we often overlook or dismiss as inconsequential in John 13 verse 3, which says that Jesus knew three things – that God had given Him authority and power, that He had come from God, and that He was returning to God. It was with that knowledge that He got up from the meal and washed the feet of His disciples. In other words, He wasn’t serving to earn a position with God. He knew that He already belonged to God, who was pleased with Him, and He served out of the position that He had with God.
Sometimes, we have the mindset towards serving that it’s one of the things God demands that we do if we want Him to be pleased with us. We do it in an attempt to earn His approval. If this is our reason for serving – to try to gain a position with God – we will get frustrated and burned out very quickly. On the other hand, if we realize that God already approves of and is pleased with us because of what Jesus did at the cross, we will be motivated to serve and minister to others out of a desire to share the amazing love and grace He has shown to us. This kind of motivation will be far more lasting, because His love and grace are without limit, and He desires to be constantly giving us a greater revelation of just how great they really are!
Why do you serve? To gain a position with God and His approval, out of the position you know you already have with Him as His child? Realize that God already accepts and cares about you, and begin to serve out of a desire to share the One who has shown you amazing goodness, mercy, grace, and love!
It shines upon you every day –
The spotlight of His love and grace.
Do you see it? Don’t you know
That it surrounds you everywhere you go?
The Lord Most High – He is your light
Repelling the pitch black darkness of night.
His loving favor is your strong shield
To which the darkness always must yield.
Against you the darkness cannot advance,
And it’s due to more than happenstance,
For against the light, it can’t contend.
When light shines forth brightly, darkness must end.
It’s reign is over, it simply cannot go on
In the radiance of His affection that’s sure and strong.
His spotlight protects you from all harm.
At nothing need you be alarmed.
His spotlight upon you draws the ones
Who need to hear of His marvelous Son.
They see His reflection whenever they turn towards
You, His child, made in the image of the Lord.
They want what makes you who you are,
What makes you shine brighter than all the stars.
You’re the one that they’re drawn to,
Because of His spotlight shining on you.
It makes you different, it sets you apart
From those who are lost within the dark.
You’re a child of light, a child of day,
Attracting others, lighting the way.
His unmerited favor is your defense
Against the snares of the darkness.
His spotlight shines on you every day –
His spotlight of love, His spotlight of grace.
How do you approach your relationship with God? Do you view Him as your Heavenly Father who loves you more than you can imagine, is pleased with you because of Jesus’ perfection accredited to your account, and whose grace towards you far exceeds even your worst mistakes? Or do you view Him more as a taskmaster who has a whole list of demands that you must live up to if you want gain His approval and favor?
Does it really even matter? Yes, it does! It matters very much, in fact, because how you view God and approach your relationship with Him directly affects every other area of your life!
If you are demand-focused, thinking that God requires you keep a bunch of rules perfectly if you want to be right with Him, you will probably be demanding in your relationships with others. If you have this kind of a mindset, you will likely be stressed from trying to do everything perfectly, and walk around with a constant sense of condemnation for all the ways you fall short. If, however, you realize that your relationship with God is based on what Jesus did for you rather than what you do, you will begin to experience the peace and joy that comes with this knowledge. You will find it more easy to show grace to others as you open yourself up to God’s grace. You will feel at rest and stable as you build your life upon the solid foundation of Christ’s finished work!
Check out these scriptures that share the good news of God’s amazing grace, and allow them to impact how you view God, and how approach your relationship with Him!
God no longer even remembers the wrong things you’ve done (Heb 8:12).
He has promised to never rebuke or punish you (Is 54:9).
He is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love (Ps 103:8).
He saved us because of His mercy, not because of the good things we’ve done to try to be made right with Him (Titus 3:5).
We are freely justified by His grace (Rom 3:24).
We have been made right with God because Jesus took our sin upon Himself (2 Cor 5:21).
Our Heavenly Father does not treat us as our wrongdoings deserve (Ps 103:10).
Photo credit: David Whitlow, courtesy of AFFIRM Films/Provident Films
In War Room, the latest Kendrick Brothers film that’s currently showing in theaters, Miss Clara tells Elizabeth that it isn’t her job to fix her husband, and to let God fight for her, accomplishing what only He can. Elizabeth learns that the best thing she can do is to pray for Him, and trust God with the situation. When she does this, she sees things begin to change for the better in her marriage and family life, without her even having to struggle with trying to turn them around herself!
When things aren’t going the way that we would like them to, oftentimes we will become determined to fix them on our own. We’ll do everything we can to get them back on track, yet no matter how hard we try, a great deal of the time it just isn’t enough. What else could we do that would be more effective? How about putting our trust in God and allowing Him to do what we can’t?
Do you know what God wants us to do when things aren’t going right? Instead of going to work, He wants us to rest, and let Him work on our behalf! He knows exactly what the problem is and how to solve it, but how can He do anything about what we’re facing if we’re determined to fix it on our own, and refuse to accept His help? Sometimes, the best thing that we can do is to trust in Him, rest in knowing that He’s got our back, and then when we do act, do so with His guidance.
Ironically, resting in the knowledge that God is taking care of things can sometimes be the hardest thing for us to do. It requires us to fight the urge to just take matters into our own hands. You may actually have to work at resting (Hebrews 4:11)! Though it may feel like you’re being lazy, finding rest in God doesn’t mean that you never do anything, but rather that you’re relying on Him, not yourself, and that you’re acting under His direction instead of just doing what you think would be best.
Whatever your situation may be, God wants you to rest in Him. Trust Him to take care of it for you, and let Him accomplish amazing things in your life that you never thought possible!
Are you going through a difficult season? Have you been facing some tough circumstances? Does it seem like nothing’s going right?
Guess what?!? There is good news! Check out what God has to say to you in His Word!
“‘The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy . . . He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy . . . I will turn their shame into praise and renown in all the earth . . . I will give you renown and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes . . .'”
Zephaniah 3:17, 18-19, NASB
No matter what you may be going through, God is with you. He is a victorious warrior, come to save you, and NOTHING’s impossible for Him! No matter what your situation, He can and will come to your rescue, if you’ll let Him. You are special to Him – valued, loved, and treasured – so much so that He rejoices over you with singing, and He desires to do a miracle in your life!
More good news? There’s nothing that’s been taken from you that God can’t restore! If you’ll trust Him, He will restore your fortunes before your very eyes! He can replace sickness with perfect health, addiction with freedom, pain and heartache with peace, depression with joy, condemnation with His amazing grace, and shame with praise and renown. In fact, other versions of Zephaniah 3:18 say that in the very places where you’ve experienced shame, God will give you glory and praise! He will give you far more than you even began with, saving, delivering, and blessing you in a way you never even thought possible, if you’ll have faith in His willingness and ability to do so!.
If you’ve been dealing with something difficult, don’t just give up, lose hope, or think that nothing will every change. Instead, find your hope in God. Have confidence in His promises. Trust that He will turn things around, do amazing things in your life, and experience His restoration!
Do you ever feel like you’re facing whatever it is you’re going through all alone? Does it ever seem like the situation you’re dealing with is too big even for God to handle? Do you ever wonder if He even sees what you’re struggling with, or if He does, if He is actually willing to do anything about it?
No matter what your situation, know that it definitely is NOT beyond God’s ability to take care of! How can you know this for sure? Because His Word says that NOTHING is impossible with Him (Luke 1:37), and that in fact ALL THINGS are possible with Him (Matthew 19:26)! He is more than able to handle anything that we could ever face. Your situation is not hopeless! With God, you can see any miracle which you might be in need of take place!
God is also very willing to accomplish great things on your behalf. If you’re facing a difficult situation, you are not alone. He is right there with you, ready and waiting to come to your rescue when you turn to Him. It is His desire to see you living the awesome, terrific, incredibly blessed life that His Son came to give you (John 10:10), and He wants to free you from anything that might be getting in the way of that. He is for you, not against you!
God is both willing and able to do amazing miracles in any and every area of your life, but if you want Him to do so, you need to ask Him in faith! Matthew 17:20 says that through faith, nothing will be impossible for you, and Matthew 7:8 says that if you ask, you will receive. Dare to present your requests to God, both the big and the small, with full confidence that you will see what you are asking for come to pass in your life!
Whatever you’re going through, know that you aren’t facing it on your own. God is there beside you. He will never leave you, and He both can deliver you, and desires to do so. Place your trust in Him, and receive your miracle today!
Did you know that you have a father who is in every way the perfect parent? He loves you more than you can ever imagine, will never get angry with you (Is 54:9), and delights in giving you good things!
Regardless of your family situation, whether wonderful or not as you wish it was, I’m not talking about your earthly father. After all, even the best of earthly parents make mistakes. I’m talking about your Father in heaven!
God isn’t a stern judge, waiting to condemn you every time you fail. He isn’t just out there somewhere, totally unconcerned about and uninvolved in your everyday life. If you believe in Jesus, then God is your Heavenly Father!
As your Heavenly Father, God cares about you far more than you know, and desires what’s best for you. He wants to take care of you, if you will let Him, and use His wisdom to lead and guide you down the right path. And just like parents give good things to their children, God has many good gifts that He will give you, if you will ask (Mtt 7:11).
You don’t have to be afraid to come to God, thinking that He is going to turn you away because of the mistakes you have made. Because Jesus gave His life for you at the cross, God has forgiven you for all the things you have done wrong, and made you able to stand before Him. As His child, you have the right to come to Him freely at any time. He actually WANTS to spend time with you! And He also deeply desires for you to get to know Him better.
Know that God is your caring Heavenly Father, who wants you to enter into a close relationship with Him. Ask Him to show you just how much He loves you. Spend time enjoying His presence!
Sometimes, in the body of Christ, we get this idea that grace is good and all, but we need to start focusing more on living right, and getting rid of the sin in our lives. In so doing, we can end up pushing off to the side the very news that makes the gospel so good – the fact that we are made right with God not because of the good or bad things we do, but because of what Jesus did for us at the cross.
In Galatians 2:21 Paul says that he does NOT set aside God’s grace, because if we could become righteous through the law, then Jesus died for nothing. Think about it – we often do the very thing that Paul spoke against. We shift all of the focus onto our own actions, and forget all about God’s amazing grace. We think that it’s up to us to keep God’s commands the best that we can, and that His grace us just there to make up for the rest. In so doing, we rob the revelation of grace of much of its amazingness.
If we choose to believe our standing with God is based on what we do, then according to Scripture, Jesus may as well never have given His life for us. The truth, however, is that we NEED God’s grace – every moment of every day. We aren’t perfect. We mess up in more ways than we even realize, and we can never be right with God by trying to do it on our own. When we place our trust in Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf, however, something wonderful happens – we receive right standing before our Heavenly Father than can never be taken away from us, or in any way debased by anything we do, because it is based not on us, but on our Savior.
Sin is wrong. It shouldn’t be something we want to live in, but the answer isn’t trying harder. The answer is to accept God’s grace, and allow it to transform us, causing us to become more like Him. Will you do so? Instead of setting God’s grace aside, will you embrace it, and let it change you from the inside out?