WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, June 13, 2022 - WHO’S GIVING THE GLORY MATTERS!
WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, June 13, 2022
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is John 8:54, where Jesus says,
“If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.
WHO’S GIVING THE GLORY MATTERS!
Washington, D.C., is a place where people are really concerned about who gets the credit for things, who gets the glory. If it is a good piece of legislation, or if a moving speech captures the attention of the electorate, our leaders will jostle with each other for days or even weeks to get in on the glory. To many of our leaders, obtaining praise from each other, the media, and voters is king. But such “fame seeking” is more widespread than you might think. Many of our children today want to grow up to be, you guessed it, “famous.” Many think that being noticed means money, wealth, fame, and freedom. Gone are the days of striving for a good education, developing a craft or skill, or learning an instrument. No, just be famous and enjoy the ride. And “to be famous, all you need to do is follow the formula SHOCK = ATTENTION = FAME.” From reality TV, to internet clicks, and in so many other ways, people seek to bask in the adulation of other people. The author of the article, “How to Become Famous in 3 Shockingly Easy Steps,” even soothes our fame-seeking spirits by seeking to remove any sense of doubt or guilt; he claims, “There is nothing wrong with being famous. Just as there is no inherent goodness from spending your life toiling in obscurity.” His point? Scream away, get the attention you desire, and then enjoy the glory, even if it’s only “15 minutes of fame.” Isn’t it any wonder that so many are confused today?
That kind of lust for fleeting fame misses the real question about the essence of one’s life, doesn’t it? The critical issue isn’t whether millions of people adore you or whether you can get the attention of the “players” of this world. The real question is, “What does God the Father think about you and me?” Jesus says that even His work is ultimately to be judged by the Father. His life was all about receiving glory from God the Father. People forget that Jesus’ saving work didn’t just entail facing the eternal punishment our sins deserved on the cross (i.e., His passive obedience). Jesus’ work also entailed being obedient (His active obedience) to the Father in all things in our place. He lived fully the life we should have lived. He freely died the death we all deserved to die. And He freely offers His eternal life to us as a gift of grace.
As people who trust in Christ alone, we now get to live lives that honor God and serve our neighbor in HIS name. We do not do so out of compulsion, but out of freedom, from the place of honor that Christ has made possible for us all. We’ll still struggle with our brokenness, our ineptitude, and even our times of rebellion, but we now fight those battles in Christ’s grace and mercy alone.
When the Father glorifies someone’s work, it has lasting significance! Incredibly, the work that Jesus accomplished through His life, death, and resurrection was glorified by God the Father, and it was done for you and me, and for all people. God the Father glorified the work of God the Son, and the results of that work are delivered to all who believe by the power of God the Holy Spirit. That’s good news FOR YOU, whether you are famous or not.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, help us to strive for excellence in all we do, not for our fame, but to give You glory and to serve others in Your Name. That’s an attitude that is sure to bless us, and also those whom You bring into our lives. A
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