Sunday, November 30, 2008

Star Power 2008

As the earthly wealth and corporate executive positions lose their luster in this changing economy perhaps we saints can see the poverty of riches. Today I am presenting the fourth resolution of Jonathan Edwards in this series of observing this man's personal discipline of affirming these resolutions every week of his life.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

GLORY is a quality importance which a person, group, or nation has and which another recognizes. "To give glory" is to praise, to recognize the importance of another, the weight the other carries in the community.

It's easy for us to see the glory Madonna and Tiger Woods receive from worshippers throughout the world. But the Bible is clear no one will receive God's glory and thrive.

Many great Christian thinkers have been concerned over the "hero" worship of people in the Western cultures. Most disturbing is Christians giving glory to men and women evangelists, pastors, and performers. As an event planner for Christian organizations I learned early on it's easy to fill a room with a well known Christian celebrity. But I have found the greatest moments in my Christian life have not come through the "rock stars of Christianity," but some profound humble folks surrendered to God as Jonathan Edwards speaks here....these folks cared more about God's glory than anything else in their lives.

As life as usual is swapped with the new times carved out by the economic crash of 08 may we all be aware of our own sin of giving glory to anything or anyone but God.

James 1:10 calls on a rich man to "glory in his humiliation," indicating a glory that does not mean riches or power or great aesthetic or material beauty. The glory of man is the beauty of man’s spirit, which is fallible and eventually passes away, and is therefore humiliating—as the verse tells us.

But the glory of God, which is manifested in all His attributes together, never passes away. (J.L. Packer, Knowing God)

This week I helped someone out who truly needed it. I spoke out loud in the bank making the transfer, "Oh, I wish I were a rich woman. I would have so much fun helping people in true need." The teller and a stranger smiled and looked at me with funny looks on their faces. I laughed as I left. I don't know if I have ever wished to be "rich" before. The money and riches are not the problem with anyone. If we trust the riches they are a problem. If we trust God and give Him all our praise and recognize His glory never fades or diminishes; we will thrive.

The only people God can trust with great wealth are the ones who understand like Jonathan Edwards who resolved to...never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

"God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption that, as it is written, 'He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.'" 1 Corinthians 1:27-31

As Psalm 19:1-4 says, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands; day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world."

What are your thoughts of tending to the glory of God?


sailorcross said...

Hi Kay!!

I've been reading through your posts regarding Jonathan Edwards--a very wise man, indeed!!

In fact, my son and I were discussing this just yesterday. Remember, that he professes to be a nonbeliever, as all 3 of my children do. And he has changed, almost miraculously, over the past few months--seeing and pondering over things that he never has before--such as the plight of those less fortunate than himself.

Granted, we don't have a lot material-wise, and that is fine with me. But, I have seen a change in him, a change that can only come from God working in Him--a softening of his heart towards others, a lessening of the "me" attitude, a lessening of the "hero" worship.

I have come to the conclusion that while I may have many "soevers" or "whatevers" (as Kelly said), that my surrendering this to God and allowing Him to work in my life--according to HIS will in my life-- is the only way to go!!

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!! Anything that would happen to occur in my life, I give thanks and praise to God.

While some of these things may at first seem to be negatives, I have witnessed in my own life how God has the power to turn these around to positives.

I have started a "Gratitude Journal". I do a lot of journaling, and I was even wondering how I was going to fit this in. But, at the end of the day--a good day or a bad day--there is always something to be thankful for--maybe something small--but still there.

So, before I go to bed each night, I write the date and what I am thankful for--takes very little time--and then I pray and thank God for what He has done that day.

All glory belongs to God--even the smallest creature on this earth was created and belongs to Him. We need to turn ourselves to focus on what we are grateful for, giving God the thanks for these things--the beauty of a sunrise, the change of the leaves in autumn, the changes I see in my son, my spiritual family.

All of these He has provided for me, and more. And today and everyday I give thanks, praise and worship Him for His grace, mercies, peace, joy, unconditional love, and especially for the little things that may have gone unnoticed except for my increased awareness of His presence in my life.


Chatty Kelly said...

Wow - Beth's comments are great, and your post is deep thinking today. I don't have anything to add! Except that if we don't glorify God, the rocks will! Don't want a rock to take my place!

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.