Who is Getting the Glory?

In October of 2012, my husband Billy and I and our 2 little boys had an amazing opportunity to attend the Baseball World Series in San Francisco. Because Billy is a minor league hitting coach for the San Francisco Giants organization, we were given tickets to attend the first 2 games of the Series between the Giants and the Detroit Tigers who were both playing for the title and glory of the 2012 MLB World Series Champions.

We had an awesome time!…and what added to our excitement was watching game 3 and 4  on television back home in AZ and seeing the Giants beat the Tigers in 4 straight games to clench the World Series Champions title!…the fame and glory that all professional baseball players seek to achieve in their playing careers.

What was pretty crazy…crazy meaning “amazing”…was that Billy received a World Series ring as an employee of the organization. I remember the day it finally arrived and opening up the light green Tiffany box …Wow it was stunning! Talk about bling!

However, as brilliant and stunning this ring was, Billy and I have discussed on occasion how he personally did nothing to earn it himself. I mean he didn’t coach in any of the games or play in any of the games but that it was a generous gift…a very generous gift…for being part of the organization.

It is this World Series ring and the monetary bonuses along with all the fame and glory that is the very goal of all professional baseball players. Yes winning games is great…but to win the games of all games…the World Series…is the ultimate goal of every ballplayer’s career.

Many of these athletes glorify winning the World Series and this ring as an accomplishment they achieved on their own…or they give themselves the glory attributing their achievements to their ability and hard work.

So how about you?

What do you glorify in your life? Is it your career…your job or position…your accomplishments or achievements…your material possessions…maybe even yourself?

The dictionary defines glory as “something that secures praise or renown; great beauty and splendor; magnificence.”

Just like these professional athletes, we too can fall into the “I” and “me” mentality if we aren’t careful. We may think things like…I did this with my own ability and strength…I accomplished this with my hard work…I achieved this success with my perseverance…I received this award because I put in the time and energy…I deserve it.

You…and me…We…would not do, accomplish, achieve, receive…this, that, or anything… without God…period.

Apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NIV

Is He getting the glory? What exactly does it mean to give God the glory?

In addition to the definitions above…the dictionary also defines glory as “worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving.”

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for  is “glory” is kabod which means “heavy in weight.”

When you glorify someone or something, you recognize its importance, or the “weight” of some uniqueness it possesses.

This may include  biblical examples such as a person’s wealth (ie.Solomon), or great strength (ie. Samson) or authority and power (ie.Nebuchadnezzar). The glory of someone or something is what sets it apart in a special way.

In the New Testament, the Greek word for “glory” is doxazo which means “a sense of brilliance or radiance.” It is commonly used to describe the brilliance of those who share or participate in the heavenly glory.

This may include biblical examples such as Jesus with Moses and Elijah as they appear in the glory on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-2) or in the nativity…the birth of Christ…where an angel appears before the shepherds and “the glory of the Lord shone all around them.” (Luke 2:9)

But one example that I would like to share with you is the example of an individual…Herod Agrippa I…who did not give glory to God. So what happened? Check this out!

There are four generations of the Herod family mentioned in the Bible. In the book of Acts, Luke describes one of these Herods…Herod Agrippa I…who is one of Paul’s judges.

During a visit to Caesarea, the people called Herod a god…So what did he do? …He accepted their praise. Like his grandfather and uncle before him, and his son after him, Herod Agrippa I came close to the truth…but missed it. Because religion was important only as an aspect of politics, Herod demonstrated no hesitation in taking the glory that really only God should have received. And as a result, God struck him down with a disease…and not just any disease…he was eaten by worms! Uuugh! …And he died within a week.

Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. Acts 12:23 NLT ESV

Unfortunately, Herod’s mistake is a common one. Whenever we give ourselves the glory, become proud of our own abilities and accomplishments, not recognizing them as gifts, we repeat Herod’s sin.

This example of Herod being struck down is not a scare tactic by any means, but an important reminder of how quickly and easily we can give ourselves the glory that truly belongs to God.

Achievements, accomplishments, awards and using your God given talents and abilities to achieve successes aren’t necessarily bad things…but whom or what is getting the glory?

God created each of us with unique gifts and talents to be used…just like these professional baseball players who have been given their athletic gifts… And so when fame comes…when awards come…when glory comes…it is God who deserves all the glory!

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:11 NIV

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

God is the ultimate source of all glory and no person or thing can receive it apart from Him.

“To give glory to God” means to live and speak sincerely and from the heart about His amazing nature and deeds…in such a way that we seek to do justice to the reality of who He is!

He deserves the glory in all things….at all times!

Reflection Points:

1)      When you achieve an accomplishment or receive an award, who gets the glory?

2)      What do you glorify in your life?

3)      Are you quick to give God the praise and glory or do you keep some of it for yourself?

Action Points:

1)      Remind yourself of the scripture John 15:5. Without God…apart from Him…we can do nothing!

2)      Remind yourself that God is the one who has given you all your talents and abilities as a gift… to be used to glorify Him…not yourself. You may have worked hard but you wouldn’t be able to “work hard” if God didn’t put it inside of you to “work hard!”

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