Give God the Glory!


On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them.
(Acts 12:21 NASB)
The people kept crying out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!”
(Acts 12:22 NASB)
And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.
(Acts 12:23 NASB)
But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.
(Acts 12:24 NASB)


Not long ago we had seen the development of the relationship between Pilate and Herod on the day of Jesus' execution. These two men who had been rivals developed a relationship over a common goal which was politically expedient to them. However, as followers of God we are charged with following the Truth, even when that may not be politically expedient. Now, we hear of Herod's demise. On the final day of his life he dresses in his royal robes and placing himself above the people he begins delivering a speech. What a powerful speech it must have been, and he must have had incredible charisma and oratorical skills. The crowd went wild and literally began to worship the man. They said that he had the voice of a god and not that of a man. They were absolutely in awe of him, and he let it go on and never gave God any of the credit for the talents and abilities which he had. God could take no more of this one who was so full of himself. Herod's demise is worse than that of his servants'. He is struck, eaten by worms and dies. The curious placement of those three words makes you wonder about what happened -- for it doesn't say that he was struck dead and then eaten by worms. Rather, he was struck, then eaten by worms and then died. Sounds a little nasty and that there was some personal realization on his part that he had tried to place himself at the level of God. This was not the case because God continued to do his work and the word of the Lord continued to grow and be multiplied.


God's purpose in acting in and through us in this world is that he would be glorified. All the talents and abilities which we have are special and unique gifts from God. His intention is that we will use them according to his purposes. They are not gifts that make us better than anyone else, or, especially at any level close to God. Rather, what we do with the abilities that he has given us helps to reveal him to the world around us.

God has a plan to reach out to humanity and this included the church which he said He (Jesus) would build. Notice that when God was getting the glory, his work continued to grow and multiply.
There are too many examples of Herod-like activity these days, even within the life of the church. We have the ability to turn on the charm, play the best music and speak eloquent words. However, if all of that does not point people to Jesus Christ -- if people are attracted to church because of the speaker, the music, or even the coffee and donuts, then I question whether or not God is really at work. If we give God all the glory, then he will continue to do the work, just as he did in the days of the early church, when the work of God continued to grow and be multiplied. The key here is the work of God. It is his work, it is his kingdom, and we are simply invited to join in and participate in all that he already has planned. He doesn't need us to tell him what to do, but he does want us to participate, remembering to give him the glory!


Lord, I thank you that I have the joy and privilege of going into your house today. My heartfelt prayer is that you will be glorified in all that is said and done! Amen.


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