In Psalm 21 David recognizes God will receive the glory and praise He deserves. In Psalm 21:13 David says, Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might. We may not always feel as though we are winning, but God is. The victory and glory belongs to Him. Let us all hope and pray He chooses us worth to be used by Him in His perfect plan.
In today’s reading, it is interesting to see David’s request of God in Psalm 19:13, Keep your servant also from willful sin; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. We all sin, it is part of our nature, but willful sin require premeditation and a decision to sin. David asks God to keep him from willfully choosing sin. We must do the same. We will never be perfect in this lifetime, but we have the ability to control what we choose to do in order to glorify God. By God’s grace we are holy in His eyes because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ regardless of the sin in our lives.
While there is seems to be much angst about this election, it is important to remember God is in control regardless of all the craziness happening around us. Psalm 2:1 says, Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? No matter what happens around us, including our election for a new president, God’s plan and His will are perfect. Most importantly, He will ultimately be glorified.
This world tends to value the wrong things more and more each day. It likes to compare each person based on material possessions, or at least the perception of wealth. But Proverbs 16:16 explains what is really important: How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! You cannot take material possessions into eternity, but you can take the impact you have on others with the legacy you leave behind. Let us all work towards having and sharing wisdom above all else in order to bring others closer to God and bring glory to Him.
When I first read the Bible all the way through a few years back, the biggest thing that struck me was the fact that there are no perfect people in the Bible; at least not until we reach Jesus. Every single character sinned and was saved by the redeeming blood of Christ. And, every single character’s purpose was to ultimately point everyone back to Christ. Hebrews 3:3 give a wonderful analogy of this: Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater than the house itself. No matter how great the individual is, we were all created to be a reflection of Christ and to point others to Him, without exception.
God created each of us for a purpose and we have all been given gifts for that purpose. In Romans 12:6-8 Paul encourages us to fully use the gifts we have been given: 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership. let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. What is important is that God did not give us gifts to be used individually. We are individuals with specific gifts created for the purpose of forming a complete body. We are all members of the Kingdom of God created to glorify Him and bring others closer to a relationship with Him.
As believers we recognize God has given each of us unique gifts to be used for His glory. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 Paul says, 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. While each of us may have different gifts, God is the same. The Holy Spirit works with each of our unique gifts to work together for God’s ultimate glory.
In today’s reading we find Barnabas and Peter perform a miraculous healing in Lystra. This caused the people to think they were Greek gods. But Paul and Barnabas corrected the men in Acts 14:15, “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. It is easy to take the credit for being awesome when we act with God’s help, but we must always remember it is God who gets all the glory in all circumstances. That doesn’t mean we can’t feel good about our accomplishments, we just need to remember the purpose of all we do in the end is to impact eternity.
Too often we question why bad things happen to good people. In John 9:1-3 Jesus answers this question for His disciples, 1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so the work of God might be displayed in his life.” Good and bad will happen to us all. In the light of eternity, these are temporary circumstances. We must all remember that God does not make bad things happen, but He sometimes allows it. When it does, we can choose to allow it to tear us down and everyone around us or we can use it to bring Him glory. The permanent good is coming, it just won’t be in this lifetime.
By His example, Jesus took care of people without seeking glory. His acts received attention because of other people, not for the purpose of attention alone. In Matthew 6:1 Jesus says, Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. Good and bad attention will come to you if you are doing what is commanded of you by God. But when we do things for the sake of attention itself, we miss the point, which is to bring glory to God the Father.