#682: To God Be the Glory

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Reflections by the Pond
November 17, 2014

"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord God, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went."'"

Ezekiel 36:22

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The toughest obstacle to faith in Christ for unbelievers is the hard fact that, at a fundamental level, it is not about them.

We now have multiple generations of individuals raised to believe that each one of them is the center of the known universe. Schools, for example, no longer dispense facts, but dogma; they no longer teach discipline, but relativism. If little Johnny thinks 2+2=7, his teacher will dutifully respond not with the correct answer, but with the affirming reassurance that, no matter his answer, the important thing for little Johnny is that he feel good about himself.

The utterly predictable result is that society is now populated by individuals who believe that no matter what they think, it is truth, it is fact, it is good, it is healthy, it is righteous.

Thus we no longer worship graven idols.

We worship ourselves.

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God invites all men to look outside themselves, to consider the truth—the real truth—that they are not a universe unto themselves, that they are not highest, that they were created for a purpose beyond themselves.

"I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
And to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
Bring My sons from afar
And My daughters from the ends of the earth,
Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made."

Isaiah 43:6-7

And that is the choke-point for the unbeliever. God's love for His children is not diminished, but the purpose of our lives is not to glorify ourselves, but Him. He is the center of the universe, the focus of all created things, not us.

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Life in Christ means that we bow before Jesus as our Savior, our Lord, our brother and fellow heir. In that there is not just security, not just joy, but order. The problem with this fallen world is its disorder. Marriage, family life, even the process of giving birth have become twisted and perverse. The schooling of children, once a place for instruction in the basics, is now a center for indoctrination; university life for young adults, instead of a place for intensified higher learning, has become a moral cesspool, an unbridled Bacchanalia.

And the root of it all is the worship of self.

Believers worship someone higher, more exalted than themselves: Jesus, the Son of God. But the apostle Paul says, even in his eloquent hymn to the exaltation of Christ Jesus, that our acknowledgment of Christ's lordship is for the glorification of God the Father.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11 (emphasis added)

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Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For Who has known the mind of the Lord , or who became His counselor? Or Who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11:33-36