Partakers Of The Glory Of God

December 23, 2014

Partakers of the Glory of God

            It is a human tendency for us to ask, “What is there in it for me?”  God asks us to glorify him.  Almost immediately we may ask ourselves, “And if I do, what will I get?”  It isn’t hard for us to understand that God deserves to be glorified because of who he is and what he has done.  Perhaps we know we should glorify God, but it isn’t always possible to do it without expecting something in return.

In Matthew Chapter six Jesus taught his disciples that they shouldn’t do their good deeds to be seen of men.  In verse one he implies that if they do, that is all the reward they will get.  “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”  Three times in this chapter he called their attention to the hypocrites.  Each time he said, “They have their reward.”

We often overlook the fact that God saved us for his glory.  Ephesians 1:6-7 says, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.    In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

Not only did he save us for his glory; our only reason for being here is for his glory.  Isaiah 43:7 says, “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”

Some might say, “It isn’t fair for God to expect to get all the glory without giving any to us.” He does give us a share of it.  I Peter 5:1 says, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.”  From that verse it looks like it is just the elders who will get a part of it.   We read something similar in Luke 6:38.  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  We often apply that verse to money, but it could apply to all we do for God.  If we glorify God, he will glorify us.  We may not make the connection because it may come sometime later and in a different way.  There is no limit to the ways God can reward us.

The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 gives us further assurance that God shares his glory with us.  In brief, the parable says a man went on a journey and entrusted his goods

(called talents) to three of his servants.  While he was away two of his servants made wise investments with his talents.  One hid his talent and gave it back to him when he returned.  From the text, there is no indication that there was any remuneration promised to them for making a good investment with the talents.  Those who made a good investment were told, “Well done thou good and faithful servant:  thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”  The unfaithful servant lost what he had and was sternly rebuked.

It is difficult to serve God out of a pure heart with no self-interest.  After all, it takes a sacrifice of our time, perhaps also of our money.  The less self-interest there is in our service to God, the more we glorify him.  We often need to pray the prayer of David found in Psalm 139:23-24.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

If we have faith in God, we will serve him and leave the results with him.  If God gives me some recognition for it, I should thank him for it.  If he doesn’t, I shouldn’t be disappointed.  If I did it out of a pure heart I didn’t expect to get any recognition.  The glory God gives me may not be in the form of recognition.   His rewards may be reserved for us in heaven.  Someone has written that “God gives the best to those who leave the choice up to him.”

When Solomon, as a young man, was given the responsibility of being the king, God asked him what he most wanted.  He asked for wisdom and knowledge.  “Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?” (II Chronicles 1:10). We too need wisdom and knowledge.  It is possible for us to think we are serving God when we really aren’t doing what he would have us do.

We need to keep in mind that we are God’s servants.  “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6:22). It is the duty of servants to obey without asking, “What will I get?”

Once I heard about two boys who were friends in high school.  They both graduated at the same time.  Shortly after graduation they both started working for the railroad.  Their ways parted after that.  Some years went by in which they had no communication.  One day one of the men; we will call him Frank, was working as a lineman.  They had a train stopped temporarily while they were making some repairs on the track.  Frank was walking alongside the train when he noticed one of the passengers sitting at an open window.  He recognized him as his old high school friend whose name was Carl.  They talked for a few minutes.  Frank noticed that Carl was wearing a white shirt and tie.  Frank soon learned that Carl was now the superintendent of maintenance of some 1500 miles of railroad track.  Frank asked him how it came about that he had advanced so far and he was still a lineman.  Carl thought a few moments and said, “Could it be that you went to work for a buck fifty an hour and I went to work for the railroad?”  That’s what happens when we set out to glorify God.

The Bible tells us how we can glorify God.  John 15:8 says it is by fruit bearing.  “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” “Matthew 5:16 says it is by our good works. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Romans 15:5-6 says that it by means of serving in harmony with others. “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:   That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 6:20 says we need to serve God with our body and our spirit. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).  If we serve God out of love we find joy in doing it.  It isn’t a burden or a sacrifice.  What if we never get a reward for it?  We have no regrets and the satisfaction of knowing we have done God’s will.  We haven’t lost anything.   Be careful therefore, that you don’t serve God for the praise of men.  It would be tragic to arrive in heaven and hear God say, “You already received your reward.”

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