Volume. XXI, No. 47
Sunday, 20 May 2007

Seeking Our Own Glory

After reading the beautiful article written by our beloved Brother Deacon Yaw Chiew on the Glory of God, I felt I should be writing something about men seeking their own glory.
The Bible says in Isaiah 42:8 - “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” The glory of God is something that no creature in heaven or in earth can ever have, neither should seek to have. Very sadly however, human beings, who are fallen sinful creatures, who have nothing glorious within themselves, are always competing with one another in seeking glory for themselves. We see this happening in almost every sphere of human activity and especially so in the area of sports. Some years ago during the Sydney Olympics I heard a message by one Pastor who remarked as to how much he was troubled by watching the Olympics and with seeing newspaper headlines on Olympians “achieving glory”. He said that it was terrifying, as glory should be given to God alone. However, this is true in every sporting event and in every competition where competitors challenge one another to prove themselves to be the best and so seek glory for themselves. Basically every unregenerate human being wants to make himself like God and so try to have the glory that God alone can have. This is because every human being has been enslaved by Satan, the one who tried to usurp authority and to be like God. He made our first Parents fall in the same sin, and now Adam’s natural descendants do the same thing. In their sinful pride they seek glory for themselves.
Even Born-again believers who are children of God can have this desire to seek glory for themselves, a glory which should go to God alone, who alone is worthy of all glory and honour. We ought to take heed to what the Lord Jesus said to the Jews in Jerusalem who would not believe in Him and challenged his authority and even wanted to kill Him. He told them – “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (John 5:44. Another translation uses the word glory instead of honour). The Jews, namely the Pharisees and Scribes, could not accept Jesus, because their lives were in direct contrast to the life of Christ. Jesus came as a low and humble servant, emptying Himself of all His heavenly glory, and being obedient to the Father throughout His earthly life and only sought to glorify the Father. In all His earthly life He never sought any glory or honour from men. He told the Jews – “And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth” (John 8:43).
While the Pharisees only exalted themselves, they wanted honourable places at feasts, wanted trumpets to be blown when giving alms, in pretense made long prayers in public and showed themselves to be super-spiritual and sought glory from men. Hence, because of their sinful pride, they could not accept Jesus as Lord and God, so Jesus rebuked them of their sham and hypocrisy.
Let us who believe in Jesus and be careful that we don’t fall in the same trap as the Pharisees. Avoid seeking praise from men! Spend time with your heavenly Father in the secret place of the Most High God, taking refuge under the shelter of His wings. Take the example of Moses, the meekest man in all the earth. Before facing the people he spent hours and hours with God.
Once He spent 40 days and forty nights in prayer and fasting and making supplication for His people. He was very much criticised and the target of all the people’s complaint. However, he did not try to please them, as he only wanted to show them the ways of God. Hence the more time we spend with God, the less we shall seek the honour and praise from men.
Seeking honour and glory from men is one of the temptations that people in leadership positions always face. So those in leadership should learn from the examples of people in the Bible who tried to seek their own glory.
In the book of Acts, it is recorded about King Herod as follows: “And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” (Acts 12:21-23). As King Herod sought to glorify himself through his speech, he was immediately stricken by God and he died. So also we ought to be careful that we don’t rob God of his glory when we make a speech, but that all glory be given to the Lord. As the Lord Jesus said – “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” (John 7:18).The truly godly speaker will seek only to glorify God in what he speaks and in the way he speaks. He will not speak of himself or his accomplishments or all the great things that was done by him, of how many converts he made or the miracles he performed and so on. He will only speak of Christ and what Christ did and seek only to magnify and exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.
Beloved, let us just for a moment think where we stand in this immense and vast universe. With so many billions of stars and galaxies stretching over millions of light years in space we are almost like nothing. We have been here for just a few years and will be in existence on earth for another few years, while the universe has been there for some several thousand years created by God who has been from all eternity. How can we puny human beings ever seek to glorify ourselves, when we are almost nothing. Just as the Apostle Peter quotes from the Prophet Isaiah - “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:”(1Peter1:24)
It is only by the grace of God and because of His goodness toward us that we can do the things that we are doing. It is only because of the intelligence that he put into our minds that we are able to think and reason and be creative and build huge structures that can fly around in space or make very tiny and complex microchips that can perform very complicated mathematical operations in a few microseconds. But we have no reason to boast and glorify our own selves because of what we do, whether we excel in sport, or are brilliant Computers Scientist or are very eloquent speakers. It is only because of God’s bountiful gifts to us that we can be what we are. So with all true humility let us say like the psalmist – “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory…” (Psalm 115:1).
Deacon Edwin D’Mello

More Lively Hope



Special Warm Welcome to:
1.     Bro Eduardo Morante to our pulpit today.
2.     Rev & Mrs M S Choi.
Those wishing to help at VBS are encouraged to attend Sunday School Teachers’ Training.
Invites to our Thanksgiving Service are on the literature table. Please invite your family & friends
Praise and Thank God for:
Journey mercies - Rev & Mrs M S Choi; Bros Eduardo Morante, Joseph Selvanayagam & Daniel Volvricht (Adl);Bro Peter & Sis Sonia Mitchell (Armenia), Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson (Adl); Sisters Joyce Gong (HK, Taipei), Jan Volvricht & Serene Wong (Adl); & others who have arrived safely at their destinations.
Recovery from surgery – Rev Ed Paauwe.
Neighbourhood Bible Study Groups’ Prayer Meeting & Bible Study.
YAF Meeting (Speaker - Bro Ed Morante) & Activity.
Teens’ Fellowship (Sparks4Christ).
Please pray for:
Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe, Chrisanthi Selvanayagam, Juanita Tong, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction.
Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi (Phnom Penh); Bro Samnang & Sis Shulamy.
Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam.
India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.
Kuching Missions - Teo family.
Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim.
Journey Mercies - Rev & Mrs M.S. Choi (Korea); Bro Eduardo Morante (Melb); Sisters Joyce Gong & Peng Ha Yeo(overseas) & all those travelling this week.
Jobs: Sisters Gillian Ong, Juanita Tong & Mag Yu.
Believers suffering persecution.
Looking Ahead:
Baptism, Confirmation & Transfer of membership on 1 July. Please see Ps Ki if interested, by 3 June.
Vacation Bible School, 17-21 July. Speaker: Bro Gabriel Lee.
ACM & Session Election on Sat, 28 July. All members are expected to attend.



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