Faded Glory : Glorifier
November 17, 2019, 11:15AM
One of the things about living in Texas that I love, but also I guess that I loathe, is the fact that weather changes in a nanosecond. This past Monday, it was warm, hot, muggy. All of a sudden, boom. It was frigid. It was so cold, I mean, I couldn’t believe it. So we had to get our plants inside so they wouldn’t freeze to death. So Lisa kindly said, “Honey, I need your help,” so I got up and went outside and began to take in some of our ferns into the house, into a warm environment.
And it was so, so cold, I thought to myself, “Well, I want to take more than one fern,” and these are pretty big plants, so I bear hugged one in my right hand and I bear hugged the other in my left hand, and I’m walking inside of our house toward our house with these two potted plants. And I’m straining, veins are coming out in my forehead, and I’m thinking to myself, “Wow Ed, you’re in really good shape to be able to do this,” but here was the problem.
The ferns were so thick, they blocked most of my vision. I’m making my way into the house and I forgot that there are two steps that I couldn’t see because these things had my vision totally and completely impaired. And I took a step, didn’t realize there was a step. I fell flat on both of these giant pots, broke them into a million pieces, dirt everywhere. My calf is so muscular, I can barely get these jeans up.
I have all these scars, but man my knee, all that is just like, oh it hurt so bad. Anyway, I fell down and the first thing Lisa said, because she was moving some plants too, she goes, “Honey, are you okay?” I go, “Yes, my knee hurts though,” and then she started dying laughing. She goes, “Why were you carrying two pots?” I go, “To get them into the house!” I had that kind of a situation.
I think that a lot of us can sometimes carry things, and the things we’re carrying through life block our vision. They keep us from doing what we’re supposed to do, so we fall flat on our face. We get tripped up on this step or in this situation, and we can’t really see what we’re supposed to see and do what we’re supposed to do because these things have our eyes blocked for the most part. We can’t walk right.
In this series called Faded Glory, we’ve been talking about the meaning of life. We’ve been talking about how to walk right. We’ve been talking about how to really see clearly, and we’ve discovered that the meaning of life is based on how we view God. The meaning of life is based on my relationship with God. And throughout the pages of Scripture, God tells us what life is all about. Life is about glorifying God.
We have nicknames for celebrities: Bebes, Yeezy, King James. The list is limitless. God’s nickname, if he had one, would be Glory. His nature is his name and his name is his nature, because when he began to reveal the story of his glory, he told Moses, “Moses, here’s my name. I am that I am.” So he said, “Moses, I want you to be just messed up because I exist,” and we should glorify God just because he exists. We should glorify God because at his nucleus, he is Holy.
God, our great God, he sustains us and maintains us. He’s massive and minuscule. He’s dynamic and detailed. He knows when a bird falls to the ground, yet he holds the galaxies in his hands. We can’t understand him totally. We can’t predict him. We can’t measure him. We can’t quantify or qualify him. He can’t be compared to anything or anyone. He’s in a class by himself. I’m talking about our great God. We have an opportunity to glorify God, and if we’re not glorifying him, we’re missing the meaning of life.
To glorify his not to borify. It’s the most exciting thing we can do. When we glorify God, we are living life in the way we’re made to live it. I want to throw out several statements about how to glorify God because we have a glorifier inside of our lives. We glorify sports. We glorify music. We glorify possessions. We glorify fame and fortune and all those different things. We have this glorifier within us because we’re made in the image of God.
Here’s the first statement about glorifying God. Glorifying God, number one, is not manufactured. It’s inherent. It’s very important to understand that. We have this glorifier within us. For example, we’re made in the image of God. In other words, we have attributes from God like love and forgiveness. We have commitment and we have this desire to hold something at a high standard to worship, to glorify. It’s given to us from God.
We don’t have holiness. In other words, holiness is not inherent. Holiness comes from the outside in. When we receive Jesus Christ into our lives, then we have the holiness and the righteousness of God. That’s not inherent, but glorifying God, or this desire to glorify comes from God, and everyone has it. That’s why God says, “Don’t waste your worship. Don’t gut my glory by giving glory to someone else or something else.” I’ll say it again. That is idolatry, and that simply will block your view and you’ll never understand why you’re here. You’ll never see God. You’ll never see others. You’ll never see anything do while you are. You’ll continue to fall flat on your face time and time again.
Here’s the second statement. Glorifying God is not passive. It’s active. I think sometimes we hear about, “Okay, we’re to glorify God,” and we think about harps and heavenly sounds and cumulus clouds in this kind of, I don’t know, other worldliness. It’s real world. It is competitive, I would say, so it’s not passive. It’s competitive. I think back to the apostle Paul, Saint Paul. Paul one time was in Athens in Acts chapter 17. He was invited to a place called Mars Hill, and Mars Hill simply means a place of competition, and if you read in Acts 17:24-27, this is a really interesting exchange that Paul had with a lot of people. The Epicureans pretty much worshiped pleasure. The Stoics in this area were all about self-discipline. This place, Mars Hill, was littered with idols. I mean, here an idol, there an idol, everywhere an I, I, I, idol, and obviously we still have idols today. Let’s read what happened. Acts 17 verse 24 following, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.” We’ve joined the middle of Paul’s conversation with these Epicureans and Stoics, these Athenian men and women.
“And he’s not served by human hands,” verse 25, “As if he needed anything because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” Sounds like the glory of God to me, doesn’t it? “From one man, he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth. And he determined the time set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” Paul took this opportunity to talk, and as you keep reading in Acts, chapter 17 about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He took one of the gods, it was to an unknown god, because they wanted to cover all their bases in Mars Hill, and Paul just moved them into the place that God gave him the space to share the splendor of his relationship.
So, we see the competitive nature of giving God glory. If you go to Matthew, chapter four, you have the classic temptation of Jesus. The temptation of Jesus was a competitive thing. It was about the glory of God. The enemy, the devil, before he messed up, was the worship leader. He was all about giving God glory. He tried to usurp God. God kicked him out. He took a third of the demonic with him, a third of the angels with him. They’re now the demons. Jesus had just been baptized. He had just gone on a 40 day fast and the enemy approached him and the enemy attacked Jesus. Why did he attack him? Because Jesus was the full manifestation of the glory of God. He wanted Jesus to move his life and to glorify someone or something else other than God, because the devil knew if he did that, Jesus would miss his meaning, which was the redemption of the world as he paid the price for our sins.
I remember the devil said, “Okay, Jesus, you haven’t eaten for a long time. You can turn these stones into bread,” and then he took Jesus to the top of the temple. “Throw yourself down. The angels will catch you.” Then he said, “Bow down and worship me.” So you had the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. All of the temptations, all of the ways the enemy tries to get you and me to gut the glory of God, centers around those three areas. So I want you to know when we talk about the glory of God, it’s not passive, it’s active. It is competitive.
Also the Glory of God, the third statement I would say, is not compartmentalized. It should transcend every area of our lives. We don’t come to Fellowship Church just to give God glory in an hour and five minutes. Obviously we’re to glorify God in worship. We’re commanded to gather together as people, on the first day of the week. We give the first to God, He blesses the rest. The first day is Sunday. We’re commanded to do that, to give God glory.
As believers, we should come to Fellowship Church glorifying, to glorify Him. It’s not compartmentalized. We can’t say, “Well, I glorify God in what I say, but not what I do.” I glorify God when I’m with my family, but at work, no, no, no. I don’t really glorify Him. I’ll put my glorifier away. Or I’m not going to glorify Him on this business trip, but I will glorify Him over there. God doesn’t work that way. It’s the transcendent nature of God. Let me say it again. To glorify God, means to reflect His glory, to mirror the beauty of His attributes in everything I do, my behavior, I say, my communication, I touch, where I go, and who I’m with, and then finally, my emotions.
So the totality of who I am should glorify God. Romans 12:1 (NIV-1984) says, “I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God.” And then it goes on to say, “This is your spiritual act of service.” This is why you’re here, to glorify God. To glorify God. So it should transcend everything we’re about.
And the last statement is Glorifying God is not about me, it’s about God. It’s not about me, it’s about God. If I’m carrying plants around and I can’t see who God is and who I am, I’ll think it’s about me, like that. That was Adam and Eve’s problem and that’s been our problem ever since. It’s the selfie situation. I’m God and God you’re not. We have to understand, we have to process the fact that glory is not about me. It’s about God. The glory of God is mystical, as we’ve been saying around here. No one will ever understand it. We have an opportunity to glorify God on this side of the dirt. We make that decision when we turn our mirror away from our self and put it on God. That’s the moment, that’s our salvation experience. When we receive Jesus Christ into our lives, we have a turning. We glorify Him, we reflect Him in everything we do say, touch, and feel. We give Him glory here.
We die and the Bible says we move from this life to eternal glory. We have new glorified bodies. The reason we don’t have these bodies is our bodies would simply disintegrate in the brilliant blaze of God’s glory. So we have new glorified bodies and it will take us an eternity just to comprehend the glory of God. The glory of God, God is vast. The glory of God, He’s magnificent, but how does this affect me where I live today? I have on some boots and these boots have a rubber sole on them. How do I put sole, S-O-L-E, a sole, under the glory of God? How do I live it out? How do I walk it out? Several things.
The first thing is, and the Bible tells us this in 1 Chronicles 16:28-29, these are some handles on how to reflect God, how to get the glory of God in gear in our lives. “Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations. Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.” We don’t use the word ascribe scribe a lot. The word Ascribe simply means to attribute to. It means allegiance, I ascribe to God who He is. God is due all of our glory.
God wants us to glorify Him because God glorifies God. And that’s a statement again, that that makes our head swirl, yet we’re commanded to do so because God has the best plan for our life. And this book teaches us how to give glory to Him. Well, the text continues, “Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations. Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.” because he’s omnipotent. “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name.”
Throughout this series, we’ve seen that God’s name is His nature and His nature is His name. When He talked to Moses, He said, “I am that I am.” He was like, “Moses, I want you to be blown away, messed up, riveted just because I exist.” The name of God. So often we want to worship God or give God glory, if He does this or that for us. Well, many times we need to give Him glory. In fact, often just because He is. It’s the is-ness of God. We need to ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name, 1 Chronicles 16:29 it says, “Bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.” The nucleus of God is the holiness of God. And one of the ways that we give God glory is to bring something. I love it. The Bible doesn’t say give, it says to bring, because we don’t own anything. And in essence, when we give online or put money in the offering plate or whatever, we’re not really giving, we’re simply bringing what God owns. Because if you think you own it, you don’t. Now, how can I say that with confidence? Because you’re going to die. And we have a chance, an opportunity to glorify God in our finances as well.
And I thank you church, so much for your amazing generosity. One of the attributes of God is that of being generous. And as we think about what’s unfolding here at Fellowship Church right now, as we’re retrofitting so many of our campuses, as we’re building this beautiful campus in Frisco, as we’re expanding in so many different areas of Fellowship. Continue to bring the offering, because as we bring it, God is going to get glorified. And then we’re going to push the ball downfield to build the only thing that Jesus ever built, which is the church.
So, ascribe to God what is due. Also, Agree. Agree with what He says about Himself. The Bible says, in Isaiah 42:8, here’s what God says about Himself. “I am the Lord. That’s my name!” Again, the name. “I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.” God is a jealous God. God is jealous, not like you’re jealous or I’m jealous. Maybe you were on the Gram or something. You’re like, “Oh, man, that guy got to travel there” or “That girl’s doing this” or “That family’s whatever.” I’m not talking about that. That’s low grade jealously. God knows if we give glory to anything or anyone else, which is idolatry, we’re going to be gravely, pun intended, disappointed. So, God’s saying, “Don’t waste this glorifier in your life. Agree and know that you’re here to glorify me,” God is saying, and that’s what’ll give us meaning and purpose in life.
So, we ascribe to the Lord what is due. We agree with Him. We do His stuff, and then we Adhere to His commands and precepts. We adhere to it. You’re God and I’m not. God, you’re not here just to help me or just to make me happy and peppy and bursting with love. You’re not here for me. I’m here for you. In Psalm 103:17-18, “But from everlasting to everlasting” that’s a long time, “The Lord’s love is with those who fear Him and His righteousness with their children’s children- with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts.” The key to glorifying God is obedience. Obedience. We adhere to God’s commands. We do what God tells us to do. We have confidence, God-Fidence, in Him. God has our best interests in mind, although sometimes we don’t understand it. We’re like, “Really, God? This is for my best interest? Really, God? This is for my best life? Really, God? This is for what you want me to do?” Yes, because at the end of the day, God always gets glory. Even though sometimes it’s like, “I feel like my life is going backwards,” God gets glory.
Do you remember when the children of Israel had just left Egyptian slavery led by Moses? God told Moses to do something really, really strange. He told Moses to lead the people and basically reverse field and to camp out. You’re reading the story, you’re like, “Why would God do that?” But if you keep reading, God said, “I’m doing this so my name will be glorified.” Many times in my life, I’ve had to go backwards. I have failed. I’ve been defeated. So have you. You’re like, “What’s up, God?” God is allowing that for His name to be glorified in your life and in mine. So, the biggest thing we can think about when we think about walking with God is His glory.
So, we ascribe. We give allegiance to God. We agree that He’s God and we’re to solely and completely glorify Him, not anyone or anything else. We adhere to His commands and we announce, we have an opportunity to Announce His glory.
I remember when Stephen, over in the New Testament, was being killed for standing up for Jesus. Stephen said in Acts 7:55, “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” As you read this text, he gave such a powerful witness. Recently, I was called into court to be a character witness for a friend of mine who had sadly passed away. While I was sitting in the witness box, I looked and there was the prosecuting attorney, to my left was the judge, and I just told the truth about what I knew about my friend. I just described to you the way that a lot of Christians roll. A lot of Christians, a lot of us are great at being the prosecutor. We’re great at being the judge. Rarely, though, do we really witness, do we tell the truth about what we’ve experienced. Glorifying God is speaking. It’s announcing. It’s telling. It’s witnessing what He has done. Make sure you ascribe, you agree, you adhere, you announce the glory of God, because you’ll discover the meaning of life and that the meaning of life is founded in the glory of God.
I’m going to pray a prayer for many people here to pray, I believe. Many of you need to say, “Jesus Christ, I want to establish a relationship with You.” He’s brought you here for a reason. Maybe someone invited you. Maybe you just drove by. Maybe you saw something on Google or whatever. You’re here for a reason and you can make a decision to give your life to Jesus right now, to turn your mirror away from yourself and onto God and just say this with me, quietly, as I say this. This is not my prayer. This is a prayer that I prayed years ago. This is going to be your prayer today, right where you are. I don’t care what you’ve done, how far away you are. You can say this prayer. Just say, “God, I admit to you that I’m a sinner. I admit to you that I’ve messed up, that I’ve fallen short of Your glory, of Your perfection. I turn from that and turn to You. Jesus, I believe You died on the cross for my sins. I believe You rose again. Right now, I ask You to come into my life. I open the lid of my life and ask You to come in.”
The moment you said that, a supernatural seismic shift took place. Your guilt for God’s grace. Your mistakes for God’s mercy. Your sin for a Savior. As our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, if you said that prayer with me and meant it to the best of your ability, and you meant it, I want to know about it and we want to know about it. We have people looking here and at all of our different locations. We have people looking at people who’ve made that decision. So, on the count of three, if you prayed that prayer with me for the first time, just lift your hand. One, don’t be shy, two, all the hands up, three. Lift your hand. Lift your hand. I believe hands are going up. Yep, they’re going up everywhere, here and all around our campuses. We have a few people who are looking at your hand and they will come up to you and give you some information about your new life in Christ. You might be in Dallas. You might be in Fort Worth. You might be in Keller Southlake, Frisco, out at Allaso Ranch, Northport, Florida, Miami Florida, one of our prison campuses. You could be in Norman. You could be right here in Grapevine. We want to get into your hands a Bible and just a packet that’ll help you grow and go with the Lord.
Now, others of us here, let me pray for another group, need to really process and understand what it means to glorify God in life. Not just in one area, but in all areas. If that’s you, we pray for you and we pray that we would understand the reflectivity of God and His glory. We ask all these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.