Monday, August 24, 2009

Fascinated with Acts 14 this past week, I continue to marvel at the humility and the God-centered nature of Paul and Barnabas. In Lystra, Paul heals a man lame from birth and the crowds immediately chant that he is a god and make all the necessary actions to offer sacrifices to both Paul and Barnabas!

Acts 14:11-13 11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they raised their voice, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have become like men and have come down to us." 12 And they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds.

Certainly the temptation was present to allow pride to swell and infest their minds and their hearts. But they did not allow this to happen. Paul preached to them telling them to forsake their foolish (=vain!) idols and turn to the Living God who made heaven, earth, the sea, and all that is in them (v.15).

But we don't struggle with this day to day. I don't know about you but I don't have anyone attempting to offer sacrifices to me because they think I'm a god. Maybe this happens to you, but not to me.

However, I came up with five ways that we can--and often do--rob God of his rightful glory. Though we may not receive 'worship' from people bowing before us, we can certainly rob God of his glory in other ways. Here is that list:

First, If you don’t use your spiritual gift for the edification and growth of the church, you rob God of his glory because God is honored in His church.

Second, If you don’t evangelize, share the gospel, preach hell, damnation, repentance, and judgment with the glorious forgiveness and solution God offers to sinners who repent you rob God of his glory because God is glorified in the salvation of sinners.

Third, If you come to church physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually you’re absent, you’re hypocritically worshiping God and this robs God of his rightful glory.

Fourth, If you don’t tell others what God is doing in your life and how HE is working in you, changing you, growing you, maturing you, you rob God of his rightful glory because God is glorified when you tell others what God is doing and how he is working in your life.

Fifth, you pridefully receive praise, honor, and accolades from others while neglecting to give thanks to and point others to Jesus Christ, you are receiving the glory and robbing God of his rightful glory.


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