Acts 12:20-25 (NRSV)
A leader fails to give glory to God
Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they came to him in a body; and after winning over Blastus, the king's chamberlain, they asked for a reconciliation, because their country depended on the king's country for food. On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat on the platform, and delivered a public address to them. The people kept shouting, "The voice of a god, and not of a mortal!" And immediately, because he had not given the glory to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
But the word of God continued to advance and gain adherents. Then after completing their mission Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem and brought with them John, whose other name was Mark.
Have mercy, JESUS!
Today’s scripture makes me mighty glad for the amazing grace of God! Aren’t you happy-glad that every time we fail to give glory to God, we aren’t struck down by an avenging angel, eaten by worms, and killed?
If we keep it real with ourselves--and with God--we know that there have been many times when we have missed out on opportunities to glorify God to our neighbors, friends, family members, colleagues, and even our enemies.
We have accepted the praise of others, when we know good and well that if it had not been for the Lord on our side, we would have failed (or flopped) utterly.
In my preaching ministry, I am often complimented after the service as people leave the building. I am often tempted to get a “big head” as person after person passes through the line, shakes my hand, and tells me what a wonderful job that I did. But, my mother taught me long ago that there is only one response to such praise, “Thank you so much. To GOD be the glory!”
Now, I will confess that this phrase rolls right off of my tongue as it relates to my preaching ministry, because I know that only God could cause me to do what I do on Sunday mornings.
But, I want to encourage all of us—myself included--to remember to give God the glory in other (I mean all) circumstances as well.
For instance, when someone praises us for the behavior of our children, our response should be “Thank you so much. To GOD be the glory!” When someone compliments the beauty of our home…“Thank you so much. To GOD be the glory!” When someone wishes for the type of marriage that we enjoy…“Thank you so much. To GOD be the glory!”
In all things we must remember to give God thanks and recognize God’s glory!
As we remember to acknowledge God’s glory over our lives, our non-Christian friends will marvel over how intimate our relationship is with God who gives us all the good gifts we could ever need.
Today’s scripture says that although Herod did not give God glory, the word of God continued to advance and gain adherents because of the witness of Barnabus, Saul, and John Mark.
When one person fails to glorify God, another will always be raised up so that the good news message that God loves us so much that God gave Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sin and gift us with eternal life, will continue to go forth into the entire world!
I want God to be able to count on me! I want to be one of those people who glorifies God in all things and shares the good news that God loves, gave, and saves with everyone I meet.
Do you want the same thing? If so, please pray with me:
Dear God, I glorify your holy name! You are so holy, awesome, loving, kind, generous, giving, merciful, and full of grace! Every day you bless me beyond measure. Please forgive me for failing to acknowledge your glory and for taking credit for your blessings. Please fill me up with the Holy Spirit so that I will be empowered and equipped to share good news with everyone that I meet. I love you and I want to share our love with others. I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.