Watering the Tulips
July 16, 2014
“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth” – Psalms 115:1
Man is not to be glorified. That thought is worth considering for a few moments. Notice, the psalmist here clearly says, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory”. Let that sink in for just a moment. The Creator alone is to be ascribed glory…not creatures. Never should a pastor seek glory for himself. Never should a singer seek glory for himself. Never should a teacher, a piano player, a deacon, or even a lay member seek glory for themselves. Ephesians 3:21 says, “…to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen”.
Anytime we hear a person seek to brag spiritually, we should exercise caution. Whether a missionary is bragging about the number of souls saved under his ministry or a treasurer is bragging about the offering, there is a cause for concern. Sometimes this may seem like semantics and nothing more – and it may be. But, we should always make sure that God is ascribed the glory and not we, ourselves. If a missionary has been blessed to see many souls saved under his ministry, then praise God for effectually working through the Gospel. If the offering of the church members has been bountiful, then praise God for putting it in their heart.
The natural tendency of men is to measure ourselves. And even the Scripture says, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:10). But, testing yourself to make sure you are serving God can quickly develop into pride if we are not careful. Measuring yourself against the next brother or sister will quickly do the same. Pride is, in a sense, giving glory to yourself rather than God. Let us all realize that this is a natural tendency that we easily fall into.
I have often heard a new convert praised by friends and family. Something such as, “I am so proud of you” frequently follows a profession of faith or baptism. But why? Why would a profession of faith give us any reason to be “proud” of a person? Happy for them – of course! A thousand times yes!! But proud of them? Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”. This verse gives God the recognition for our faith. Jesus is said to be the “author” of our faith in Hebrews 12:2. We ought to be thankful to God for the salvation of any person. And, to be consistent, this should be audibly expressed in such a way. We frequently find the apostle Paul giving God thanks for the salvation of those he ministered to (Romans 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Philippians 1:3; Colossians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). Oh, let this ever be our response to the salvation of any soul!
Children of God, it is important how we say things. It does matter. We must always be careful that we are expressing our thoughts and thankfulness in such a way as gives God the glory. Let us commit to the same attitude as the Psalmist by saying, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth”.
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net . “Your App to the Gospel” can be downloaded at iTunes for iPhone, iPad and IPod Touch, Google Play for Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Store for Windows 8/8.1 based tablets and computers. Please download it today!