Friday, November 3, 2017
Psalms 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
Early one morning I made a quick stop at a 24-hour department store to pick up one last birthday present for one of the grandkids. As I entered the store the gentleman who works as the greeter smiled and said, What a beautiful day.” I responded to Him, “We can be thankful for every day that God gives us.” He smiled bigger and agreed.
On my way out of the store as I was paying for the present, the same greeter came over to talk to me. He noticed the cool kids item I had and we started talking about grandkids. The clerk was listening, and said, “Your grandkids are sure going to love you.” I immediately responded, “They do love me, but it’s not because of what I give them.” The greeter immediately chimed in, “Yeah, it’s because of the time you spend with them.” I emphatically agreed with him.
That event caused me to consider the difference between relationships that are based on my performance and those that are based on the true expression of love. It seems so easy for us to draw attention to ourselves in the everyday situations of life. We strive to be noticed. We work hard to get ahead. We do everything we can to make a name for ourselves. All this is done with the expectation of improved acceptance by others.
But for the devoted follower of Jesus Christ, acceptance is not based on my performance, but on the work of Jesus Christ to establish His love in my heart. What we do is nothing compared to what God does. Our activity is meaningless unless it springs from the life of Jesus in us and has eternal significance. Our status cannot begin to compare to the exalted position of almighty God, and if we recognize His status in us there is no need to seek to improve upon it. Any attention we draw to ourselves is idolatry. All glory is due to the Lord, and to Him alone. He alone is truly worthy of praise and honor.
The 115th Psalm is a marvelous expression of praise to an awesome God. It contrasts the life of a faithful servant of God to the life of those who seek their own glory. As you read it, you will see the futility of worshiping the idols of human design. We all have them, and we use them to try to achieve human recognition. We use them to improve our status with people. We use them to try and improve our value.
Every one of these idols, from possessions and performance to prestige and power, is inanimate and unable to meet the true longings of our spirits. Only a living Spirit can truly relate to our spirit and fulfill us. Only a living Spirit can love. Only a living Spirit can be faithful. We may love money, but it cannot love us. We may love power but it will only corrupt us. We may love the prestige of our position, but it does not bring peace because we must work so hard to protect it. We may love the attention our performance brings us, but it is soon forgotten and soon outdone by someone else’s performance. Any glory that is sought for self will bring us the same end result as the idol that we used to achieve it. Verse 8 says clearly that “Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”
Just think, anyone who seeks their own glory and uses the things of the world to accomplish it will end up just like the things of the world – unable to relate to others on a personal level. The more we seek the things of the world the more we destroy the very thing we truly long for – the ability to love and be loved. That should wake us up.
But those who live in the love of God and experience His faithfulness, giving all glory to Him for everything in their life, will be blessed. The LORD remembers us and will bless us: he will bless those who fear the LORD—small and great alike. May the LORD make you increase, both you and your children. May you be blessed by the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
The choice is yours. Pursue unresponsive and unproductive idols of human creation that cannot meet your deepest need for love and security, or pursue the Creator who will satisfy you completely with His love and faithfulness. To Him and Him alone be all the glory. AMEN!