Giving Glory To God

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Mt. 4:1)

I want to talk about temptation. I don’t, though, want to talk about temptation in the usual ways. I’m not going to speak about our temptation to lust, be lazy, spread gossip, hold grudges, fuel anger, deny our responsibility to help others, or be envious.

Instead I want to talk about our temptation to live lives that are much smaller than what God intends. We live small lives when we allow a defeat to defeat us; when a betrayal keeps us from ever trusting again; when we think our sins are greater than God’s grace; when we pretend we are weaker than we actually are; when we deny our incredible gifts; when some hurt leads us to stop living, stop hoping, stop acting, stop loving.

Why are we here? We are here to give glory to God. We give God no glory when we live small lives. We have an awesome and incredible God, which means that God wants us to have awesome and incredible lives. We have a God worthy of praise, and God desires that we worship with every breath we take.

Jesus didn’t come to this earth so that we would make this earth a small and confining place. He didn’t confront the forces of darkness so that we would be cowards. He didn’t risk everything by going to Jerusalem so that we would shirk our responsibilities. He didn’t go to the cross for us to snivel and flinch. He wasn’t raised from the dead so that we would retreat into our own tombs of fear.

Instead of being tempted to lead small lives, Jesus encourages us to live large, live strong, live bountiful—for His glory and for our joy.

Reflection Questions:

  1. If you are currently living smaller, weaker, and are more afraid than God intends, how come? Who or what put a lid on your energy, a limit on your joy, a drain on your confidence?

  2. What might living larger, bolder, and stronger look like for you?

  3. Are you giving glory to God by how you act, walk, speak, serve, commit, and think? If not, isn’t it time to do so?

4 thoughts on “Giving Glory To God

  1. Don Quast

    It’s easy & safe to think & do small. We would have never gotten to the moon or transplanted a heart in that mode. Thanks be to God! He allows & encourages us to reach out & up! He is our safety net. DQ

  2. Linda Benson

    This reflection is the “accidental,” perfect companion of the reflection for Dec. 4th in the Advent devotional reader I’m following this year. How loudly does the Holy Spirit have to knock on my door before I turn on the porch light and open up? Reading your third question, I see the same rhetorical query that I’ve asked a bizillion times, from the darkness in my own head, — “isn’t it time..?” I’m grateful that God, in wildly prodigious Love and Grace, has stayed beside me — hasn’t walked away in frustration, but patiently awaits while this dawdling and reluctant servant finds the light switch. As I read, in place of rhetoric I hear the Holy Spirit say, “You know it’s time. What ‘larger, bolder, stronger’ FIRST THING will you do right NOW to enact the bountiful Life you’ve been promised?” Thanks, JN, for the companionship of your thoughts on this journey!

    1. mybarnabas

      Dear Linda, I don’t think that there is “co-incidental or accidental” intervention where God is concerned. I believe that God is thankful for your gratitude. I am thankful for your companionship as well along this journey. Blessings!!

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