Friday, November 4, 2011

To HIM Alone!

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Jude 1:24-25

The letter of Jude is a great warning about the seriousness of deception in the last days.  Therefore, it is interesting to note that his insightful letter ends with a reminder that the Lord is the one who is to receive all glory.  God alone is to be our focus since it is He who has saved us and is well able to keep us by His mercy.  This short epistle is a reminder that the last days would be a time when the children of God would need to be sober and vigilant in fighting against selfishness in their walk with Christ and service to Him.  There would be great temptation to make "service" about us and not the Lord our GOD.  

A  recent voice for the Lord, Leonard Ravenhill, made a statement about true service and true joy that still seers the heart. In his great sermon "The Judgement Seat of Christ" Ravenhill said the following:
 ""I'm embarrassed to be part of the Church today because I believe it's an embarrassment to a holy God. Most of our joy is clapping our hands and having a good time and then afterwards we talk all the nonsense of the world. We're overboard on laughter and happiness. There's an old saying in the world, "Laugh and the world laughs with you." I change it and say, "Laugh and the Church laughs with you, but weep and you weep alone." Because there isn't enough real joy in the house of God, we need entertainment. Entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy. Because there isn't enough power in the house of God, people are always looking for something to take its place. We point the finger at the world, but we need to turn to the Church and say we'd better all get sackcloth and ashes and humble ourselves and say "Almighty God!" When I see the Church in the New Testament, they didn't have stately buildings or paid evangelists or a lot of money. (They couldn't get on television and beg!) But I'll tell you what they did - they turned the world upside-down!"

God is the one who is to receive glory in and from the church.  "But pastor, we pray and praise and give God the glory."  You very well might, but for what purpose?  Do you truly enter into His courts to praise and give thinksgiving?  Are you there to give unto the Lord the glory due His name?  Or are we there with our hands out begging blessings and leaving irritated when we don't receive what we feel we were due?  If you were to enter His house to give unto the LORD, truly, you will leave full and well fed.  Careful observation may reveal, sadly, that the opposite is true.  God is not first place and church is more about getting our needs met than giving God the glory due his name.

The next time you enter a service, bow at your bedside, or read God's word remember that this is done more for Him than for you!  He is first always.  When we go to him with hands extended in praise and not in need, watch Him meet your need while you seek first the things of His kingdom!

We are in Tennessee for a conference.  I am not able to access the news articles I have saved.  More later! 

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