Sunday, May 16, 2010


TODAY'S SPECIAL: John 17:1-26

TO CHEW ON: "Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: 'Father the hour has come. Glorify Your Son that Your Son may glorify You….And now, O Father, glorify Me together together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.'" John 17:1, 5

How do you feel about someone who is constantly shifting attention to herself, directing the conversation to be about her, her family, her accomplishments? Hard to like, right? Yet isn't that just what Jesus is doing here -- praying that He and God will get glory?

If you are at all familiar with the Bible, you will recognize this as one of its themes --God's preoccupation with His own glory. I've pondered this: How does it make sense that the God who values humility in us gets away with praising Himself? Thus I was delighted when I discovered that John Piper dealt with this very subject in the first chapter of his book Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist.

First he defines what God's glory is and involves:
"God's glory is the beauty of His manifold perfections….God's ultimate goal is to preserve and display His infinite and awesome greatness and worth, that is, His glory" (Desiring God, p. 42).
Then Piper goes on to explain why God is justifiably intent on His own glory. Here is his argument in my own words: We would all agree that a good, righteous, pure, etc. God would only admire what was the ultimate in goodness, righteousness, purity. And what or Who is the embodiment of these things? Why it is He, Himself of course. Therefore He must glorify Himself.

As Piper puts it:
"…He loves himself infinitely. Or: He Himself is uppermost in His own affections. A moment's reflection reveals the inexorable justice of this fact. God would be unrighteous (just as we would) if He valued anything more than what is supremely valuable. But He Himself is supremely valuable. If He did not take infinite delight in the worth of His own glory, He would be unrighteous. For it is right to take delight in a person in proportion to the excellence of that person's glory." p. 42-43

That's why Jesus here prays that He and His Father will be glorified. As the embodiment of all that is admirable, They are worthy.

The amazing thing is that we can add to this glory. We do this by aligning ourselves with God and all that He stands for. In His prayer Jesus lists some practical ways. We give God glory when we stay true to Jesus (vs. 11), refuse to be seduced by the world (vss. 14-15), let God's word sanctify us (vs. 17), live in unity with other Christians (vs. 21).

And of course we can also voice our praise. As we gather with other Christians in church today, we can raise our voices knowing we are secure in admiring and praising the most admirable and praiseworthy -- the One worthy of all glory!

PRAYER: Praise the LORD!
 Praise God in His sanctuary;
         Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
         Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!….

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
         Praise the LORD! - Psalm 150: 1,2 & 6

MORE: One more quote from Desiring God:
"Because God is unique as an all-glorious, totally self-sufficient Being, He must be for Himself if He is to be for us. The rules of humility that belong to a creature cannot apply in the same way to its Creator. If God should turn away from Himself as the Source of infinite joy, He would cease to be God. He would deny the infinite worth of His own glory. He would imply that there is something more valuable outside Himself. He would commit idolatry" p. 47.

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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