Friday, July 07, 2017

What Does It Look Like To Glorify God? (Rebecca Thompson)

Rebecca Thompson is a Harding University alumnus, as I am. She is also one of my favorite former students and now one of my favorite colleagues! Rebecca has returned to WCS where she teaches Spanish and coaches cheerleading. She is a terrific role model and mentor for our young ladies! Please keep me in prayer as I land in Vietnam tomorrow!

This is the question I will be studying with a group of middle and high school girls this summer. I have an awesome opportunity to be working as one of the youth interns at the church I grew up in and part of my job description is to lead a Bible study with the girls. As I was searching and praying for which topic would be best, glorifying God remained a constant frontrunner. For my curriculum, I chose a book called Perfectly Unique by Annie F. Downs (I highly recommend it for anyone to read). As I read through this book, I am learning so much about what bringing glory to my Father looks like.
Have you ever felt as if you had a pretty good grasp of a concept or discipline? Then God says, “That’s cute and all…but let me show you what I actually want you to do.” That’s what is happening as I study what it means to glorify God. Truly glorify Him.
Why is this important? Because it’s the reason we were made in the first place! Isaiah 43:7 says the Lord made us for His glory (kabad is the Hebrew word for glory). I have always equated to worship with to glorify. In my experience, many people use them interchangeably. Let’s get this cleared up now…to worship is to show respect and adoration for something. For example, say I have a student who did a great job on an assignment. To show adoration for their work, I will approach them and say “good job” or something along those lines. But, to glorify something (bring kabad to) is to promote or give reputation to it. In the scenario with the student, I would not simple tell the student they did well, but I would announce to the entire class how well that student performed. This means we must go beyond praising the Lord and point back to Him in all circumstances. No pressure, right?
If we are going to live in a way that gives a good reputation to our Father, that means every part of us needs to point towards Him in every moment. Of course we are imperfect beings, but I think our lives would look a bit different if we were taught how each part of us has the capacity to glorify the Lord.
Imagine you are in an art gallery. You are surrounded by all types of paintings and the artists are standing near their respective pieces. Would you go up to praise an artist who is near a painting you believe to be ugly or worthless? Would you tell all your friends about said artist and recommend that they buy a painting? Probably not! God is the great Creator and you are His creation! How can we glorify Him and live a life that points to Him if we don’t completely accept His creation (you)? We are incapable of showing God’s love if we do not even love ourselves. If you want to live a life that unashamedly brings glory to the Lord, the first step is loving yourself just as He created you! At this moment you may not fully accept yourself, and I don’t expect you to instantly accept yourself by the end of this post. It’s a process. I’m working on it myself. Taking it one day at a time. Exercise, eat well, sleep well, and focus the most on aligning your heart and soul with what God wants you to be.
Jesus was once asked what the most important commandment is. In Mark 12: 29-31 he replied that God is the only God and you must love Him with all your soul, mind, and strength. Not only that, but also to love your neighbor as yourself. Love others as I love myself. How can I know how to love others completely and unconditionally if I don’t love myself completely and unconditionally? To live in a way that reflects Christ, it is imperative that we accept and love every part of ourselves. You are wonderful to Him (Psalm 139:14).He did not make you on accident. In fact, He made plans for you to fulfill (Ephesians 2:10). He gave each of us different strengths to be used to further His kingdom (1 Corinthians 12: 4-6) and He works through our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10).

I challenge you to start accepting every part of yourself. Look at how the Lord made you. Filter what Satan whispers into your mind and hold it up to the truth God has written to you in his Word. Then you will begin to see how amazing our Creator truly is and be able to completely love his creation.
God bless,
Luke 18:1
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