Deposit Your Praise Here, Please

John 11:40 Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?

When I went to college, my dad went to seminary. An excellent student, my father's efforts were rewarded when he received the acknowledgement as "Most Outstanding Graduate Student" of Mississippi. To honor my dad's accomplishment I chose to attend the awards banquet with him. Since I was closer to the age of the other recipients, person after person congratulated me on my achievement. It would have been so easy to take my dad's deserved praise. As a loving father, he would have been happy to pass the praise on to me and it would have prevented many awkward moments as I explained time and again that, "No, I had not received an award. My father was the one being honored." To take the credit for something I had not accomplished would not have diminished in anyway what my dad had done but it would have prevented others from crediting and celebrating the one to whom credit was due.

This morning I am finishing up the account of Lazarus' miraculous resurrection from the dead in John 11:24-57. This story is a touching reminder of God's love for each of us. Jesus cried right alongside those who mourned and very soon later faced the cross and grave so that each of us might experience a resurrected life, today and for all eternity. Today, however, this story is speaking to my heart more about God's glory than God's love. Jesus deeply loved Lazarus and his family but Lazarus' healing was not motivated by that love, it was motivated by God receiving His rightful glory. Before Jesus ever set out for the town of Bethany, he said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." If I read this account closely though it seems that no one shared Jesus' objective.
  • The disciples (Verses 7-8) - The disciples outright opposed Jesus going to Bethany and had no qualms about verbalizing their concern.
  • Martha (Verse 39) - Martha, Lazarus own sister, had just confessed that Jesus was the Messiah (Verse 27) but even still tried to reason Jesus out of his actions.

What about me? Am I willing to become less so that He may become great (John 3:30) or do I allow worry and reason prevent me from giving God the glory He's due?

  • When one of my kids is complimented, do I credit my gene pool or God's goodness?
  • When my home is admired, do I credit my husband's financial wisdom or God's provision?
  • When my gifts are praised, do I credit my good fortune or God's unmerited grace?

Oh dear Jesus, I don't want to oppose Your plan in any area of my life. I am reminded that everything I have is for Your glory alone. I could never diminish what You have done, but I could prevent others from seeing Your gracious work in my life. Today, may this resurrected life be a vessel through which no one but You is seen or praised.

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