Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Stealing glory

"...the grand story of the Bible. With all of its locations and people, with all of the dramatic events of nature and history, at the centre of the story is the Lord. It is his story. Paul summarises the story this way, "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen." (Rom.11:36).

"We were made for his glory, and we are called to display his glory in everything we do. This theme of glory is the last of [the] three overarching themes [of the story of redemption]. Sin makes us glory thieves. There is probably not a day when we do not plot to steal glory that rightfully belongs to the Lord. When we compete with one another for glory, we fail to experience the unity that can only be found when we join together to live for him.

"At the bottom of a broken marriage, a shattered family, or a forsaken friendship you will always find stolen glory. We crave glory that does not belong to us, and we step on one another to get it. Rather than glorifying God by using the things he has given us to love other people, we use people to get the glory we love. Sin causes us to steal the story and rewrite it with ourseves as the lead, and with our lives at centre stage.

"But there is only one stage and it belongs to the Lord. Any attempt to put ourselves in his place puts us in a war with him. it is an intensely vertical war, a fight for divine glory, a plot to take the very position of God. It is the drama that lies behind every sad earthly drama. Sin has made us glory robbers. We do not suffer well, because suffering interferes with our glory. We do not find relationships easy, because others compete with us for glory. We do not serve well, because in our quest for glory, we want to be served.

"But the story of Scripture is the story of the Lord's glory. It calls me to an agenda that is bigger than myself. It offers me something truly worth living for. The Redeemer has come so that glory thieves would joyfully live for the glory of Another. There is no deeper personal joy and satisfaction than to live committed to his glory.

- Paul David Tripp, from Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in need of change helping people in need of change.

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