July 6, 2018
Don’t just pretend to love others; really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically. Romans 12:9-11
It is important to note that we cannot and do not change our ways first before we come to Christ. Hard as we try we do not have the power to do that and if God required that no one would be saved. Remi Roy
“It’s not about me.” I use these words a lot, both in my work and in my personal life. I am reminded of them a lot more in my work. I have a job with 150 or so bosses. Some of those people I have a great rapore with and others I work hard to maintain a positive relationship with. That’s just normal. We’re, each of us, different people with different histories and behaviors, different belief systems and practices.
Even those of us in this United Methodist Church have come from different homes, different communities and different faith systems. We are, after all, human beings complete with all of the strengths and failings God bestowed on us. We will agree and we will disagree.
In an age where it seems we cannot be different or think differently without being the ‘enemy,’ I am reminded more and more of these words, “It’s not about me.” So, if it’s not about me, then what is it about?
There is only one answer…
NOT TO US, LORD, BUT TO YOUR NAME BE THE GLORY!
WRITTEN BY MARK D. ROBERTS FOR LIFE FOR LEADERSNot to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1
Psalm 115 opens with a striking bit of poetry: “Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness” (115:1). Though God may richly bless his people, so that they appear to be glorious (115:12-15), the glory belongs truly to God and God alone.
Sometimes, if I’m going to be honest, there are times when I am eager for a bit of glory, times when I want to be recognized for my good work, times when I want someone to say to me, “Good job, Mark!” I don’t think this is altogether wrong. The problem is that I can easily fall into the trap of seeking my glory above all else. When this happens, my motivations are out of alignment, the longings of my heart are out of place.
So, what helps to correct my course? What helps me to yearn for God’s glory most of all?
Part of what enables me to want God’s glory above all is persistent surrender of my own desires, insecurities, and ego. I can’t tell you how many times in life I have prayed, “O Lord, I don’t want this to be about me. Let it be about you. May all I do be for your purposes and glory.” As I pray this prayer, again and again, in time, the Holy Spirit reshapes my heart and refines my desires. I find myself truly wanting God’s glory above all.
Yet, even beyond surrender, what instills a longing for God’s glory in me is my experience of God’s amazing grace and blessing. Remember the ending of Psalm 115:1, “Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Because of your love and faithfulness! God deserves the glory because he has showered his love and faithfulness on us. God has caused us to flourish (115:14). God has blessed us beyond measure (115:15). The more I reflect on God’s goodness to me, the more I want God to receive the credit he alone deserves.
“God’s amazing grace and blessing.”
“My cup overflows.”
Sundays. Sabbaths. These are the days (yes, the entire day – sundown to sundown) to stop and thank God for his amazing grace and blessings. We come together as his family to praise his holy name and acknowledge all that he has done for us. We give back to him, joyfully, what was his to begin with. We lay our requests, corporately and individually, at the foot of the cross and we listen to a message from the pastor, a leader chosen for us by God. We sing praises to his name, in various forms. We share in his love, grace and hope.
And when we are finished in that hour or so, then we receive the blessing back (it’s called the benediction), so that we can go out and “serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
We cannot change on our own. We cannot change ourselves to be ‘right’ for God. We come to God and He makes us ‘right.’ We surrender ourselves and make it all about Him.
It’s really not about me (or you).
A lot of my kids ask “When is church?” My answer is always, “When you’re together.” And then I ask in return, ”Are you asking about when we Worship?”
We can be the church without Worship…or can we?
It starts and ends with GOD.
“It’s not about me.”
Come join us on Sunday as we Worship our God.
You can have a little breakfast if you come early.
See you on Sunday!