“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3
Writing this on the eve of the Mid-Term Elections the outcome is still unknown except for what the polls appear to project, correctly or not. November 1st, commemorates a true historical tsunami (this word is “in right now) that far exceeds any election in permanently impacting countless human lives. November 1st is Reformation Day, an annual remembrance of the 16th Century Reformation, which has undeniably shaped western civilization, the beginning of this country, and the foundation of the life we enjoy. The core principles of the Gospel recovered in the Reformation have been commonly set forth in a number of Latin phrases, the theological language of that day. The preeminent phrase expressing the common theme of all the Reformation phrases is this: Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone! And no matter what happens in these elections (as you read this you will know what happened), Soli Deo Gloria covers it all. In fact, for the true believer, in joy or sorrow, in triumph or failure, in any and all circumstances of life, Soli Deo Gloria is the highest and truest response one can offer; for the Sovereign God is still on the throne of the universe no matter what man chooses to do.
Yet, you may ask, as so many do, why should God desire all glory for Himself? Is this not what we consider arrogant, conceited, and self-serving in those we observe who seek to hoard glory for themselves while ignoring or denying the participation or assistance of others? But this is exactly where our view of God goes awry, whenever we contemplate who He is and does and what He asks of us; we judge Him ignorantly as an equal and project Him in our minds as we would other mortals. We so often fall into the error of seeing Him through the lens of our own experience of human character, behavior, emotions, perspective, or what have you. It’s true He created us in His image; but He did not make us gods equal to Himself. In our estimate of Him we must never ignore this, as we are so prone to do. Of necessity, for us to know Him as He is, God must draw back the curtain and show us. We cannot discover Him in and of ourselves. He chose to do this ONE way only: in the person of His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said plainly, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father and “I and the Father are One.
It is one thing to respond to all the events that confront us in life with the words “Glory to God alone, but what attests to our sincerity? Certainly, we would do what He asks of us, believing the One whom He has sent. But what attests to the sincerity of that belief? Jesus, speaking for Himself and His Father, summarized all They require of us in two simple sentences: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. And They knew us well when They commanded we love others as much as we love our self. Everyone loves him or herself; even the person who claims self-hatred; even the person who commits suicide; even the person who alienates them self from the rest of humanity. Their concern is not for others, nor for God, but solely for themselves. They are the center of their attention; it is their pain, their hatred, their thoughts, their opinion, their success, their misery, their GLORY, in life or in death. It reflects the self-love which is ingrained in our DNA, even, or especially when it is self-destructive.
What truly attests to the sincerity of giving all glory to God is to actually do what seems impossible when the rubber meets the road, namely loving our neighbor AS OUR SELF. If Jesus had not done it, we miserable self-loving wretches never would or could. But because He did, He opened a door for us. To actually do and experience what is otherwise impossible, we can only say, “Glory to God alone! For apart from Him, it ain’t never gonna happen. Yes, you may have your own glory; but you are never going to experience it until you sincerely know what Soli Deo Gloria means in your life. “It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. (C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory)
“From the highest throne in glory, To the cross of deepest woe, All to ransom guilty captives, Flow my praise forever flow. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
(6th verse of Robert Robinson’s hymn, “Mighty God While Angels Bless Thee, 1774)
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