Monday, December 29, 2008

This Week's Sermon: Respond to Glorify God

Luke 2:20-41.

The Shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for the things they had seen and heard, which were just as they had been told.

The shepherds responded to God's fulfillment of his promise by glorifying him. To glorify in it's most basic sense is to shine a light on something. The shepherds shone a light on the things that God had done.

Simeon also responded to God's fulfillment of his promise to allow him to see the Messiah before his death, by glorifying him. He praised God and blessed both Jesus and his parents in the temple courts. He declared the coming of the Lord's Christ, a light to the gentiles and God's glory revealed to his people Israel. Christ was to be a light to the gentiles, who lived in spiritual darkness, to lead them to God. He was also God's physical revelation of himself to Israel. Simeon declared God's glory had come and there was nothing now that could add to his life. He gave God permission to take him home.

Anna also responded to glorify God. Her words are not recorded, but her story is. She had been married for seven years and then been a widow. Depending on the translation she was either a widow until she was 84, or she had been widowed for 84 years *which would make her 103 years old at minimum.* Either way, Luke describes her as being "very old" and she had been in the temple courts constantly waiting for God's consolation of his people. She heard what Simeon said, came over and gave thanks to God, and then she was off to tell others about God's faithfulness. Luke tells us she went to every person she knew who was waiting for the Messiah and told them that he had come. She didn't use age as an excuse to sit by as an observer, she got right in the action of glorifying God.

The shepherds, Simeon, and Anna all responded to glorify God. They shone a spotlight on God. They made him known. God is glorified whenever he is seen, whenever he is revealed.

When God fulfills his promises to us, how do we respond? Do we respond to glorify him? Or do we do our best to pretend like we never needed his help? When we refuse to give him glory, we are usually in the spotlight. People may be drawn to us, but they are not being pointed to God. Their lives stay the same, and their eternal condition remains unchanged. When we respond to glorify God, he gets the credit. His light shines. People are drawn to him. Jesus said, "if I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself."

If you are interested in growing the Kingdom of God, I urge you to respond to his faithfulness by glorifying him. Shine a light on God at work. Tell others about what he has done in your life. Tell others about what he has done for everyone in sending his son. Tell your fellow believers how God has fulfilled his promises to you so that their faith may be encouraged. Respond to glorify God.

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