Quotes of the Day

Life every man holds dear; but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life.

William Shakespeare

Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less.

Robert E. Lee

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure about you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.

Marianne Williamson

Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.

Albert Einstein

Honor.

Duty.

Glory.

Strength.

Attributes of manhood or attributes of God?

Lead

Sometimes, the best lessons are taught in the shortest phrases.

Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.

Henry Ward Beecher

Power acquired by violence is only a usurpation, and lasts only as long as the force of him who commands prevails over that of those who obey.

Denis Diderot

Strength under control.  Gentleness cannot exist unless it comes from strength under control.  Christ said that the meek shall inherit the earth.  I do not believe that Christ meant meek as we understand it, which is as a synonym for weak, but rather that he meant that those with strength who control it well will inherit the earth.  A strong man can force his will for a time, but he can be overcome. A virtuous man, with strength at his disposal that he willingly chooses not to exercise, cannot be overcome by any force arrayed against him because that man, with strength under control, has allies in others who wish to follow him, to emulate him, and to be like him.  Isn’t that the model that Christ Himself modeled for us by submitting to death on the cross?  Christ, the commander-in-chief of the armies of heaven itself and the physical manifestation of the living God, the Creator of the universe, held his hand – and look at what happened.  The Roman guard at the cross saw it firsthand – that ultimate power, so controlled.

And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

Mark 15:39

Quotes of the Day: January 25

If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.

John Piper

Radical obedience to Christ is not easy… It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.

David Platt

For His Glory

Have you ever looked at nature?  Really looked at it?

What is it saying to you in that moment?

Have you stood on the shores of the ocean and admired it’s power and vastness?

Have you ever stood and watched the incredible power of Niagara Falls?

The destructive, yet creative power, of a volcano such as Mauna Loa?

Have you ever admired the incredible array of colors in a coral reef that is teeming with life of every kind?

The world around us proclaims the glory of God at all times.  It is found in the whisper of a hummingbird’s wings, the rustle of wind through crisp spring leaves, or the softening of the world under a blanket of freshly fallen snow.  It is found in the roaring crash of the tides against a shoreline and the cry of the eagles high in the sky.  It is apparent the beauty of a summer sunset as the entire sky is painted red, pink, orange, and purple.  It is heard in the song sung by a child as they play and expressed in each hug and kiss they give.  It is evident in the sparkle in their eye when they see something new and amazing.  They are basking in His glory.

John Calvin called creation the theater of the glory of God.

You know what’s even more amazing though?  You, as a likeness of God Himself, can partake in this glory.  You can help create it.  Glory, from Christ, abounds in the human heart and we are capable of amazing things.  So the next time that you lean over to hug your toddler or accept a kiss from your son or daughter, remember that is in expression of love, of glory, of the majesty of creation expressed through human action.

The next time you witness something incredible in nature, understand that you are witnessing God’s glory poured out on creation and reflecting not only for us to see and witness, but also for us to admire and praise Him.

The created universe is all about glory. The deepest longing of the human heart and the deepest meaning of heaven and earth are summed up in this; the glory of God. The universe was made to show it, and we were made to see it and savor it.

John Piper

We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem. Why do we go? Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self.

John Piper

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.

C.S. Lewis

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

Psalm 29:1-2

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

 

 

Finding God

Have you ever opened your eyes to God literally?  God has designed his creation with a wonderful ebb and flow that can be observed, measured, studied and cataloged.  Have you ever opened your eyes and truly seen it?

Have you ever managed to get far enough away from city lights and other distractions to look up and admire the majesty of the universe.  Where I live, I could probably count the number of stars in the sky that are visible in a short amount of time.  When I first experienced an awe-inspiring moment of the grandness of creation (remember, we are but a speck) I was a teenager.  As a boy scout, I had spent dozens of nights out under the stars, but I had not yet opened my eyes.  For once, I did. I looked up and opened my eyes and God opened up the heavens and let me see how insignificant I really was when compared with trillions of stars, and it seemed like I could see them all.

At that age, I didn’t really know how to interpret what had just happened so I just mentally filed it away as “cool” and a “moment to remember.”  What astonished me is how God didn’t stop opening up the beauty of creation to me.  I had another such moment a few years later on vacation.  Imagine standing on a dock, without a visible light except for the stars and no visible moon in the sky, and a crystal clear night with trillions of stars reflecting off the warm waters around and below the dock.  The sensation was intense.  It was indescribable.

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:3-4)

I have always been amazed by creation.  I believe we can learn quite a bit about God just by observing nature.  There is a logic to it.  There are rules and order.  There is Truth.

When Dan Brown wrote The DaVinci Code, he made a passing mention of something called the Fibonacci number (Golden Ratio, Golden Cut, Golden Mean, Golden Section, or Divine Proportion are all names for the same thing).  It came up a few times throughout the book, but when it first came up was the most profound. This ratio is found throughout nature in very divergent things. You can find it in DNA molecule size, shell growth patterns, seed propagation on sunflower heads and pine cones, to body ratios in ants, human beings, dolphins, the rings of Saturn, and the orbital constants of every planet in our solar system. This ratio is everywhere, even in the dimensions of the greatest works of architecture on the planet.  While I don’t ascribe to numerology, I do believe that God is just, orderly, and constant, so His creation must reflect those attributes and this ratio is just one example of His constancy.

Do you ever just stop and think about the little clues that God left in creation that point toward Him?  Do you ever open your eyes and look for it?

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voicegoes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:38-40)

Glory

Praise be to God.  All glory and honor to Him.

This morning I read a story on Townhall.com that dealt with the issue of humility with Olympic athletes.  While I greatly enjoyed watching the athletic competition, and the success of all of the athletes who medaled.  I believe, as the author did, that humility was short-changed.  There is celebrating an achievement and enjoying the moment, and there is self-glorification.

Celebrating another gold medal or showboating?

My wife often comments on this during NFL games where a player will get up after a single play and showboat as if they have won the game single-handedly.  I have seen this across our culture as well with many trumpeting their own successes and accomplishments more so now than ever before.

Who do we think we are?  Do we think we are anything special, deserving glory and honor before other men?

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself. – Charles H. Spurgeon

Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.Proverbs 18:12

Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory. – Bruce Lee

Now, there were a fair share of athletes who praised God for their victories, and for that I rejoice as they used their accomplishment to focus the light of Christ on the world if only for a passing moment on the world’s largest stage.

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.Galatians 6:14

Is the failure on the athletes themselves?  Surely they share some responsibility in reveling in their own insignificant accomplishments.  Is the failure on the exultation of the crowd?  The praise of the mob?  Are we not as much to blame for the athlete’s failure to show proper humility in acknowledging and praising God in victory or defeat?

Many people have praised or admonished Tim Tebow for his outspokenness about his faith.  However you fall on Tim, I believe most people would encourage their children to look at how he plays football and the humility he shows at all times.  This man glorifies God with every snap, pass, run, touchdown, interception, and sack.  His heart is with God at all times, and so everything he does on the field is for God whether good or bad.

Praying mid-game

I look at it as a relationship that I have with him that I want to give him the honor and glory anytime I have the opportunity. And then right after I give him the honor and glory, I always try to give my teammates the honor and glory. And that’s how it works because Christ comes first in my life, and then my family, and then my teammates. – Tim Tebow.

Humility is not an easy thing to master.  It is a challenge to be humble in the face of what seems like an exceptional accomplishment, whether that is a gold medal at the Olympics, a promotion at work, the achievement of one of your lifetime goals, or in the face of honor brought by others.  For that reason, this has been a difficult entry for me to write, for I am badly in need of grace and mercy.

I am a prideful person, and it holds me back daily, but despite that if you were to ask me who gave me the legs to run, the arms to throw and catch, the eyesight to see the target, and the mental and physical fortitude to compete, I would not hesitate to give all of the glory to God.  I might enjoy the contest and the victory, but not as much as the opportunity to use my accomplishment as a brilliant beacon for Christ, if only for a fleeting moment.

Direct the glory to Him, not me.

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