Glorifying God devotions by Pastor Chris
Jesus said: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
A sure way to mess up life and lose
our way is to look in the wrong direction. Many of us look away from God. This is the essence of idolatry.
In our modern world, we spend a disproportionate amount of time living life vicariously through a small screen. We look at our manmade devices and lose the divine.
When we exchange reality with virtuality, we lose the beauty of real life filled with real relationships with real conversations with real people.
We miss out on the real joy of loving people in real life. We miss the spontaneous laughter, love language and unique real-time touch that we so need but seldom experience.
We also miss out on the real maturity of resolving real conflicts, instead of resorting to virtual escapism or venting.
In so many ways, we become stunted in both the joys and sorrows that God purposes to make us real and whole persons.
The Jews of Jesus’ generation suffered not from virtuality but from hypocrisy. A hypocrisy that stemmed from looking at the Law of God, but forgetting the God of Law. They had legal sight but lost spiritual vision.
In doing so, they missed out on showing any family likeness to the glorious God they presumed they believed in.
In keeping the Law of God, they did not murder, commit adultery, divorce illegally, forget to make oaths, embark on outward vengeance or hate their enemies (Matthew 5:21-48).
But, in God’s eyes, they were guilty respectively of murderous anger, heart adultery, flippant divorce, insincere vows, personal vendettas and convenient love.
Few, if any, areas of their lives bore the glory of God. You would be hard-pressed to find a Jew, supposedly a God person, bearing any family likeness to God!
Once my young daughter shared that somebody insulted her. I asked how. She said: “They said I look like you!”
Telling our biological children they look like their parents is often an insult. But telling spiritual children they remind us of God is a great compliment!
A soul-searching question: “What areas of our life – from our thinking, feeling, speaking and doing – display some family likeness to God?”
Our honest answer may be that very little of our hearts, relationships, pleasures, pursuits and problems resonate with God’s will and reflect God’s character.
The only way we can remedy this is to look not at the Law but at Jesus, the fulfiller of God’s Law.
Jesus did not merely keep the law with no intention to please God. His whole heart and life was obsessed with pleasing and glorifying God. It is him alone who bears the fullness and likeness to God.
Our great danger is not looking at our manmade gadgets but resorting to our manmade devices to avoid confessing our dark sin and acknowledging our dire need for a Saviour in our daily circumstances.
Take some time out. Turn to God’s Word. Read, reflect and respond to God. Out with our own devices. In with the divine answer.
A desperate prayer: “Stop us from resorting to our own devices. Turn us to look at Jesus more and more. Help us to realise we need a new heart towards you our God and our God-given life.
Save and empower us that we might bear your likeness in all our interactions with our friends, parents, spouses and children for your glory. Amen.”
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