To God be the Glory

Text: John 3:30
He must increase, but I must decrease.’ (NRSV)

A problem that is often associated with the clergy, is that when the ministry they are doing is highly successful, they become the face of the ministry.  People look at what has been accomplished and begin to think that it could have never been accomplished without that particular person leading the charge.

This is a dangerous situation.  When we begin to assign the success of the church’s mission to anyone but Jesus, we are forgetting the basics of our theology.  We are forgetting that all we do is only because of the power of God granted to us through our relationship with Jesus.  The phrase, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, comes to mind (Philippians 4:13).

In fact, the church’s main role is to point to Jesus through the success of the church’s ministries so that those who don’t know Jesus will be drawn to Jesus.  When persons are instead drawn to an individual, the role of the church is undermined.  The risk is a cult like allegiance to the person God has called to lead the community to Christ, instead of allegiance to Christ who is always to be the head of the church.  And if this happens, a change in human leadership could very well spell the end of the effectiveness of the church’s ministries.

But this is not just a clergy issue.  You see, all of us are called to live our lives in a way that brings glory to God.  None of us should be taking credit for successes in life.  As soon as we believe that we have accomplished anything by sheer determination and the sweat of our brow, we have denied the truth that all we have comes from God as a gift from the father of the heavenly lights (see James 1:17).  And worse, we have usurped God’s glory.

Our role as individual Christians is no different than the role of the church.  We are to be pointing to Jesus in all that we do.  We are to be living in such a way that God receives glory and honor and praise.  We are to draw all people to Christ by giving Jesus the praise for anything that might be accomplished by our words or actions.  He must increase, but I must decrease.

Pray with me:

God of all good and perfect gifts, forgive me when I take credit for the success that is clearly only achievable because of your gracious empowerment.  May I always be reminded that, but by your grace, I can accomplish nothing of worth.  May others be drawn to you through my life as I am filled with humility before your throne of grace.  AMEN.

No Comments





no categories


100 Bill Anger Authentic Bible Body of Christ Brigantine Beach Broken world COVID Centered Changed Charlie Brown Child of God Chosen people Christian Education Comfortable Denominations Dimock PA Discipleship Discipline Doubt Faith Following Jesus Generosity Gifts of the Spirit Giving God at work God is Love God's Glory God's call God's creation God's economy God's face God's first words God's leading God's light God's love God's plan God's presence God's story God's timing God's voice God's ways God's way God's will be done God's will God's word God\'s Glory God\'s face God\'s first words God\'s leading God\'s light God\'s love God\'s presence God\'s story God\'s will be done God\'s will God\'s word God\\\'s leading God\\\'s love God\\\'s story God\\\\\\\'s love God\\\\\\\'s story God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s story Godhead God Grandparents Day Grandparents Hands and feet of Jesus Hearing God Holiness Holy Spirit Jealous Jesus Loves Me Jesus is Lord Jesus the healer Jesus John Wesley Justice Kingdom life Kingdom of God Knowing God Laughter Light of the world Living Word Lord and God Lord Love One Another Made new Mesa Newness of life Norms Obey PPE Peanuts Psalm 130 Psalm 91 Radical Transformation Recreate Refreshed Rock Sabbath Sanctified Satan Saul Savior Seeing God Shalom Soulmate Spirit of God Standing before God Stumbling Sunday School Testify The Church The Gospel of Jesus Christ The Great Commission The family of God The new people of God The people of God Transformation Trinity Truth in love Truth Unconditional love VBS Values Voice of God Weary Worship Written word abundance action affirmation air anchor answered prayer anxiety arguing arguments armor ask God asking God assurance attentive awe b r e a t h e baptism be ready be strong believe birds born again born from above bread of life bright broken call to ministry calm camp meeting caretakers celebrate character children of God choice choir choosing church comfort commandments community compassion confession conversation with God creation decision defending God dependent depression depths devotions direction discouraged disney distractions diversity divided do no harm dream big dream empowered enjoy equality eternal life evangelism evidence examine excuses expectations expecting God experience failure faint faithful fear fellowship finding God finding Jesus focus follow through forgiveness free from sin free will freedom gathered giving God the glory goals godly good neighbor good news good works grace grief grieving guidance happiness hard hate healing helpless help hide and seek holy living holy hope humility hunger ice cream image of God infinite worth injustice intentional intercesor intervene intimate joy justify knowing Jesus knowledge learning letting go life in the Kingdom life lightning light listening living together living looking for God love God love neighbor love of God love self love loving God loving Jesus loving others mature meaning meditate meditation mercy ministry miracles miserable mission mistakes motivation murmuration music neighbors new begging new life ocean olympics overcome overflowing partnering pass it on pay no attention peace persecuting Jesus perseverance persistence power praise pray big pray for students prayer praying predestination prepare priorities proclaim promises of God pure purity purpose real deal reconciliation recreated redeeming redeem refining refuge rejection rejoice relationship remember repent rescue response rest resurrection revelation righteousness risk rules sacrifice salvation sanctification scarcity school scripture searching seeking God self-assessment self-care selfish selfless servant servent service set apart share shine brightly shine simple simplicity simplify sinners sinner sin solitude spending time with Jesus spiritual disciplines spiritual exercises spiritual gifts spiritual growth spiritual health spirituality start over status quo stewardship steward storms stress struggle students success suffering teaching temptation test thankfulness thanksgiving the great commandments the sky the unknown thunder time with God tired together transfiguration troubles trust in God trust understanding unexpected united methodist church value victory vision waiting on God walking with God wear out welcome wisdom witness wonder worries worry your story