Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Father, glorify Thy Name"

This weekend I got to attend the wedding of two friends (who married each other =). It was a very special time, and as weddings always do, it caused me to contemplate the seasons of life. There are few things, in my opinion, that bring more visible glory to the Lord than when two people who are committed to the Lord individually, are brought together and go on to serve Him together. The beauty of a God-centered marriage gives so much credit to the God who designed marriage in the first place.

But then I realized that God creates every season of life, every set of circumstances in the life of an individual, to bring glory to Himself. I can bring just as much glory to my Savior in my present circumstances, as I shall be able to at any other time in my life, married or not. As long as I am walking in His will, each phase of life will have equal opportunities to serve Him and glorify Him. God has me where I am because at this time in my life, this is the setting in which He will most be glorified, the setting in which I can most please Him and serve Him and enjoy Him.

God can receive as much glory from the life of a teenager working to get through high school, as He can from a missionary serving Him in the jungles. That seems kind of remarkable, at least to my mind. But then I have to ask; was God the Father more glorified by the obedience of the Lord Jesus on the cross, or His obedience in the carpenter’s shop? Was the Lord Jesus more pleasing to God at any one time in His life than at any other? Was not each day of His life in perfect harmony with the Father’s will for Him that day? To have gone to the cross before the appointed time would have been disobedience, as much as it would have been disobedience to shrink from the cross when the hour had come.

How I wish that this truth was more lived out in my life! Today is the day to give God my utmost, to serve Him the way I want to when the time comes for me to enter into “real service”—because that time is already here. It began the day that I came to know the Lord Jesus as my Savior. I don’t have to wait for anything to begin to bear fruit for God, because bearing fruit is a matter of abiding in the Lord Jesus (John 15:5), not of being in particular circumstances. It is so beautiful how the Lord Jesus could say to the Father, “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given me to do.” (John 17:4) Every single day of His life, He accomplished the things that the Father desired Him to do that day.

What an example He is—one that I know I can never live up to. But then I discover that He knows my helplessness, and He doesn’t intend for me to pull this off on my own. He said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in Him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) He is a vine that produces fruit in every season, under any circumstances, but always with the same result: the Father’s glory and delight.

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