Glory; August 2, 2018


John 17:4 “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”

Even Jesus was concerned with giving the Father glory. Just before this, in 15:8, He said that our bearing much fruit as His disciples gives the Father glory. Far too often we are concerned with our own glory. Most of us hardly ever think of whether we are giving glory to God. I think we really don’t have a very good grasp of just what glory is. The characters used to write it in Japanese indicate something along the lines of “successful light,” whatever that might mean, and I don’t think we’re much clearer in English. At the same time, I think we all have something of an innate awareness of glory, which would not be surprising since we were created for the Father’s glory. Looking at this verse and 15:8, I think at least one factor in glory is something or someone doing what was intended for it. It’s like a machine that works well gives glory to its designer/maker. We are far more than machines, but I think the idea comes across. When children do well, becoming good people and expressing their gifting, that gives glory to their parents. The converse of that is when children go off the rails and bring shame to themselves and their parents. We are all agreed that is tragic indeed. The problem with putting that in a strictly human framework is that parents often don’t know what is best for their children, and try to set out “rails” that aren’t appropriate for them. In such cases, the children have to “go off the rails” in order to fulfill their true purpose. With the understanding that our parents were fallible, and we are certainly fallible, the smartest thing is obviously to seek God for what purpose He has for us. The Bible is very clear that He indeed has a purpose for each individual. Passages from Jeremiah 29:11 to Ephesians 2:10 leave no doubt on that score. We don’t have to be anxious about whether God’s plan for us is good, so we just need to draw close to Him to be able to listen accurately and obey fully. When we do that, we indeed give Him glory and find our own greatest fulfillment.

My parents’ gravestone has a line from John 4:34: “… to do the will of Him who sent me.” When my father died at 64 several things he was involved in were terminated, most notably a fresh translation of the New Testament into Japanese. Even so, I think he indeed gave the Father glory by doing to his fullest each task that was set before him, right up to the point that the Father said, “That’s enough.” That’s a magnificent and high example for me to aspire to. I’ve already outlived him by over 5 years, but I don’t know how much in my own life has really given God glory. He’s the judge of that! The point for me is to “keep on keeping on,” seeking God’s plan for right now and doing it with the strength He gives me. I’ve certainly proven that I can’t do it in my own strength and ability! Faithful obedience is the key, and is my prayer.

Father, I do ask that You enable me to do that for which You created me. Right now my schedule seems complicated and packed, to the point that I have something of an avoidance response. Forgive me, and help me fulfill each task at hand, not being anxious about what’s down the line. Today has things of considerable importance, as does tomorrow. Help me rest, relax, and rejoice in You, allowing You to work through me in every detail so that You may indeed receive the glory only You deserve. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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