Giving God the Glory With a Cheerful Heart
The Lord has ordained principles in nature, in human relationships and all sorts of other areas to supply our needs. Our physical, spiritual and mental needs. God has made provision in what he has ordained. When we break the laws that he has ordained, there comes a short fall of blessing. When we break the laws of nature in the harvest of the fields, we won’t get the true benefit that God had ordained to be received by our bodies. This world has manipulated everything that God has ordained and man takes the glory for what he has done. Consider the first angels message.
Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
This angel is calling the people and saying worship Him. When someone is doing something already, you don’t have to tell them to do it but when they are not doing it you have to put a clear commandment forward – worship Him. Humanity is worshiping something else that is taking the affections from worshipping God. Inside the gospel is an ordination that God has to supply our needs. The story of Ananias and Sapphira this story always makes me stop and think when I read it. Here Ananias and Sapphira broke something that God had ordained. Previously the book of Acts was talking about Pentecost and all the believers were in one place of one accord and had all things in common. They ministered to one another and shared. If one person lacked the other supplied. Here Ananias and Sapphira broke one of the laws God ordained in the early Christian church.
Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
5:2 And kept back [part] of the price, his wife also being privy [to it], and brought a certain part, and laid [it], at the apostles’ feet.
5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land?
5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
The experience continues that his wife also was taken. They had pledged not to the apostles, but to God that they would sell their land and give the whole sum of money that they had received for the church. This is what God had ordained but Ananias broke the ordination. What happened? He died. In the book Acts of the Apostles Ellen White shares why God permitted this to happen to teach the church a lesson to look back on. These two lives, a couple in the church were taken without any hearing. They had lied to the Holy Ghost. Acts has another account of instant death;
Acts 12:23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
12:24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
One was in the church and one wasn’t and both parties were not of Christ. Ananias and Sapphira professed and Herod didn’t profess. It’s still the same because Gods glory wasn’t translated back to him. What do possessions and taking all glory to himself (Herod) have in common? There is something common between the two.
Jeremiah 13:16 Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, [and] make [it] gross darkness.
This scripture has a connection with the first angel’s message. Why do we give God the glory? The hour of his judgement is come and worship Him. Not yourself or your possessions. Worship Him who made who created laws and principles and ordinations. What for? So we can benefit. Give God the glory before the probation closes. Before the illumination we have is changed into gross darkness. Give God the glory is the call. What does it mean to give God the glory? In Exodus Gods glory passed before Moses. God’s beautiful character traits. This glory is to be given to God. There is a warning that gives us an understanding of what we must do. One of the branches of giving God the glory.
Malachi 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay [it] to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay [it] to heart.
2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, [even] the dung of your solemn feasts; and [one] shall take you away with it.
2:4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
2:5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him [for] the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.
2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
2:7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he [is] the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
2:8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
2:9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.
This is the call to the priests. Aren’t we called to be priests in this day and age? The priests did not give God the glory. They had departed from the covenant that God had originally. The covenant was with Levi. There was fear and they trembled at his words. The law of truth was found in the mouth. They walked in peace and equity and did turn many away from iniquity. This is part of giving God the glory. To be obedient. We are present to all people to depart from iniquity. Every iniquity. We don’t altar the law to suit the little idols we have. As a body we need to stand so clearly towards the law. There are so many churches. At one point or another they want to ignore it. Our part is to give God the glory. Turn from iniquity not from what we think it is but what God thinks iniquity is. Truth is to be in our mouths. All this is giving God the glory. Sometimes we can often think that giving praise to God is giving God the glory. It is in lifting up the cross of Calvary and holding the standard high. Obedience in our personal life will minister and preach to others. I had an experience in Lake Leschenaultia recently where I decided to go there for a bible study but soon left as there were too many people there and as we walked past someone saw the bible and people stared at us as we had clothes on. Isn’t this giving God the glory? Let your light shine. They may not know the father but they may stop and say this is a peculiar people. If they are peculiar they are ratifying what God has said. If they see that and we are peculiar, they are glorifying God. They will see the good works and will glorify God. Obedience is the first branch of giving God the glory. The second branch of giving God the glory is found in Romans.
Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
There was a circumstance that Abraham was to produce a child and Sarah’s womb was dead. Abraham was told of an apparent impossibility yet how did he give God the glory? He believed what God said he was also able to perform. When we judge Gods requirements to us according to circumstance that is not giving God the glory. Abraham hoped against hope.
Romans 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:
He didn’t look at the circumstance to hinder what God had said and so believing Gods word is glorifying him. If someone said something and you say I don’t believe you, is that giving them honour, glory and respect? What you’re promising me is not true. If that is not true, you’re saying a lie and what honour has a lie? None at all. When we seek God in the morning for a promise from his word, when he gives us a thus saith the Lord, believe it. Don’t worry about how it’s going to work. Give God the glory in what He’s saying. We can sing songs and then when we come to the promises not believe it. But we happily sing to Gods honour. Its hypocrisy. If we can take what God says and believe we then need to obey believing we can obey, this is giving God the glory. The third branch is found in Luke 17.
Luke 17:17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where [are] the nine?
17:18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
17:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
All these three branches link into the trunk of the tree. The trunk of the tree is glorying God. But we need to glorify him in obedience. How can we obey unless we believe? This leper came back to thank Jesus. There were ten cleansed but only one came back. If you saw nine in the street and you said are you happy to be healed? They would say yes but in word only. I’m sure the others were thankful they had this but their thankfulness was not faith because only one returned to give glory to God.
Luke 17:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
Do you know what made the other nine whole? God’s mercy. One of them was truly healed. Not just a physical healing but spiritual healing. That is really what God wanted. The faith had thankfulness. Obedience comes by faith. Believing is by thankfulness to thank God. What was the message to the first angel? What was the message to be preached? The everlasting gospel.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Can you see the three branches in this? The gospel? The angel of Revelation 14 had a message of the everlasting gospel – give God the glory. The gospel will make you overcome, have faith and be thankful. These three things are the branches of giving God the glory. See how the gospel will give God the glory? If we are gospel believing people we must bear all three branches upon our tree. We must be obedient by faith. God gives grace and glory and will withhold nothing from those that walk in righteousness. God is saying the call is give him the glory and that I will give you grace and glory to those who walk in righteousness and I will withhold nothing.
Psalms 62:7 In God [is] my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, [and] my refuge, [is] in God.
We are to give God glory and God with what he is ordaining is giving us everything we need which is our glory. Faith will produce obedience which will produce thankfulness.
2 Corinthians 9:6 But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
In relation to Ananias and Sapphira and what they said they would do, I’m going to give my land so it will be spread out to Gods people. Don’t give grudgingly. I have to give my offering, my tithe. To give like the one leper who was cleansed and gave God the glory. He was a cheerful giver. It was something he really wanted to do because he believed and he was made well.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may abound to every good work:
9:9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for [your] food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
9:11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. 9:12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
9:13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for [your] liberal distribution unto them, and unto all [men];
This contains obedience and faith of what God has said he will do. Cast your bread upon many waters and after many days it shall return to you. This is the principle of being liberal. Give from the heart, glory to God. Not just in song, but in obedience, faith, thanksgiving and the thanksgiving not just in word but in doing. God is willing to help you now. God loves a cheerful giver. God loves the method of distributing. God loves the method of this ordination. Ananias and Sapphira broke the ordination and they didn’t give it all. What happened to them? They died just like Herod. You would think that Ananias and Sapphira had a better chance than Herod as they were going to give something. The judgement came in a profound manner in both. Are we free from the judgements of God if we don’t give God the glory? God’s glory comes from a believing obedient thankful heart. Can we give God the glory in what he has done through the gospel of Jesus Christ to make us thankful? In our voices we can apply this in our daily life.