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TRUTH
How many of us treat God like a genie with our prayers? Only calling out to Him about the things that we want and need? Forgetting to praise and worship and honor Him for all of the blessings we have already received – and like a spoiled child only thinking about the blessings ahead that we want?

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Psalms 115:1 NLT
Not to us, O  lord , not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.

How many are more interested in their own name being in lights and glorified more than the Lord? How much larger are men’s names and church’s names and denominations’ names getting lifted up and becoming areas of loyalty and exaltation that can distract us from the One who deserves to be lifted up?

How many of us seek for ourselves to grow greater in honor and glory instead of the Lord receiving all praise and honor and glory, because He deserves it and we do not?

Yes, we all fall short. We all at times have put our own selves in the seat of our own worship. We have all at some point or another lifted ourselves up looking for honor,  glory,  and praise – seeking things with a me, me, me attitude,  with God playing second fiddle to our wants.

HOPE
Thank goodness it is not perfection that God wants from us in our fallen,  sinful state. No, He doesn’t ask us to be get our lives in order before we come to Him – He asks us to come to Him as sinners,  to believe and receive Him into our lives as an act of Hope in those things spiritual of God that are unseen, but that we nevertheless know to be real.

So we find our Hope each day as we arise to a new opportunity to live our lives to honor God – not for us to be honored by God – not for our wishes to be granted by a genie – not for us to be lifted up and exalted by others – but so that God’s name will be exalted high and lifted up.

My hope is that we will each remember today that it is less about what is in it for me, it is less about what does God have in store for me,  it is less about the rewards and prosperity that we might receive – and it is more about glorifying His name. It is more about God and less about me.

FAITH
And something that is amazing is that if that is our perspective – if we are walking in a life no longer blind to the blessings that we have already received – if we are grateful for what we have – won’t we be thankful and won’t Good get the glory and the honor and the praise when future blessings are encountered in our lives?

Because He tells us in scripture not to worry about what we will wear or what we will eat or where we will find shelter – but to seek first the Kingdom of God,  and that all these things will be added to us as well.

He’s telling us – I know at times that you are just spoiled little children who do not see the blessings that you already have,  but you are concerned with chasing after those things your eyes can see and your hands can touch. You are attracted to the pretty and enticing distractions of this world.

And some of those things are for you,  but some are not. I, your loving heavenly Father,  know which are good for you and which are not. Which are useful in building you up,  and which are poison that will kill you. So listen to me,  seek my guidance,  understand that I am here to love you,  guide you, and help you.

And this is Faith, that we walk by the guidance of the Word of God and by the Holy Spirit inside us, not by chain after those things visible and that we can examine with our five senses.

And when we live this way, He proves Himself trustworthy and faithful in His promises. Yes,  this “Christ in me” really works. Yes,  Jesus Christ really did come to save you and me. And yes, God really will remold our lives so that we are becoming His righteousness.

And no,  it isn’t a sacrifice,  giving up begrudgingly those things that we want and can’t have. It isn’t being a toddler throwing a tantrum over the things we can’t have because they are bad for us – it becomes a maturing understanding that we can trust God and find the purpose and blessings for our lives that He has in store for us.

LOVE
So as we begin to understand this Love that He has for us,  and as we begin to see the evidence of His blessings poured out into us – it will overflow our cup. It will spill out onto others. And they will see His blessings and love manifest in our lives once we are sering it for ourselves.

When we recognize every blessing is from God,  and when we love Him and thank Him and sing praises to His name and give Him honor for both the visible rewards and for the trials that grow us in spiritual rewards – when our attitudes are shifting to a life of praising and honoring God –

We will see that it is like a great shaking of our world. Many things that we used to hold high in priority and value or that we used to seek for ourselves,  we now see laid low. In fact,  we begin to see the world as it is, with others around us in various state of need, whether spiritual or physical need.

And we begin to see their need as an opportunity to show His love. Not so that we can sign people up for a religion. Not so that we can win converts or earn any favor or earn rewards. But so that He might be glorified and honored. So that they might see Him loving them and caring for them and encouraging them and helping them, not us.

If we are doing it to receive honor or rewards or blessings for ourselves, we may have missed the point. Good does not need us to accomplish His will. His will is done. Regardless of our own personal involvement or our separation from Him in rebellion,  His will is done,  as He has been from the beginning, as He is now,  and as He will be for evermore.

The question isn’t “What can I get out of God? ”

The question is, “How can I glorify God?”

And when that becomes our question, we will be amazed at what we get out of God, overflowing our cups with an abundance and an awareness of the blessings in our lives that are so worthy of giving Him honor and praise.

Hope, Faith, and Love are eternal – they are blessings that will not root or decay. I pray that we will know these blessings in our lives today,  friends – and that our lives will be fruitful, shining the light of Jesus Christ into this world of darkness. Being the salt that shows that our lives are a praise and worship lifted to God,  and that we are preserved and set apart for His use,  to demonstrate His love and mercy and forgiveness and honor and power and glory and righteousness to a world in need of His touch and presence and light upon their lives.

Be the hand that He uses to touch lives today,  friend.

PRAISE

ADDITIONAL READING
http://www.openbible.info/topics/high_and_lifted_up
http://www.openbible.info/topics/lifting_up_the_name_of_jesus

Romans 1:16 ESV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Isaiah 6:1 ESV
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

John 1:18 ESV
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Malachi 3:6 ESV
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

Jonah 3:10 ESV
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Numbers 23:19 ESV
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Revelation 4:8 NLT
Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”

Revelation 4:11 ESV
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”