My favorite quote for the longest while has been a quote from one of the best books I have read. It is titled, “The Jesus I Never Knew”, authored by my favorite author, Phillip Yancey. Phillip Yancey’s books were introduced to me by a family member. Through his writing I encountered grace in a way I have never understood before. (You should take a read sometime, shoot me a message if you want to borrow a copy. No matter how far you are, I’ll send it.) My favourite quote goes like this:
“You can gauge the size of a ship that has passed out of sight by the huge wake it leaves behind.”Phillip Yancey
In the context of the book He was referring to the mark that Christ left and how it continues throughout the years. Even under persecution it seems to grow in influence. I took it and made it about me, the kind of legacy I wanted to leave. I wanted to be the rock for others, the friend who is always there, the one you can always go to for spiritual counsel and the one who sacrifices everything just for one soul. These desires weren’t evil, the motive and the means was. I wanted to do it. I wanted to impact. I wanted my legacy to be sung about by the women.
I continue to boast in the power of the Word of God and His grace. It is teaching me to deny ungodly lust. This devilish desire for praise or lordship or a crown, not of thorns I might add. There are three scriptures that has been transforming my mind, the word truly does discern the intentions of the heart.
Sir, We would see Jesus
John 12 : 21 NLT
” They paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.”
This account takes place during the Passover celebration. Jesus had just made a show-stopping entrance into Jerusalem. He was at His heights in popularity no wonder even Gentiles wanted to see him. I believe due to the crowd the strangers could not have found him, they asked Phillip for Him. Phillip did what I didn’t want to do, He simply brought them to Jesus. I pause to thank the person who highlighted this in my walk, I am grateful. How many times has a friend approached us and we sought to give them a solution to a problem without seeking God? How many times have we opted to make them feel better instead of out-rightly telling them the truth? I am not discrediting counsel at all. Any counsel one should be receiving or giving is suppose to be godly counsel, not man-made solutions. You know when it is godly counsel when at the beginning, middle and end, you are directed God-ward.
How many times too have we shown unsaved persons how well our band could play, how well our singers sung, how well we can throw a banquet and enjoy a social and make no effort to point them to Jesus. Phillip didn’t need a sales pitch which we often do at an altar call. Also, He didn’t say meet Peter first, he got the revelation of Jesus being the Messiah. Or hear Judas’ testimony, even devils were subjected to Him. Without any human glorification Phillip just showed them the person they were dying to encounter. Let us for our sake, just show people Jesus. If all our activities, all our ‘mission’ movements are not Jesus centered, we are feeding a thirsty world Pepsi when all they need is water.
Rev. 4:10-11 NLT
” The twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
These elders weren’t just normal elders, honey, they had a jaw-dropping throne, they were dressed in white with a magnificent gold crown on their heads. The thrones had lightening coming from it, thunder, can you imagine such glory? What they do next is mind boggling for me, truly. The take off those glistening gold crowns, bow down praised God. Why? They understood who the real big man was. They understood that their glory came from Him. They understood that in truth, God was the one sitting on the Throne.
All our achievements, accolades, intelligence, gifting, talents, beauty and good desires come from God. We are not self-made as the world proclaims, we are God-made. Humility precious, isn’t thinking that you don’t have these things. You do realize that the elders wore these crowns, right? But what was different, they understood their position, they understood that they are fitly designed to be at the feet of Jesus. Humility is understanding your position to God and others. You are not equal to God, therefore you worship Him. You are equal to men therefore you serve them, treating them always the way you would want to be treated.
Not Unto Us O Lord Be Glory
Psalm 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.“
We should resolve that in whatever area we excel our response should be from a sincere heart, “God be praised”. We will be tempted to take the glory for ourselves and credit another human being but if we really think about it, it is just that we praise God for all things. Understanding that we are mere mortals, vessels, clay, dirt, dust, worm food, have bad breath when we don’t brush our teeth, experience ‘hard bung’, I mean, constipation, this should allow us to see that we really couldn’t have done what we did without Christ. We glory only in the the love and grace of Christ not in our ‘good’ acts.
Precious, I encourage us, let only Jesus be seen in us. Let us lose ourselves, after all the arm of flesh will fail us.
Thank you for stopping by. This song by Casting Crowns did rebuke me, Only Jesus. I hope it convicts you too if it applies. Blessings
Not unto me but to You be glory Lord.