Now, the hopeful new year has come. I think 2009 will be the year when we, the people of Zion, who have diligently run the path of faith, must come to a new realization and renew our determination. We are keeping all the commandments of God, including the seven feasts of the new covenant in three times, such as the Sabbath and the Passover. However, now is the time for us to pay more attention to what kind of attitude we should have as Christians when we serve God.
We need to quickly realize what God wants from us and put it into practice. When God tells us to unite, we should be united with one another; when God tells us to love brothers and sisters as ourselves, we should love them with all our hearts; when God tells us to give in good things for brothers and sisters just as Abraham conceded what was good for his nephew Lot and was blessed with the better, we should concede better things to brothers and sisters and be considerate of them. When we realize everything God has told us to do and practice it to the fullest, the gospel will be preached to the whole world.
This time, let’s examine the Biblical teachings about the attitude of giving glory to God in all things.
The first virtue of those who believe in God is giving glory to God. We feel joy and satisfaction when we do something for the glory of God, whether it is small or great, thinking of the kingdom of God.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Co 10:31
In Zion, the city of truth, whatever we do-whether we eat, drink, converse, preach or worship, we need to do it all for the glory of God. “Whatever we do,” we should do it for God’s glory and should also give glory to God in “any situation.”
It is easy to give glory to God when we are happy and joyful. However, those who truly believe in God should glorify Him in all circumstances, even in sorrow and difficulties. This is the duty of God’s people.
There was a huge earthquake in Pakistan that caused many deaths, injuries and refugees. When a reporter interviewed the people who were weeping bitterly after losing their family members, surprisingly enough, they all said that it was the will of their god and none of them complained against their god.
Even those who believe in other religions claim that everything happens according to the will of their god. How much more should we, who believe in the true God who made all things and governs the universe, consider God’s will and give glory to God in everything! Even though we suffer pain, sorrow and hardship, small or great, while we are living on this earth, if we constantly give glory to God, God will surely grant us the blessed future.
From another point of view, it may be a blessing to be in harder circumstances than others. As we are weak and lacking in many ways, we need God more and come to ask God for help in everything more earnestly. Believing that everything is fulfilled in accordance with God’s will, we must give glory to God all the more.
Jesus once healed ten lepers, but only one of them returned to give thanks and glory to Him. Then Jesus deplored the ingratitude of the nine lepers who didn’t thank and glorify God (Lk 17:11-19). Like the ten lepers, there are those who give glory to God and there are also those who are stingy with gratitude and keep silent, even though they have received the same grace from God. Like the man who came to God to give glory to Him while all the other lepers were oblivious to God’s grace, we, children of Zion, should give thanks and glory to God in everything-small or great, being content in any and every situation.
Even the prophet Moses was considered unworthy by God when he didn’t fully display God’s glory and tried to reveal his own glory even just a little bit. As we look at the history of the Israelites in the desert, we can see that when Moses brought forth water from the rock with God’s power, he said as if he had done it himself. He uttered such words as he was very troubled and distressed because the people continuously grumbled against him. However, because of that, Moses failed to enter Canaan; he died when the destination was at hand (Nu 20:2-13; 27:12-14; Dt 32:48-52; 34:1-8).
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Ro 15:4-7
Whenever we take a look at the history of Israel, we should learn the living lesson that we are obligated to always give glory to God and should engrave the lesson on the tablets of our hearts, so that we may become worthy enough to enter the heavenly Canaan God has promised us.
In the case of King Nebuchadnezzar, when he arrogantly thought that he built the great Babylon by his own mighty power, God gave him the mind of an animal instead of the mind of a man. After losing his throne, he lived with the wild animals, like an animal, for seven years. He belatedly realized that it was God who was in control of all things, and gave glory to God. Only then was he able to regain his sanity and his throne as well (Daniel 4).
If we fall into the illusion that God’s great work of salvation is carried out by the ability of man, we cannot give glory to God, but become easily overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness or overtaken by arrogance. King Saul thought he ruled over Israel by his own power, but God led the history of Israel through David instead of Saul, and through Solomon after David.
The glorious way of the gospel is opened not because I’ve done it well, but because of the power of God. Everything is possible by God’s power, and there is nothing we’ve not received from God.
God governs the world and the universe. God can do all things alone, and can use anyone to accomplish His purpose. However, God has chosen us among six billion people. The Bible shows us the reason why God has raised us up as follows.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Co 6:19-20
God has bought us with His own blood in order to take us to His kingdom by raising us to be the beings who can give glory to God. This earth is filled with people who grumble and complain, but in the kingdom of God there is no one who grumbles and complains. The kingdom of heaven is only for those who ask for God’s will to be accomplished, giving thanks to God even when circumstances are against them.
Since we have been bought at a price, we, children of Zion, should always give glory to God. In the early Church, the work of the Holy Spirit at the Pentecost was carried out powerfully. It was because the disciples gave glory to God in obedience to the teachings of the Bible.
. . . All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Co 4:14-18
Our present hardships become a seed and fertilizer of the exceedingly great and eternal glory that we will receive later. Most people are completely oblivious of the grace which God has bestowed upon them and do not give glory to God when difficult situations befall them. However, we, children of Zion, should learn how to revere and glorify God correctly, like Job who gave glory to God, saying, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21). The hardship and suffering we go through are a temporary process for going toward the glory of the kingdom of God. God wants us, His children, to endure temporary hardship in our lives so that we will be able to enjoy everlasting glory.
Each of us is a temple of the Holy Spirit where God dwells. So, we must be a temple that always serves and glorifies God, not a temple that refuses and rejects God. If God leaves us, grumbling and complaining arises and we fall into the trap of arrogance, thinking that everything is accomplished by ourselves, not by God.
Hear and pay attention, do not be arrogant, for the LORD has spoken. Give glory to the LORD your God before he brings the darkness, before your feet stumble on the darkening hills. You hope for light, but he will turn it to thick darkness and change it to deep gloom. But if you do not listen, I will weep in secret because of your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly, overflowing with tears, because the LORD’s flock will be taken captive. Jer 13:15-17
Giving glory to God always should be our habit and our life itself. If we have the foolish thought that ‘nothing can be done without me’ or ‘I did it myself,’ the Spirit of God can never dwell in us.
All things evil, things we do not want, occur when we do not give glory to God. God fulfills every single promise in the Bible without fail. If an insufficient result is produced right now, we need to examine ourselves carefully, rather than find out the reason from God.
The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. Rev 16:8-9
Those who do not give glory to God are doomed to eventually suffer disasters. Even when they suffer disasters, there is still the opportunity for them to repent of their sins and give glory to God, but they continue to blaspheme the glory of God until the last moment and bring destruction upon themselves. On the contrary, God’s children receive blessings from God. John saw in revelation the children of God giving glory to Him. Let’s take a look at that scene in Revelation .
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, . . .” The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” . . . Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. …” Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Rev 19:1-10
Through the above verses, we can fully understand what kind of faith the people in heaven, where we are going, possess. The spiritual beings in heaven and the people who have come to the wedding banquet of the Lamb are all giving glory to God. The angel, who showed John the vision, also taught them to worship God only. This is a teaching in the heavenly world.
Since angels have already understood it, how can those who do not give glory to God be a “royal priesthood” (Heb 2:9) with authority over the angels? We need to think about what kind of faith we have now and what result it will bring about, and should be thankful in all circumstances and give praise and glory to God forever.
We are now carrying out the movement to save the whole world. None of us should just watch until God fulfills all this, but we should all be more zealous to display the glory of God, pondering over what to do and how to do it in order to keep in step with God’s will. Some of us display God’s glory through preaching, some through good deeds, and some through practicing even a bit of God’s teachings in daily life. When we fervently reveal the glory of God like this, all the work of the gospel will be accomplished.
In the prophecies of some prophets, we are described as the people who display God’s glory.
“Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.” Isa 60:21-22
When the glory of God is displayed, Zion which was weak and small will be a mighty nation. In order to save the world according to the will of God who does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance, we who have been called earlier should always display the glory of God.
In the Teachings of Mother, it is written, “When we give glory to God, the glory returns to us.” Whenever we give glory to God, invisible blessings are stored up in our spiritual barn. However, when we grumble and complain, the blessings disappear in an instant. So, we, children of Zion, should store up blessings by glorifying God every day.
When all the nations of the world stream to Zion as prophesied, they will learn from those who have been called earlier and are following the teachings of the new covenant. We should set an example of faith for new members in speech and action. What if Zion is filled with the people who complain even about small things rather than display God’s glory? God never allows fruits borne in such a place. Parents let their child avoid bad company and make friends with those whom he or she can learn from. Likewise, God entrusts the souls, who are more precious than the whole world, to the gracious people whom the souls can learn from.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me . . . to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isa 61:1-3
We are the people of prophecy who will display God’s glory. The attitude of giving glory to God should be the foundation of our faith. When we have such an attitude of faith, God will allow us to find our lost brothers and sisters more quickly and Zion will be filled with good spiritual fruits day after day. By giving glory to God in everything, let us achieve the work of saving the world quickly, so that we will give glory to God forever in the eternal kingdom of heaven, as a “royal priesthood”.