The Diamond Life

I want to thank God, because He’s the one I look up to, He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human kind.  Matthew McConaughey
      Each year, the Oscars set out with one goal: to recognize accomplishments in the film industry. The goal may be simple but the actual event is anything but. There are pre-parties, during parties and after-parties. The glitzy dresses, red carpet interviews, paparazzi and screaming fans all add to the excitement. And then, there are the acceptance speeches. Once a winner is called, the world is literally their stage.  Over the years, a lot has happened on that stage. Every...
winner has a choice: use the moment to thank the people who have helped him get there, or use it to make a statement—there’s usually not time for both. Some stars do a better job of saying “thank you” than others and every year there’s at least one speech that makes headlines.

      This past weekend, Barb Roose shared that none of our accomplishments happen in a bubble. There is always someone or something that supports us along the way. The people in our life can push us to new levels or pick up our slack as we pursue our dreams. Our accomplishments are not always made possible just by people. Sometimes, it’s the “something” that helps us succeed. Consider a musician whose talent is magnified by a top-of-the-line instrument or the athlete with access to the best equipment.

      When we recognize someone or something for the extraordinary role in our lives, we call that acknowledgment “giving glory”. Another way of explaining “glory” is to give honor, praise or respect when it’s due. We tend to think about giving glory only after receiving recognition (like the famous Oscar acceptance speeches), but the scriptures call believers to glorify God throughout our entire lives. Many believers get spiritually stuck working for personal glory or significance. The world is impressed by our achievements, so we continue to pursue worldly success, but the Bible calls this “double-mindedness”. Picture yourself on a tennis court. The net divides God’s glory on one side and personal glory on the other side. Now imagine you’re playing alone. You hit the ball to God’s glory, jump the net and hit the ball back to your side. When the ball lands you run across the court again and hit the ball back to the other side. It won’t take too many serves until you are exhausted and frustrated and not really enjoying the game at all. You can’t play both sides of the net and be a winner. 

      That’s the danger of double-mindedness. It feels frustrating and unfulfilling to us, but even more importantly, if we try to enjoy personal significance at the expense of God’s glory, we are really asking God to serve us, instead of wanting to serve Him. Instead, we should focus on trusting His will, even when the results take time. The experience we are gaining today through every challenge, celebration or trial may be the preparation needed to ultimately do the good work God has uniquely designed us to complete. In this week’s LivingItOut, we’re going to learn how to keep score by giving God the glory no matter what happens in life because we ultimately have two choices. We can glorify God and say, “Wow, God! You’re awesome!” or we can glorify ourselves and say,“Wow! I’m awesome!” Only one choice leads us to winning the diamond life.

THIS WEEK’S STUDY IS ABOUT WHO TO LIVE THE HOME RUN LIFE FOR TO WIN THE DIAMOND LIFE.

MONDAY–It’s Not You… It’s Me – Sincerely, God


Big Point: God uses our successes to bring glory to Him, not us.
God’s glory is His reputation. To live for God’s glory means to live so that God’s reputation is enhanced and not diminished in any way.
– Charles Ryrie, pastor 

When Barb kicked off the Home Run series she talked about Jacob and now, with the conclusion of the series, we come full circle to pick back up with the same family, but this time with Jacob’s son, Joseph. Joseph started life out thinking he was amazing but, decades later, came to the point when he realized that it was God who was the main thing. In Genesis 37, we’re told Joseph was Jacob’s favorite; Joseph even had a couple of dreams where he saw his brothers, then later the sun, moon and stars, bow low before him. Hearing this from Joseph, his brothers plotted to kill him. But one brother intervened and Joseph was sold into slavery instead. Over the next many years, Joseph would then be wrongly accused of a crime and thrown into prison. Then he would have an opportunity to be freed from prison, but still not get out!

But, God wasn’t done with Joseph’s life, just like He isn’t done with us. We need to realize that God has something much bigger than our success in mind as we go through life. Often His greater purpose leads to saving people, as it did for Joseph. Through a God-driven set of circumstances, Joseph got out of prison and was made second-in-command of Egypt and in charge of preparing the country to survive a devastating famine. When Joseph’s brothers arrived in Egypt looking for food, he ultimately held the lives of his brothers in his hands. Rather than revert to the old foolish ways of bragging and pride, Joseph gave the glory to God. While we are not commanders in Egypt, we do have the same choice to give the glory to God every day.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
  1. The Israelites and all the people of that region were two years into a seven-year famine that was sweeping the land. It was common for families to make their way to the government for help with basic provisions at times like this. This brings Joseph face-to-face with the brothers who betrayed him, sold him into slavery and changed the path of his life.
Question: What is the main thing Joseph wants to reassure his brothers about? How does Joseph glorify God in this situation rather than demand it for himself?

Genesis 45:7-8 (New Living Translation)

God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh–the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt. 

Answer: 
  1. Colossians 3 lays out instructions for believers, no matter their station in life, on how to live in Christ. When we read the following verse, we are encouraged to do our best for God’s glory and not for our own or for the sake of impressing others.
Question: Why was Paul telling the church in Colosse the importance of working hard for the Lord

Colossians 3:23-24 (New Living Translation)

23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.


 Answer:

LIVE… What will you do now?

In what way can you relate to Joseph and the trials, setbacks and even hopelessness he may have felt? Why do you think God allows us to go through trials before showing us how the end result will bring Him glory?

Think of a situation right now that is frustrating, challenging or overwhelming. Now look at it through the lens of Colossians 3:23. How does this change your perspective? How can you think, act and live in a way that gives God glory?

We’ve learned what it looks like to live a Home Run Life with God, and the importance of running the bases in order. In what way can you now run towards home base, giving God the glory in your relationships, at home and at work?

Why could it give you more motivation to serve others better knowing that you have an opportunity to glorify God? How could that be more fulfilling than just serving for your own satisfaction?

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Ask God to help you run the bases of your life in proper order with the end result of bringing Him the glory. Pray for Him to develop any areas needed to help you grow in faith, strengthen relationships and serve Him to the best of your ability.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jan, once again a very good lesson. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you a great week.
    Hugs and Blessings, CM

    ReplyDelete