“On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord stuck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” Acts 12:21-23
Recently, as I was reading through the Life Journal, this scripture jumped out at me. It caused me to pause and reflect; do I always give glory to God when “good” things are spoken about me? The answer; “No, I do not.” Often I mutter a simple, “thank you” and proceed with my business. The timing may not always be right for a dissertation regarding how Christ is everything and I am nothing. However, the condition of my heart should always be inspected. After reading that verse I decided to try and focus on giving Him glory even if only pausing to thank Him for being who He is in and through me. Big surprise, two opportunities presented themselves within days.
The first opportunity came through a family member. In May, I will travel to Hengyang, China, to spend two weeks ministering to disabled orphans. Wanting my family/friends to share in my excitement, I emailed a video showcasing the trip. One person responded with kudos to me for embarking on this journey. The words made my heart smile. Expressing my gratitude I stressed that it is the God in me who deserves the honor. I am merely a vessel, and was I not willing, He would surely send someone else. Truthfully, I initially struggled with my response. It sounded kind of lame, not a typical response, and I was concerned about rejection. What would she think? I did not have to wait long, she responded immediately, in complete agreement.
The second opportunity happened at work. I work in the corporate offices of a building supply corporation. My responsibility is to support the personnel at our 80 plus stores. My goal is always to be respectful & helpful. I admit there are days when that support is offered through gritted teeth. Some days I just wake up in a bad mood. Some days I am stressed. And, there are some stores can be more difficult to communicate with than others. On this particular day, a store administrator called & requested something of me. The matter required some research & I told her that if she did not hear from me, to consider all things well. I was able to resolve the situation and decided to go ahead and follow up with an email letting her know. She wrote me back saying, “I tell everyone that you are the best, and you keep proving it.” I was stunned. Acclamations mean little to me: I am jaded from years of empty words without corresponding actions. But when she said, “and you keep proving it”, that meant something! It meant that my actions continue to substantiate my character & integrity, both of which emulate my Heavenly Father, for it is only through Him that I am able to behave this way.
This walk of faith is a second by minute by hour by day progression. We are constantly presented with opportunities to accept or deny Christ by our actions. Let our focus remain fixed on Christ so that our lives may be a testimony of His greatness.