Sunday, 21 February 2016
And they glorified God in me. Galatians 1:24
“They” is referring to “the churches of Judea that are in Christ” referred to in verse 22. They heard the word about Paul’s conversion and there was a distinct reaction to it. Instead of denial or suspicion, “they glorified God in me.” This is where such praise belongs. Unfortunately, as pastors or teachers grow in prominence, they become the object of the praise of people rather than our great God who placed them in that position.
The almost idol worship of great orators or noted figures has gone on since the beginning. It finds its true peak in people like the pope of the RCC or in other such large denominations. Followers make a point of attending a gathering held by one of these people, not to worship God, but to say they were in the presence of such a person.
This continues on today with pastors of mega-churches, TV evangelists, and those who are specialists in a particular field, such as Bible prophecy. Instead of praising God for what they hear, people laud praises on the one giving the message. But Paul would redirect us in such an attitude, as any sound follower of Christ should.
Life application: Let us praise God for the gifts that others possess, for the changes in the lives of those He has called, for the great mysteries that are discovered in His word, or for any other like matter. Let us keep ourselves from making idols of anything less than God, and let us ensure that He alone gets the true praise and adoration for His marvelous greatness.
Heavenly Father, grant us wisdom to fix our eyes on You alone. Keep us from fawning over any person who has a particular gift, a notable presence, or who is famous, wealthy, or powerful. You have created all things and only You are worthy of our heartfelt devotion and praise. Keep us on this path for the sake of Your name and Your glory. May You alone be exalted, O God. Amen.