Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due.
Giving God credit and thanking Him for our daily needs is a good and wise practice. It shows our ability to be appreciative and submissive. Being thankful is a quality of humility and shows that we are willing to give Him the credit for our deliverance. We owe Him our appreciation and our dedication for all He has done to provide for our daily needs, but we cannot stop there. Genuine commitment is absolute, and true service is unwavering. He has richly blessed us, or, as the Bible puts it, “He daily loads us with benefits.” But because of His ardent love, He has willingly done so much more (Psalm 68,19). What good would it be for Him to give us our daily needs while here on earth and not provide for our eternal souls? Life is short, but eternity is forever. In the wisdom and kindness of a loving God, He has given us His only Son for our eternal deliverance. For someone who is eternal to choose to willingly die is inconceivable, but to give up His life because of the disobedience of another is unthinkable. How do you rationalize such an unselfish action? To die for those you love is comprehensible. It is considered a great sacrifice. But to die for those who are putting you to death, those who hate your presence, those who refuse to accept your existence; such an act is unimaginable. In the human heart and mind, a sacrificial death for the forgiveness of others would be unheard of, but it would also be impractical. You cannot redeem the sins of one man by sacrificing the sins of another. Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, was without sins, a man of sinless perfection, a God of complete submission. He was the only solution, the only possible chance for sinful man. His sinless perfection made Him the only possible choice, but if He had not been willing, man would still be lost without hope.
For a long time, I found it difficult to understand why God would not share His glory with anyone. I wondered how a loving God would find it so difficult to give up something that to me wasn’t really all that important. My learning to give Him credit for all of His creation was only the beginning; I had to acknowledge that everything important in my life was dependant upon Him. To admit that I was ignorant and misinformed is an understatement, but the more I thought about it, the more I began to understand. Being human, I could not really relate to the complete mind of God, but I knew that He had to have an awesome love to be able to do the many things that He does for His children. Love can only be understood or defined by the response and actions that come from its presence. When you say that you love, then you willingly do those things that prove or substantiate that notion. The feeling of true love far outweighs that of any other emotion. In essence, you cannot say that you love without possessing the desire to express it. Motivation for true love comes from an unselfish desire to give without the thought of return. God is not interested in material possessions or things; being God, He can have anything He desires. The satisfaction that God gets, being God, is the ability that He has to provide for His children. He has said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). The only thing that God really desires to receive is the love and affection of His children. He does not need anything, but He does desire the love and companionship of His creation. Giving Him the credit that is due Him should be a significant part of what our life is all about. Giving Him credit not only shows our wisdom but is the way that will assure His continual blessings. He has given us the opportunity and responsibility of choice. In doing so, He has made our decision to serve Him more meaningful and significant. Think, if someone does something for you because you have demanded their obedience, then order can be maintained; but when that action is performed out of a deep, sincere love, then the feeling of satisfaction and euphoria is made to abound.
I can remember how proud I would feel when someone, anyone, would tell me how much they appreciated or admired one of my children. I loved my children without any incentive or expression of merit; I loved them because they are mine. The love that I had was not felt only when I was told of their redeeming qualities. It was a permanent, inherent part of my life. I really didn’t feel that it was anything that I had done, but I was made to feel deep satisfaction in the fact that they were one of mine. God so desires to be a father. Being the total expression of love, He has a deep desire to express that love unto all of His children. Love for the sake of love is meaningless, but when that love can be expressed and received with thankfulness, its true meaning is being expressed. God had given me the responsibility and joy of raising five children. The love that I willingly gave would show my aim to protect, while the example that I lived would become their instruction and guidance. Part of what they learned was to my glory, but many times I had to give that credit to another. Doing so did not diminish my love or cause me to sway or envy. What was mine could not be taken away and I was only pleased to see that they were able to gain from the guidance of others. As an earthly father, I had the desire to provide for all of my children. There were many things that I could not give them because they were beyond my reach, but those things that were within my ability to give, I found true joy in providing them. It is somewhat ironic to note that I could not have given my children anything without first having those things provided to me by my Heavenly Father.
True love is all about giving, not in the sense that we think of it but as in God’s love, a love that truly has no end. I don’t know a truer blessing than that of sharing with a child. In kind, I don’t know a better feeling of joy and satisfaction than that of providing the needs of those you love. Somehow, I feel like our Heavenly Father feels the same way. He so eagerly wants to provide for the needs of His children, and He is not willing to give up or share the satisfaction that He receives from doing so. Why should He be required to do so when He has so abundantly given us of His possessions? Without Him, we would not have little; we would have nothing. He is the loving source of it all, even life itself. For God to willingly share His glory would be the total destruction of all that is good, of all that is desirable. As the serpent tempted Eve in the garden telling her to disobey and eat of the fruit, for it would make her as God knowing good from evil; man could not control the power he would have, becoming as God. (Read Genesis 3:1-13, the fall of man). Just imagine what it would be like if Lucifer had been able to successfully dethrone God. In his total pride and arrogance, do you believe that he would have shown mankind the compassion that God has shown? Do you believe that Satan would use his power to bless those that he ruled over? Knowing his utter depravity, why is it that so many give him the absolute control over their lives? If Satan, a created being himself, could have overthrown God, who has always been and always will be, what do you think that would have done for the betterment of man? By placing credit where it is due, we are not only allowing those responsible to receive the reward of their labor, we are also placing everything in its proper location, the good with the good and the bad with the bad. Even now Satan wishes to take the credit that belongs to God. In his pride and desire to rule, he has left no place for anyone but himself. It is his intent to rule, and in his bitterness and hate, he can show no true compassion or love.
I think of this world and how the Bible refers to it as being evil, and my first response is to say that it is only busy being the world. To look at it in the eyes of un-regenerated man, everything is seemingly acceptable, but when you compare it to God’s idea of good or holy, it falls far short of any reasonable comparison. To live in this present world and not be altered or affected by any of its depravity is to achieve the impossible. To survive the cruelty and inhumanity of civilization is only made possible by the staying power of the powerful hand of an almighty God. Every day, you can see the deceit and destruction of an angry adversary out to wreak his revenge upon those that God seeks to redeem. As God’s day approaches, the evil of this world is made to upward abound. As the end of this age is coming to a close, the forces of evil have unleashed their final conflict to gain unrestrained power. We are in grievous times, but we have failed to realize the magnitude of the moment. God will not permit Satan, the enemy, to gain the total power that he so desires, and Satan will not be satisfied until he has achieved his purpose. Giving Satan credit for his evil ways will allow us to see who he really is and help us as we strive to remain righteous and holy. Knowing our adversary will place us on guard and permit us to be ever ready for his constant meddling. Without a constant struggle, a desire to be where Jesus wants us to be, we will not gain complete victory.
In the Bible, it states: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, “Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” Isaiah 14:12-17. The battle just described above has been going on for thousands of years, but it is soon to be terminated, and the final outcome will not be in doubt. Lucifer was once an angel, considered to be the most beautiful angel in heaven. In his pride and arrogance, he sought to overturn the powers of the Most High. For his insolence, he and all his followers were cast down to earth to one day be locked up in the bottomless pit, a lake of fire. In his immense anger, he has not given up but has given his all in the destruction of all that is good and holy. Have you ever heard, “If I can’t have it, then no one can?” Now you know the perpetrator of this selfish behavior. God, the creator of it all, in His love and compassion, has given His perfect treasure, His only Son. That might not be something that we, as mortals, can easily grasp, but our willingness to accept it does not negate or minimize its actuality. Giving credit to a loving God who has now become our eternal Savior is not only wise; it is justifiable. When no one else could save us, God came to our rescue. When no one else had the solution, God gave us the answer. When no one else could pay our ransom, God willingly died. Who is left that is worthy of our allegiance? Satan, man’s enemy, has spent thousands of years to make us deny God’s love and devotion; his only desire is to disrupt and destroy. It is time that we see him for who he is and not allow him to triumph over a God that has given us everything. The choice is ours. Will we let ourselves be deceived, or will we accept the gift of love that God has willingly sacrificed to provide us? If we are to have victory, we must see things the way they really are and then be willing to accept the one responsible for that victory. Putting faith in the temporal will never give us those things that are eternal, and allowing our thoughts to be continually evil and contentious, will never bring us to a place of holiness and reverence. Without giving God the credit He is worthy of, we will never become eager to give everything to Him and then allow Him to control us. Being sorrowful for my evil ways can only be made purposeful when I willingly recognize the one that died to redeem and sanctify me. Satan has cursed the One that created him, and in doing so, has brought condemnation down upon us all. How is it now that he is worthy of anything but death? Why should I want to give him anything but scorn and contempt? To embrace the ways of a world that is evil is without reason, when by accepting it I am condemned to hell. Where do I see any form of victory in allowing myself to die by refusing the eternal life that Jesus, God’s only Son, purchased me by His dying on the cross?
It is time that we give God what is due Him and then be willing to humble ourselves and plead His endless mercy and His marvelous grace. God is waiting to forgive all those that ask His forgiveness. He has never refused to listen; He has never refused to forgive. Who could be more worthy of our eternal favor and our undying love!