GOSPEL MESSAGE & RECORDING
Rev. Fr. Gheevarghese John
The Psalmist David writes “Not to us, but your name be the glory.” (Psalm 115:1) David is saying with boldness and a contrite heart that whatever we do or say, that is, in word or in deed, the glory should be given to God. Saying phrases like, “glory to God,” “praise God,” “thank God” have become a Christian “fad.” These phrases have become a type of “lip service” to God. It should, rather, come from the heart of the person with genuine devotion to God. Our rendering of glory and/or honor to God, can only come from a realization that everything that we have (money, house, intelligence, job, family) and all the we have accomplished (degrees, status, influence) comes from God. This is exactly the point that Jesus is making today in the Gospel Reading when He says, “Freely you have received, and therefore, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8) Christ is saying this in the context of sending His twelve Apostles to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, cleanse the leper, drive out demons and raise the dead. (Matthew 10:1) In other words, in effect, Christ is saying to His Apostles, ‘the charismatic gifts are given to you freely…you didn’t earn it…you didn’t buy it.” If this is true, then whatever they (the Apostles) accomplished (in ministry) was not of their own accord, but God’s complete and absolute work. Similarly, we look at our own lives, and we see our accomplishments, or what we have in terms of wealth, are we giving the honor and glory to God. Have you ever earned a degree, finished a project at work, gotten an A on an exam, worked hard and saved money to buy a home or car, and said, “I finally did it,” or told someone, “I did it.” If so, God is not pleased! We must understand that God is a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24) And he wants all the glory and honor going to Him. Our intelligence, IQ, abilities, talents, accomplishments, and gifts are given to us freely by God; therefore, it’s not our own. If it were not for the grace of God, we would have nothing. So, all the glory and honor should be directed toward God. But because I say this, I am not taking the human will out of the work of God. Of course, we must study in school, use our minds to further ourselves in our profession, work hard to sharpen our singing, preaching and teaching abilities; nevertheless, in the end, when all is said and done, the glory goes to God; because He gave us the talents and abilities and provided us the opportunity to use them.
God is a jealous God, humanly speaking; but more than anything else He is loving and compassionate. He knows that we struggle with giving Him all the glory and honor. He knows our weaknesses. Let us ask for forgiveness if we have not first given God the glory, and genuinely attempt live “this sermon” in our lives. Sometimes our arrogance and pride keep us away from giving God the glory and honor. If this is the case, then it’s time to put our pride and arrogance aside and humble ourselves before God. If we do this, God will shower His blessings upon us, and give more influence and more accomplishments.
To God be the Glory and Honor forever and ever! Amen.