This Rejoice & Praise God Sunday Open Thread, with full respect to those who worship God on the Sabbath, is a place to reaffirm our worship of our Creator, our Father, our King Eternal.
It’s also a place to read, post, and discuss news that is worth knowing and sharing. Please post links to any news stories that you use as sources or quote from.
In the QTree, we’re a friendly and civil lot. We encourage free speech and the open exchange and civil discussion of different ideas. Topics aren’t constrained, and sound logic is highly encouraged, all built on a solid foundation of truth and established facts.
We have a policy of mutual respect, shown by civility. Civility encourages discussions, promotes objectivity and rational thought in discourse, and camaraderie in the participants – characteristics we strive toward in our Q Tree community.
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In The Q Tree, we’re compatriots, sitting around the campfire, roasting hot dogs, making s’mores, and discussing, agreeing, and disagreeing about whatever interests us. This board will remain a home for those who seek respectful conversations.
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On this day and every day –
God is in Control
. . . and His Grace is Sufficient, so . . .
Keep Looking Up
Hopefully, every Sunday, we can find something here that will build us up a little . . . give us a smile . . . and add some joy or peace, very much needed in all our lives.
“This day is holy to the Lord your God;
do not mourn nor weep.” . . .
“Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet,
and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared;
for this day is holy to our Lord.
Do not sorrow,
for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Glory to God 3
GLORIFY GOD BY DECLARING HIS GLORY
God’s Word tells us that all of creation declares His glory. In fact, we read in Psalm 19:1-4 saying “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes our through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”
If all of creation declare the glory of God, then there is even more of an obligation for us to glorify God. This is because we are made in the image of God, we are His image-bearers. If we are image-bearers of God, then we need to declare His glory. The way to declare His glory is not just to be an image-bearer but also display Him in our every action, word and deed.
Proclaiming God’s glory to the world always begins by taking a look at our own hearts. We cannot declare that God is above every other name if “we” are still on the throne of our hearts and not God. We cannot proclaim His excellencies and then seek personal selfish gain, success, approval and affirmation from others etc. Declaring of God’s glory starts with our humility. It begins with a life of sacrifice to the One who has given up everything for us.
When we set Christ as number one in our lives and in our hearts, then we are set free to magnify Jesus. It is only when we set our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ who freed us from the weight of sin and death and when our whole lives become about Him, that in this freedom we find the life that we were always meant for, to glorify God and to declare His Glory to the world.
Notice that we cannot achieve this in our own strength, it must be the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Romans 11 says “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.” The ability to glorify God and honor Him only comes through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. So allow Christ into our lives, so that we may surrender our life to God in order to declare His glory in everything we do.
1 Peter 4:11 says “whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves as one who serves by the strength God supplied – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
In order to declare the Glory of God, we must also produce the fruit of our salvation and display of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. For example, when we plant a fruit tree in our garden, we have high expectations of it to produce the fruit of its kind. If it is an apple tree, then we would expect the tree to produce apples. When the tree is full of apple’s and the tree is overhanging with abundant fruit, then people look at the tree and speak of the goodness of the tree.
This is the same for the children of God. In order for us to flourish like well-watered plants and to produce the kinds of fruit that declare the glory of God, there are some things we must allow God to do in our lives. Let’s continue to look at the analogy of a tree. If we have a green thumb, we will know some of the secrets of producing more fruit from our garden plants.
When a new tree is planted, before we even begin to try encourage fruiting on a tree, we need to make sure that the plant is old enough and healthy enough to bear the load. Usually standard fruit trees need anywhere from 5 to 7 years before they are ready to produce. In a similar way for us to produce the fruit of Christ in our lives, what we require is time, and time for us to mature in Christ.
There is a requirement of patience. James 1:4 says “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.” What is meant by steadfastness is patience and perseverance. There is a requirement to grow in order to produce fruit.
There are many scriptures in God’s Word that describe the need to grow and mature spiritually. Ephesians 4:15 says “we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ,” and again in 2 Peter 3:18 saying “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Ultimately this is what is pleasing to God. In fact, Jesus Himself says in John 15:8 “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
Then there is a requirement for pruning. Fruit trees ideally need to be trained in their first few years of growth into the shape we want them to maintain throughout their productive lives. In a similar fashion, in order to declare the glory of God, we need to maintain a certain shape. An outward proof of the internal change and this is the shape that declares the glory of God. In order to do this, there must be pruning.
Pruning involves getting rid of those things in our lives that are not of God and that don’t contribute to our lives in Christ. It can sometimes be a painful process, where God may discipline us, mold us and make us into the person that declares the glory of God. The end result of the pruning is a beautiful tree with abundant fruits, and the end results of God’s pruning in our lives is a life that shouts out and declares the glory of God through our person.
Ephesians 4:22-32 gives us instruction on exactly what must be pruned in our lives. It says “…put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. When angry, do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Once this pruning takes place, then we begin to see the fruits of the Spirit, as it says in Galatians 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
God’s Word is very clear in explaining to us what the fruits of a follower of Christ are. Our example is Christ Himself. If a believers behavior contradicts what the word says, he is not really transformed in Christ. In fact the scriptures tell us that if we declare Jesus Christ as Lord and have a relationship with Him but still walk in the darkness of disobedience then we need to test ourselves to see whether we are truly regenerate. 1 John 1:6 says “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
We also need good soil for our fruit bearing plant to maximize its output. In a similar fashion we need to cultivate and nurture ourselves which is an intentional move towards seeking and cultivating our hearts to allow the spiritual seed in us to grow and develop. Jesus tells us that those who cultivate good soil in their hearts will result in hearing the word, accepting it and then finally producing thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.
This is the person whose heart is not hard, receiving the word of God into their lives and working the soil of their hearts, ploughing it, weeding it and fertilizing it and so becoming productive, whose end is abundant fruit that declares the glory of God to all those surrounding it and far beyond its reaches. Amen.
So let us be united with Christ and as it says in 2 Peter 1:4 “…become partakers of the divine nature,” through the work of the Holy Spirit in us that we boldly declare the glory of God to all those around us and fulfill the purpose for which we are made.