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Not I but the grace of God

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“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name.” Psalm 29:2 (KJV)

God’s glory is the result of his nature and acts. He is glorious in his character, for there is such a store of everything that is holy and good and lovely in God that he must be glorious. The actions which flow from his character are also glorious. But while he intends that they should manifest to his creatures his goodness and mercy and justice, he is equally concerned that the glory associated with them should be given only to himself. Nor is there anything in ourselves in which we may glory; for who makes us to differ from another? And what have we that we did not receive from the God of all grace? Then how careful ought we to be to walk humbly before the Lord!

The moment we glorify ourselves, since there is room for one glory only in the universe, we set ourselves up as rivals to the Most High. Shall the insect of an hour glorify itself against the sun which warmed it into life? Shall the potshard exalt itself above the man who fashioned it upon the wheel? Shall the dust of the desert strive with the whirlwind? Or the drops of the ocean struggle with the tempest? Give unto the Lord, all you righteous, give unto the Lord glory and strength; give unto him the honor that is due unto his name. Yet it is, perhaps, one of the hardest struggles of the Christian life to learn this sentence—“Not unto us, not unto us, but unto your name be glory.”

It is a lesson which God is ever teaching us, and teaching us sometimes by most painful discipline. Let a Christian begin to boast, “I can do all things,” without adding “through Christ which strengthens me,” and before long he will have to groan, “I can do nothing,” and bemoan himself in the dust. When we do anything for the Lord, and he is pleased to accept of our doings, let us lay our crown at his feet, and exclaim, “Not I, but the grace of God which was with me!”

Adapted from Morning and Evening.

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