Tozer Devotional

Sun, May 20, 2018

God's Glory or Ours?

In searching the Holy Scriptures two facts need to be faced squarely: One is that in the body of revealed truth there are no real contradictions; the other, that contradictions do sometimes appear to be present.

To admit contradictions is to deny the infallibility of the Word; to deny that they seem to be there is to be unrealistic and put ourselves at the mercy of our enemies.

In our Lord’s teachings concerning good works, for instance, it is easy to find apparent inconsistencies. In Matthew 5:16 He says plainly, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in heaven." The words "that they may see" can only mean that it is His purpose to exhibit the righteous lives of His people before the unrighteous world, and the words "and praise your Father in heaven" tell us why He wants thus to exhibit them. It is that He may provide an example of godliness which will exercise strong moral influence upon persons who would otherwise not be affected.

That much is easy. The apparent contradiction comes further on when He says, "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (Matthew 6:1, 3).

Here our Lord appears, but only appears, to cancel out His instructions given a few moments before. Bluntly, it would seem that in one place He says "Let" and in the other "Let not." Christ being the incarnation of truth cannot utter contradictions. There must be an explanation which will preserve the organic unity of His teachings and reconcile the two passages. I believe there is.

Verse

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Thought

For us as believers to reach out to those in need is a privilege and a responsibility. But we must be careful to do it for God's glory and not ours. This is an area in which we are highly vulnerable to self-deception.

Prayer

Deliver me, Lord, from serving You for my glory rather than Yours.

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“What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.”

A. W. Tozer, a modern day prophet, was a key figure in The Christian and Missionary Alliance. His legacy reaches through time and has impacted countless millions. A prolific author and pastor, Tozer was known for his emphasis on the deeper life movement. His message, informed as it was by A.B. Simpson the founder of The Alliance, brought the missionary call to a massive audience. A series of his sermons are available as audio files.

bookHis books have been published around the world and in many languages. This devotional was compiled from the The Warfare of the Spirit Chapter 8 - The Art of Doing Good Unobtrusively—Part II

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