God is not interested in sharing his glory with us
by Ed Boschman, USMB executive director
Back in the summer of 2007 Carol and I were looking for a biblical foundation on which to build the new opportunity for me to serve the USMB family as executive director. We landed on Psalm 115:1: “Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”
There is not an iota of doubt that the human part of me likes glory. When you add to that the fact that most of me is human, it makes for a significant and relentless challenge. It’s not that I intentionally nurture my pride. In fact, I think a lot about aiming to be humble. It’s just that it won’t go away. Pride is pretty much impossible to kill.
That God is not interested in sharing his glory with me is just as clear. Isaiah 42:8 spells it out: “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another ….”
Some years ago I was at a Christian music concert and noticed that the band was intent on redirecting heavenward all the adulation they were getting from their fans. They kept raising their hands and pointing their fingers upwards and saying it was “all for him.” It seemed good and right to me, but I also wondered whether that was really possible as they were getting thunderous ovations, whistles and cheers.
I know enough about humanity, myself and crowds to know that when the lights are on you and the mic is in your hand, finding humility and deferring to God is complicated. Deflecting and redirecting all the glory to God is not a natural thing to do, but for this I want to be on record: The part of me that is spiritually born again by the new heart that God has given me longs to do exactly that. As a couple too, it has been Carol and my hearts’ desire to serve faithfully and well and to give the glory to God. For those times we have not done so, we claim God’s grace and ask for yours.
For these past seven years, I have repeatedly invited our U.S. Conference of MB Churches to “partner as one family, serving one Lord, on one mission, for the transformation of individuals, families and communities.” Our mission statement emphasizes that we are a divinely constituted spiritual family and that Jesus would want us to behave as such. The core of the statement declares and affirms that we would have no God other than Jesus Christ, and that he is the center of our faith. Putting that lordship into action means that we partner with God on his mission to save the world.
While I am certain that the Spirit has not given every Christian the specific spiritual gift of evangelism, I am equally convinced that every believer has been called to live on mission. When we love our neighbors as ourselves, and they choose to begin a faith-follow relationship with Jesus, the Spirit will transform individuals and families and communities.
For whatever ways this season of service to Jesus and his USMB church has strengthened us as a family, reaffirmed our unequivocal commitment to Jesus and multiplied evangelism initiatives in our nation, Carol and I are grateful. Because of his love and faithfulness, all the glory belongs to God.