Opening Prayer: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”
Daily Scripture Reading:
- Genesis 37:5-11
- Philippians 2:3-8
- I Corinthians 4:5
- John 17:4
Glory. What do you think of when you read that word? Catching the game winning pass or securing the big account with “We Are the Champions” or “Glory Days” playing the background? Maybe the lights, camera, and action of fame? Or is it shrouded in a mysterious “Christianese” that you know you are supposed to understand but you really don’t? The Hebrew word “kabob” which is translated into English as “glory” has the root meaning of “weight” or “heaviness.” Glory is all about significance and value, and no one can bear up under the weight of it but God. Glory is the manifestation of God’s power, character, and beauty on earth.
Today we read about Joseph’s dreams and you don’t have to be a dream interpretation expert to get the gist of them. You also don’t have to be an expert in family dynamics to guess how well those dreams were received by Joseph’s 11 brothers and father. It did not go well. The Bible does not speak to Joseph’s motivation or heart posture in sharing these dreams with his family. We don’t get to hear his tone of voice or watch the way he walks away. But, if the intelligence and people smarts that he displays later in life are present in his 17 year old self, we might assume that his motives weren’t entirely pure.
Motives matter. We can pursue the right things for the wrong reasons. God tells us in Isaiah 42:8 that He will not share His glory. In fact, His glory is His great purpose on earth and every dream and plan He has for us will be to glorify Him. Getting to show God off to the world is always for our good and will forever be the missing piece of purpose when our lives become self-glorifying.
In Philippians 2:3-8 we are told to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,” but to be humble and value others above ourselves, putting their interests before our own. We are to have the same mindset as Jesus who walked away from His rightful place of glory to save us. We read in I Corinthians 4:5 that the Lord will bring to light every hidden thing and expose the true motivations of the heart. Yes, motives matter.
Joseph has a long journey before his dream comes true and his family ultimately bows before him. When it happens he isn’t quite as cocky as the teenager in the colorful coat we read about today. Life does that. It will humble each of us that seek our own glory because we were not designed for it. To truly pursue God’s dreams for our lives we will have to let Him purify our motives and seek to hand the heaviness of glory over to the only one who can carry it.
Today’s Big Questions: As you think about stepping out into God’s purposes and dreams for your life, are there some mixed motives you need to deal with? Do you feel like there are any impure motives that are holding you back from God’s plans?
Prayer Response: In John 17:4 we see Jesus praying to His Father saying, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” Our work is not finished yet so today pray, “God I desire to bring you glory in my life by doing the work you have for me today” Ask the Lord to expose any impure motives and confess those to Him.
Optional Action Step: Listen to the song, “Glory to God Forever” by Steve Fee and worship the Lord with the refrain and chorus: “Take my life and let it be all for you and for your glory. Take my life and let it be yours. Glory to God forever.”
Closing Prayer: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21