Glory to God, and praise and love,
Be ever, ever given;
By saints below and saints above,
The Church in earth and heaven.
O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
By: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
Listen as you read. This is a nice instrumental version.
We are focusing in every one of these Tunings on loving God with our hearts. Giving glory to God and praising Him seem pretty straightforward right? I mean, the words seem to communicate pretty clearly what I need to do. I need to give glory and praise to God, not only with my lips but with my life as well. And I need to do this because He is worthy of said glory and praise. But what about LOVE?
Ok, I need to love God. I am down with that. But exactly how do I do that. Pretty quickly simply telling God I love Him seems to fall way short of what my response to His love for me truly needs to be. Instead, this kind of love implies that we are giving of ourselves. [If you want to think more about love, here’s a great article about love at Crosswalk.com, “What Is Love? – Meaning & Biblical Understanding of the Word” by Meg Bucher] This also brings it in line with the other two concepts, we give Him glory and praise, so to give Him love requires us to give of ourselves.
What I want to encourage you to consider is, “What would that kind of love look like in my life?” I think a great place to begin is Jesus’ explanation, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) This takes the nebulous concept of love and immediately makes it at least a bit clearer.
Loving My Neighbor
Allow me to give you but one example. Jesus commanded us to love the Lord, and immediately followed it with a second commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) When you understand that your neighbor is not just the person who lives next door, but instead anyone around you that needs help, then it becomes obvious you will have no shortage of opportunities to love Jesus, as you love your neighbor.
Some are more obvious and appropriate for some than others, but consider these.
- A person with a flat tire alongside the road.
- The young couple who has just welcomed their second child into their home and is feeling overwhelmed.
- Your child when you can tell something is bothering them.
- The co-worker whose car is in the shop and needs a ride to work.
- Insert the one that has already come to your mind here__________
This is one of the ways we love God, by giving ourselves away, just like Jesus did on the cross.
Checking Off Your List
Now before you go looking for these things to do so you can check them off your list, allow me to caution you. First, do not just dutifully love your neighbor. Put your heart into it. Look for ways to give yourself away, not simply obey the command. This makes a world of difference to the person you are loving, and also to God.
Second, notice the unchecked box in the image. It is meant to represent the opportunities around you of which you have not yet taken advantage. And do you know what happens when you do check off that box? You realize there is another unchecked one below it, representing the never-ending opportunities to love others.
And I do mean never-ending. Did you notice the second line repetition of the word ever? When a writer repeats a word, they are drawing special, special attention to something. Here the emphasis is on the eternal scope of our adoration. I am not certain what our eternal loving will look like, but I do believe there will be a communal aspect to our forever worship. I believe this will certainly involve giving ourselves away to others as we give glory, praise and love to God. That starts now, and continues on forever. Thanks be to God.
We will think about that a little more in our next Thoughts. Until then, be resonant.
Jesus, thank You for loving me and modeling for me how to give myself away. I want to give you glory and praise, so I know I need to continue to look for ways to love others. Help me to see those opportunities and then give me courage to walk into them. In Jesus name. Amen.
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Video 3.5 Transcript
Welcome to Tuesday Tunings at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s tune our hearts.
Glory to God, and praise and love
Be ever, ever giv’n
By saints below and saints above,
The church in earth and heav’n.
Glory and praise appear pretty straightforward, particularly because they seem word driven. But love immediately implies action. Ask God to show you how to do all three today.
When songwriters repeat a word we should really pay attention. Here, it is putting emphasis on the scope of our adoration, ever, ever. He is worthy of us doing this now, and forever.
But not just us, all the saints on earth, joining all the saints who have already gone before us and are in His presence in heaven. Thank him for the opportunity to continue your worship when this life is over.
Your saving faith makes you His child and a part of the church. If you have one you attend, thank him and pray for it. If you do not, ask him to lead you to one, so you may experience now a taste of what is forever yours.
Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has surfaced in your heart, or just listen to what He is saying to you, then we will sing once more.
Take the awareness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond. Until next time, be Resonant.