Reflecting God’s Glory

I was reading a daily email I get from “TGIF – Today God Is First” and it really struck me. So I must share it with you – it is very thought provoking.

“They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of Your might, so that all men may know of Your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.” Psalm 145:11-12

The question Os Hillman poised in his article today was:
How do you measure your effectiveness in God, or should you even be thinking like this?

Here’s his commentary on the matter: “The early Church turned the world upside down in that first century. What made them so effective? Was it their theology? Was it great preaching? Was it due to one man’s influence apart from Jesus? The Scriptures are clear as to what made the early Church effective. It is at the core of God’s heart, and it is quite simple. God desires to reflect His nature and power through every individual. When this happens, the world is automatically changed because those who reflect His glory affect the world.”

For a great review of the early church, I always go back to Acts 2. To see how God moved through a small group of people focused on loving & serving Him – they were filled with the Spirit and simply changed the world.

“We serve a jealous God. He is a God who will not share His glory with anyone. God sets up situations in order to demonstrate His power through them. He has done this since the day He created man. His desire is to reflect His glory through you and me, so that all men may know of His mighty acts and the glorious splendor of His Kingdom. The apostle Paul understood this principle: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Cor. 2:4-5). If you do not see His glory being reflected through your life, then you need to ask why. He has promised to do so if we will walk in obedience to His commands”

It’s easy to miss the simplicity of “living a life that is worthy of the calling” and furthermore, not realizing that we reflect God’s Glory. I often ask – am I reflecting God’s Glory. If I wronged someone (like cutting someone off while driving as an example), how did I steal the glory away from the Lord. Perhaps there was a chance to let them in my lane… even if it would put me back 30 seconds off my commute.

If I turn a situation around by a simple “how or what would Jesus do” (the standard WWJD response) here and now – things could be entirely different. Thinking that through even further, instead of asking WWJD, perhaps I should start my day by making sure I have prepared myself mentally and spiritually with the mind of Christ – to reflect His glory (and not my own). A simple change in my own perspective is a great change indeed. It’s never too late either.

For His Glory,

BTW – if you don’t get a daily inspirational email, I suggest this one by Marketplace Leaders. A good friend got me started with them a few years back and they’ve really blessed me.

Most heavily taxed countries (the US is #15 on the list)

I don’t know a soul who likes to pay taxes. While it helps our country operate: protect & defend us from outside and internal threats and provide a stable economy, I found it very interesting to see where the US ranks compared to other countries. Currently, the United States comes in as the 15th most heavily taxed nation in the world according to TurboTax (who better to know what we’re really paying).

On the contrary, the actual tax percent paid by corporations appears to be substantially lower. The country’s listed federal corporate tax rate is 35% but it only takes in approximately +/- 23 percent.

After reviewing the list, I don’t think I’d like to move to Sweden, who ranked as the most highly-taxed country, with a income tax rate of 56.5 percent.  Of the 15 nations with the highest tax rates, 8 also are listed among the 15 most thriving countries, according to Gallup. Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Japan and Austria all failed to make the cut, and it was only Austria that had a thriving majority.

So print it out and start discussing how we can lower our taxes. Collect what is rightfully due and make sacrifices where we must to get our countries debt under control too.

The most Heavily taxed countries by David Geipel

U.S. National Debt over the last Decade (2001 – 2011)

Here’s an interesting graph the WhiteHouse recently released in light of the August 2, 2011 Debt Ceiling increase deadline. Now we all know that the main result of getting into this mess was weak oversight. This didn’t just happen. We did this to ourselves. The recession along and reduction in spending by the US consumer alone amounts to 25% of the problem… tax cuts another 25% and so on… However, the waste in spending in DC alone needs to be further examined. The status quo cannot continue. That is what the Obama administration and Congress (Democrats, Republicans and Tea Partiers alike) – need to deal with today.

Debt Ceiling created by lack of management

Sure, we may be able to raise the debt ceiling, but what about future generations and managing what we do have today? Let’s pull together and make some tough decisions now before we’re back to where we are today.