Giving the glory to God
By: Seth Gogo Egoeh
“And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?”, Acts 3:12
Almost all of us know of this story in the Bible when a man who was lame from birth was daily laid at the gate of the temple which was called Beautiful. Everyday this man would be laid there expecting to receive something of those who came into the temple to fellowship. I am very sure he did get something in terms of money or gift from worshippers daily.
But we are told that one day during the hour of prayer, Peter and John were coming into the temple to pray. As usual this lame man was expecting to receive something from them, but Peter said to him, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk”, (Acts 3:6). The lame man received strength and was healed immediately when Peter took his hand and lifted him up – an act of faith from Peter, (vs 7). The Holy Spirit was earlier poured on Peter and his friends and he was beaming with faith because the Spirit of God was upon him. It is really interesting what we can do when we allow the Spirit of God to rest upon us.
The lame man got much more than he expected – he could walk and work instead of expecting to receive from people. This was a miracle and he couldn’t contain his joy. So we are told that the man followed Peter and John into the temple walking, leaping and praising God. The congregation in the temple was amazed and they couldn’t believe their eyes. They asked him, “Pal what happened?” and he told them everything – how Peter commanded him to rise in the name of Jesus and he was able to stand and walk; the evidence is what they are seeing. He held Peter and John and told them they were the ones who healed him.
The people were amazed. They ran to Peter and John gazing upon them. They wanted to glorify Peter and John for what God did in the life of the lame man. Peter knew that it was a dangerous thing to take the glory for ourselves. We are to “Fear God, and give glory to Him”, (Revelation 14:7). He swiftly moved to quench any fire of personal glory and told them, “Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus”, (Acts 3:12-13). Peter took the opportunity to tell them that it is all about God. He explained to them the need for repentance; and why they need to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
What is the lesson here? Peter realised that he was a tool in the hand of the Maker. He deflected every attempt by the people to give glory to him and to praise him. He knew God could have used anybody to perform that miracle. God didn’t use him because of his own righteousness, but because of God’s Grace.
It is good to avail ourselves for the Master’s use, but all the glory belongs to Him. It is a very dangerous thing to take credit for what God has done or is doing in the life of other people through us. Spiritual pride is dangerous. Do not say, it is because of my righteousness God used me or God loved me above everyone else, that’s why He used me. As leaders, pastors, evangelists, etc. we have to be aware of this truth. We need to let the people know that are under tutelage that it is God who is doing the work and that we are just vessels being used by the Master, (2 Timothy 2:21). The glory should be given to God. There is nothing wrong in people thanking us for what God did for them through us, but we should be careful not to take credit for God’s work. The glory belongs to God. Let’s learn from Peter’s example.