Monday, November 30, 2015

It All Comes From God - Greg Albrecht

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?" For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.—Romans 11:33-36
Here in the United States this is the Sunday and the week after Thanksgiving. It's a time of the year when it can be so easy to forget that what we are eating and enjoying is what God has given us, for every good and perfect gift is from above…(James 1:17). Here in the U.S. we just experienced Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving, a day when many people are off work and flood the shopping malls, trying to get a head start on Christmas shopping. 

Another year of Christmas hype is in full swing. It's a time when Christmas decorations, advertisements, and promotions urge us to buy and spend, and during such a time it's so easy to forget that anything and everything we have —physically or spiritually—is from God.
In his book, Jesus: The Man Who Lives, Malcolm Muggeridge commented on the Christmas shopping season, saying that it is "a mighty exercise in salesmanship, a gala occasion in the great contemporary cult of consumerism, an act of worship directed toward our latest deity—the Gross National Product." 

Many Bibles describe Romans 11:33-36 as a doxology. What's a doxology, you may ask? The word doxology is one of those five-dollar theological terms that have been used for many centuries—doxology is based on the Greek word doxa, which means "glory." 
Some of the early Christians started to identify biblical passages that seemed to particularly praise God as doxologies. Luke 2:14 was one of the first passages labeled as a doxology—as you may recall it is the song the heavenly host of angels performed for the shepherds in the field, announcing the birth of Jesus. Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.