Spotlight 6/2017: Keeping an eye on the time

Glorifying God—there is enough time for this in the new creation, or not? A peculiarity in the New King James Bible caused District Apostle Urs Hebeisen of the Philippines to reflect.

Our motto for this year, which we find in Philippians 4: 20—“Glory be to God our Father …”—begins in the New King James Version of the Bible with the word “now”. We are to glorify God now, in this moment. Not tomorrow, not in the future, or maybe at the end of our days. Now! This is a call that implies some urgency. Whatever we are doing now, let us do it in a way that serves to glorify God our Father.

This cannot be, somebody might say, because this glory is not just now, but forever and ever, from eternity to eternity. Yes, of course, forever, but we have to start with it today. What we do not do today to God’s glory cannot be excused with: “There is an eternity ahead of us.” Let us live for God in the present so that we can be with Him also in the future.

At the occasion of our annual convention, where all Apostles, Bishops, national rectors and administration executives are gathered, I asked the participants to note down what it means for them personally to give glory to God, the Father. A variety of thoughts came together, but there was a consensus: to give glory to God means to do His will! That says it all. Jesus Christ had no other ambitions but to do the will of the Father. He knew the Father wants His best, but He also knew that this is often connected with sacrifice. Bringing a sacrifice to do His will. What better way could there be to glorify God?

At the transfiguration of Jesus, God the Father could say: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17: 5) At the time of the Lord’s baptism, it sounded a bit different: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3: 17). God is pleased with His Son—and we are to hear Him—because Jesus glorified His Father in everything He did, thought, and said. Nothing separated the Son from the Father.

One brother wrote in our survey: “If somebody says I am good, this makes my Father good too. I am a child of God. Let me do good, and honour Him whom I owe everything to in the first place.”

Photo: Michal Voigt

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Urs Hebeisen
motto 2017