Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Ok, I lied. I told you that today, I'd talk about the human side of Jesus in His words in the book of John, but I think I must interject another thought here first as it relates to yesterday.

It's this word, praise, and many words like it - worship, love, glory, humble. These words...are verbs.

This is probably not the first time you've heard that. Others have had the same thought, and I certainly don't claim exclusive rights (or any rights) to it. But they are verbs. These are things that we do; not things that we give.

It's confusing because it's such a subtle difference, and to be sure, we hear them as nouns at least as much, if not more, than we do as verbs. We give God praise, we say. Or we come together to offer worship. We talk about our love, as if love is something we have. We always give glory to God, but we are oh-so-humble about it. (The last one is an adjective, not a noun, but it still fits this story because it is primarily a verb.)

It's subtle because on the receiving ends, these do become nouns. If we take them as verbs, then God embraces them as nouns. It's the way language works.

I praise God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. And God says, I have received your praise.

I worship God. And God says, I have seen your worship. 

I love God. And God delights in my love.

I glory God. And God receives glory.

I humble myself. And that makes me appear humble.

Whatever I do comes back as a thing. But without my action, such a thing would not exist.

That's why we have to be so careful about the way we talk about these things. Because when we make them things, instead of actions, we think they exist as a simple part of creation - the way a rock exists, the way the sky exists, the way the waters exist. But these very good things are not simple things; they are dynamic things. They must be done in order to exist. And we must be the ones doing them.

Love does not exist unless love is done. If God says, "I give you My love," that's a nice sentiment. But there's something missing. If He tells you, "I love you," that's a different story. Your heart feels that a different way. Try it on - see if I'm wrong. And the same is true in reverse. If you were to tell God, "I give you my love," what would that look like? Would it look even half as good as if you said to Him, "I love you"?

Praise does not exist unless praise is done. If you say to God, "I give you praise," do you even know what that means? But if you actively praise Him, then praise is created. Now, it's a thing.

They are words, but how we use them matters. Because how we use them defines how we live them. And in all of these good things - and they are good things - we must remember they are only things because we've made them that way. They only exist because we do them. Not because they are, but because we've created them. We live knowing they are verbs and treating them as such.

And that makes them a thing.

So go. Live. Love. Worship. Praise. Glory. Humble yourself. And let's make this - this active living, this recognition of verbage, this idea of doing - let's make this a thing.

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