Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
The circuit is complete, once again. Another twelve reflections upon the scriptures, this year centered in Philippians chapter four. The year, like this epistle, comes to a close. For Paul’s readers, all that he was led to share is “out there.” It has now become their duty to follow through, heeding the Word and walking forward in obedient response to God and His directives.
But since the Word is living and powerful, its effect can never be contained for one people, one generation, or one segment of time. The progression of God’s Word is sure—always moving forward, faithfully engaging and convicting hearers through the penetrating power of the Holy Spirit. Not all respond; not everyone is appointed for the new birth. Yet in every generation, men and women have continually turned by faith to embrace the gracious invitation: salvation that Christ has paid for with His own blood.
At this twentieth verse, the benediction Paul offers up is more than a few fitting words, or a “boilerplate” standard sign-off. In this phrase is contained the kernel of great overarching truth and purpose: the glory forever and ever. God works out His will, the summation of the ages, that He will be glorified by His creation, for all eternity. This goes beyond a trifling “ego” or “pride.” The glorification of the One True Creator and Sustainer is the only fitting response for all that exists through His deliberate acts of creation. The clay vessels gratefully acknowledge their maker, and lift Him up. It is their joyful occupation, for they have certainly not made themselves, and His creation of them and use for them is from His will, not theirs.
And how blessed are those who continually walk in that knowledge.