Imagine that the greatest concert pianist in the world was going to play in New York.

You win a contest and are flown first class to New York, stay a luxurious five star hotel and get first row seats in Avery Fisher Hall, where the New York Philharmonic usually plays.

But not tonight.

Tonight belongs to one man, a man known around the world for his fantastic abilities.

He comes on stage to great applause. He goes to the piano, takes a seat and plays magnificently. He plays without sheet music. He plays as if the music pours from his heart.

He plays the soft tones so quiet and precise you are almost lulled to sleep, but then the forceful and resounding part of the movement sets your heart pounding with excitement. After awing the crowd with his brilliant playing, the pianist heads to center stage as the applause echoes throughout the hall.

But then, as though on queue, you leap from your seat and jump onto the stage. You push the pianist aside.

The astonished crowd ceases their applause. You, obviously annoyed yell out, “Why did you stop? Clap and cheer for me!”

That sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? You didn’t do anything to receive applause. You won a contest. You were privileged to be there to see and hear the work of a great artist, but you did nothing to receive the glory.

The pianist is the one who deserves all the glory the night. You are there simply to witness it and honor him for his talent. We would think it presumptuous of someone else to jump on stage to receive the glory that only the pianist rightly deserves.

It’s the same with God.

We read verses like Exodus 20:5 where He says, “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” Or Isaiah 42:8, which states, “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another …” We read those and think, “How can God be so jealous? How can everything be about Him? What about me?”

But doesn’t God alone deserve all the praise and all the glory?

We have been given the privilege to witness His works all around us. In fact, we are able to be one of His works! We do nothing to deserve the glory. That belongs solely to the Creator.

For all we see, for all He is, for all He has done; God alone deserves all our applause and all our praise.

To God be the glory both now and forever more!