He dotted every “I” and crossed every “T.” The delivery and elocution in his oration were flawless. The people cheered. Never before in their recollection had mortal man spoken after this manner — perhaps because this man was no mere mortal. They lauded, “It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.”

These words of praise were the last words King Herod heard before the true God struck him down. The proud king had allowed the praise of men to get to his head, and so God brought him to his knees. Never again would his voice resonate through the corridors of his magnificent palace, nor would he be the subject of marketplace conversation. Because he did not give God the glory for his speech, an angel struck him with maggots, which literally ate him alive. A short time later, Herod was dead. This was a high price to pay for refusing to give praise where it was due.

While we are to strive for excellence in all we do, we cannot forget the source of our abilities. God has given them to us, and He desires that we glorify Him through them. When we take credit for our successes and achievements, we are robbing God of the glory He is due. It will not be long before we are brought to our knees. God’s judgment upon pride is swift and violent, for He shares His glory with no one.

Everyone has a unique, God-given ability. Yours may be singing, teaching, writing, playing a musical instrument, athletic prowess, or intellectual ability — or any combination of these gifts. Use them to your fullest potential, but be sure to give praise where it’s due. When God receives the glory through your achievements, others will be blessed.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.