Monday, June 1, 2020

To the Glory of God

The church I am currently serving has as its mission statement one simple phrase: We exist to glorify God. That is qualified by three means by which we seek to glorify God: Sharing the gospel, teaching the Word, and fellowshipping with each other. But, what does it mean to glorify God?

Jesus prayed, in John 17:1, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.” His desire was to glorify the Father. Paul wrote, in 1 Corinthians 10:31, concerning our purpose as believers, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Glory is greatness. Satan showed Jesus the kingdoms of the world and offered to give him, “all this authority and their glory [their greatness]” (Lk 4:6). On the mount of transfiguration, in Luke 9:30-31, three of the apostles saw, “two men were talking with [Jesus], Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory.” God revealed himself to the Israelites in the wilderness through thunder and lightning, clouds and smoke, and the whole mountain of Sinai trembled. It was an expression of his greatness or glory. Glory is the visible expression of the greatness of God resulting in people honoring him.

To say it another way, for us to glorify God means that we are the visible expression of God’s greatness resulting in people honoring God. Whatever we do, we are to do it so that people see God in us and honor him. In Matthew 5:16 Jesus taught us to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” The question we need to ask ourselves each day is whether people are seeing God in us. Do they see God in us through our work? Do they see God in us through our family? Do they see God in us through our recreation? Do they see God in us in our political discussions? Do they see God in us through our compassion, service, and care?

We exist to glorify God? That is our call. That is our purpose for life. Too often we, as believers, have lived for ourselves. We have lived for our personal peace and affluence. We have lived to be comfortable. That not only destroys our testimony, it goes against our created purpose. We exist to glorify God. May it be so.

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