Tuesday, July 22, 2008

All for the glory of God

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. I Cor. 10:31
The first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism for Younger Children is "What is the chief end of man?" The answer being "Mans chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." As the custom of catechizing our children has become rarer, we have begun to lose this prime truth that ought to be the governing force in our lives. If I were to ask most professing christians today why they ate and drank, I can say with fair confidence that the majority of them would say it was in order to stay alive or healthy. I doubt as to whether there would be even one that told me their motive for eating and drinking was to bring glory to God. If I were to put this question in different words and ask how much we do each day for the express purpose of bringing God glory, I don't think the answer would be much different. The sad truth is that we do relatively little, if anything, on a regular basis with the prayer that God would use that action to glorify himself. If we begin to grasp what exactly it is that Paul is teaching here it would change the way we live our lives, it would change the way we think, our entire worldview would have to be completely reassessed.
Now to be sure, God is bringing glory to himself every day, in every way. God is conducting the entire world in the way he wants it to go, and therefore glorifying himself whether we acknowledge it or not. If we are not actively seeking to glorify God it does not rob him of glory, but it does rob of us of a blessing. When we are living our lives with the subconscious belief that the chief end of man is to pleasure himself, we are living in disobedience to scripture, we are living a life that makes our self god, by inserting ourselves where God was meant to be, that is the center of our lives. While we don't think of ourselves this way most of the time, it is in fact how most of us live out our lives. We eat to keep us alive, we work to pay our bills, we spend our free time doing what makes us feel good, we sleep so that we feel better. When we ought to be eating so that we may serve God better, pay our bills because that is what God expects, spend our free time doing what God has asked of us, and sleeping so that we are refreshed to do God's work.
For the vast majority of christians and the world alike, we spend our lives thinking, or at least acting like, we are the center of the world. With such sayings as, "You only go around once", and "It's a dog eat dog world", and "You have to look out for number one first", the truth of what is in our hearts begins to spill out. It's true you do look out for number one first, the problem is we have put the prime number on the wrong individual, we are not number one, God is number one.
I would encourage you with each passing day, to take this truth to heart in a way that changes the way you act. I have resolved to live my life in such a way as to make sure that the reason I do what I do is that it is something that glorifies God. That applies both to the "grand tasks" such as what I preach, down to the "menial ones" such as what and when, I eat and drink. Don't waste your life thinking you are the chief end of your life, do something that will transcend this life, make glorifying God your chief end.

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