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Friday, February 24, 2017

How do we Glorify God in "Whatever We Do"?

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1 Corinthians 10:31 has become a mantra for many, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  But, we seem to consider this as a reason to take Jesus onto the end of what we do.  But, what if this verse is calling for more?  Paul, in the context of this verse is calling us to consider how Christians are to think about Christian liberty and "gray areas" in all of life.  God never calls us to tack Him onto the end of our life- He wants everything.
So, what does it mean to give glory to God?  I offer this definition, "To glorify God is to delight in God and His rule over all things."  Three observations from this definition.  First, glory is far more than simply recognition, but it starts there.  We do not just recognize glory, we treasure it.
Second, to glorify God involves treasuring God Himself.  More than simply what He does, all glory involves delight in a Giver.  A person.  Glory involves delighting not just in what God does, but who God is.
Third, but, to delight in God as a person also means to delight in His way. Jesus is King, and He reigns and rules- to love the King is to love His rule and His way.  How can we truly love someone and yet rebel and stand against all they do?  God's person and God's rule and reign over all things cannot be separated.  To glorify God is to delight in God and His way.

Paul commands us to do this in "whatever we do."  Including eating and drinking.  How do we glorify God in the mundane things of life?  Here are three foundations...
1) Thankfulness for God’s work.  First, we must recognize that thankfulness is in the context surrounding this verse (1 Corinthians 10:30).  But we should also consider 1 Timothy 4:3, For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.  A lack of thankfulness is, at it’s root, rebellion against God.  See Paul’s words in Romans 1:21, “ For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
A lack of thankfulness was not only rebellion against God, but what we gave thanks has direct effects on our thinking and our hearts.  Thanksgiving changes us.  A proper thankfulness for God’s work changes our hearts and our minds, not toward rebellion, but toward glory.  Thanksgiving leads to greater delight.
2) Mindfulness of God’s way.  Giving glory to God involves not simply thanksgiving, but also mindfulness of God’s way.  We can be thankful for food, and still be a glutton.  Thankfulness alone can still be thankfulness for the wrong thing.  We must be thankful both for God’s work, but also God’s way.  1 Timothy 4 again is helpful.  We are to give thanksgiving “with the word of God and prayer.”   We do it with the means by which God directs us toward His way.
It is important to note that Paul is calling us to consider God’s way when he writes just a few verses later, “be an imitator of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).  The infamous question has always been, “What would Jesus do?”  But, I believe the best question is “What did Jesus do?” and let that inform our next step.
3) Wonder at God’s world.  Thankfulness for God’s work and mindful for God’s ways, leads us to wonder at God’s world.  We are Christian often minimize the voice of God in creation, called “general revelation.”  While general revelation is loud, but not specific, revelation of God’s existence to the world (Psalm 19:1-2, Romans 1:18-20), special revelation, the specific divine revelation of God in the Scripture, is a hearing-aid that allows us to hear God in creation is a deeper in more profound way.  We can gaze and wonder and enjoy God’s creation is a way the rest of the world can’t.  We can enjoy these gifts in a greater way because we know the Giver.
Consider this analogy.  This proves this well.  Have you ever seen anyone receive gifts and notes from a secret admirer who was satisfied without knowing who they were?  Why?  Because lovingly given gifts prompt us to recognize the giver.  How much the loving gifts of our Creator, who has written us a note in the Scripture, and He has called us to know Him through the person and work of Jesus Christ!  How much more can we enjoy His gifts when the Giver is no longer secret?
May we, in all we do, give glory to God in whatever we do!

We will be speaking more about this, this Sunday at Garden Green Baptist Church

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