(Originally posted on March 15, 2011)
For anyone who has looked at the first question in the Westminster Catechism, it asks what the chief end of man is. The answer is: "To glorify God and enjoy Him forever." Yet, how many of us really know what it means to glorify God?
Wanting to have an accurate definition, I turned to "The American Dictionary of the English Language" written by Noah Webster in 1828. The depth and meaning of words seems so much more specific in this edition of the dictionary. According to Webster, "glorify' means to praise; to magnify and honor in worship; to ascribe honor to, in thought or words". This is all encompassing when we look at this definition. Literally, it means that in every aspect of our life such as our thoughts, words and actions we are to bring honor to God. Our lives are to be filled with continuous worship so that God receives the glory. Have we ever really considered what this means to the way we live each day?
Church is only one place to worship and glorify God, but what about the other six days of the week? We are to work to God's glory, enjoy fellowship for God's glory and rest all for His glory. This puts a new slant on our lifestyle doesn't it?
When I consider my thought life or the words I have spoken out of turn, I am convicted that I have missed God's glory. I know that I am not alone in this sin. According to the Word, we have all sinned and come short of God's glory....but we have a Savior in Christ! When we fall short of glorifying the Lord, we can turn to Him in repentance (1 John 1:9) and He will cleanse us.
Our goal is to live in such a way that we reflect the love of God in Christ by our thoughts, words and deeds. This means we must go the extra mile to help others not out of selfish motives which would bring us recognition, but for the sake of our God. Furthermore, we are called to make our worship acceptable to the Lord. He is to be the center of our praise and honor.
Unfortunately, in many fellowships today, the emphasis can be on a speaker, the music or a program rather than on the Lord. This robs God of His glory whenever we take our eyes off of Him and put our attention on the performers. Please do not misunderstand here. I am not saying that we cannot encourage someone who has made an offering to the Lord of beautiful music or a solid sermon. By no means! Rather, I am saying that we should not come to church with any thought but to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. After all, He has given us the gifts of music and preaching. Therefore, we need to enter into the service with our heart and ears open as active participants not merely bystanders.
As I was reading in the Gospel of John today, I was reminded that even Jesus, our Savior, came to serve and did not seek to glorify Himself, but to obey the Father in all things (John 8:50). Likewise, John the Baptist told his followers that he was not the Messiah. He said that He must decrease while Jesus increased. This was not false humility. Neither our Lord Jesus Christ nor John the Baptist, His forerunner sought to bring recognition and fame to themselves. Instead, they pointed to God and His glory. One day our Savior will return, and we will see Him coming in glory, but during His walk upon this earth, He showed us the way to worship, pray and give ourselves to others. He perfectly glorified God.
None of us can do this on our own. However, God has sent us His Holy Spirit to live within us and give us the ability to glorify God by using our talents and gifts for His service. Each one of us during this time of Lent, needs to take an inventory of our thoughts, actions and words. We have to ask ourselves if we are glorifying God in our daily routine for this is our call. When we lift up the Lord, He will also lift us up that we may live an abundant life to His praise and glory. Selah!