Okay, I know it’s a holiday – and Dr. King’s life and legacy are worth some fresh attention and national respect – but we started this conversation last week, and we have some things about which we need to be clear, before we do anything else.
I created an historic onramp onto this topic, citing the work of the Westminster Assembly – in England, almost 400 years ago – whose collaboration resulted in a summation of Christian belief that was founded on the Scriptures as the primary source.
Here’s what we’ve said, thus far: they got it right with their first question – and answer – in the Westminster Catechism: What is the chief end of man? The answer: The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
What man has to learn is embedded in the fabric of creation, apart from human confusion: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).
The rest of creation exists to glorify God, but since Eden corrupted the integrity of mankind in God’s universe, for us, glorifying God has to be rediscovered and relearned. It starts with a recaptured relationship – through a saving faith in the Lord Jesus – but, then, getting back to the place where all of life elevates and celebrates the majesty of God takes some deliberate effort.
How much of our life is supposed to make that happen? “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Paul’s answer is all-encompassing: whatever we do is supposed to aggregate to His glory.
What does it mean to glorify God? As we said last week, it means that, as a result of everything we do, people will be able to get an accurate vision of who God is, and that revelation will make them respond with wonder and worship.
Today is second-of-four attempts to summarize the overview of our best life. How do we become effective in glorifying God? Step #1 from last week: I must make myself worthy of His Calling. That’s the challenge of becoming God-like: “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:7). That isn’t a “try ‘til you die, but never make it” exercise: it’s about getting fit for duty in service to the King and His Kingdom.
Here’s Step #2: to glorify God, I must discover and complete my assignment.
In and around The Master’s Program, we talk a lot about finding and fulfilling your Kingdom Calling. The odd reality is that this matter isn’t near the top of the subjects that command attention in the church teaching themes everywhere, all the time.
Once holy, what’s next? Great question; to find a great answer, listen in on Jesus’ prayer to His Father as he walked to Gethsemane on His way to the Cross: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4).
Jesus spent three decades identified as the son of a carpenter and working in the family business, but for His last three years of earthly life, His Calling became His singular focus.
His life was holy; He had honored His Father with his years of preparation… but what He did from His baptism by John to His resurrection by the Spirit brought glory to His Father in even greater ways. If Jesus’ life is the model for our lives this side of Heaven, it means finding the work that the Father has for us to do – our own, unique Kingdom Calling – and completing that work before we die.
The Scripture’s formula for glorifying God: 1) become holy; 2) discover and finish your assignment. We have two more installments on this theme; this may be worthy of your time.
Again: see the link below to our conversation about this critical issue: we’ll go live at 7:00a on Wednesday for 15 minutes, and it will be archived there for later listening after that time.
Do you have anything more pressing in your life for 2021 than this?