By Mary Elzinga
What are the things that rise to the top of your priority list? How is that list determined?
Do you find that you are most focused on things like family, work, success, money, recreation, health, or friendships? As the years tick by, the way I make my list seems to be changing. As a young woman, the order was about building a future for my day to day life here on earth. Now in the second act of my life, the focus seems to be shifting with greater intentionality to how I represent the one who holds eternity for me and others in His hands.
How would you answer those initial questions? While none of the things listed above are bad, the question to always ask ourselves is: Are we more focused and satisfied in any of those than we are in glorifying God? When those things become the priority, then we diminish the glory due God, and instead magnify the glory of our own desires and satisfaction. The Bible is clear that we should live in a manner that displays to the world the supreme worth, beauty, and glory of God.
I have been reading a wonderful devotion called "The New City Catechism." Catechisms are a collection of questions and answers designed to teach the core doctrines of the faith. The New City Catechism is a modern-day resource based on and adapted from Calvin’s Geneva Catechism, the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms, and especially the Heidelberg Catechism. Each week the book explores one question to get you thinking about your faith. This week the question was the prompt for this blog: How can we glorify God?
Throughout scripture we are instructed to point people to the Lord God and to give him the Glory.
Psalm 86:12 "I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever."
Psalm 115:1 "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!"
Habakkuk 2:14 "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."
Matthew 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
1 Corinthians 10:31 "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Peter 1:14-15 "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct."
Revelation 5:13 "And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
When I read these, and many more passages, they point to so many areas of life in which we ought to glorify God: our faith, our worship, our work, our thoughts, our actions, our service, and even our trials. As I look at the impact of this time in our world, with all the isolation and distancing between people, even within the church, it becomes that much more important for those of us that call ourselves followers of Christ to be intentional in glorifying God in all that we do. This must be or become a priority for us as we seek to do that which builds up the body of Christ, His Church.
As believers, we have a great deal of freedom and we must remember that the world around is watching. Therefore, if we are always seeking to glorify God, we will be wise with our engagement. 1 Corinthians:23-24 reminds us of a wonderful principle:
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
A few weeks ago, Pastor Rob B. shared the exciting news of a new Ministry Team that will be focusing on Mercy and Justice. As we see our communities begin to gradually open up, and as we continue to seek the Lord’s guidance in being His voice in a hurting world, the team would like to invite everyone to join us for an evening of prayer Oct 16th at the church. The desire is for us to seek the lord together asking for our lives individually and collectively, to do only what would bring Him glory. Watch the Weekly E-Mail for further details and make it a priority to join us.
As we press on into this year of the unknown, and particularly as we head into the final push of our election season, let us seek to lift the name of Jesus high. We must seek to glorify God with loving conduct and by doing the things that will build up our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I leave you with the hope and encouragement that can always and only be found in God’s word.
Romans 15:5-6 "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 4:10–11 "God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen."