Wednesday, August 17, 2016

For the Glory of God

One basis for making good decisions is doing all things for the glory of God. What does it mean to do all things to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31; 6:20; Romans 14:17)? Sometimes we think of things done to the glory of God as being “spiritual” things, those things that directly pertain to Christian ministry or church. The result is that we can make a compartment in our life where we put the things of God and then have the rest of our life that we live for ourselves. But this is not the Scriptural approach. Now granted, there are some things we cannot do to the glory of God because they violate His commandments. But Scripture does say we are to do even ordinary things to the glory of God. Now clearly part of this is doing those things while looking for an opportunity to minister to people’s spiritual needs (1 Peter 4:11; 3:15; Colossians 4:5,6). But there is more to it than that.

One of the things that clearly glorifies God is that we do good works (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Now doing such things can have a positive influence on people and help bring them to Christ. But we need to do what is right because it is right. We particularly need to consider how we can help people in the situations they are in (Luke 10:25-37; Galatians 6:9,10; Romans 13:8-12). This means putting the needs of others before what is convenient for us. Also, part of this is doing what we do well even if it is a menial task (Colossians 3:23-25; Ephesians 6:5-8; 4:28). Frequently this is difficult in our current society, where we tend to value cleverness and cutting corners more than righteousness. But we need to make this our goal.

More fundamental is the recognition of who God is in every aspect of our life (Romans 1:21; 4:20; 1 Peter 4:14-16). This means giving thanks for the good things (Luke 17:15-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Psalms 100:4). It also means trusting Him in difficult situations (1 Peter 2:20; 2 Corinthians 4:17,18; Romans 8:17,18). Now involved in this is not trusting in things other than God (Romans 1:23; 1 Peter 1:24; 1 Corinthians 3:21). There is a real danger of replacing glorifying God with something else, making it the central focus of our life. As mentioned before, there may be things we cannot do to the glory of God. If we cannot thank God for it or trust God through it, we should not be doing it (or we should change our attitude toward it). But it is possible to do what we do with an attitude of faith and trust in Christ. And therefore, we can make it our goal to glorify God in everything we do.

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