You are no doubt wondering after reading the title for this posting, how I could have found such vital information that everyone is seeking.
I think many people over the years have known the answer to this puzzling riddle, but the answer is not glamorous or snazzy, or even popular in just about any secular culture that has been around since the beginning of time.
Here it is…the meaning of life is…..glorifying God. Yep, that is it. I’ve been learning about Christian Hedonism (look that up…very cool), and heard from pastors about the chief end of man being to glorify God, but it really hit me this past week as I was listening to a sermon from Common Ground Christian Church in Indianapolis IN (credit where credit is due…glory to God though that he revealed this to the preacher there).
I won’t re-preach that sermon, at least now, but to sum it up….God is very concerned with His glory. And if you get the impression that God is different in the Old Testament vs. New Testament….well that is because we normally think of “God is love”, and miss what connects God between the two testaments….He is looking out, first and foremost, for His glory. Yes, He loves us…but not more than His glory. If we see God only as loving us, then yes, there is a conflict between the two testaments that can not be resolved. If He is doing it all for His glory, well then the two start to come together.
See: Isaiah 42:8, 43:18-21, and verse 25: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (for whose sake?) 48:9-11….” For my own name's sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off. See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” (Oh yeah, for His sake)….Ezequiel 36:22-23 (excerpts) “not for your sake Israel, that I will do these things…Then the nations will know I am the LORD through you before their eyes” (they are in exile, and God is not bringing them back for cake and punch…but for Himself)
Our end goal is not to be loved, although we are loved and He uses that love to draw us to Him, but why does He draw us? To glorify Him!
Wow, this is all pretty self centered eh? God is only interested in Himself? But God is a trinity….that whole HS, Son and Father thing…each one concerned about the glory of the other two parts of the trinity.
Huh? Often in the Bible you will see one part of the trinity talking about the glory of the one or both other parts. See John 12:20-29 (Jesus focused on God, God focused on Jesus), John 17:1-5 (Jesus glorifying God, God glorifying Jesus), John 13:31-32 (same theme going here), Matthew 12:32 (Jesus taking up for the HS), John 15:26-27 (the HS taking up for Jesus)
Ok, so how do I apply this to my life? (very catchy in today’s culture, no?) Wrong way Corrigan! We might always be focused on ourselves in our nature, but that is looking in the wrong direction here. This is not about us!
So, you are smart…you say “but if God is all wrapped up in being glorified, what about those people that tell Him they could care less?”
Ah, they too will glorify God…one way or another. You can do it by God working through you, or through you rebelling. How so? Well, God will be glorified when you are punished, sent to hell as it will be, because that proves He is the sovereign judge and ruler over all things. Isaiah 45:23 “By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.” Yikes, that sounds mean! Yet God says in Ezequiel 33:11 “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked”
How do we glorify Him? Big subject. I will condense a bit here.
“Give thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever” 2 Chronicles 20:21 (thanks in all things…not just “thanks for getting me out of this mess”, but “how can I use this to glorify you?”)
“let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” Matthew 5:16 (use what He gave you to give it all back to Him)
John 12:23-26 (it is not about me!)
Ephesians 4:1-3 (get together with the Church [a body of believers, not some building])