Resurgence Leadership #026: Leading Church Growth, Part 3
Tue Jul 22, 2014
Best Books: Unceasing Worship, by Harold Best
Mon Jul 21, 2014
by Mark Driscoll
Pastor Mark Interviews Pastor Dave, Part 2
Wed Jul 16, 2014
Resurgence Leadership #025: Leading Church Growth, Part 2
Tue Jul 15, 2014
Best Books: Spiritual Leadership, by J. Oswald Sanders
Mon Jul 14, 2014
by Mark Driscoll
Glorifying God in All You Do
“Live to the glory of God!” Christians throw this out because we’re lazy and we love bumper stickers. There’s always that one guy who’s saying, “Glorify God, brother!” But what does that even mean? “Glorify God.”
God is a God of glory. God is glorious. God exists to be glorified. The Bible speaks of the glory of God as a mega-theme that appears about 275 times in the English translation, 50 times alone in the book of Psalms.
When people encounter the glory of God, they respond in ways of fear, awe, wonder, worship, dread, respect, conviction, repentance, humility. God is big, we’re small. God is good, we’re bad. We exist for God, God does not exist for us. Our eternal God, Jesus, comes into human history as a human being and he lives a life that is completely, utterly, consistently glorifying to God without any sin as our example of how a life of glorifying God is to be lived.
Paul says if you want to be a good missionary, if you want to love your city, if you want to see people get saved, if you want to see lives get changed, if you find yourself in friendships and working relationships with people who totally disagree with you and their sexuality and their spirituality and their life is not about Jesus and the Bible, then the one question you have to keep asking is, “Will this or will this not bring the most glory to God? Will this glorify God?” And if you don’t know what the answer is, then you look to Jesus.
Without Jesus, we quite frankly wouldn’t have any clue how to glorify God because all we’d have would be abstract principles. We have to look to Jesus, otherwise, we don’t know how to glorify God.
Looking to Jesus
So the question is, how do you glorify God in the day-to-day stuff of life? How do you glorify God with your Diet Coke, your Wheaties, and your turn signal? Look to Jesus:
- “Should I have sex with my boyfriend or girlfriend?” No, Jesus was a single guy who was a virgin, even up until the point of his death.
- “So should I get drunk?” No, no, no. Jesus didn’t get drunk. It doesn’t glorify God.
- Did Jesus lie to people? Jesus didn’t lie, I shouldn’t lie.
- Did Jesus steal? He didn’t steal. I shouldn’t steal.
- If I claim to be a Christian, however I’m living my life, I live it to the glory of God, following the example of Jesus, who glorified God in all times and ways.
This means you gotta read your Bible a lot and really be loving and learning about Jesus to know how to be a good missionary who lives in a culture that isn’t about Jesus. Live in that culture in such a way as to honor and glorify God in all things, including food and sex and drink and work and friendship and power and money and all of it.
You and I are made to glorify God.
These next points come from my friend John Piper.
- You and I were made for the express purpose of glorifying God in all times and places and circumstances. We were made to glorify God. Birds were made to fly, fish were made to swim; we were made to glorify God.
- Everything in our life is an opportunity to glorify God or to not glorify God. Paul just said in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all,” everything, the whole lot of life, “to the glory of God.” So, every moment of every day you and I will make decisions that either glorify or do not glorify God. This means that everything in our life is an opportunity to glorify God.
“Glory” ≠ “Happiness”
Some of you, then, will say, “Well, this Christianity just isn’t working. I’m not healthy, wealthy, and wise. It’s not working. How am I supposed to glorify God? How am I supposed to praise God? How am I supposed to thank God for my cancer? My unattractive demeanor, my unemployment, my flat broke life? How am I supposed to be happy, praise God in all circumstances? Are you nuts? ‘Glorify God at all times.’ Broke. Unattractive. Single. Fired. Sick. Dying. Glorify God. Oh yeah, that’s great. That looks great on the bumper sticker. Try doing that. It doesn’t work.”
Actually, it does. If your religion is about glorifying God when you’re rich, then when you lose your money, you curse God. If your religion is about glorifying God when you’re healthy, then if you get sick, you curse God.
Jesus was murdered, and he glorified God.
“Come to Jesus, and he’ll take away all of your suffering,” they say. Are you kidding me? Didn’t you see what they did to the guy? He got beaten. He got executed. They murdered him. It may not go well for us. They may treat you like Jesus. It may not be that great. We worship a guy who died in his early 30s. We may not have a long life. We may not make a ton of money. We may not have a hot spouse. We may not raise some cute kids.
It may not go that great. It may be really hard. You may miscarry. You may get divorced. You may get cancer. You may get fired, I don’t know. You say, “Well, how am I supposed to glorify God?” You can, because Jesus did.
Now, some of you are saying, “I don’t want to glorify God, I want to be happy. I don’t want to get crucified. I don’t want to be broke. I don’t want to get cancer. I don’t want to be divorced. I don’t want to be a virgin. They make movies about people who are virgins, and they’re comedies. I don’t want that. That’s not what I’m shooting for.”
We are far too easily—and cheaply—pleased.
When it comes to living for God’s glory or our happiness, we tend to pick happiness and that’s when we sin. Sin is when we look at our options and say, “I can either glorify God or choose what think I need to be happy. I will eat a whole chocolate cake. I will drink light beer and I will get naked. I’ll be happy. I’m not gonna glorify God. I’m gonna be happy with a chocolate cake, the six-pack and the naked person. That will make me happy.” That’s why we choose sin.
C.S. Lewis, in The Weight of Glory, says it this way,Our Lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We’re half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition. When infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum, because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
That’s the truth. Jesus Christ takes away sin and gives us God.
- You could have God! But you chose light beer?
- You could have God! But you chose nudity?
- You could have God! But you chose gluttony, folly, and rebellion?
Lewis says we’re too easily pleased. We’re like Esau, who traded in his birthright for a bowl of porridge.
This Is Our Deepest Joy
I know some of you here are going, “But I want him to give me a car!” It’s not a sin to have a car, and I hope he gives you a car. I hope he gives you a car with rims. But I’ve got something better than a car: Jesus will give you God. Others say, “But I wanted Jesus to give me a spouse.” I hope he does give you a spouse. I’d love to see you get married. But whether or not he gives you a spouse, I got something better than a spouse: God.
Jesus gives us God. God is our highest treasure, our greatest delight, our deepest joy. Our most profound happiness is that God loves us, that God knows us, that God cares for us, that God has given himself to us and that we get to live for his glory. Not that we have to, but that we get to. We get to finally do the singular cause for which we were made: to glorify God.