What It Means to Give Glory to God

8:20 AM Good morning, thoughtful bloggers and bloggerettes.

I know I’ve been blogging a lot lately. Please don’t get tired of all this posting, especially not the posts coming at you from my heart. Unless I’m badly mistaken, you ponder many of the same questions I do. This morning, for example, I was really trying to wrap my head around the Christian’s purpose in life. We often say, “Why, it’s to glorify God, of course!” I have no problem with those words. But are we willing to pray, “Lord, glorify Yourself through me“? The reason I say this is because God sometimes has some strange ways of bringing glory to Himself. Lazarus’s sickness was for the glory of God (John 11:4). Peter’s death was to be a means by which he would glorify God (John 21:19). Much discussion, I believe, has confused rather than clarified this matter of glorifying God. It is possible to glorify God more by death than by life, in sickness than in health, during those twisted, terrifying periods of life when everything seems dark, even in those drab and normal days when nothing is “happening.” It is easily possible to so idealize “glorifying God” that we come dangerously close to denuding the expression of any meaning. Look at your life. By the world’s standards, it may or not be successful, but that’s really irrelevant. Satan is a great imitator, and he has a false gospel, a false discipleship, and a false sanctification. Especially vulnerable are those who get caught up in following some famous Bible teacher’s pet theories and religious vagaries, never settling and abiding in the Truth themselves. It is of first importance that the Christian learn to glorify God no matter what happens to him or her, whatever it takes, whatever it means, even if it means being dropped to the bottom of the ladder, even if it means stooping to drudgery or bending low in unappreciated service to others.

Saving grace is always serving grace, and if we are not serving we had better check our theology. If we do not learn how to bring the glory above down into the misery below and come from the clouds to the barrios, then we do not really understand what it means to glorify God in sickness and in health, in life and in death, by what we do and what we forego, in body and in spirit, theologically and practically. As the Master, so the servant. No one can die and rise with Christ and live comfortably in a world like this. He bids us come and die. The early Christians wore scars but we want accolades. Do you have any wounds to prove that you have been in the battle? Or is “glorifying God” a mere slogan? True Christian activity should be the outflow and expression of our intimacy with God. Genuine discipleship will cost us everything we have. It cost John Bunyan his pulpit and John the Baptist his head. It may cost you your family. As we talked about yesterday, people call themselves “Christians” who are not Christian. The noun has yet to become an adjective. Our actions do not match our motives. We need to become Christian Christians.

I’m excited (and a bit anxious) about how all of this is going to turn out in my life. God, true to form, is shaking things up. Which is why I’ll keep writing, keep sharing with you my struggles and aspirations and frustrations and victories. Because you are part of His work in my life through your prayers and emails, part of this awesome journey we call life. And that, my friends, is good enough reason to keep blogging.

God richly bless you,

Dave

(From Dave Black Online. David Alan Black is the author of Energion titles Christian Archy, The Jesus ParadigmWhy Four Gospels? and  Will You Join the Cause of Global Missions?. Used by permission.)

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