Summary: Every aspect of life is to be lived for his glory.
MARK: Pastor, I was wondering if you could help me. I'm trying to figure out my schedule for this fall, and I don't really know how much time I have to be a Christian.
PASTOR: What do you mean?
MARK: Well, you know I'm going to be really busy this fall teaching Science at the high school, and I'm also hoping to have a more active social life. But, I've decided that I can spend an hour in church on Sunday morning, an hour in Sunday School, two hours at Club on Wednesday nights, another hour visiting with people before and after church and 1/2 hour in travel time. I'm also going to spend 30 minutes every day reading my Bible and praying. Then, I will visit someone in the hospital or nursing home for an hour each week. That's 10 hours a week I have for being a Christian. Do you think God will be happy with that?
PASTOR: Well, I don't know, Mark. But I think being a Christian is a full-time job. I'm not sure that the Lord is pleased with 10 hours, 40 hours or even 80 hours a week. I think being a Christian is a 168 hour a week occupation. It is full time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
MARK: You've got to be kidding! How am I going to get all this other stuff done if I'm trying to be a Christian all the time? Maybe I need to find another church where they are a little more reasonable.
PASTOR: No, no. Just calm down. Why don't you sit down with everyone else, and I'll explain what I mean by "full-time Christian." I think you'll find out it is really a wonderful way to spend your life.
MARK: Well, okay, but make it quick. Remember, I'm only planning to spend one hour in this room today!
Now maybe some of you are thinking, "Pastor, this sounds crazy! How can someone serve the Lord 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?" But, this is one of the most important truths in the Bible. It is summed up very well in our text today, 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Whether we eat or drink, whether we work, play or sleep, we are to do it in a way that honors the Lord. Every aspect of life is to be lived for his glory. That means being a Christian is something we are 24 hours a day. Let's pause and pray that God would use His word to help us be full-time Christians.
Paul's message to the Corinthians, and for us, is to live for the glory of God. In 1 Corinthians, we see Paul addressing a problem concerning meat which had been sacrificed to idols. We won't take time to go into detail; but in short, some of the folks thought it was wrong to eat this meat while others did not see any problem with having it for dinner. The main point Paul makes is that when people are eating a meal, they should not just do what they feel like. First, they need to be considerate of others. If I had a friend who was a practicing Jew, it would be rude of me to invite him over for dinner and serve ham. Paul encouraged the Corinthians to think about what is good for the other person. But, even more importantly, he wants them to be concerned about what God desires. So, 1 Corinthians 10:31.
Drawing on that verse, the Westminster Catechism says, "the chief purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." But, what does it mean to glorify God? That may sound like a phrase we use in church but which doesn't mean anything in real life. But it does. The first step in glorifying God is to recognize that God is the most important being in the universe. It is not me or you, but God. A word that the Bible uses to describe this change of attitude is repentance. I like this definition: "Repentance is no less than a restructuring of our world view, with the result that God, rather than man, is placed at the center of the universe." Most people used to think that the earth was in the center of the universe and the sun and all the other planets revolved around the earth. Then a fellow named Copernicus came along and said, "Wait a minute. The earth is not even the center of our solar system. The sun is. The earth, like the other planets, revolves around the sun." Copernicus, who happened to be a devout Christian Scientist, convinced almost everyone he was right, and today we even speak of the Copernican Revolution. Biblical repentance is a similar revolution. God, not us, is at the center and is the most important being in the universe. Believing this is part of being a Christian. Now certainly when we first become a believer in Christ, we don't understand many of the implications of this truth. But as we stop trusting in ourselves and put our faith in Jesus Christ, which is what becoming a Christian involves, we acknowledge God's rightful place in the center of reality.