Summary: As we must be careful about our family names, we must be careful not to bring dishonor to God’s family name.
Purpose Driven Life #7
September 13, 2003
How much do you value your name? Do you have a good name? God tells us, in Proverbs 22.1, that to have a good name is better than great riches. I think my mother must have taken this passage literally as she often reminded my sister and I of our name and the need to watch our behaviour so we didn’t bring shame to our name. She was concerned that we reflect good things to others as we interacted in the community area in which we lived.
Well, our heavenly Father has a similar concern. Our quest in life is to bring glory to God.
Ro. 11.36- everything is for his glory. Everything is to bring glory to God. Everything is to bring positive to the name of God. WE are to bring positive to the name of God.
Glory is not something we think about a great deal- it’s not something that enters our daily vocabulary very often. However, it’s important to God. Glory has to do with all that God is. He is important, splendid, powerful, and awesome. He is good. He is the creator of everything, so everything reflects His goodness, and other qualities, in some ways. I believe that the smallest creatures, in acting and being precisely as God created them to be, show God’s glory. The dog, in being perfectly dog-like, reflects God’s glory. The same is true of any animal or creature you can name. (Now, I know we might wonder whether anything, perfectly, reflects what God intended for them since the sin in the Garden of Eden. However, overall, I believe these parts of creation are more reflective of God’s fullness and glory, in being all they were intended to be than are the two parts of creation that can actually choose to not reflect God well- these are the angels that fell, and humankind.
Otherwise, we read that the heavens declare God’s glory. We see that there is a new Jerusalem coming that doesn’t need light because God’s glory is enough illumination- there will be no blackouts then. We read that Jesus fully reflected- and reflects- God’s glory and that when He lived on earth people saw his glory in his graciousness and truth, even though they didn’t ‘connect the dots, so-to-speak’ and draw the right conclusion during his earthly life and ministry.
Ro. 3.23- all fall short of God’s glory because of sin. None of us has given God the full glory he deserves from our lives. In fact, this is at the root of sin. Do you remember that John the Baptist was perfectly happy to direct attention away from himself and toward Jesus? Do you remember that, on one occasion, John said that he must decrease while Jesus must increase? That is the heart of giving glory. That is the heart of ‘not bringing shame to the family name’. When you think of it, all sin, then, is failing to give God glory. It is loving anything else more than God. Refusing to bring God glory is what Lucifer did, originally, and what Adam and Eve did in the first human sin, and is what we do when we sin. We allow pride and rebellion to guide us, rather than humility and obedience, and we glorify ‘us’ rather than ‘him’, and we do what seems right to us. We are supposed to do what seems right to Him, but we don’t, so we choose to not give glory to God.
Isa. 43.7- God created you and me to bring God glory, and that needs to be the supreme goal of our lives.
Jesus points us to how to do this better. He did it very well- perfectly, in fact- so gives us an example and pattern of how to do it.
John 17.4- see Christ’s words. Jesus honoured God by fulfilling his purpose on earth. We honour God the same way. When we, as God’s creation, and as God’s children, fulfill our purpose, we bring glory to God. When we are all we were meant to be, we bring glory to God. We look for simple ways to understand what we are supposed to be doing and, for me, one of the discoveries that has helped me very much over the past short couple of years, has been to understand five biblical purposes for our lives. These give a framework for our activity and living and show us how to be fully alive. Over the next several months, we will unpack these, but we can understand them, in overview, today. For those of us in Montreal, these are at the core of our church’s Purpose Statement.
1. We bring glory to God by worshiping him. Worship is a difficult subject in many churches right now; it has been a difficult subject, actually, for centuries, in some churches. Worship is our first responsibility to God. We are to be living sacrifices, and sacrificing is one of the oldest forms of worship. God wants us to enjoy him, so worship has us willingly and excitedly enjoying God. God doesn’t want us to worship him, or to interact with him, because of duty and requirement, but because of love and thanksgiving. We worship God because we respond to all that God has done for us. Worship is far more than singing, praising, and praying to God. Worship involves a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving God, and giving ourselves to be used for his purposes. When we live for God, everything in our lives becomes an act of worship.