I can’t forget the story one of our members tells about his childhood. He asked his dad the big question: "Why am I here?" That’s a thoughtful question from a little boy. Here’s what his dad said. "How the h___ do I know?" My friend is still reeling from the shock of that response.
But how would you answer that? Why are we here? What is your reason for living? Why do you get up and go about your business each day?
Most of us have many things that motivate us. I want to provide well for my family to show them that I love them. I want to be successful so I can make a difference in this world. I want to be a decent citizen because I want to live at peace with others. I want to do a good enough job at work so I can make enough money live comfortably and have some fun. Many things motivate us.
But I’m convinced that all these things and many others we could mention are merely secondary reasons for living. The Bible is clear that we exist for one primary reason.
Life on Purpose: Honoring God
Series: God’s Values for Your Life
Text: I Peter 4:11
The Westminster Shorter catechism begins with "What is the chief end of man?" The answer? "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever."
Our main reason for being - our main aim - is that God be glorified. Isaiah 43:6, 7 quotes God, "Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory." Why are we here? For God’s glory!
Now, what does it mean to glorify God? If we exist to glorify God, we must know what it means. The Bible itself uses a variety of words and images to communicate what it means to glorify God.
When God does something "for His name’s sake," the issue is the glory of God. When you pray, "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…" you are praying that God be glorified - that His name, His reputation, would be set apart and known. You are praying that He would gain fame.
And the scriptures are full of talk about honoring God and praising God and exalting God and magnifying God. Again, these are other ways of talking about the glory of God.
Glorifying God is…
Putting God at center stage
Giving God the applause
Turning the spotlight on God
Giving God the credit
Spreading God’s fame
Building God’s reputation
The Bible is clear about why God deserves the glory. He’s number one! He’s the Cause! He’s the Source! He’s the Creator! Revelation 4:11 says, "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and be cause of Your will they existed, and were created."
God is entitled to the glory because He’s the glue who keeps things together, who keeps the planets spinning, who makes the breath you’re breathing and the heart that keeps your blood pumping. He’s the Beginning the In-between, and the End; the Start, the Middle, and the Finish. Romans 11:36 says, "For from Him and to Him and through Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."
Are you intentionally, purposefully, strategically glorifying God with your life? When people see how you live your life, do they applaud God? When someone tells you "good job," do you somehow seek to turn the spotlight onto Him?
The reason we need to spend some time on this together is because we often fail to glorify God. We don’t honor Him like we should. In fact, it is at the heart of our sinfulness. If the chief purpose of life is to give God glory, then the chief failure - the chief sin - is not giving Him glory. Listen to Romans 3:23: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
We have fallen short of prizing the glory of God. We substitute the pursuit of glorifying God for other things; for pursuing images of glory, like a new home or car or computers or vacations or impressive resumes or whatever makes our tickers tick more that the wonder of God’s glory.
Glorifying God is opposite of our natural desires. The fallen desire within us is to want the glory for ourselves. We want to build our reputations. We want people to applaud us, to think we are good, decent, nice, competent, successful. In short, we, the creatures, want the applause that belongs only to the Creator. So, much of what drives our behavior is not a desire for the glory of God, but a desire for comfort, recognition, affluence, personal peace…