Summary: Everything we do is to be for the glory of God. Whether we eat or drink or worship or evangelize or pray or work or play, it is to be for the glory of God. For the glory of God is a pure motive for prayer. James 4:3 warns about asking with wrong motives.
For the Glory of God
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I Cor. 10:31
Do you ever get those e-mail quizzes that go around? Most of them are about trivial things. How well would you do on this four question trivia quiz:
1. Who was the first couple, not married in real life, to be shown in bed together on prime time TV? (Fred and Wilma Flintstone)
2. Coca-Cola was originally what color? (Green)
3. Which state has the highest percentage of people who walk to work? (Alaska)
4. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common? (They were invented by women)
How well did you do? Will knowing any of those answers affect your life? I doubt it. They are trivial.
Now I have four questions for you that are not trivial. Don’t worry, I will not be grading your answers.
1. According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, what is the chief end of man? The answer, according to the catechism is: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
Everything we do is to be for the glory of God. Creation declares the glory of God. Ps. 19 begins, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” It ends with, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Some youth choirs in the late 60′s / early 70′s used a collection called, “The Electric Church.” One song in that collection was a musical version of Ps. 19. It began, “Don’t you wonder why… the stars are in the sky… they’re telling you and I of the glory of God. And every flowering tree… is there for folks to see… so there no doubt can be of the glory of God.” I particularly like the way it ended. “So let the words of my mouth… and the meditations of my heart… do the same thing for thee… and a witness be… to the glory of God… to the glory of God… to the glory of God.”
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
2. Again, I will not be grading your answers. What are the responsibilities of the church? What should we be doing? Answers include:
- Great Commission, Mt. 28:18-20: go, share the gospel, make disciples, baptize, teach…
- Sheep and Goats, Mt. 25:31-40: provide for the hungry, homeless, sick, and imprisoned
- Pure Religion, Ja. 1:27: minister to widows and orphans
- Heb 10:24-25: meet together, encourage one another
- other examples include the church praying together, sending out missionaries, taking relief offerings…
3. What are the responsibilities of Christians? To use Ezekiel’s words, “How should we then live?” 33:10
Without going into any detail, for several months Bro. Jim (Pastor, First Baptist Church, Everman, TX) has been printing from a list of commands for Christians in the church newsletter.
4. What does 1 Cor. 10:31 say about these and all other activities of the church and of Christians? Everything we do is to be done for the glory of God. Our worship is for the glory of God. Our evangelism is for the glory of God. Our fellowship is for the glory of God. Our ministries are for the glory of God. Whether we eat or drink or worship or evangelize or fellowship or pray, we should do it all for the glory of God.
Last week, someone asked if I was discouraged doing so much work to prepare for so few people to come on Wednesday nights. There are children’s activities at the same time as prayer meeting. There are youth activities at the same time as prayer meeting. There are adults who help in both of those areas and in the nursery. Whether I lead prayer meeting, or Bro. Jim leads, or a seminary student leads, or anyone else leads, we should prepare as vigorously and lead as enthusiastically in Wednesday night prayer meetings in a small town church as we would if we were preaching in Sunday morning worship in a big city megachurch. We should not be leading for the glory of being in front of crowds. We should be leading for the glory of God.
I am not discouraged that I put in the work and teach so few. I am discouraged that there are so few in prayer meeting. Am I being clear in that distinction? My discouragement is not that there are so few here when I am teaching, but that there are so few in prayer meeting. I understand that some people have to work. I understand that some people are physically unable to be here. I understand that some have ministry responsibilities elsewhere. But I am discouraged that so few who can be here are here. Our prayer meeting should be to the glory of God.