Summary: What is the Great Life? The Great Life is a life given to the glory of God.
June 25 The Great Life Matthew 16:13-18
This morning I want to talk about The Great Life. As I researched the topic, I found a number of websites dedicated to The Great Life. One was a site helping people become entrepreneurs (logo of www.thegreat.life: build, live, enjoy). One was a site dedicated to cooking (pic off http://www.thegreatlife.com.au) . One was about Great Life Dogfood (pic).
But just what is the Great Life? The Great Life is a life given to the glory of God.
Let me explain what I mean. The word glory (Hebrew, kabod): heaviness; honor. In the N.T. glory (Greek, doxa): brightness and beauty. The glory of God has to do with the brightness, the beauty, the importance and the fame of God.
All of creation was created with one purpose: to glorify God. The Bible says the stars (magnificent pic of star cluster) sing to the glory and fame of God. The Bible says that the trees clap their hands (pic of aspens blowing in the wind) to glory and fame of God. The Bible says the mountains (beautiful pic of mountains) tremble at the glory and fame of God.
And the one creature who has the most capacity to glorify God is the creature who bears the image of God. That would be you and me. God says in Genesis, “Let us make humans in our image.”
So listen, if the purpose for which you were created is to glorify God, is there any higher life than that? Absolutely not. Having sex is not. Getting married is not. Raising children is not. Worldly pleasures are not. There is no greater life than to glorify our Creator.
Most of us don’t have great lives because they don’t pursue a transcendent purpose. We try to fill our lives with ordinary human stuff: houses, careers, schools, cars, even family. But if the main thing is not the main thing, they won’t bring much fulfillment and tey won’t make for a great life.
Matt Papa, in His book, “Look and Live” says, ““We were created by God and for God, and until we understand that, we are restless, brokenhearted glory chasers, always seeking something more. Only God, the highest and greatest good, the infinite holy One, is finally enough.” Matt Papa, Look and Live Until Jesus is enough for you, nothing will be enough for you.
Now think with me how we glorify Jesus. 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether you eat, drink or whatever you do, do to God’s glory.” So living a life that seeks God’s importance in your life, living a life that enhances God’s importance in the world, His fame and beauty, that’s how we glorify Him and that is the Great Life.
Now stick with me. There is one enterprise in the universe that Jesus established to promote the glory of Jesus. What is it? The church. Ephesians 3:21 “To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”
The New Testament calls the church the Bride of Christ. We are the Bride of Christ. Individually and collectively as a church we are to live in a way that reflects the importance of Jesus in our lives and brings honor and fame to Him.
So church, I want us to examine a well-known passage of Scripture this morning that will get us focused on God’s glory in the church.
Turn to Matthew 16:13-18 We continue our series called the Higher Path. And the higher path is a path of humble service and love for God and for people.
I happen to believe deeply in something I heard years ago from Pastor Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community church in Chicago: “The local church is the hope of the world.” Bill Hybels
The Great Life is a life that is spent in the pursuit of the glory of God. And the one enterprise established for that is the local church. Let’s look at what Jesus said about the church.
Matthew 16:13-18 (on screen)
Just got back from Israel. When you go to Israel, you have the opportunity to go to Caesarea Philippi. Herod the Great, who tried to kill Jesus 33 years earlier, had 2 sons, one of them was Herod Phillip, who named this region after Caesar and after himself; Caesarea Philippi. It is at the foot of Mt. Herman and at the source waters of the Jordan River. (map with location). It is ? miles from Jesus’ ministry base of Capernaum, that was a fishing village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Would take ? days to get there but it was a nice retreat from the busy hustle and bustle of His public ministry.
Jesus asks them 2 questions, right? The first one was what? “Who do people say that I am?” They answer with what they’d heard people say. Where they right or wrong? Wrong.