What does it mean to glorify God?

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The first answer to the first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, a historical document that is theologically timeless, states: "The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."  But what does that mean?  How does one attain to this commonly repeated Christian summation of life, "glorify God"?

First, we would do well to look at the second answer to the second question in the Catechism to find the answer: "The Scriptures contained in the Old and New Testaments is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him."  This helps us get closer to answering the question.  We know that we must find the answer to how we may glorify God in God Himself.

A Piece in the Puzzle


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"And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him" (Acts 8:38).
The conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts chapter eight is one of my favorite stories, for it reveals the reality of evangelism, a duty every Christian should engage.

Yet, evangelism is not the purpose of the church.

On the contrary, worship of God is the sole purpose of the church - the collective, universal people of God.

Tired and Crying for Help!

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"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in Heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen Him, you love Him.  Through you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:3-9).
My prayers lately have consisted of, largely, three words: "Lord, help me."  I have not stamina or energy to continue to meet the demands of life, it seems.  I am doing all that I can just to stay afloat at work, at home, and at church.  Life seems like it is going one-hundred miles per hour and I am swirling in the middle of the vortex, gasping for air and grasping for help.  "Lord, help me" is about all I can utter at this moment.

However, it doesn't need to be that way.

Remembering Our Deliverance


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"Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD'" (Exodus 10:1-2).
Just before the eighth plague, God tells Moses the purpose of Pharaoh's hardened heart, the plagues, Israel's captivity, and their future deliverance: "that you may know that I am the LORD."  God's purpose in delivering His people was so that they would know He is the LORD.

Are you a good steward?


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"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." (Romans 8:1). 
In Tolkien's The Return of the King, the reader finds Denethor on the throne in Gondor.  This character on the throne, however, is not the king; he is a steward.  The true king was Aragorn, heir to the throne by lineage and right.  Had Denethor survived to the end of the book, King Aragorn would have certainly held him accountable for his evil stewardship.

Stewardship is taking care of something that isn't yours.  Just as Denethor was given the responsibility to take care of the kingdom until the king arrived, so each one of us has been given responsibility to take care of our own bodies; we are required to steward them until the King arrives.  When He does arrive, He will judge us according to our level of stewardship.

Submitting to God's Will in Marriage

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"'Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior....  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her....'" (Ephesians 5:22-23, 25).
 "'Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you'" (Genesis 3:16b).
I remember a few weeks before my wife and I were married thinking to myself, "I have no idea what being a godly husband looks like."  I was scared of what awaited me.  I knew that I was stepping into big shoes, yet I had no idea how to fill them, much less walk in them.

What is God's Will for My Life?

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"[A]nd may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.  Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.  For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.  For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.  Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you" (1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:8).
The question is often asked: "What is God's will for my life?"  We ask this question as if there was some magical, golden path we must watch out for, and if we miss it, we are doomed.  God's will for my life, however, is not magical at all.

This is the will of God, that you be made holy.  "Be holy because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16).

Be Ready In Season and Out of Season

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"I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
This morning I went for a run.  The air was crisp and the new sun was casting its beautiful, colorful rays upon the horizon.  When I came to the end of my run, I walked a little bit to catch my breath.  I literally thought I was going to die.  My eyes were growing cloudy, my chest felt like an elephant was pushing down on me, and my mouth and lungs burned.  The worst part about it was that I had run only one city block.

Keeping the Sabbath Holy

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"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God..." (Exodus 20:8-10).
"Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17).
Recently, our church began to study the Puritans, a group of early Protestants in England who were not satisfied with merely reforming the order of the church, but were chiefly concerned with inward holiness of her members.  Many Puritans were later to move to the New World and begin their religious advancement of a pious society in New England (not for freedom of religion, which is more commonly stated).

Jesus Paid It All

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There is something innate in the human spirit that demands justice and acquittal.  We need to be made right.  Most often we try to be made right through our actions.  Actions that condemn us require, instinctively, actions that acquit us.  That's why the common religion of today is, "I'm a pretty good person."  In their minds, they have been acquitted because their actions aren't as bad as the guy next to them.

Growing up, I was always very hard on myself.  I was very critical and even self-abusive, of no fault to my parents.  I knew that what I did was never good enough and that drove me to self-loathing.  I hated myself because I could never remove the guilt my wrong actions brought with them.  A spanking was justly given - and many did I rightly receive - but my spirit knew better: I was guilty.  So, I tried harder.  But when continual failure met even my best efforts, I became even more self-loathsome.

When I began to trust Jesus at the age of six, I became indebted to Him.  At times I loved Him, but usually I feared Him.  I was unsure of His love for me, though everywhere I turned I heard that "God loves you."  I had a lot for which to pay Him back; how could God love me when I still did wrong?

What Does God Require of Man?

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"Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before My eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.  Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.  If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth f the LORD has spoken" (Isaiah 1:16-20). 
"Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, He it is who loves Me.  And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him" (John 14:21). 
"Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.  For this, 'You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,' and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:8-10).