Reflections – 2020.01

Glorifying God: Living to God

The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

– Westminster Shorter Catechism

Three wishes Paul had, and they were all about Christ; that he might be found in Christ, be with Christ, and magnify Christ.

– Thomas Watson, from A Body of Divinity

In the Disney movie, Aladdin, the main character (Aladdin) is granted three wishes by a comedic genie.  His first wish? “I wish to become a prince.”

Solomon ruled over an established and growing kingdom, the people of God, and he desired to rule in a way that was pleasing to God.  One evening, in the context of a dream, Solomon asked the LORD for help … he asked for wisdom.

The apostle Paul’s wishes, Watson points out, are all Christ-focused – the desire to be found in Christ (i.e., salvation / union), to be with Christ (i.e., to be in His presence), to magnify Christ (i.e., by sharing the good news of the Gospel in word and deed).

What do you wish for?  What do you desire?  What do you ask the LORD for?  Do your wishes just follow your life around – today I want this, tomorrow something else, whether it be money or a promotion (Aladdin’s “I wish to become a prince”) or healing from some sickness or success in some endeavor?

Or are your prayers more Solomon-esque?  Wisdom to deal with difficult situations or people in your home, workplace or community?   Wisdom to make a hard decision when there are multiple potential paths in front of you?

Or are your prayers for wisdom, great prayers to be sure, gathered under the greatest wish of all, the one central wish of Paul’s – Christ – Christ in me, me in Christ, Christ with me, me with Christ, Christ glorified in me, my glory always being in Christ?  Do you strive above all other things to live to and for and in Christ?  To do this is what the Scriptures call “living to God” (see Romans 14:8 and 2 Corinthians 5:15).

The person who lives to God will glorify God.  Such a person sees Christ in all he or she does.  Are you going to work today?  Christ is with you, has given you talents to use, has placed His Spirit in you so that you might be a witness to others in the way you work, in the quality of your work, in what kind of employee / employer you are!  Living to God at your workplace or in your home or in this congregation or in your community means that Christ is always on your mind – how can I please him in this or that situation?  How can I serve Him in this difficulty?  How can I demonstrate that I love Him in the mundane, in the basic things we do each day?  Do you think about Christ and do you look for opportunities to tell others about Him?  What or who do you live for?  For Christ?  Or for something or someone else?  As we strive to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, we must remember that it is difficult to bring glory to someone who we don’t want to live for or to enjoy God if He is essentially a stranger with whom we have only a distant relationship.  Do you want to glorify God?  Then live to God … and let your life be about Christ, for Christ, to the glory of Christ!