Created For God’s Glory

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Created For God’s Glory!

Sermon Notes – Ps. Jim White

Sunday 8th November, 2020

Did anyone watch the State of Origin match Wednesday Night?  We watched it until half time when NSW were on a roll, and couldn’t believe it the following morning when we saw that Qld had won.

There’s not much that brings division in the White House.  I’m talking about the White House in Ballina.  But State of Origin is a true test.  Someone, who will remain anonymous, thinks it is OK to be a Maroon’s supporter.

We won’t go any further with that. 

But have you noticed the kind of language used when commentators, managers and coaches talk about their teams and players?  I’m not talking about bad language.  I’m actually talking about the opposite.

Words like mighty, anointed, glory, passion, even hallelujah…. There’s heaps more but I just can’t remember them all.  

You would think you were in church.  

There are a lot of glory words thrown around…. But all attributed to the gods…. I mean the players… themselves.

Do you know why?   It’s because we’re created to experience glory.  And so even in secular environments, these kinds of words are normal.

While some try and find it momentarily on the football field, others find it for a time on the battleground of war.  Some will momentarily experience it at the Olympic Games.  Others at the helm of a huge corporation or in politics… need I say more.

Many people are simply seeking after something that is inherently built into their DNA.

The thing is, we’re not created for our own glory, but for the glory of God.

That’s why, when the focus is on self, it never lasts.  It’s only as good as the moment.  Without the momentary glory, and once it’s over, many dive into dark places and struggle to rediscover who they are and what they are here for.

The reason people seem to strive to find that place of exaltation and honour for themselves is because our lives are primarily meant to bring glory…. But just not to ourselves.

1 Corinthians 10:31

New King James Version

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

The Passion says: 

1 Corinthians 10:31

The Passion Translation

“…live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.”

And:

Matthew 5:16

New King James Version

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

The more I looked into this whole thing of the glory of God, the more I realised that everything is about His glory…. All of the created world, the universe, the galaxies…. Everything is here to bring glory to God.

And He won’t share His glory.  

Just as a side issue here – God will not tolerate mixture…. I guess it’s not a side issue at all.  We can’t have our feet in different camps…. A bit of Jesus’ grace and love here – and a bit of new age “everything goes” there…. 

A touch of feel good mysticism….  Bowing to something or someone other than God Himself…. Practising things that are rooted and washed in eastern religious beliefs….  

There is one God the Father – the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob…. And one Saviour of the world – Jesus Christ the Son of God!  There is no other way to salvation than through Jesus Christ our Lord!

And so dabbling in anything spiritual other than God’s Holy Spirit, is only going to sabotage your walk with God.

Only One should get the glory – but the glory is displayed in so many different ways.

I’m sure you’re the same as me – when you look at a beautiful sunset, you think of the glory of God.  When you look out over the ocean, or up into the canopy of a rainforest…. When you watch one of David Attenborough’s incredible Planet Earth videos…. I don’t think of how remarkable evolution is as he does, I think how incredible, how creative, how spectacular the Creator of the Universe is!

Listen to how David describes it. 

Psalm 19:1

The Passion Translation

“God’s splendor is a tale that is told;

his testament is written in the stars.[a]

Space itself speaks his story every day

through the marvels of the heavens.

His truth is on tour in the starry vault of the sky,

showing his skill in creation’s craftsmanship.”

His story is told everywhere…

I watched a documentary recently about a man who deliberately set out to try and develop a relationship with an octopus.  I know, it sounds crazy.  

But for about a year or more – it could have been longer, every day he’d go into the sea with his snorkel and flippers and find this same little creature – he knew where it lived – and slowly built trust with it –  he didn’t interfere with it’s daily life.  Everything was on the octopuses terms.   

Eventually the documentary showed how this octopus swam up to him and he held it in his arms against his chest like a baby.

It was one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever seen.  

This octopus developed an emotional, trusting relationship with a human being.  And by the way, the fellow who did all this and filmed it all – going into the ocean every day to be with this octopus – he himself went through a time of healing in the process.

I know it sounds really strange, but it’s true.  If you want to watch it, you can find it on Netflix.  It’s called “My Octopus Teacher.”

Isn’t nature and creation totally amazing?

I think, God – You are amazing.  Let Your name be glorified…. In such a simple and strange encounter, I can see a reflection of You.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how my life was dramatically changed by Jer 29:11 which says that God has a plan for each one of us – a plan that brings a future and a hope.  And other versions say He thinks thoughts about us – thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give us a future and a hope.

This came to me at a time in my life when I was asking big questions like:  What am I really here for?  What am I meant to be doing with my life?  What is it that I should be doing that will help me feel fulfilled in life?

Well, my advice to anyone now would be – whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.  That’s the only foundation that will bring your life true meaning and fulfilment.

It might be expressed through your life in all kinds of different ways – but you’ll know…. 

Is what I’m doing with my life glorifying him?

It may not even be about your job or career like it was for me…. To be honest, it’s probably more about your heart attitude right where you are.  

It makes me think of Paul in chains in jail.  He glorified God with praise and worship even in a dungeon.

So what is glory anyway?

Well, it is multi faceted.  It’s like a diamond that shines with multitudes of facets – each one glorious and spectacular.

Glory literally means weight…. Many have felt the weight of God’s glory come upon them as they worship…. it’s like a heaviness of His presence resting on you.

It’s multi faceted – it’s weighty – it also carries a depth of relational unity and oneness.

Last week I described the relationship that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share, as one of glory.  It particularly comes to life in John 17 where Jesus prays about the relationship that He and the Father share.  

He said this is the glory.  It’s because they are One.  And the incredible thing is that Jesus has made a way for us to become one with them – to actually live in that place of glory that they have had from the beginning…

But there are many other facets of glory.

We’ve already seen in the psalms how the heavens display His glory.  They reflect the glory of God – they speak of who He is – they don’t have any glory apart from Him.

Isaiah 6:2-3

New King James Version

We hear the words of the prophet Isaiah as he describes a vision of the Lord on the throne, high and lifted up…

Above it (the throne) stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:  “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

The whole earth is full of His glory!”

You would think the seraphim would say – Holy, holy, holy – the whole earth is full of His holiness…. But it says the earth is full of His glory.

Where God’s holiness prevails – there will be His glory.

I want to keep talking about the glory for a moment because the glory of God is meant to be an intrinsic and vital part of our lives.

Over in Rev 4, John mentions these six winged creatures again.

Revelation 4:8-11

New King James Version

The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

“Holy,[a] holy, holy,

Lord God Almighty,

Who was and is and is to come!”

Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

11 

“You are worthy, [b]O Lord,

To receive glory and honor and power;

For You created all things,

And by Your will they [c]exist and were created.”

This vision of John’s lines up with the one Isaiah had over 800 years earlier.

There’s a declaration of – “Holy, holy, holy…”

But the point is, every living creature – the elders – the angels – everyone is worshipping before the throne – all together…

Everyone is gathered together in praise and worship to glorify God alone – that He alone would receive glory, honour and power…

If people struggle to join together as the body of Christ now — what’s it going to be like when we all come into the throne room of heaven?  Together – as one…?  In this sense the church is our place of preparation….   It mightn’t be quite like heaven, but it’s still the gathering together to worship.

We’ll be doing this forever – not in isolation – but as multitudes around the throne.  

I’m presuming we’ll be doing other things to – but whatever we’ll be doing, it will be centred around bringing glory to God.

Romans 11:36

New King James Version

“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

These scriptures about glory are endless.

It might all seem aloof from our everyday life, but in reality, the need to be part of the whole experience of glory is woven into our nature, our identity, our destiny.  Deep down within every one of us is a longing to experience glory…

But deep down within us also is a sense of things eternal.  In our hearts there is a deposit of eternity already there:

Ecclesiastes 3:11

New King James Version

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”

There’s so much we don’t fully understand – but God has given us enough on the inside for us to want to seek after more…

This is part of our cry…. We are born for more!  So much more!

So let’s bring it back to earth again for a moment.

Isaiah ties it all together for us in chapter 43.

I won’t read it all, but Isaiah speaks prophetically the voice of God over Israel and says:

Don’t be afraid – I have redeemed you – I have called you by name – you are mine.

These promises are still for Israel – but now they are also for us.  

As children of God, this speaks to us.  This is who we are.  We’re redeemed from sin and death…. God is intimately connected to every one of us – He knows us by name – out of all the people in the world, He intimately knows you.  You are His.

His promise to us is that as we pass through the waters He’ll be with us – and through the the rivers – they won’t overflow us – we’ll walk through fires and they won’t burn us.

He doesn’t say we’ll never have to face floodwaters and flowing rivers and burning fires – but He says He’ll be right there with us as we do face them.

Many of you know from experience that the floods and fires of life are real – and I’m talking about the very personal battles that none of us are exempt from.

He says we are precious in His sight.  That He loves us.

But here’s the clincher:

Isaiah 43:7

New King James Version

“Everyone who is called by My name,

Whom I have created for My glory;

I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”

I really want you to go from this place today knowing at least these two things:

That God created you, to love you – provide for you – to walk with you through all the different seasons of your life.

But He also created you to bring glory to His name – in everything you do. 

You were created to worship – to bring glory to Him – to exalt Him with your life – to ultimately join with every other Christ loving person – and all the angels and heavenly creatures as one voice and one heart in gathering around the throne of God…. And we’ll be doing that forever.

And you can rest assured that whatever else heaven holds – you will love it.  There’ll be nothing to compare it with.  Everything will be enveloped with the love of God.

His glory will be in everything.

I know I said we were coming back to earth – but I want to share another scripture from Revelation.  

It’s so hard to separate heaven from earth.  I actually don’t think we are meant to – so I’ll give up.

Revelation 21:23

New King James Version

Talking about the heavenly city… John says:

“The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine [a]in it, for the [b]glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.”

That’s how much we’ll be bathed in the glory of God.  His glory will light up all of heaven.

There’ll be no sun or moon – which were only a reflection of His glory anyway.

We think we have all the real stuff here in earth – but the real deal is in heaven.  The real glory will shine for eternity.

And yet, God has revealed His glory and placed eternity on our hearts right here – right now…

This is what makes us so distinct in the world.  It’s part of the setting apart that happens through the holiness of Jesus Christ that we are clothed with.

We’re set apart for the glory of God.  We’re set apart to do all things for His glory.  And the truth is, we can do nothing of any real worth – certainly not of eternal worth – without Him.  

We can actually achieve things that at first seem impossible when His presence and glory is with us.

The first part of Hebrews 1:3 in the passion translation is amazing…

The Passion Translation

The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor, (that’s another way of saying glory) the exact expression of God’s true nature—his mirror image![b] He holds the universe[c] together and expands it[d] by the mighty power of his spoken word…”

So if we think about that for a moment…. 

In the Old Testament they had pillars of cloud and pillars of fire… they had the burning presence of God on the Mercy Seat in the temple…. They had a burning bush and visions of smoke filling the temple…. So many different ways they experienced the glory of God.

But what about us?   The prophet Haggai says:

Haggai 2:9

Amplified Bible

‘The latter [a]glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I shall give [the ultimate] peace and prosperity,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”

The latter glory of the house of God will be greater than what was experienced in the Old Testament days.  And there’s only one reason for that.

His name is Jesus Christ.  He is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendour – God’s glory.  And do you know where He lives?  Right here in our hearts.

In here, we have all the fullness of God.

In here, we carry the glory of God because of Jesus, and Him alone.  Not our glory – God’s glory.

And the glory of this house – this church – your life – is so much more radiant than anything that went before.

That’s the truth and reality that we need to be living out of every single day – in everything that we do.  THEN, everything we do will bring glory to Him.

The glory isn’t some mystical unreality.  It’s as real as you are.  

So, whether you experience the glory in your intimate relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – or you see it in the world and the universe around you – or it’s the weight of His presence upon you – or whether it’s any number of multi-faceted ways He expresses Himself….  Whatever you do – do all for the glory of God.

You’ll never add to His glory.  But you will display and reflect and declare it in the way you live your life.  Live with eternity well and truly planted and alive in your heart.

To Him be the glory, forever and ever,

Amen.


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