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The Glory of God and Glorying God - Life of Moses Part 20

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2024 7:00 am

The Glory of God and Glorying God - Life of Moses Part 20

So What? / Lon Solomon

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Two weeks ago we began looking at the ten plagues that God sent on Egypt, and we saw that the ten plagues had a definite plan to them, a definite design to them. They were designed to be a direct attack on the pagan gods of Egypt. In other words, every single plague was specifically aimed at some Egyptian deity, and the purpose of the ten plagues was to humiliate these so-called gods, number one, and number two, to prove that Israel's god was superior.

Now as we said two weeks ago, God could have delivered the Israelites from Egypt in a host of less dramatic ways than the ten plagues, but he chose to do it the way he did, that is by using the ten plagues, because he wanted to seize this opportunity to display his power and display his glory. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what he says in the book of Exodus, Exodus chapter 9 verse 14. He says to Pharaoh, let my people go, or I will send the full force of my plagues against you so you may know that there is no other, no one person like me in all the earth.

Later he said to Pharaoh, for this reason I have raised you up, that I might demonstrate my power upon you so that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Now as we said two weeks ago, this teaches us a great lesson as followers of Christ. It teaches us that God's ultimate goal in everything he does here on earth is to display his glory, to turn the spotlight on himself.

God is fanatical about his glory. This is a major issue with God. And we said that the practical import of all of this for us as followers of Christ is that if God's glory is this big an issue with him, then it needs to be this big of an issue with us.

We need to make it a major issue in our lives as well. This is why the apostle Paul said, 1 Corinthians 6.20, therefore glorify God in your body. This is why the Westminster Catechism answers the first question, what is the chief end of man? With this answer, the chief end of man is to glorify God. This is why Paul said, 1 Corinthians 10.31, so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the benefit of self.

No, that's not what the verse says. Do it all to the glory of God. Now this is what we want to talk about today. I want to take just a tiny hiatus from going through the book of Exodus verse by verse with you. And I want us to talk about the glory of God. And I want us to answer two questions today. Number one, what does the Bible really mean when it talks about the glory of God? And number two, how can you and I as followers of Christ obey what Paul told us to do and glorify God in our body? How can we do all to the glory of God? Those are the two questions we want to ask and answer today.

So let's begin with the first one. What does the Bible really mean when it talks about the glory of God? Well, the Bible is referring when it does this to the glory that God intrinsically has in himself. The Bible tells us that God has a glory.

He has a majesty that is innate to his person. A few verses from the Bible, Psalm 148 verse 13. His glory, the Bible says, is above the heaven and the earth. Isaiah 6 3, the angels around the throne cried out, Holy, holy, holy. The whole earth is full of his glory. Psalm 24 verse one.

David says he is the king of glory. Psalm 19 verse one says the heavens declare the glory of God. Now notice, Psalm 19 1 does not say that the heavens contain the glory of God because, friends, nothing in this earth can contain the glory of God. Psalm 19 1 simply says that the heavens display a little piece of the glory that belongs to God for all of us to see. I love what King Solomon said.

First Kings Chapter eight. He said, Behold, the heavens and even the heaven of the heavens cannot contain God's glory. The glory of God towers over this universe.

It dwarfs every galaxy in it. This is God's glory by virtue of who and what he is. And so in this first sense, really, you and I as his creatures can never glorify God because God is already as glorious as he could ever possibly be. You say, Well, I understand that. So then what in the world is the Bible talk about when it says we're to glorify God? I mean, that doesn't make any sense. What's the Bible trying to tell us to do?

Well, let's answer that question secondly. And I think if we look at two things the Lord Jesus said when he was here on earth, we'll get the answer as to what does it really mean for us to do all to the glory of God. The first thing he said was this. John 14 verse nine. He said, He that has seen me has seen the Father. Everything Jesus did and said here on earth was a perfect reflection of the person, the nature, the character and the value system of Almighty God. That's what Jesus says. He says, No one ever gave the world a truer picture of who God really is than I did in everything I said and in every action I took. Now, would you agree with that?

Right. OK, now, here's the second thing he said at the end of his life. He said, John 17 for Father, I have glorified you here on this earth, friends. But the Lord Jesus Christ is trying to tell us is that as followers of Christ, we glorify God the way the Bible calls us to whenever in our character, in our words, in our behavior or in our attitudes, whenever we reflect to people here on earth, an accurate picture of who God really is, just like Jesus did. God's holiness, God's mercy, God's uprightness, God's power, God's truthfulness, God's virtue. This is what Jesus was talking about when he said in Matthew Chapter five, Let your light shine before men in such a way that they will see your good works.

Watch and glorify your father who is in heaven. The Bible says that this is the highest calling in life for every true follower of Jesus Christ. And that is that our life is to be used to paint a portrait of who God really is for the world to see. Every word we speak, every action we take, every attitude we display, every business deal we conduct, every commitment we keep, every ethical and right thing we do is meant to be a brush stroke on that canvas. You say, OK, Lon, I get what you're talking about. I think I got that.

But practically, what does this really mean? I mean, can you put some handles on this for me so I can kind of get my arms around it from Monday through Saturday living? Well, I'd love to. And I'm going to give you five practical steps that you and I can take to glorify God in our life. But just before I do, let me say that the prerequisite for all of this, for glorifying God, is that we must be born again, regenerated, authentic believers in Jesus Christ.

And let me tell you why. Romans Chapter eight, verse eight says, Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. And then Paul goes on to define what he means by being in the flesh. He says, But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit. If indeed the spirit of God dwells in you for anyone who does not have the spirit of God in him, he does not belong to Christ.

Now, look what this verse says. It says to be in the spirit means that the spirit of God dwells in you. But the spirit of God only dwells in people who belong to Jesus Christ, Paul says. Therefore, we can say that to be in the flesh, as Paul is using it here, means that be someone that the spirit of God does not dwell in means to be someone who is not a believer in Christ. And look what Paul says about non-believers, non-followers of Christ. He says those who are in the flesh, those who are not believers in Christ, cannot please God. Friends, how in the world, if you and I can't even please God if we're non-believers in Christ, how in the world can we glorify God with our life?

Well, the answer is we can't. My point is simply this, that to be, to really be used by God to glorify him, you and I first must become genuine, authentic believers in Jesus Christ. Let me stop for a moment and say if you're here today and you've never given your heart and life to Jesus in a real and personal way, I remember those days 35 years ago and I remember how I felt before I was a follower of Christ. I felt empty, I felt lonely, I felt out of sync with the rest of the world around me. I felt unfulfilled, I felt meaningless.

You know why? Remember the Westminster Catechism. What is the chief end of man? The chief end of man is to glorify God. The whole reason that you and I exist as human beings, the whole purpose to our life is to glorify God.

And when we are not glorifying God, no wonder we feel meaningless and purposelessness and like we're drifting and like there's nothing solid in our life, we're not fulfilling the highest reason for which we were created. If you're here today and you feel like that, I can tell you how to fix it. You say, oh, you can. Yes, I can.

I can tell you how to fix it. You give your life to Jesus Christ and you start living for the glory of God in your life instead of the glory of self and you will find more meaning, more purpose and more fulfillment in life than you know what to do with and you will be living for the reason you were made. And I hope that if you're here today and you've never trusted Christ that you'll think about that so you can start operating to be what God made you to be. Now, many of us here are followers of Christ and that's wonderful, so let's talk about how we can glorify God.

Five steps. Number one, if you and I want to glorify God with our life, number one, we must deliberately purpose to live for God's glory. 1 Corinthians 10 31, so then whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. The apostle Paul here is calling you and me to a lifestyle where in everything we do, we are deliberately aiming to glorify God. Friends, glorifying God in our life simply doesn't happen.

You and I aren't going to walk out of our door and just drift into glorifying God into our life. As followers of Christ, we have to consciously aim at this every single day because the power of our sinful flesh is so great that if you and I just relax and do what comes naturally, I can promise you, you're not going to glorify God and neither am I. And so you know what I've tried to do over the 35 years I've been a follower of Christ?

It's a little exercise I go through. I like to try to start every day with a dedication service at my front door. Before I walk out of the house or before I leave my bedroom to go out to my office to begin working, I try to stop and say, okay, God, today I am dedicating my life to the glory of God. Everything I do, everything I say, everything I think, I want to be dedicated to bringing glory to God. Lord, if I get off track some way today, you let me know I'm off track. Some temptation comes along today that threatens to get me to do something that doesn't glorify God.

You give me the strength to resist it. My day today is dedicated to glorifying God. Friend, my point is that glorifying God begins with a deliberate commitment every day that this is the way we're going to live or we'll never live this way. Tip number two, we must make Jesus Christ the absolute Lord of every part of our life if we intend to glorify God. I love what Paul said, Philippians chapter one.

He said, it is my earnest desire that Christ will be glorified in my body. Wonderful, Paul, whether by life or by death, for he says to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. What a magnificent statement the Apostle Paul makes here for me.

To live is Christ and to die is gain. This is a statement of total absolute utter surrender to the lordship of Christ in each and every area of his life. And the reason Paul says this is because he understood something very important.

He understood that without this kind of absolute surrender to the lordship of Christ in his life, Christ being glorified in his body was simply not going to happen. Now, what does it mean to make Jesus Christ Lord of our life? Friends, it means that we seek to live every single area of our life in obedience to the written Word of God.

That is the Bible. We may not always get this right every day, but it means that we are determined every single day to try as hard as we can with the help of the Holy Spirit to live this way. And why is this important when it comes to living a life of glorifying God? Very simple, because the kind of life that glorifies God cannot be lived in the energy of the flesh.

It's too difficult. It has to be lived in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit himself cannot move in power in our life until we come to the place where we are absolutely surrendered to the lordship of Christ. Step number three. Want to glorify God in our lives? Then we must act with integrity in all that we do.

You know, the Bible declares over and over that God is holy. What this means is that God operates with utter integrity in all that he does, which is exactly what you and I must do if we are going to glorify God, if we are going to paint a true picture of God in front of people all around us. What does it mean for us to act with integrity in all that we do? Well, it means, number one, that we keep our word. I love what Jesus said. He said, Matthew Chapter 5, let our yes be yes and our no be no.

David said, Psalm 15, he said, I keep my word even when it hurts. You know those times you gave your word and you wish you'd never done it? Those times where you hit yourself on the head and go, what was I thinking? I must have been out of my mind to say I was going to go there. I must have been crazy to tell him I was going to do that.

What's wrong with me? Well, I can't answer that question, but I can tell you this. I can tell you when you and I make those kind of commitments, God expects us to back them up even if it hurts. Because that's what people of integrity do. Number two, to be a person of integrity means to be a person of full disclosure in all that we do. Number three, it means to be honest and righteous in our business dealings. It means, number four, to speak the truth and not engage in deceit and in scheming. It means, number five, to avoid cursing and foul language and dirty jokes and gossip around the water cooler or the coffee pot at work.

You get the idea. To be a person of integrity means that we seek to be above reproach in every way every day. This is what Peter called us to do. He said, 1 Peter chapter 2, keep your behavior so above reproach among non-believers that they may see your good deeds, watch, here comes our word, and glorify God. You know, I've been a pastor for 25 years, and every Tuesday that I'm in town I meet with people.

And I've had some amazing things come in and out of my office in 25 years. But I've learned something very important about those of us who claim to be followers of Christ. What I've learned is that so many of us have the ability to compartmentalize our lives.

Here's what we do. We say, well, there's this sacred compartment over here, and that means Sunday going to church, you know, maybe Wednesday night going to prayer meeting. It means going to small group.

It means going to a seminar on the weekend. That's my sacred compartment. And then over here I have my secular compartment.

This is my Monday to Friday business life, you know, and I hear people say things like, well, you know, business is business as justification for things they do in this other compartment. I hear people say, well, you know, Lon, I mean, yeah, I believe in Jesus Christ and church is fine for Sunday, but, you know, I live in the real world Monday through Friday, and I got to do the things that need to be done over here in my secular compartment to survive. Friends, I'm sorry, but the Bible knows nothing of this kind of compartmentalization if you're a follower of Christ. I mean, I look at a guy like Ken Lay going to church and quoting the Bible and then doing everything he did at Enron to people, those poor people.

I look at Bernie Evers teaching Sunday school in his church while all the time he's going to work at WorldCom and doing what he did to all those people. I look at Richard Scrushy, who not only was involved in his church, but now is a televangelist on cable after all that he did at HealthSouth, and I say, I'm sorry, this just doesn't compute biblically. Friends, the Bible is clear. You and I don't have a sacred part of our life and a secular part of our life. When we come to Jesus Christ, it all is sacred from that point on as far as God is concerned. My point is, we can't glorify God and live like the devil.

It won't work. Number four. Step number four in glorifying God is when it comes to interpersonal conflicts, we have to take the high road. You know, ours is the world full of interpersonal conflict at school, at work, in our neighborhoods, in our family with relatives, in church, in the military, in business, no matter how hard we try as followers of Jesus Christ, no matter how sincere we may be in trying to do what's right, all of us get sucked into these conflicts from time to time.

I think of David. You know, David was sucked into an interpersonal conflict with King Saul. It was a conflict he didn't cause. It was a conflict he had done nothing to deserve. But Saul decided that he hated David. He tried repeatedly to kill him.

He chased him around as a fugitive for seven years in the wilderness. Now friends, when we're in these kind of situations as followers of Christ, the Bible declares that this gives us a tremendous opportunity to glorify God by taking the high road. Let me explain what I mean. As followers of Christ, the Bible declares that God is in absolute control of every detail of our life, right?

Right? All right, if that's true, then we don't need to go down and mud wrestle with all the people who are dealing unrighteously with us. We can take the high road. We can return good for evil. We can rise above their scheming and their conniving and their plotting. As Peter said, 1 Peter chapter 4, we can commit all of their unrighteous behavior to God as our faithful creator and we can continue to do good.

And we can leave these people and their schemes in the hand of God. This is exactly what David did with Saul. 1 Samuel chapter 26, you remember, he sneaked into Saul's camp and there Saul was lying right in front of him fast asleep and his men said to David, kill him, kill him, kill him, he's right there, kill him. David said this, he said, as surely as the Lord lives, the Lord himself will deal with Saul.

Either his time will come and he will die or he will go into battle and perish. But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord's anointed, meaning Saul. David said, I'm not going down and mud wrestle with him. I'm not going down to his level.

I don't need to go down to his level, gentlemen. I have a living God. I have a living God who's in control of the universe. I have a living God who's in control of my life and I don't need to take the low road. I can take the high road. And friends, living like this glorifies God today as well because it declares to our world that God is absolutely, utterly and sovereignly in control of the universe and that even though right now this other person who's doing such ungodly things to us, even though they may have the upper hand, I don't need to lift my little finger to change that because I have a righteous God looking out for me. And when he's ready, he'll turn the tables and I'm content to wait for his timing. Now you don't think people are watching you in these kind of circumstances at work?

You don't think people are watching you in your family or in your school or in your neighborhood when these kind of things are going on? What a tremendous opportunity to glorify God by projecting to our world a true picture of the God who's in control of the universe. You don't need to go down and mud wrestle with these people. Friends, take the high road and glorify God. Number five and finally, step number five to glorifying God is we must give God the verbal credit for all that he does in our lives and in this world. You know, Hebrews 13, 15 says let us continually offer God the sacrifice of praise that is lips that confess his name. Psalm 50, David said, God said, David writing it said, whoever offers me praise glorifies me. Now what does it mean to praise God?

Well, it means to verbalize his greatness before people, to turn the spotlight on him and not on ourselves, to make sure he gets the credit for everything he does. And so often as followers of Christ we rob God of the glory that belongs to him for the simple reason that we fail to give him the verbal credit he deserves. We don't mean to do this. We just get a little sloppy. We just get a little lazy. We just get a little careless. People look at our lives. They see all the blessing in our lives. And friends, if we don't tell them different, they're inclined to give all of that credit to you and me. I say that's wrong. I say we need to make sure that we don't take that credit for the joy, the peace, the health, the stability, the strength, the wisdom, the success, the prosperity, the open doors, the provision in our life. We didn't do that.

I say we need to make sure the spotlight goes on the right person. You know, my dad, when I first came to Christ, was not exactly thrilled that I had come to Christ. And when I tried to talk to him about the Lord in those early years, he was completely resistant, didn't want to hear a word. Jewish, born Jewish, raised Jewish.

His parents were Orthodox, walked to synagogue on the Sabbath, didn't turn on the lights, kept kosher, you know. But I kept kind of working on him. And, you know, my life began changing as Jesus Christ worked on my life. Now, I need you to know that growing up, I was a rotten son. I mean, I was horrible.

I was disrespectful, disobedience. I mean, I made Bart Simpson look like an angel, I'm telling you. And about four years into my Christian life, I was having a phone call conversation with my dad. And I'll never forget, he said to me on the telephone, he said, you know, he said, you really have become a wonderful son. And I said to him, dad, no, I'm sorry, you're wrong. I want you to know that I am still the same rotten son that I have always been. What I want you to understand is that what you're seeing in my life is the transforming power of Jesus Christ.

I'm the same person. The credit doesn't belong to me, it belongs to Jesus Christ. He said, okay, whatever. Well, I believe that conversation had an impact on my dad, though, because two years later, as he was lying in the hospital in the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and I went down to see him, he would live one week from the day I walked in the room and the conversation I'm about to tell you about happened. I walked in his room, he was there in bed, and the first thing he said to me is, he said, you know, Lon, I've been doing a lot of thinking and I've begun to wonder if maybe everything you've been telling me about Jesus Christ isn't right.

I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I said, dad, I said, that's wonderful. I said, but what was it that caused you, I mean, this is like a 180-degree turn. I mean, what was it that caused you to do this?

And here's what he said. He said, as I began looking at your life and the changes I saw there, he said, I didn't have any other way to explain them than the way you kept telling me that it was Jesus Christ and not you. And my dad, the next morning, knelt beside his bed with me in the hospital and gave his life to Jesus Christ. Friends, don't you take the glory that doesn't belong to you. You make sure it goes to the right place. You make sure God gets the credit. You make sure that, as the apostle Paul said, people understand that your explanation for your life, 1 Corinthians 15, 10, is by the grace of God, I am what I am. Now, friends, we don't have to be obnoxious in communicating this. We don't have to be cheesy in communicating this. We don't have to be sappy in communicating this.

We can do it with class. But one of the greatest ways you and I can glorify God is to make sure he gets the verbal credit for everything he does. Let's summarize, shall we? As Jesus Christ's followers, we've seen today that our chief purpose in life is not to be happy, to make money, to be successful, to live comfortably, or to amass power. Our chief purpose in life is to bring glory to God in and through and with our lives.

And how do we do this exactly? Number one, we make a deliberate decision every single day that this is how we're going to live that day. Number two, we make Jesus Christ the absolute Lord over every area of our life so the Holy Spirit can flow and empower us. Number three, we act with integrity in all that we do to the best of our ability.

Number four, we take the high road in interpersonal conflicts because we don't need to mud wrestle with people. We've got an almighty God watching out for us. And number five, we give God the verbal credit for everything he does in our life.

We make sure the spotlight goes to the right place. Now in closing, let me say that in the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus was looking squarely into the eyes of the cross, he was praying, John chapter 12, and here's what he said. He said, Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour?

And then he answered his own question, and he said this, No, here's what I'm going to pray. Father, glorify your name. My dear Christian friend, this should be our prayer in every single circumstance of our life. We should say, Lord, above everything else that I'd like to see happen in this circumstance, my prayer, the top prayer I've got in this circumstance is, Father, glorify your name in my life through this circumstance. Whatever you need to do to glorify your name, Lord, you do it. And you send me the bill, and I'll pay the bill. Lord, if it means I've got to make a lower grade on this test because I don't cheat and everybody else is cheating, I'll pay that bill.

Lord, if it means that I missed some business deal because I was a person of full disclosure and somebody else wasn't, Lord, I'll take that loss. Lord, if it means that I have to take people mistreating me because I'm taking the high road to communicate to people I have an almighty God, I'll deal with that. God, you send me the bill, but you glorify your life in me because that's why I exist, God. Not for comfort, not for ease, not for pleasure, I exist to glorify you. So do that in my life, and I'll be happy, Lord. What a wonderful prayer. And I pray today that this will be our prayer every day for the rest of our life with the help of God's Spirit. Let's pray together. Lord Jesus, you know we live in a really tough world.

There's a lot of nasty things that happen in this world. And to live a life that glorifies Christ is impossible in the energy of our flesh. It's just way too self-centered, way too selfish, way too sinful. So, Lord Jesus, we need the power of the Holy Spirit moving and flowing in our life, empowering us. And I pray that we would be surrendered to the Lordship of Christ so this could be true of us. And then that we would walk out of our house every single day determined that to the best of our ability with the help of the Spirit we are going to live a life that glorifies God in everything we say, in everything we think, in every reaction we make, where our eyes go, where our mind goes.

Lord, we're going to try to glorify you. Thank you, Father, for placing us here on earth for that purpose. May we aspire to fulfill the purpose for which you made and created us. Lord, change our lives because we were here today. Change our value system and the way we live every day because we came in contact today with the living, breathing Word of God and it changed our life. And we pray these things in Jesus' name. And God's people said, Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-25 08:38:40 / 2024-06-25 08:51:10 / 13

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