A verse that comes to my mind often is Psalm 73:25: "Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you." Who of us can say that with complete honesty? "Earth has nothing I desire besides YOU, O God!" We desire a lot things, don't we? And most of them have to do with "earth," with things in this world. Is that wrong? Can't you desire/want things? The question is, WHY do you want things? Why do you want the things you want? What do you want to do with them? The answer will determine your goals - the reason you live. And that's where the Bible is clear about what SHOULD be the goal of those who know the true God. Your goal and mine should be the same as GOD's goal for us! If you desire God more than anything else, then living to please Him will be your number one priority.
And God tells us how to please Him: by fulfilling the purpose for which He made us and for which He saved us in Christ, and for which He gave us His Spirit, so that we could think as He thinks. Why then, did God create us? For what purpose did He send Jesus to suffer and die in our place to redeem us and to make us His adopted children? Why did God come to live in us by His Spirit? For His glory!! The entire Bible points to God's glory as the reason for creation in the first place. "The heavens declare the glory of God" (Psalm 19:1). If God made the heavens to glorify Him, surely He also made man to glorify Him!
Because of sin, however, all people live for self in one way or another. Even when people do things for others, it is often for self-centered reasons such as wanting to feel good or for others to see or even to earn some "points" with God. Sin makes it impossible to glorify God. God is glorified only when you and I recognize Him for who He is, in ALL His glory, and proclaim His greatness and majesty to the world. We do that only when we live our lives for HIM and not for ourselves. One passage of Scripture points this out in the clearest possible way - pointing to God's purpose in creation and in redemption through Christ. The passage is Ephesians 1:3-14.
I want to encourage you to read these verses ... then read them again and then pray, and then read them again! Let God's Word soak in; even memorize some of these verses, or the whole passage. Pay close attention to verses 6, 12 and 14. Verses 4-5 explain, "For He chose us in Him (Jesus Christ) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - (verse 6): to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves."
Again in verses 11-12: "In Him (Jesus) we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might BE for the praise of His glory!" Did you hear that? "In order that we might BE for the praise of His glory!" God made us to EXIST for His glory, and in Christ, He restores us to His original purpose. If you believe in Jesus and are born again by His Spirit, you must have this as the goal of your life; no longer living for self, but for the God who created you for His glory in the first place!
And finally, verses 13-14: "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of His glory."
Are you living for His glory? I'll talk tomorrow about some specific areas of life where people seem to have a hard time living for God's glory in our culture and throughout the world today. For now, read Psalm 73:25 and the surrounding verses, and Ephesians 1:3-14. Let God speak to you and then DO it - for HIS glory!!