Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Crystal-Clear Reason for Living

Objectifying the "Glory of God" often becomes extremely obscure and sometimes turns into a stumbling block for many. What many studiously diligent Christians and scholars discover is actually crystal-clear and even more awe-inspiring and motivation to draw closer to God.

The following from John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life offers just that lucidity your faith needs to grow closer and perhaps understand God more fully:

The Bible is crystal-clear: God created us for his glory. Thus says the Lord, "Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory" (Isaiah 43:6-7). Life is wasted when we do not live for the glory of God. And I mean all of life. It is all for his glory. That is why the Bible gets down into the details of eating and drinking. "Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). We waste our lives when we do not weave God into our eating and drinking and every other part by enjoying and displaying him.

What does it mean to glorify God? It may get a dangerous twist if we are not careful. Glorify is like the word beautify. But beautify usually means "make something more beautiful than it is," improve its beauty. That is emphatically not what we mean by glorify in relation to God. God cannot be made more glorious or more beautiful than he is. He cannot be improved, "nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything" (Acts 17:25). Glorify does not mean add more glory to God.

[Glorify] is more like the word magnify. But here too we can go wrong. Magnify has two distinct meanings. in relation to God, one is worship and one is wickedness. You can magnify like a telescope or like a microscope. When you magnify like a microscope, you make something tiny look bigger than it is. A dust mite can look like a monster. Pretending to magnify God like that is wickedness [(because you're assuming God is tiny)]. But when you magnify like a telescope, you make something unimaginably great look like what it really is. With the Hubble Space Telescope, pinprick galaxies in the sky are revealed for the billion-star giants that they are. Magnifying God like that is worship [(because you know he is huge and you want to understand him)].

We waste our lives when we do not pray and think and dream and plan and work toward magnifying God in all spheres of life. God created us for this: to live our lives in a way that makes him look more like the greatness and beauty and the infinite worth that he really is. In that night sky of this world God appears to most people, if at all, like a pinprick of light in a heaven of darkness. But he created us and called us to make him look like what he really is.

This is what it means to be created in the image of God. We are meant to image forth in the world what he is really like.