What is glory and how do we get it?
I see a young soldier, he looks barely 18 to me, he has got fear in his eyes, but he has one goal... to get glory and honour... I see him, going through his training, a hard routine, 20 press-ups followed by 30 crunches, then an hour jogging, and then more push-ups, by the end of the day, he is completely worn out. But it’s all for the prize at the end of his career. Then I look at this soldier a couple years later... he is fighting in Afghanistan, against a foe which he has been taught to hate... he’s never seen any Afghans but he, nevertheless, believes they are evil. Then I see him doing one great act of bravery, running into a group of Afghan soldiers with nothing but his stone heart and his gun, he is shot, but not before he is able to take a few enemies down. As he lies there bleeding to death on the battle field, he thinks to himself that he has done that great brave deed which will finally bring him that honour which he so much deserves, and then he thinks of his family and friends at home, and how proud they are going to be of him... and while thinking these thoughts, he breathes his last expiring breath, and he leaves this world never to return.
The soldier gets his glory in the end, his medals are sent to his grieving family, but he is not alive to see how proud they really are of him... That soldier did a grand thing, greatly to be admired and so rare in these times... but was this great sacrifice really worth it for the glory? I’ll let you decide later!
Then, I look at the young aspiring actress, whose dream is to make it big in this world... She starts off small, taking a small extra role in a movie... taking a few acting classes along the way, then she takes on some major supporting roles... by this time she’s living and breathing he acting career, she’s loving her newfound fame, and just looks forward to her big break... Then it comes, she gets a starring role in the summer’s surprise blockbuster, and she is suddenly a household name!
The fame is great but, now that she has her glory, where does she go from here?
I could also tell you about the rock-star, and the great politician, and the author of mystery novels, but alas I do not have the time for all that.
But you might laugh at some of the attempts I myself have made in my quest for glory... how at school I tried all I could to be like the other boys, so that I would be popular... but how can you be someone else? There’s a reason I was born to be me!
Then when I found that I was popular when I tried to be no-one but myself, I thought that I must have a great character... So I decided that I wanted to become an actor... but the sad thing is I never got past any auditions... it just wasn’t to be.
Then I decided to become a famous preacher! Well, I’m a preacher, but I doubt God will ever make me famous. And why should I become famous? Are preachers not just the messengers that bring the message that there is a God that saves sins? Then should all the glory go to God!
Well, I’ve been having some little bits of problems... The Lord has taught me to pray, He has taught me to trust in Him, He has taught me the need for trials, but up until recently I have had precious little instruction on how to truly glorify God.
Paul Washer is currently doing a series of sermons called “the Family Catechism” or something like that... you can find it on Sermon Audio. But this sermon series, I really recommend, because it is very simple teachings telling us the reasons that we exist on this earth, and Washer explains about the catechism.
The catechism asks the question, What is the chief end of man? (the purpose of his being created) and it answers that the chief end of man is to glorify God. Read your Bible, especially Psalms, and you will see that this glory is the one thing most needful!
So when I realised that this was my purpose in life, i was confused as to whether it was still right for me to pursue my employment! I work as a healthcare assistant, which is basically an unqualified nurse, and although it’s all about helping people, the matters of the body seem so unimportant when viewed next to the matters of the soul... basically should I not rather be preaching full time rather than doing me day job?
Well, I prayed deeply concerning the matter, and I was very close to deciding that I need to resign my post, and that wasn’t really what I wanted to do, so I was going round with a long face looking very sad.
But you know what? Christian’s shouldn’t be going around looking sad... Christ died for you, if you are thinking about Christ all the time, like Christians should, shouldn’t we be virtually ecstatic all the time?
And thus it was that I found the way in which I could keep my job and yet be continuously testifying of the glory of God...People will look at me and see that there really is something special about me, and maybe they might ask me why I am always so cheerful all the time, and then I could simply say the name Jesus, and that would be as good as preaching 1000 sermons... as they say 1 picture is better than 1000 words, maybe I might say, 1 Godly life is better than 1000 sermons!
So to glorify God, we have to appear different to the world, and to appear different to the world, we have to think about Christ as opposed to how we can glorify ourselves. So then comes the question... “How can we always keep our minds on Christ?” Sounds really complicated, but it’s really quite simple... reading your bible and praying to God is like spending time with God... and isn’t it the people you spend the most time with that you think about the most?
Now, my prayers have been very self-centred recently, most of my prayer time has been used up in asking for this thing and that thing... but what I intend to do in the future is still to ask God for everything, but also to thank God for all the things He has done for me, just thank Him for everything, and in this way I intend to give god the glory due to Him!
It is truly impossible to glorify God as He ought to be glorified, and we will always be trying to make ourselves glorify God more on this Earth, and even in Heaven we will glorify God for eternity, and still we will need to glorify God more!
Well, I hope this sermon has been of some use to the glory of God