Do All to the Glory of God
by David Morsey
Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31
What does it mean to do all things to the glory of God?
In fact, what is the glory of God? What does the word "glory" mean?
To humans on the earth, looking for the ultimate meaning of life,
Any clues we can pick up are of great importance.
Why are we on the earth? What is life all about?
What does God want from us? What can we expect from God?
These are the questions for which we are always seeking answers--
Answers that will help us survive in this world... and the next.
Of course, at the heart of all things and underlying all things is God--
Author of the universe and its essential meaning.
But how do we relate to God? What does He want?
And what is our expectation? Our ultimate destiny?
A pivotal word in the answer to these questions is "Glory"--
The glory of God; the glory of Christ; the glory of Godís people.
Sometimes the word is used synonymously with God--
"Unto Him that is able to present us faultless before the presence of His glory."
Whatever is of God is a reflection of His glory.
Whatever glorifies Him is essential to the meaning of life.
As electric current produces an arc, and an arc reflects electric current,
So, whatever is of God, reflects His glory.
But what do we mean by the word, "glory?"
Like so many abstractions, it can mean so much, and so little.
It can describe trivia--"Having a glorious time!"
Or meaningful human concepts--"Old Glory," the United States flag.
Whatever it may mean in the common vernacular,
We need to know what God means by it in His Word.
The Hebrew word is kabod--"weight"; that which has substance.
Gold, for instance, has substance; its weight shows its worth.
The Greek word is doxa--"That which is apparent."
The glory of the temple was manifested in the splendor of its gold.
The glory of Godís substance is manifested to the world,
In the radiant splendor of His creation.
"The heavens declare the glory of God
And the firmament showeth His handiwork." (Psalm 19:1)
In kabod God has the substance to be the reality of the universe;
In doxa His substance is manifested in radiant splendor.
The central purpose of every element of Godís creation
Is to glorify God--to reflect His glory.
"Whatsoever you do... do all things to the glory of God."
But what does that mean? How do humans do that?
Humans do it the same way nature does it--
By simply being humans; living according to Godís purpose.
Plants provide food or color or fragrance according to their purpose,
And manifest the glory of God, in simply being what they are.
Humans are "partakers of the divine nature" (II Peter 1:4)--
Imbued with the attributes of God in limited measure.
Our purpose is to interact with God, forever--
Commune with Him; worship Him; serve Him.
Whatever we do for Him; however we relate to Him,
Becomes a part of His glory--the radiant stream of His splendor.
This purpose was obscured in the tragedy of Eden.
It is restored in redemption to all who receive His Spirit.
Possessed by His Spirit, we are able to manifest His glory.
We are able to commune with Him; to understand His purpose;
To sense His presence--His love and grace and joy;
To live by faith and express His Word to the world.
We are, in another figure, "God-trees," producing the fruit of "godness."
David says we are the godly, who love His law.
We are like trees planted by the watercourse
Bringing forth fruit in season--the fruit of "godness."
Our fruit is not pious "religiosity," but the expression of the heart of God.
Later, David says that we are inferior only to God,
And have dominion over all His works (Psalm 8).
And Peter says that we are "partakers of His divine nature."
The main purpose of a fruit tree is to bear fruit.
The purpose of the peach tree, is peaches (not other peach trees).
The peaches may be less than excellent, but they are still peaches.
Our natures are far less than God, but like God, nevertheless.
Nature produces what it is designed to produce.
The elements of creation glorify God in a great many ways.
Some simply exist in beauty and wonder, producing after their kind.
Other elements produce for human benefit with obvious purpose.
The sheep, for instance, grows wool and provides food.
It does nothing but express these capacities.
It neither pulls wagons, nor plows, nor carries riders.
It stays in the pasture and eats, and gets fat, and grows wool.
We are likened to sheep; not cattle.
Cattle are often in a frenzy of activity.
Pastors are sometimes more like cowboys than shepherds,
Driving the sheep to ever more frenetic effort.
Christ said, "Come unto me... my yoke is easy, my burden is light."
In God's economy, each element of nature does what it is designed to do.
And each glorifies God--by splashes of beauty; or by provision,
But each according to its design and capacity.
However, much of what is produced is known by God alone.
Great herds of wild beasts provide neither food nor clothing.
Great fields of flowers and flocks of fowl are known only to God,
But known to Him they are, "For not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him."
The snowflake, so exquisite; each unique in design,
Glows for a moment in the air, and vanishes in the frozen wasteland.
Just so human beings. Many do exploits in obvious ways,
But many abide for a moment and are gone--glorious to God alone.
And the less comely--the offensive--they too are His creation.
In the overall pattern of God, they are beautiful to Him.
Like the musical device of scordatura (instruments tuned off key),
They too serve the Great Composer; they too, glorify Him.
It is not a matter of being great for the glory of God;
But letting God glorify Himself through us, however He sees best.
Sometimes what we are and do seems lowly in the eyes of others.
John the Baptist said, "I must decrease." Paul said, "I have become refuse."
The flesh must often be shattered that the glory of God may be revealed.
Death is often referred to as glorifying God.
"This He said, signifying by what death He should glorify God." (John 21:19)
We are but vessels of clay housing the glory of God.
The desert is full of wildflowers, minute and microscopic.
Each one, exquisite in design, is usually seen by God alone.
This is what it means to live for the glory of God.
Giant Bird of Paradise, or tiny Verbena, everything is for His glory.
As members of His body and the radiant effluence of His Spirit,
Whatever God wants us to do, He will give us the capacity to do, and the desire.
And whatever we do, however trivial it may seem,
Will become part of His glory, manifested in the world.
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