Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 2- to Glorify God

January 2 (of Calvin's Quincentennial year)
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36 TNIV).
Geneva Catechism (of Calvin):
Q. 6- What is the true and right knowledge of God?
A.- When he is so known that due honor is paid to him.
Q. 7- What is the method of honoring him duly?
A.- To place our whole confidence in him; to study to serve him during our whole life by obeying his will; to call upon him in all our necessities, seeking salvation and every good thing that can be desired in him; lastly, to acknowledge him both with heart and lips as the sole Author of all blessings.
God is not glorified by fear, but by the personal response of trust, service, obedience, dependence and thanksgiving. The chief purpose of human beings- as Westminster’s catechism reminds us is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
I hear many today say that religion helps them- and so they plug into the church. Or they are “getting something” out of the worship (as if that is the chief end of worship). Ask not what God can do for you, but what you can do for God (a la JFK). The flip side of this is when life goes sour, we have a tendency to punt it all- that is- if we are only in this to be blessed by God. I remember my college roommate saying he left the church because being a Christian never did anything for him (as if he could have only seen how belief could have helped him before he dropped out because of his hedonistic lfiestyle). But it is not all about us, it is about God. The eastern religions emphasize how they can put you on the right path to peace. But again, it is not what God can do for us. We were made for God- not that God is made for us (contra Freud who believed we made up God). The main thing isn’t even about our salvation. The chief end of human beings is not our salvation- but glorifying God (our salvation, of course, is certainly a part of that glorification of God- but it is not the end of it).
Calvin said, “It is not very sound theology to confine a man’s thoughts so much to himself, and not to set before him, as the prime motive for his existence, zeal to illustrate the glory of God. For we are born first of all for God, and not for ourselves.”
So, this second day of January- let us resolve to give our full selves to God. Not to make a resolution to help ourselves, but a resolution to glorify God. I do not doubt that as we glorify Him- the secondary benefit is that we will know who we are, and have joy and purpose here as well as the hope of heaven!

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