Do All for the Glory of God

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Do All for the Glory of God

2 Corinthians 3:17-18, John 14:13-14, John 15:1-8

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Jan. 22, 2012

*About this time two years ago, we were all living in the “Who Dat” nation. A judge down in New Orleans even had to postpone a trial due to all of the Saints-mania. That was a good example of athletic glory, but how long did that glory last? -- A few weeks or months at the most.

*We were hoping for a little more of that glory a couple of weeks ago. But those hopes went down the drain in a 21 to nothing loss to Alabama and a 36 to 32 loss to the 49ers.

*That’s one of the problems with man’s glory. It will be over in a few hours or years at the most. Compared to God’s glory, man’s glory is a lightening bug up against the blinding brilliance of the sun. And God’s glory will last forever!

*This is the glory God speaks of 300 times in His Word! It is His splendor, majesty, magnificence and brightness, the outward shining of God's inner-being, His infinite and overflowing fullness of all that is good. (1)

*God will surely reveal His glory. In Numbers 14:21 the Lord made this promise to Moses: “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” And God’s glory is so important to Him that 1 Corin 10:31 tells Christians: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

*“Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” God wants every part of our lives to magnify the glory of God. But how can I magnify God’s glory next Tuesday at 10:30? -- How can we do ALL for the glory of God?

1. One way is by a growing awareness of God’s glory.

*We all need more awareness of the glory of God. Like Moses, we should want to see and to know more of God’s glory. The more we focus on Jesus Christ and His glory, the more we will be transformed to reveal His glory to others.

*We see this result in 2 Corin 3, where Paul compared the revelation of God’s glory in the Old Testament to that in the New Testament. In Old Testament times, the glory on Moses’ face after he met with the Lord was so bright that the Children of Israel could not even stand to look at it. Moses’ face had to be covered for a while. But that glory faded away.

*The glory of God in New Testament believers is far better, because of the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The more we focus on Jesus, the brighter His glory shines in us. The more we focus on Jesus, the more we will look like Him

*So in vs. 17&18, Paul said:

17. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

*To understand this verse, you have to remember that mirrors back then were polished metal. You could not see in them nearly as well as we can see in our glass mirrors today. Paul had already mentioned this in his first letter to these Christians. Talking about seeing the Lord now, compared to seeing Him in Heaven, Paul said, “Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Cor 13:12)

*Right now we can only see a tiny bit of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, but even that has the power to transform our lives, -- IF we will keep focusing on Him. The more we focus on Jesus, the more we will look like Him.

*Don Shelby tells about a preacher friend of his who was a missionary kid. When he was 12, his parents went back to their mission station in India. And they left the boy with his grandmother, thinking that it would not be too long before they could be reunited. But it was just before the beginning of World War II, and that the family was separated for 8 long years.

*On the boy's 20th birthday, they finally were reunited. Their son said, “I’ll never forget it. It was almost dark when the train finally pulled into the station. Mother and Dad were the only ones who got off. I could barely see them in the haze, and they couldn't really see me. -- We embraced in semi-darkness.

*Then Mother took my hand, and we went into the waiting room where there was more light. With tears running down her cheeks, she looked at me. She kept looking at my face, long and hard, staring at me. Then she turned to my dad. ‘Arnett!’ she cried, ‘he's gone and looked like you! He looks just like you!’” (2)

*Christians, our goal is to look just like our Heavenly Father, and the more we focus on Jesus, the more we will grow to look like Him. We will be transformed to reveal His glory to others.

*How can we do all for the glory of God? -- By a growing awareness of God’s glory.

2. But also by growing prayerfulness in our lives.

*On the night before the cross, Jesus connected God’s glory with our prayerfulness. We see this in John 14:13-14. Here the Lord said:

13. “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

*Now this promise is not a blank check to get something wrong or selfish. The Book of James tells us that. And God is not our “genie in a bottle.” He is the Almighty, All-knowing, All-powerful God who always answers our prayers in the right way, even when the answer is not what we wanted.

*But at the same time, God makes an amazingly powerful promise to us here: “Whatever you ask in (Jesus’) name, He will do it!” He will do it according to His perfect will, so “the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

*The more we pray in Jesus’ name, the more glory we will bring to God. So we need to pray a whole lot more.

*Denver Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow, led his team a lot farther this year than anyone thought he could. But Tebow stirred up a lot of angry opposition along the way simply by being open about his faith in Jesus.

*Tim has had a remarkable life, and has been a strong witness for the Lord. But Tim Tebow would have never been born, if his mother had followed her doctor's recommendation back in 1987. Instead, Tim would have been a victim of abortion.

*In their story we can see the great connection between prayer and the glory of God. Pam Tebow and her husband Bob were missionaries in the Philippines in 1985, and they prayed for "Timmy" before she became pregnant.

*After Pam got pregnant she got sick with amoebic dysentery. That’s a terrible intestinal infection that even put Pam in a coma for a while. The treatment required very strong medications. Doctors thought the medicine caused irreversible damage to Tim, so they advised Pam to have an abortion.

*Now it would have been easy for the Tebows to think, “God, what is the matter with you? We prayed for Tim, and now all this trouble.” It would have been easy to give up on prayer. It would have even been tempting to give up on God.

*Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed. But the Tebows didn’t give up! They kept on believing. They kept on praying to the Lord. And look at the glory that has come to His name. (3)

*How can we do all for the glory of God? -- By growing prayerfulness in our lives.

3. And by growing fruitfulness in our lives.

*Just hours before the cross, Jesus connected the glory of God to our fruitfulness. Listen to the Lord in John 15:1-8. There Jesus said:

1. “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

2. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

3. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

4. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

6. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

7. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

8. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

*The key verse for us today is vs. 8, where Jesus said: “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” Or as the Lord says in the New Living Translation: “My true disciples produce much fruit.” And “this brings great glory to My Father.”

*Our Heavenly Father is definitely glorified by fruitfulness in our lives. And as we go through the New Testament, we can see at least 4 different types of fruit:

[1] The first kind of Christian fruit is holiness, righteousness and goodness, -- the character of Jesus Christ.

-So Rom 6:22 tells believers, “Now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”

-Gal 5:22-23 tells us that: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

-And Eph 5:9 says, “The fruit of the Spirit is in all (believers) goodness, righteousness and truth.”

[2] The second kind of Christian fruit is our financial giving.

-In Phil 4:15-17, Paul said:

15. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.

16. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.

17. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.

[3] The third kind of Christian fruit is our heart-felt praise to God.

-Hebrews 13:15 says, “Therefore by Him (i.e. by Jesus) let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

*Tonight at 6, we will take a good look at the Psalm 103. It is a Psalm of boundless praise, so if you’re not involved in Awana, come. It will help you praise the Lord. It will help you bear fruit for the Lord. It will help you give glory to the Lord.

[4] The fourth kind of Christian fruit is reaching other people for Jesus, spreading the good news of forgiveness, salvation and eternal life through the cross of Christ.

*This brings great glory to God. And He wants us to share His glory with our world, so 1 Chronicles 16:23-26 says:

23. Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

24. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.

25. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.

26. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

*One of the best ways to bear this kind of fruit is to share your Christian testimony with other people. A couple of years ago, Quarterback Drew Brees shared his Christian testimony with Jill Ewert from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Here’s part of what Drew said:

*“I believe that coming to New Orleans was truly a calling, and something that I was meant to do. . . When I had that injury in San Diego, at the time I felt like ‘This is the worst thing that could have ever happened to me, at the worst time, potentially career ending...

*Just all those things, and you start to feel sorry for yourself. And you start to ask, “Just why! Why me? Why now? All of those things that are very easy to ask. . .’

*And I looked back a year after that, after I had already been here a year and everything. And I said, “God, You know what? -- That was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. . .”

*Jill asked Drew about how he first came to faith in Christ. He replied: “You know, I first really accepted Jesus Christ into my heart on my 17th birthday, January 15th. I was actually in church. It was a Sunday in church. And before that, you know, I had gone to church with my family. But I was just kind of there, you know, listening to the stories. And it all sounded good, but I didn’t fully, truly understand and get it or accept it.

*And it was at that moment I remember our pastor talking about God looking for a few good men. And he referenced the movie, “A Few Good Men.” And he just said, ‘God is out there. He is looking for a few good men.’

*And all of a sudden the light bulb went off in my head. And I was just like, ‘Hey. -- That’s me. I can be one of those few good men.’ For the first time I felt like God was really talking to me, and speaking to me. So that was the day.”

*Drew also told Jill what it means to be one of God’s few good men. He said, “It means that you trust in the Lord. You trust that He has a plan for your life. You trust that He’s never gonna put anything in front of you that is too hard for you, or else He wouldn’t put it in front of you.

*So no matter what comes your way, you will be able to overcome it. It will make you stronger. You have the ability to influence in a positive way so many other people. And just be able to spread the blessings that God’s bestowed on you.” (4)

*Now that is a great testimony for the glory of God. But if you are a Christian, then you have a great testimony too!

*God loves you in spite of your sins! He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to die on the cross for you. Three days later Jesus rose from the dead. And He offers eternal life to anyone who will open their heart to receive Him as Savior and Lord.

*Now some 2,000 years later, somebody brought that great news to you. You heard the truth, and one day God spoke to your heart.

*His Holy Spirit let you know that you were hopelessly lost without Jesus, but that you could be forgiven and live forever through the amazing grace of God. You heard, you believed, and you were saved for the glory of God!

*Now you can bear fruit for the glory of God. And though millions will never see us on TV, our fruit is just as important to God. And God says, “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

*You can give glory to God playing for the New Orleans Saints. -- But you can also give glory to God playing for the Caldwell Spartans!

-You can give glory to God playing quarterback. -- But you can give glory to God eating a Quarter-pounder at McDonalds.

*And that’s exactly what God wants us to do. As Paul said in 1 Corin 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

*So put your trust in Jesus Christ, and live for the glory of God.

-Let’s start by going to God in prayer.

1. Based on Piper definition from SermonCentral sermon “GOD CREATED US FOR HIS GLORY” by John Piper - Isaiah 43:1-7 - July 27, 1980 and Kimbrough definition from sermon “Revealed Glory” by WALTER L. KIMBROUGH - Exo 16:1-36

2. Found in sermon “I've Been to the Mountain” by Maxie Dunnam - Luke 9:28-36 - 2006

3. “Heisman Trophy Winner Tim Tebow Could Have Been a Victim of Abortion” by Steven Ertelt - Editor - Dec. 9, 2007 -

4. Adapted from Drew Brees Testimony to Jill Ewert, editor of FCA Sharing the Victory Magazine -

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