How we must achieve the chief end of man
Dear BPCWAians, If we know that glorifying God is the chief end of man, Christians must be especially concerned about whether we will achieve this purpose of God in our lives. Glorifying God is not an option for us, but it must be our chief aim in life. It must be the burning passion. It must be an aim that preoccupies our minds in our living. God’s commandments tell His children how we can glorify Him. To glorify God, I must aim to show forth 1) God’s character, 2) His works, and 3) His Supremacy in my life. In everything that I do, I must focus my energy and my concentration on this aim to glorify God. An archer in a shooting competition sets his eye and uses every muscle in his body to help him shoot at a target. He shuts out all distractions. That must be how we are in our spiritual life in achieving the chief end of man. What must I aim to achieve then?
My aim is to show forth God’s character. If God’s glory is known in His character, then I want to be Christlike – not just to live well, and not for the praise of others. Instead, 1) I want to be Christlike so that other people will see God through me. 1Pet 2:9 reminds us, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”. The priest’s existence is to live a holy life of service to God. As His peculiar people, I must be different from this world. To do this, I must be ready to change my life. The purpose of learning God’s Word is so that we can learn how to conform to His likeness. Is my life reflecting God’s communicable attributes of holiness, justice, goodness and truth? If there is any area or any aspect of my life that doesn’t reflect God’s attributes, I want to change. The purpose of knowing God’s Word and bearing the fruit of the Spirit is so that others can see who God is through me. Am I a sour-faced Christian? A worrywart? Short-tempered? Unkind? Selfish? I must be careful when I deal with people, not go to certain places, and not do things that may give the wrong impression of God. Hence, I must “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1Th 5:22). A person who wants to glorify God must be as holy and sanctified as possible, instead of treading as close to the edge of sin as possible. I must not do things that condone sin. If I want to glorify God, I must be willing to “depart from iniquity” (2Tim 2:19). 2) I must never give occasion to blaspheme God’s Name and to speak evil of God. God is a holy God. I must never give anyone occasion to say anything evil of God because of me. If anything brings shame to God’s Name, I will choose not to do it. 3) I must be a contented Christian, not a murmurer. 1Tim 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain”. I cannot glorify God if I am ashamed of God, what He teaches, and who He is. When God allows difficulties and illnesses in our lives, we should not be complainers. “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2Cor 12:9). 4) I will stand up and live by my beliefs, even if others speak evil of me and of my God. 1Pet 4:14 “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” 5) I will confess my sins because it gives glory to God (Josh 7:19). Glorifying God isn’t just about living a good outward life that is praised by man. Glorifying God extends to confessing my sins before Him, even when people don’t see or know. I will not give occasion to temptation even in my thoughts, because I don’t want Satan to have a reason to accuse God’s child of sin before God.
My aim is to show forth God’s Work. I am to make God’s work very clear in my life. Mt 5:15-16 “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” A Christian must serve Him with good works so that people will see God in him. God gave us talents to serve Him and to glorify Him. But these works must be done with the aim to point others to God, never to myself. My attitude in service affects how God will be glorified. The abilities that I have at work, in my studies and service are all with the grace and help from God. Why and how we serve and give must always be to point others to think about God and thank God. At the end of the day, we must just say that we are just an unworthy servant, having done what is our due. We must beware even when we say “praise God”. You may say “thank God” or “praise the Lord” for your promotion, for your child’s achievement, for many people attending our church’s meeting – when in effect in our heart it is really to blow your own trumpets and to glorify yourself or your child. We must not use God’s Name in vain. When we post things on social media, we should really search our hearts and ask if we are truly intending to glorify God. Isaiah 42:8 warns us, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another”. When a child of God is only desirous of glorifying God, he won’t care who gets the praise, as long as God is glorified. When we serve, we do not get jealous if someone does it better, or is outshining us. Even when I evangelise, it is for the purpose that when someone is saved, he will live out their chief end and more get to see God through their lives. If even our Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, sought only to glorify God in His life, then we who are mere sinful mortals must remove any secret desire to seek our own glory for anything that we do. Let no man remember what we said or did, but let them only remember God.
My aim is to show forth God’s Supremacy. We glorify God when He is truly the supreme Lord of my life in everything. What should we do as individuals? 1) I must live a life that shows that Christ is truly the Lord of my life. Do people see that He rules my life totally and I submit joyfully to His will? This is seen through my choices and my priorities. When I readily give things up so that God has the preeminence in all things in my life, I show that God is truly supreme in my life. I quickly and gladly give up my preferences if they conflict with His commands and will for my life. Conversely, if I am willing to give up my Christian walk to get things that I want in life, that is proof that Christ is not supreme in my life. Instead, I put Christ to shame when I relegate Him to second place in my life. 2) I ascribe praise and worship to Him alone. Someone who is not interested during worship, mumbles during the singing, and who does not love to praise and worship Him does not glorify God. If I have no excitement to sing and praise God, I am not exalting my Supreme God. 3) I must stand up to defend God’s Truth and His Word. Although imprisoned for standing up for the gospel, the Apostle Paul continued to testify that “in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Php 1:20). Unlike Paul, we often back down when we have to suffer for truth’s sake, preferring to have the admiration of man and to please our flesh, rather than our Lord. The world can see if our lifestyles and ambitions are supreme in our lives, instead of Christ.
John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Yours in our Lord’s service,