Thursday, April 9, 2015

Teach us to Pray, part 44: Glorifying God

"Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 'Give us this day our daily bread. 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [ For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.' ] (Matthew 6:9-13 NASB

Last night at Wednesday night Prayer Meeting, our interim pastor, Bobby Douglas, talked about glorifying God. He gave the illustration of a sunrise. Before we see the sun, he explained, we see the golden glow that lets us know the sun is coming. If we were seeing the sun for the first time, we might say, "I thought it would be something like that from the glow that came before it." When we glorify God, we live in such a way that people get a glimpse of what God is like by watching us. 

Pastor Douglas is absolutely correct. God did not call us to convict people of their sin, nor did He call us to be "fruit inspectors" (as I have heard numerous people claim). Our job is to be salt and light, to love, to be unified, to obey. Conviction of sin is God's job. Judging sin is God's job. We are to live in such a way that we create a lovely glow that causes people to want to see more. 

When Jesus walked this earth, he spent time with people who did not live the way the "church people" lived. He ate with them, attended parties with them, loved them. He sat down at the well and talked to the most notorious woman in town. Do you remember what happened when Jesus hung out with sinners? Mary Magadalene showed us how to love to the extreme. Matthew documented the life of Christ and brought his friends to Jesus. Zaccheus showed us the generosity that springs from love and a life that has been redeemed. These "sinners" became the very ones that showed "the church" what loving God was supposed to look like. They became the golden glow that gave a glimpse of the Son.

This is what our lives are supposed to do, as well. We are to be so cleansed by the blood of Christ, so transformed by His Spirit, that we become that same golden glow that gives a glimpse of our Lord. Matthew explained it perfectly.

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NASB)

In the Leanna paraphrase, "Live in such a way that your life is a light that shows everyone a picture of God and makes the most notorious sinner want to love Him,too." That's what someone did for me, and it made all the difference. 

Be the light that gives the world a glimpse of Jesus and His love.