About a year and a half ago, John MacArthur’s Grace To You radio program highlighted various ways that Christians can, and should, bring glory to God. The Lord used those lessons back then to challenge the self-focused attitudes that I’ve incorporated into my supposed worship of Him. And since that time, His Spirit has faithfully reminded me of those challenges, especially lately as my pastor has been preaching through Luke 1. As much as I hate to admit it, far too often I have the same rancid attitude that Victoria Osteen famously touted:
I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God-I mean, that’s one way to look at it-we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy.
Ahem! Mrs. Osteen and I miss the entire point of serving God when we turn obedience into a means to self-fulfillment. Certainly, serving Him does lead to joy, but not the narcissistic happiness that she implies. If we obey Him for our own benefit, we betray a lack of concern for His glory. And that lack of concern misses the entire point of worship. Worship centers completely around Jesus Christ.
11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. ~~Revelation 5:11-14 (ESV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (ESV)