Jesus said something that hit me between the eyes tonight: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15: 8 (NIV)
Not the “bearing much fruit” part or the “showing yourselves to be my disciples” part, but that phrase “to my Father’s glory.”
Honestly, I don’t spend much time thinking about, praying for, plotting to… live so as to reveal God’s glory.
I am far too selfish.
When I was a youngish Christian, I remember thinking more about that, how to live a life that brought glory to God, lifted Him up in the eyes of others. The thought rose to the forefront of my mind more frequently. I actually worshiped God!
And more recently, I have mused off and on that one of the best ways to reveal God’s glory was to become satisfied, so filled by my relationship with Jesus that I would stop striving. My gentleness (verses discontent), my quietness (verses anxiety) would draw others to Jesus, would cause them to ask – in esssence – “What’s the hope within you?”
But honestly, I am very self-centered, looking to get through life, to get through a single day – not to live so that God is glorified. I actually want God to serve me…
But living for God’s glory: wouldn’t that be a better goal? Hm. I’ve been making mud pies when I could be taking a holiday at sea…
So, if I decided to pray every AM (as I have in the past) to live so that God’s glory is revealed.
If I did that, what would change? Dang. I knew you’d ask. And Jesus gives a few pointers in the passage:
- I’d remain in Him, rely on His strength, realizing I can do nothing without Him (I am making progress in this area: yay!) John 15: 4
- I’d produce fruit. I take that to mean both spiritual maturity (i.e., fruit of the Spirit) and the results of ministry. God has graciously opened doors for the latter (leading a Bible Study, mentoring a friend) – and my husband tells me I am changing spiritually (thanks to this blog, in part) vs. 2, 5, 8, 16…
- I’d follow and obey His teachings. Got the overt ones handled, but stuff sneaks up on me, showing that I have some rather deepseated strongholds that need to be addressed. I obey as far as I can, but my flesh runs deep. vs. 7, 10
- I’d ask Him for things a whole lot more (again, let me recommend A Praying Life by Paul Miller) vs. 7
- I’d have completer joy. vs. 11 That requires praise and thanksgiving – and a concerted effort to focus on God’s goodness, which reveals His glory to me and to others
- I’d love others. Crap. Jesus would have to bring that one up. So, I have to deal with people in order to live to God’s glory? I have to be nice and other-focused and servant-hearted and all that stuff? Especially with those closest to me? I knew there was a catch in this whole “living for God’s glory” thing.
Hm. Maybe I’ll go back to being selfish.
Or maybe if I remain in Jesus, He’ll help me with that “loving others” part of the glory stuff.
Today’s Readings: 1 Kings 21:1-22:53, Psalm 71:1-6, Proverbs 18:3-5, John 15:1-16:4a. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).