Understand your purpose - Part II
I Corinthians 10:31 “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for
the glory of God.” Last week, we looked at how we can give glory to God by how we face death. Today, let’s look at how we give glory to God with how we use the life we have before death. Let’s start by imaging yourself on the hospital bed, given one week to live. How on earth could you give God glory there?
Maybe you’ve heard Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10). Think of the victim in that story. He was left for dead at the side of the road — no money, no hope, worthless. If we’re gauging value by “quality of life” this guy is at the bottom of the price chart, right? But, his life gave glory to God, didn’t it? Precisely because this man had no power to do anything, his life gave that Samaritan believer the opportunity to show his love, to exercise his faith, to give God glory by helping.
Remember how Jesus said, “Come to me you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Maybe, even if your life gets to the point you see no reason for it, maybe your purpose on that hospital bed will be to let someone else live Jesus’ love for you. In Second Corinthians 1, Paul reminded us how God gets glory when things don’t go well for us. He said that we have to go through our problems, we have to go through needing help, so that we are better able to help others down the road and give glory to God by demonstrating his love in someone else’s life if or when he brings us through this struggle.
Your life is all about the glory of God. And God gets the glory when his people realize that. As we face all of our struggles realizing that they are manageable because Jesus conquered our greatest struggle, God gets glory. As we celebrate every blessing we’ve been given because we know it is just a foretaste, just a glimpse of the blessings we have in store for us, God gets glory. In how we view all of life as nothing but God’s grace, God gets glory.
So with what time you’ve got left, whether it is a lot or a little, understand your purpose — that God get glory, and see every end-of-life decision and every single attitude and action in that light. As Paul said, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do,” whether you live or die or whatever you do, whether you recover or suffer or whatever you do, whether you go suddenly or slowly or whatever you do, whether you read a devotion to your loved one or sing them a hymn or sit quietly by their side holding their hand, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
That is your purpose in life. May God grant that we fulfill it. Amen.
the Rev. Jonathan E. Scharf Abiding Grace Lutheran Church The church as the
temple of God The New Testament gives us a variety of images to describe the church: the people of God, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, the believers, the saints, the elect and the field of God, just to name a few.
It also speaks of the church as the temple of God. In Ephesians 2:19-22, the Apostle Paul said: “you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And, in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
Paul compares the church to the metaphor of a building, although the church is never an actual building or structure in the New Testament. Rather, the church is always people gathered to worship God and build each other up as the body of Christ.
Paul is telling Christians three primary truths from this passage of Scripture:
First, the Church is a dwelling place for God. The root idea of a dwelling place is that of a house or home. It is a place where God lives and resides as an ongoing resident.
If the church is God’s home, then God must be present in the church.
If the church is God’s home, then God must be host rather than visitor.
If the church is God’s home, then God must be comfortable in the church.
Secvond, the Church is built with people. It is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus as the chief cornerstone. A cornerstone is vitally important to a building because all the building must be aligned with the edges of the cornerstone.
Paul is saying that the church must be built in complete alignment with Jesus if we are to remain straight and stable. He also tells us that the church consists of “living stones” rather than inanimate rocks and stones placed together in a wall.
Third, the Church is a holy temple. The church must be holy because it is the temple of a holy God.
The church’s holiness must reflect God’s holiness. If we do not, then we are giving false advertising about God. Holiness is allowing the Spirit of God to form more and more Christ in us, among us, and through us.
The relevant question for each of us is this: am I a fit dwelling place for a holy God? Is there anything in my life that would prohibit him living in and through me to the measure and extent to which he desires?
No, the church is not a building. It is people who are fully surrendered and consecrated to God. It is people in whom God lives by his spirit. Dare to be his living temple and stay aligned with Jesus, the cornerstone.