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Gospel Driven: Everything Exists for God's Glory

Nothing is more important when it comes to serving God than to determine what God has as His highest concern.  Whatever is most important to God has to must also be most important to us as His disciples.  The only way for us to know what is most important to God is to examine the scriptures where God has revealed Himself to us and let His words inform us.  What we will find is that nothing is more highly thought of by God than His own glory.  Nothing.
Before we get into the scriptures that reveal God's highest priority, I would like to take a moment to consider the importance of getting this one right.  Very few churches would disagree on the fact that God is sovereign over all His creation which means that this is really the first place that a churches make a serious misstep concerning God and mission.  If this is not understood, the trajectory of the church is inevitably altered and ultimately becomes far removed from what the church is meant to be.
Every church has at its core a belief about God and His character that forms the foundation for what they do.  If  this foundation is not the glory of God then it must be something else.  Very often what replaces the glory of God as foundational is God's pursuit of His people.  Now, God's pursuit of His church is extremely important, but it is not His pre-eminent concern.  His glory is.  When we make evangelism our core value, the church then becomes about pursuing the lost instead of pursuing His glory.  What happens next is that our corporate gatherings become geared toward reaching and welcoming the lost instead of building up and equipping believers (which is what the church is designed to do when it meets together.)  This change in focus affects everything from the preaching to the way we allocate our budgets.  It is crucial that we get this right.

Now, on to the scripture where God reveals His passion for His own glory.  This theme is repeated over and over again in scripture.  God is passionately jealous of His glory.  It is why He redeems us (Ephesians 1:5-6), it is why He rescues Israel from Egypt with the ten plagues (Exodus 14:4), it is the motivation for everything we do (1 Corinthians 10:31), and it is not something He will share with anyone else (Isaiah 48:9-11).

And then there are these verses:

Ezekiel 20:8-9
Psalm 106:6-8
Exodus 14:4, 18
1 Samuel 12:19-22
Psalm 25:11
Psalm 23:3
1 Kings 8:41-45
2 Samuel 7:23
Malachi 2:2
John 17:4
John 7:18
John 12:27-28
Romans 15:8-9
Ephesians 1:11-14
Philippians 1:11
1 Peter 4:11
Matthew 5:16
2 Thessalonians 1:9-10
Revelation 21:22-23

Each of these demonstrates, again, God's passion for His own glory.  Everything God does fall under the umbrella of His demonstrating His glory.

What this means for the church is that our primary calling is to learn what glorifies God and do it.  And not only do it, but do it the way He wants us to do it.  We cannot, at any point, substitute our ideas or feelings where God has given us instruction.  To miss this is to miss the very core of who God is.



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