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James Merritt - Glorify Me

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    James Merritt - Glorify Me

We said so far that there are three things that God wants from everybody. Three things God wants from all of us. Okay? Who can tell me what the first one is? Faith. All right; the first one is faith. Okay? God says I want you to believe me. You can't even have a relationship with God if you don't believe there is a God and believe that God wants to have a relationship with you. All right? Somebody tell me what's the second thing God wants? Love, all right, God wants love. Jesus said the greatest commandment of all the commandments you'll ever find in the Bible is we're to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our mind. All right?

What's the third thing that God wants? God wants obedience. Okay? Because Jesus said if you love me, you will keep my commands. Now, this is how this works. When you give God your faith and you give God your love and you give God your obedience, you will then naturally give God the last thing God wants from all of us and that is, say that word. Glory. That's the last thing God wants from us. He wants glory. So, God says when you come to Him, believe me, love me, obey me, and when you do, you will glorify me. So, my primary reason for being on this planet is to glorify God. By the way, pop quiz. Why did Jesus come to Planet Earth?

Now, if you've been coming to church for a while, you kind of got that rolodex answer. Well, I know why Jesus came to earth. He came to die for our sins on the cross. He died to save us from our sins so that we could have a relationship with God. Okay? You've heard that a million times. However, remember there's always a why behind the question. So, the question is you're right, Jesus came to Planet Earth to die on a cross, to save us from our sins, to forgive us so that we could have a relationship with God. Question: but why did he do that? Well, He tells us in a Gospel called John 17:4. You don't need to turn to it; We're going to go somewhere else, but in John 17:4, listen to what Jesus said. He said, "I have brought you," talking to His Heavenly Father. "I have brought you glory on Earth by finishing the work you gave me to do".

Now, I'm going to tell you something you have probably never heard before. Jesus did not come primarily for us. He came primarily for Him. He didn't come primarily for what He would do for us. He came primarily for what He could do for His Heavenly Father. Oh yes, He did come to bring salvation to us, but why did He do that because ultimately, His number one motivation when He left our heaven and came to Earth was not to save us. His number one motivation was I want to bring glory to my Heavenly Father. So, the main reason that God sent Jesus to earth is the same reason that God put us on earth.

Listen, the same reason that God sent Jesus to earth is the same reason that God put us on earth and that is to glorify Him, and there was a man by the name of Paul who discovered His way on the road to Damascus, and it was on that road to Damascus that he gave God the first thing He wanted. He gave God his faith, and then he gave God his love, and then He gave God his obedience, and then he was writing a letter to a church in a place called Corinth. I've been there. I've been to Corinth, and He wrote a letter to a church called Corinth, and in that letter he makes an incredible statement that tells us what we really need to know about this last thing that God wants us to give Him, and so if you brought a copy of God's word, or go along with us so, whatever you want to use. We're going to be in a book called 1 Corinthians 10. It's about six books over from the Gospel of Matthew.

Okay, just right in there. Just right past the first four Gospels you'll find 1 Corinthians 10. Now, before I tell you what the verse is, I believe Paul, he was writing this letter, and I believe Paul actually had in mind this long list of things he was going to tell this Corinthian church on all the things they ought to do and need to do to glorify God, and I think he just kind of stopped and said, wait a minute. Let me just put it all in one basket. Let me just kind of put it all in one sentence. So, in 1 Corinthians 10:13, here's what he said, "So whether you eat or drink," because everybody eats and everybody drinks; we know that. And then he says let's just kind of wrap it all up, "or whatever you do, you do it all for the glory of God".

Now, I want you to let those words sink in. Just let those words sink in. Do you understand the impact that would have on your life every day if you really believed that and started living that way? I mean, do you understand the impact that could have on the way you live? If that verse is true, because here's what that means. All of a sudden, you go wait a minute. If everything I do, whether I eat, whether I drink, whatever I do, if it's all for the glory of God, then guess what? All of a sudden, the light comes on and you realize something. Your life is not about you. Your life is about God. Your life is not about you and your glory. Your life is about God and His glory. In other words, at the end of the day, nothing is about you. I'm going to say that again. At the end of the day, nothing is about you. It is all about God.

There's nothing about you and your glory, your happiness, your desire, your fulfillment. That's not what life is all about. It's all about God and His glory. So, Paul said, hey, whether you're eating or drinking, whether you're working or playing, whether you're talking or listening behind everything you do should be the glory of God. Now, that raises the question I want to answer today. How do you do that? How do you glorify God in everything you do? Whatever you eat, whatever you drink. How do you glorify God, and how do we make sure that we give the glory to God that God desires and God demands and God deserves? Well, I want to suggest three ways. Number one, we should recognize God's glory. The first step to giving God glory is we need to recognize God's glory.

Now, I'm going to say something to you that's going to sound a little bit contradictory, but just hang with me. In one real sense you don't give God glory. You say, wait a minute. You just said we're to give God glory. Yes, you are, and we'll get to that in a minute, but in one sense you really can't give God glory. What I mean by that is, what I'm saying is, well, if you don't give God glory does that mean God won't have any glory? Absolutely not. God is going to have glory whether you give it to Him or not. Here's why. God is glory. God is glorious. God doesn't need you to give Him glory in order for Him to have glory. Now, we have to give each other glory. We have to give other people glory. If we want glory, we've got to gain glory, but God is glorious.

Let me give you an illustration. Think about a king. You walk into a palace, and you approach the throne, and there's the king on the throne, and here's the king wearing his kingly robes, and there's the king wearing that crown on his head. Well, what would you do? You would bow, and you would give the king glory. However, let's say that same king were to take off his crown and were to take off those robes. He would get off the throne. He puts on the clothes of a beggar. He puts on a lot of makeup, changes his appearance. He walks into the street. Nobody recognizes him. Nobody knows who he is. He sits down next to a beggar. You would never know the difference between the beggar and the king. You wouldn't bow down and give either one of them glory even though he is the king. Why? Because the king does not have glory in and of himself.

It's only when he's wearing the crown. It's where he's wearing the robes. It's when he's sitting on the throne. That's when you say, okay, now I give you glory. Here's another example. A man or a woman put on a judicial robe, and they sit behind a judicial desk in a courtroom. Now, at that moment, they have the glory of a judge, but when that judge takes off his robe and gets in his car to drive home, he's just another guy or, for example, a police officer, he's in uniform. He's wearing the badge. When he's got that uniform on and he's wearing the badge, he has the glory of a police officer. Take off the badge and take off the uniform. He's just another person. Right? Nobody has glory in and of themselves. Here's the difference. God never takes off the uniform. God never abdicates the throne. God never takes the crown off of His head.

Now, He is not God because of the throne or the crown or the robe. He has a throne and a robe and a crown because He is God, and the point I'm making is God and his glory are inseparable. He's just glorious. He just has glory. It's intrinsic to His nature. So, in one sense, you really can't give God glory as if you don't give it, and He will not have it. Glory is as essential to God is light is to the sun, as blue is to the sky, as wet is to water. For example, now some of you can figure this out. Right? You don't have to make water wet. Anybody understand that? It's just wet. You don't have to get up in the morning and paint the sky blue. It's just blue. You don't have to get a bunch of double A batteries and give light to the sun. It's just light. And in one sense, you can't give God glory because God is glorious.

As a matter of fact, you know what He's called over and over in the Bible. He's called the God of glory. Our job is to recognize His glory. Let me give you this illustration. Let's just imagine the world had never been created. Let's imagine that you and I had never been created. So, the world is not here. We're not here. Nobody is here. Nothing is here. As a matter of fact, let's imagine that no angels had ever been created. So, there's no world, there's no universe, there's no us, there's no angels, there's no church. There is nothing except God. All right? Do you understand what I'm about to say now? God would still be a God of glory. God would still have glory. Therefore, that means we cannot add anything to His glory, and we cannot subtract anything from His glory. He is forever glorious and forever is glory.

However, there was a king by the name of David who knew what it was to give glory to the King of Kings, and David said these words. He said ascribe to the Lord. That is, you give to the Lord, you push to the Lord, you make sure you express yourself to the Lord the glory due His name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. Well again, that begs the question, wait a minute, if God already has glory, how do you give Him glory? Well, I'll tell you one thing. We just did. You give God glory by and recognize His glory by worshipping Him, praising Him, and exalting Him, and honoring Him and singing to Him and giving to Him and testifying to Him.

You see, one of the reasons why when we sing, everybody ought to sing. It's because you glorify God when you sing. One reason why when we give, everybody ought to give is because when you give, you glorify Him. One reason we all testify, we get a chance to testify, is because when you do that, you glorify Him, which by the way, just another reminder. We say this every so often. It's just a reminder. Our worship is not about us. Our worship is about Him, and what should really matter to us is not how we worship. I worship in any setting. I can do contemporary. I can do traditional. I can do Southern Gospel. I mean, I can worship anywhere because it's not the how, it is the why. Worship is not about us and our preferences. It's about Him and His glory.

So, whenever I walk into a church, I don't consider, oh, so you do this style, or you do that style, or you do this style. I just have one question. Does this worship bring glory to God? And the first way that we glorify God is by recognizing His glory. Got it? All right. Here's the second way we glorify God. We should not only recognize God's glory, we should reflect God's glory. So, listen to that verse again. Paul said, so whether you eat or drink, I still think is kind of just strange to me in a way, but he said whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Now, the point is, what Paul is saying, he's saying, look, even a simple mundane activity like eating and drinking, even something simple like that can be done with the glory of God in mind.

So, here's the statement I want to make, and if you'll get this and start living it, your life is never going to be the same. Are you ready? The why behind everything you do should be for the glory of God. If you do anything. I don't care how good it is. I don't care how beneficial it is. I don't care how well-meaning it is. If you do anything you do except for the glory of God, it is a waste of your time. If I preach any message for any other reason than for God to glorified, it would be better if I never preached at all. That ought to be my one motivation. I want to glorify Him.

You know, I read the other day that the average person takes 23,000 breaths every day. Can you imagine that? When you get up in the morning, you're going to breathe in and out 23,000 times. I read that, and I thought to myself, you know what, Lord? Today I'm going to breathe in and out 23,000 times. Every breath I take ought to be for the glory of God. Every breath I take in, every breath I breathe out ought to be for the glory of God. How different... let me just ask you an honest question. How different would your life be on a daily basis, how different would your life be on a daily basis if you were asking two questions. You were always asking two questions before you said anything, before you did anything, before you ate or drank anything, before you went anywhere, how would your life be different if before you did something, said something, went somewhere, whatever it is, if you asked these two questions: Does this glorify God, and number two, how could I make this glorify God? Does this glorify God and how can I make this glorify God?

Can I be honest? I think maybe for some of you even yesterday some things would have radically changed in your life if before you did what you did or said what you said or went where you went you said to yourself does this glorify God and how can I make this glorify God because by the way, earlier in this letter, Paul said this, he said, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you whom you have from God. You are not your own, you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body". So, why should we always give glory to God? We were made by Him. Paul said we were made for Him, and our flashlight is always to be on Him, and we're to shine our light on not only for Him, but on Him so others can see Him.

Have you ever thought about what the moon does? It was created to do one thing: to reflect the light and the glory of the sun. Likewise, do you know why we were put on this planet? Do you know why we're here? To reflect the glory of God's Son. That's my job, that's my role. Lord, I just want to reflect your glory. So, the way we live, the words we say, the things we do, the places we go, the people we are, it is to reflect God's glory, and my goal and your goal should be every day when you get up and get out of your bed, you ought to say, God, just for today I want to live in such a way that other people will see your glory in me and see your glory with me and see your glory through me. Lord, let me live in such a way today that I don't deflect your glory, reflect your glory.

So, we are to recognize God's glory, and then we are to reflect God's glory, but then there's one other thing I want to point out. We should receive God's glory. That's kind of an interesting concept. We should receive God's glory. Now, that may sound like a strange thing to say. You say, wait a minute, if we're supposed to give God glory, how is it possible to receive His glory? How do you even know you can do that? I know because of something that Jesus said in that same chapter we quoted back in John earlier in the message. Jesus said this. I'll bet this is one of those things you never thought about before. Jesus said, He's talking to His Heavenly Father. He said, "Father, I have given them the glory that you gave me". Really?

You gave Peter and James and John and Bartholomew and Thomas, etc., you gave them the glory that you gave me that they may be one as we are one, and by the way, He wasn't just talking to those 11 disciples. He was talking to everyone who would ever become His disciple. Now, think about this. Jesus said if you become my disciple, you will receive the glory of God. All right? Watch this now. So, in order to receive the glory of God, you have to become His disciple, and how do you become His disciple? By believing in Him and loving Him and obeying Him.

Now, here's what I want to tell you. You receive God's glory when you receive God's Son, and you cannot begin to give God glory until you give your life to His Son, Jesus Christ. Did you hear me? You can never begin to give God the glory that He desires until you give your life to His Son. By the way, Paul wrote something else to another church in another place called Philippi, and he made this statement. Some of you may remember it. He said, "Therefore, God exalted Him," that is Jesus, "to the highest place and gave Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue acknowledged that Jesus Christ is Lord". Okay?

So, one day Paul said everybody, everybody, popes, presidents, professors, dictators, potentates, police officers, presidents, governors, everybody is going to knell, and they're going to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Why? To glory of God the Father. You cannot give glory to the God who made you until you give glory to the Son who came and died fro you. In other words, nothing gives God more glory than when you give your life to Jesus. Nothing glorifies God more than when you give your life to Jesus because when you give the Son of God your life, the Son of God gives you His glory, and that's why you were put on this planet. You were put here to glorify God, and the first step in glorifying God is to give your life to the Son of God that God sent for you.

If you have not burning desire in your heart to glorify the God that made you, you not only believe in the wrong God, that is if you believe in God at all. You're living the wrong life. You believe in the wrong God, and you're living the wrong life because, listen, there are only two groups of beings in the universe that will not voluntarily glorify God. Only two: Rebellious people and rebellious angels. They're the only two beings in the universe that refuse to give God His glory. That's why in eternity they'll be separated from the God of glory because let's think about this. If you have no desire to give God glory on this life, you won't have any desire to give God glory in the next life, and so God says, okay, you don't want to glorify me here, then you don't want to glorify me there.

So, here's my next set. I want to kind of review, and I was thinking even this morning. I got up early, and I was thinking, Lord, this is one of those series, I don't want our people to just forget it. I want it to hang in the air for a while. I said, okay, Lord, what's the next step? How can we really put this series into practice? And it hit me. I'm going to say something some of you are not going to believe. You'll think it's just positive-thinking hype, and I'm just telling you I really believe it. I believe in a real sense every day can be the best day of your life, and I believe every day you can be the best you of your life.

Say, okay, I'm all in. How can I make every day the best day of my life? No matter what's happening, how can I make it the best day of my life and how can I be the best me I can be every day of my life? Are you ready? Just give God those four things every day, every day. So, beginning today, I'm going to ask you beginning today begin your day when you get up out of bed, I did it this morning, begin your day by saying the following to God, "Today Lord, just for today, I will believe you complete me. Lord, just for today, I will love you supremely. No matter what you say, I'm going to take your word for it and live as if it's true, and Lord, today, I'm not going to love anything more than I love you".

Thirdly, I will obey you totally. If you say it, I'm going to do it, and then fourthly, "I will glorify you totally". I will glorify you, actually, should say continuously. I will glorify you continuously. If you really make a commitment to do those four things, here's what will happen. God will give you plenty of opportunities every day to do those four things. He'll give you a chance to believe Him. He'll give you a chance to love Him. He'll give you a chance to obey Him, and He'll give you a chance to glorify Him.

So, I want to wrap this up. Here's what I want to tell you. You can do a lot of things on this earth. You can be successful. You can become famous. You can get rich. You may even be able to get monuments built in your honor. You can have streets and bridges named after you. You can do a lot of things that will get you a lot of glory from other people, but at the end of the day, the only way your life or my life will matter at all is if we lived it to the glory of God.
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