There’s Freedom In Glorifying God article, Day 3

We glorify God by how we make decisions.

God is glorified when a Christian lives the life He is meant to live.

Charles Stanley once wrote, “Success is the continuing achievement of becoming the person God wants you to be and accomplishing the goals God has helped you to set.”

Success is choosing to habitually walk in the spirit and follow the leading of the Shepherd to guide us into righteousness. It is also being the object God created us to be. When we be the creation that God created us to be, we glorify God:

“How does a star “speak of the glory of God”? It’s an inanimate object. It makes no sound, much less language — how does it speak?

By being a star.

How does a tree speak of the glory of God?

By being a tree.

How does a lion speak?

By roaring loud.

How does a flower speak?

By unfolding its color every spring.

When we see the world in the shape that God intended, the way it’s supposed to be, God gets glory, without a word.”

A created object is deemed successful by its creator, when it effectively performs the functions and meets the needs intended by its creator, determined before the creation of the creation. Even if the creation, after its creation, excels at performing functions and meeting needs contrary to what it was purposed to do by its creator, a consequence occurs (because the needs that the creation supposed to meet failed to get met), and probably, at least in the eyes of the creator, the creation failed to be a success, therefore.

For example, a tire wheel has been designed and created by a manufacture with the purpose of assisting a motor vehicle in transportation, by helping a vehicle to roll, with the help of the other parts of the car – the engine, the steering wheel, the gear shifts, the seat, the accelerator, etc. As a team, each component of the vehicle represents the totality of the composition of a car, working together to help people meet their personal needs of transportation. A car benefits a person very well in transportation – it completes the purpose of transporting of a person or a group of people very quickly in time and of traveling lengthy distances, helping them to meet needs of going to work to earn money to live, going to store to buy food and other necessities, going to the doctor to check health and wellness, to see friends and family, so they won’t be alone, etc. If it was decided that the tire wheel was to be used for a different purpose and not to help a car move, or it was defective in doing the purpose of making a car roll (not to perform its specific function), a car as a whole would be unable to transport a person and thus, consequences occur as needs fail to get met. Success of a created object is measured by its effectiveness of performing the functions and meeting the needs, purposed by its creator, to meet and satisfy.

A tire is made with specific specifications and designs by its designer to perform the function of aiding a car to transport people from one location to another. A tire has to be designed properly, it has to be of the right shape, for example.  If a tire was shaped like a square, triangle, hexagon, and not a circle, it wouldn’t be conducing to rolling well, because of a round shape rolls the best.

God, our Heavenly Creator, created each of us with a certain SHAPE before we born, in order for us to be conducive to meeting the needs and performing the functions that our God-designed unique life purpose has purposed for us to meet and do. Before we were born, He desired that each of us would bear spiritual fruit, in which each of us are commanded to do, uniquely based upon our SHAPE and unique life purpose He has for each of us. Our success is determined by how effective our life purpose meets the needs and performing the functions, defined by our Creator when He determined the life purposes of every man and woman before the creation of the world. Our free wills must surrender daily to our unique life purpose and we must allow the Lord Shepherd guide our paths and the power of the Vine to empower us to complete it, or we won’t be considered successful in the Creator’s eyes, as our life fails to fully complete the purpose, meet the needs, and perform the unique functions, that our life was meant to do and satisfy. Obviously, if we fail to walk by the spirit in controlling the flesh, we won’t make sound decisions and live as free people, and the completion of our life purposes will suffer in the process. Thus, if we fail to fulfill our purpose, we won’t be glorifying God in the manner He intended for us. And the consequence is the unmet freedoms of people in this world in our purpose sphere.

Let’s talk further about the SHAPE God has for you and me. Before we were born, our Heavenly Creator desired every human to bear spiritual fruit, and designed for each of His Christian creations a unique way of doing it, planning the shape (spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, experiences) based upon its unique life purpose or way of bearing fruit, and planning every action and decision He intended for us to make, in order to complete His goal of glorifying God. For example, God purposed some Christians to be a writer, a preacher, a mechanic, a computer programmer, a Sunday school teacher, a stay home mom, a mental illness overcomer, a factory worker, etc, each with its own spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences, to serve God for God’s glory.

Rick Warren has a SHAPE ministry for God’s glory – one of the purposes of his ministry is to help Christians find out how God shaped them to do ministry work, in each of their unique way. Online there is a SHAPE test to help interested peoples figure out their unique purpose. Below is a description of the SHAPE acronym, which you may find helpful. Feel free to do a web search for RICK WARREN SHAPE MINISTRY and study Warren’s material further.

ABOUT S.H.A.P.E. – Five Ways God Has Shaped You: S – Spiritual Gifts – What has God supernaturally gifted me to do? H – Heart – What do I have passion for and love to do? A – Abilities – What natural talents and skills do I have? P – Personality – Where does my personality best suit me to serve? E – Experiences – What spiritual experiences have I had? What painful experiences have I had? What educational experiences have I had? What ministry experiences have I had?

Ponder these questions, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, to help guide you to figure out what your SHAPE is, which partially helps to define your unique life purpose. Spend time considering what is the unique spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences God gave you, and use that as a beginning to figure how you are purposed to bear spiritual fruit.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8).

Vine Empowers the branch to be a little Christ

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

In John 15:5, the Vine is Jesus (Lord Shepherd) and we Christians are the branches. Just like how a branch draws its strength by staying connected to a vine, we must walk by the spirit constantly in order to stay connected to Jesus, our power source to live the Christian life the right way.  When we are “apart from Jesus”, that is, we choose to gratify the fruit of the flesh, we can do nothing fruitful.  Since Jesus can do all things, and we draw power from Him to be fruitful, we have the potential to do all things through His power, strengthening us, if Christ chooses for that to happen. Living in the Spirit is critical to human potential, and we often thwart His work in us when we fail to surrender and live the Christian life.  Success and freedom both require sound decision making, which entails many things, including choosing to habitually walk by the spirit. If we don’t walk by the spirit, we fail to glorify God, in retrospect to living the life we are meant to live, for His glory.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. No do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). Following this advice daily is essential toward glorifying God.

We are to be a “little Christ”. We do that be staying connected to the Vine. When we gratify the desires of the flesh, we do the opposite of abiding in the spirit (staying connected to the Vine). We are the “light of the world’ – it’s not our light that shines, but Jesus’s, through the power of the Vine. Again, when we abide, we draw power from Christ’s power to do all things. We have to abide daily – if we don’t, it would be the same as “lighting a lamp and putting it under a basket, where it is hidden”. The world desperately needs see the light of Jesus in us. How can people see the light of God’s glory if we keep it hidden because of sin? Be a “little Christ”: model after the life of Christ, choose to let Him control your life, and let the Lord Shepherd guide you and the Vine empower you to be like Christ. That is how we show God’s glory: daily surrender, daily abiding, to become a “little Christ”. It isn’t our own light that makes us a “little Christ”, it’s His light taking control of us.

The Church body working together as a team

Just like how a car is comprised up of many parts (tire, steering wheel, motor, seat) with its own particular purpose and shape, God has designed you with a particular shape and purpose to work together with other Christians, with the overall mission to produce spiritual fruit. Just like how every part of a car has an important role for the overall mission of transporting a person, every member of the church is beneficial to God’s glory and has a role to play in the church’s mission of making disciples. There is no such thing as an insignificant church member.

Shine God’s light so the lost can become saved by them seeing the glory of God.  Shine it so other Christians can also see God’s glory and model after that. The church body is a team, like a car, with a purpose designed by its Creator.  Don’t extinguish the light by choosing to gratify the flesh. Don’t choose another purpose other than what God designed you for, for the sake of God’s glory. Love thy neighbor, including the church body, as thyself. Love God with all thine heart, mind, and soul. For the sake of God’s glory and for the freedom of mankind, let the Holy Spirit control you daily. Like how a car cannot work best when some of its parts malfunctions, the church body cannot function properly when its members are not walking by the spirit consistently. As Craig Groeschel wrote: “A divided world needs to see a united church”.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:13-14).

God commanded us to love. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” In our own strength, we lack the ability to do so the way God intended; but by walking by the spirit, we can. It is a choice we have to make daily and we as flawed creatures, will fail often. However, we must strive to develop habits of righteous living, for the sake of God’s glory.

Timothy Keller once said, “Glorifying God does not mean obeying Him only because you have to. It means to obey Him because you want to – because you are attracted to Him, because you delight in Him.” One of the greatest things that I delight in God is His perfect love and mercy.

The prodigal son story portrays God’s perfect mercy and grace to us prodigal sons, every time we sin. In the Prodigal Son story, the prodigal son deserted the father, wanting to have no further part in the relationship. He left town and squandered his inheritance money on wild living – he certainly was a dirty sinner. However, feeling brokenness from the consequences of his sins, he felt remorseful. He wanted to come back to the father for forgiveness and mercy, but was afraid his father would reject and have no longer part of him. Thinking he would work as a hired servant, the prodigal son returned home to the father. Meanwhile, the father, waiting and desperately wanting his son to return, was full of compassion when the son returned: overjoyed, excited, and accepting the son with open arms. The father then immediately asks his servants to prepare an enormous feast to celebrate His son coming back to father.

When I fail Him each time, He continues to love me the same as before. Perfect love. Every time I sin, He declares me “not guilty” because of what Jesus did on the cross. He will never stop loving me – no matter the totality of all my sins in my lifetime. Because His love is unconditional, and that He has always been faithful to my needs being met, I am motivated to please and obey Him, because I delight in Him. He is perfect Father even when I’m a dirty sinner. Praise the Lord, for God’s unconditional love and never-bending faithfulness is the same for all of His children!

God is glorified every time a sinner sincerely comes back to Him because God is perfect grace!

There’s Freedom In Glorifying God article, Day 4

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