Short Meditations in Philippians: 6. A God-Glorifying People
Phil 1:11b to the glory and praise of God.
It sounds such a simple little phrase, this part verse above, but it is ultimately one of the key reasons we are saved, to glorify God. Yes, the Lord loves us and wants the best for us always and that is a fundamental reason behind all He does – He IS love (1 Jn 4:8,16) – and behind our salvation, but there is a secondary reason, if you like, that He will be glorified through our lives.
Now why is this so important, why I am even bothering to focus on this part-verse now? The answer is because I have come to see that throughout the Bible, God wants ALL the world to see and to know about Him so that everyone has the opportunity not only to know about Him but to know Him personally. The world will see and know through us, those of us who are already Christians, believers in Jesus Christ, those who already have a relationship with God through Jesus. It is through US that God is to be glorified and seen as He truly is.
How does this happen? It should happen, surely, through those transformed lives that we have been talking about in the last two studies, lives that are radically different from the lives of everyone else around us. Be quite clear, this does not mean ‘religious’ lives, because there are plenty of other ‘religions’, and some of them turn off thinking people when they see some of the things with which their religion is associated. No, these are lives that, first and foremost, exhibit love and goodness, lives that are gracious and humble, lives that are caring and compassionate.
But even that is not sufficient, because there are a number of people who are caring and compassionate. No, our caring and compassion has to be within a God context. If someone shares with me a need – personal, emotional, physical or relational – and I offer to pray for them, this is the obvious opportunity to say, “Do you mind if I pray for you then, because I know that the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, loves you very much and would love to help you.” You may put it in a variety of ways, but that is a ‘God context’ so that when God’s power flows through you and they are healed, or perhaps their circumstances suddenly change dramatically, they will know that you at least attribute that to God, and that will leave them thinking. That opens the way for the Holy Spirit to speak further to them, helping them face their need of His love even more.
As you do this, so you fulfil Jesus’ teaching: “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5:16) This is you letting Him shine His light through you so others can see.