Our new purpose statement for New Durham Chapel reads “Making Disciples, Teaching God’s Word, Glorifying God”. As we have considered in the last two blog posts “Making Disciples” and “Teaching God’s Word”, I would like to share in this post some thoughts on “Glorifying God”. In one sense God is glorified when we recognize His presence in our midst and praise Him for the character of His attributes and actions. This kind of glorifying is seen clearly in Rev. 4:9-11 and Rev. 5:12-13. The truth is God’s glory is revealed when we recognize the wonder and beauty of His creation and actions displayed in the world. There is another sense of glorifying God and this form of glorifying God is seen when our actions bear fruit for the “Father’s glory”. God is glorified when you and I become agents of God’s grace, displaying in our actions and character the very image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This past Sunday at NDC we had a powerful display of this 2nd kind of glorifying God. Remember in the 5th chapter of Matthew’s gospel Jesus said “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good words, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (v. 16, NASB). I believe that is exactly what happened this past Sunday when 3 of our friends testified of their personal relationship with Christ and were baptized. Each person shared a powerful and personal testimony of the profound significance of coming to trust Christ as their Savior. Their testimonies centered not so much as on what they had done but on what God had done for them through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. All praise be to God, what a powerful time of glorifying God.
One of the Chinese students who was baptized testified about coming to America two years ago as an atheist and how God used a series of people and contacts to bring her to the point of trusting Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. It was a powerful word about the glory of God and I was deeply moved as she shared. What an amazing gift that God allows us to reflect His glory into a dark and dying world. Because Christ is present with us through His Holy Spirit we can become instruments and tools who reflect the glory of God. This is what Paul was writing about in 2 Corinthians when he writes, “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (v. 18 NASB).
What would it look like for us at NDC to “glorify God”? Since this is a part of our purpose statement this is no small question. First, I think we would be more open to declare our praise and thanksgiving to our great God for who He is and all He’s done. But I would also suggest to you that it would look a lot like what happened on Sunday. We witnessed people displaying through their lives a heart change and standing up and declaring what God has done. We don’t want people to think we’re great people but want we others to see that the God we serve is a great and good God who is still moving and working in our world. Some time ago I remember another Chinese man standing up and sharing his testimony before his baptism. He said “if you don’t believe in miracles let me tell you I am a walking miracle”. He went on to describe his conversion from atheism to faith in Jesus Christ, all for God’s glory.
I also believe if we are going to be a ministry that glorifies God, it is not going to matter who gets the credit for the great things that are happening because it is all for God’s glory. Who cares who gets the credit as long as God is glorified. He will sort it all out in the end anyway. I was so blessed Sunday after the service when 3 people approached me about being baptized in obedience to Christ and following the model they had just seen. Praise be to God from whom all blessings flow. What an amazing thing that God allows us to be part of His work.
All for Christ,
Pastor Rich Sivo