One of the key components of New Durham Chapel purpose statement is the phrase “Glorifying God”. In fact one of the ancient catechisms of the church states that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. So the question then is,“How do we glorify God?” In the 12th chapter of John’s gospel I believe Jesus shows us the key to what it means to glorify God. Beginning in the 23rd verse we read “23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life”, (v. 23-25 NIV). This wheat analogy illustrates a general paradoxical principle; death is the way to life. For Jesus His death worked for the glory of His Father. Notice the significance of v. 28 which begins with Jesus speaking these words “28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (NIV).
Therefore if Jesus glorified the Father so we glorify our heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ by surrendering our rights. The idea of surrendering our rights doesn’t quite go along with the American mind-set which teaches us to fight for our rights. Even in the church of Jesus Christ most church splits and division are not caused by doctrinal deviation but by petty areas of disagreement. In this passage in the 12th chapter of John’s gospel the central theme is “God’s glory”. Jesus Himself even struggles with the path that lays before Him. Listen to His words in v. 27, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”, (NIV).
Jesus also shares insight with us as to how we may glorify Him. We read, “26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” (v.26 NIV). We glorify the Lord Jesus Christ when we follow Him, when we allow Him to lead us into difficult places. Sometimes as believers it’s difficult to stand and embrace God’s will. Especially if we know there is pain involved. Yet if we are truly desiring to “glorify God” we will move forward despite our conflicted emotions. In this Jesus is our example. He glorified His heavenly Father by the greatest sacrifice possible, His own life. What is in your hands that God has given you that you can use for His glory and honor? It almost certainly will involve a surrendering of your rights! May God be glorified in our midst during this amazing Easter season.
Pastor Rich Sivo