First of all – I realize I have made a statement with a purchase I recently made. When I went to Wal-Mart recently, I made the following statement. “I need pants – oh, and I also need food.” Just on a personal note as we start, I don’t want every purchase I make to be a political statement. Honestly, after this most recent election – I’d like to not think about politics for a long time. And as I pick my next pair of Wrangler jeans, which I buy because they are inexpensive and they cover my lower body, I don’t want the thought in my mind that I am helping to advance some sort of agenda. I am buying a pair of jeans – sheesh! Yes, I realize that I am advancing the horrific agenda of older men not really giving a flip that they look frumpy in their “dad-jeans,” (cue the evil laugh track). Seriously though – if you don’t like my Wrangler jeans wearing statement in support of frumpiness among older dads – you don’t have to roll your eyes at me as I walk by. Ok – end of personal rant and sad attempt at humor. Here is the first of what I believe to be three principles that will help us live in a world like ours – without being dragged into its spirit.
Principle #1 – Everything for the Glory of God
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NASB)
The core principle above everything is to live my life for the glory of God. Since this is true, I live for the advance of the gospel – and to be rich in good works so when people see them – they will glorify God. Even the purpose of those works is to stimulate people to ask why we live this way. The answer . . . the transformation of my life by the Gospel!
When you search the Scriptures for the things that bring glory to God, you will find that at the top of that list is the proclamation of and transformation by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By the way – the end of this passage in 1 Corinthians 6 speaks of not offending Jews, Greeks, or the church of God. The ultimate goal of this admonition – was that by seeking the profit of others – the gospel might go forth and people would be saved. THE AGENDA for the Christian is the advance of the glory of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here is what greatly concerns me in regard to our overall topic here and I will express it in a couple of questions. Is the dominant thought in your mind God’s glory? Are you and I as consumed with the proclamation and advance of the Gospel as we are with the current political battle? (You do realize that regardless of who is in power, there is always one going on – right). Is your mind and heart being co-opted for these battles rather than for the battle of getting the Gospel to every tribe, person, and tongue on our planet – for the glory of God? Let me put it another way. When is the last time (or maybe how often) you shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with someone and continued in a relationship with him or her so that they would be saved? Now, compare that to how often you have spoken, written, or argued with someone (or shared your thoughts on social media) about politics. What was your result? Did the Gospel and the salvation of the lost win a resounding victory?
Please hear my heart. This is not a rant against politics – but it is a call for us to put the gospel and the glory of God ahead of politics. I want my concern to be first and foremost whether someone has received Christ in their lives. I want to know whether or not they have been justified by faith! I want to judge my own actions, words, and attitudes through a grid that puts God’s glory infinitely ahead of any party or political action or shopping list. And what I hope will reign in my heart and yours is not what some bag or cup says about a person’s political views. I hope that we are far more concerned with what someone’s choice concerning Who Jesus Christ is and what He’s done through His death, burial, and resurrection says about their eternal destiny.