In today's Christian subculture there is a plethora of articles, books, sermons, blog posts, or videos that give a number of tips on how to be a “good Christian”. Then there are the endless theological hot topics that are debated in the "comments" section of this blogosphere. There are also sermon jams (where the audio from a sermon is paired with emotional music) that pull on your spiritual heartstrings, and leave you "fired up." So why, in the midst of all of this, do I submit yet another post into the already informationally-overloaded-American-Christian-subculture? Why do I ironically use the very same medium that I criticize? Because I want to communicate something that will cut through the foggy confusion of peripheral issues. I want to give you a clear, simple, scriptural explanation of what your Christian life is supposed to be all about.
To state it simply, we are to glorify God by knowing Him and making Him known.
"... glorify god ... "
God makes it clear in His Word that we exist to bring Him praise (Isa. 43:7, 21; 1 Cor. 10:31; 1 Pet. 4:1-11). He created mankind to reflect His image and multiply His glory over all of the earth (Gen. 1:26-28) but we've obviously failed at this and as a result deserve eternal punishment (2 Thess. 1:7-10). However, Jesus took our punishment, gave us His perfection and has now called us to no longer live for ourselves, but for Him & His glory (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:14-21).
Now, the big question is, "How do I do that? How do I glorify God?"
"... by knowing him ... "
As a Christian, our number one priority is to love God (Mark 12:28-31). Though there may be hundreds of other important things that need attention throughout our week, if we aren't taking the time to meet with, enjoy and love God everyday, then we are not acting according to the will of God, just ask Martha (Luke 10:38-42). I think our devotional lives are made up of a few aspects:
- Desire to Meet with God: When we consider the lengths that God has gone to in order to make an intimate relationship with Him possible, how could we ever miss out on this incredible privilege to meet with Him everyday? (Psalm 42)
- Discipline to Meet with God: What if you structured your week around having optimal intimacy with God? What would this look like for you? Just as you would prioritize a class in your weekly schedule, find a consistent time and place and discipline yourself to meet with God then and there. (1 Tim. 4:7-8)
- Dependence on God: We must fill ourselves up with Jesus so that our spiritual lives will overflow into the hearts of others. (John 15)
"... by making him known ... "
Not only do we get the incredible privilege of knowing God, but we also get to tell all of our friends about this great God! Rather than simply trying to live a good life for others to see, we get to explain how God has transformed our lives as well as point to the forgiveness found in Christ. As a follower of Christ, Jesus has not only clearly called us all to make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:21) but has promised that he will make us into a fisher of men (Matt. 4:19)! This call to make Christ known can be summed up in one word: Disciple-Making. This is portrayed in 3 actions.
- Evangelism: Evangelism is sharing the Gospel with a non-believer and drawing them to a point of decision. (1 Pet. 3:15; Mark 1:15; 1 Cor. 1:17)
- Follow up: If someone becomes a Christian, we don't want to just pat them on the back and wish them the best, but we want to guide them along in this new relationship with Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Thess. 2:7-8)
- Disciples: hipAfter we help them understand their new relationship with Jesus, we then help them live out their God-given purpose of knowing Him and making Him known. (2 Tim. 2:2)
So, when you are trying to figure out what your priorities as a Christian should be, just remember that you are created to glorify God by knowing Him and making Him known.