Over the last two years we have had a vision statement as a church. I’ve explained some of the reasoning behind that here.
In 2013 we’ll be spending some time reflecting on this idea: “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” It is taken from Paul’s comments at the end of 1 Corinthians 10. John Stott had a prayer that he uttered frequently before preaching:
“Heavenly Father, we bow in your presence
May your Word be our rule Your Spirit our teacher,
And your greater glory our supreme concern,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Various people have quoted this prayer down the years and it always been the third line that has struck me most. In life it is so easy to be concerned by any number of things- but the Christian who loves God will want, above all else, His name to be praised and adored. We will feel pain when He is ignored and joy when He is worshipped. That is different from the perspective we sometimes have. To be honest it is very easy for my Christian life to revolve around God helping me to fulfil my ambitions and comforting me if I don’t succeed. But the problem is that puts me and my desires at the centre of my universe. And I don’t belong there. We need to see God as central and to hunger for His name to be regarded as awesome and magnificent in our world- to the extent that this becomes our life’s ambition.
In order to motivate us to glorify God we will consider a number of issues across the year. We will see what it means for Christians to be captivated by God’s glory (I’ve been itching to preach on 2 Cor 3:18 for years…), we will consider why it is right for God to want Himself to be glorified, we will see reasons why people throughout Scripture have wanted God to be glorified and we’ll reflect on ways to glorify God. As ever, we’ll spend most of January looking at this in sermons and homegroups (plus a midweek meeting reflecting on the theologian Jonathan Edwards and his vision of God’s glory) and we’ll return to it occasionally throughout the year.
I hope and pray that this vision statement will change us. For God’s glory and our good I long that the result of these studies will be a church:
That is captivated by the magnificent beauty and splendour of God.
That truly believes God to be worthy of adoration from every human being.
That makes decisions that show to the world the greatness of our God.
Perhaps you might pray to that end?