1 Corinthians 10:31 "Therefore, whether you eat or drink,
or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
You have all probably heard about how you can put a frog in a
kettle of water, and slowly bring the water to a boil; and, once
the frog realizes that the water's too hot, well, he's cooked!
I can just picture myself as that frog. Can you?
At first, the water is a bit too cool for my liking, but after
a while it warms up rather nicely. I'm imagining doing backstrokes as
I navigate the circumference of my "pond", first with my eyes
open, taking in the sites of this lazy summer day, and then the
next lap, eyes closed; now thinking I'm on some far-away tropical
isle as my body basks in the world I have created for myself.
Next, I can just picture myself placing my hands onthe back of
my head, providing support like a pillow, taking some of this life's
goodness in. I playfully take some water into my mouth, pucker
my lips as if to whistle, and then, instead, I squirt a perfect
arc of water that lands serenely between my feet, tickling my
toes. The gentle splash causes just enough ripple to slowly massage
weariness out of the last memory I had of my feet, moving that
nice, warm, now hot water over my ankles in a soothing salve of
distant pleasure. Oh, that feels so good! I'm thinking, man,
this is really living!
Sometimes, I think that we live in that kind of dream world and
don't even know it. We get comfortable with our surroundings
and hardly notice any ripples in the pool of our existence, much
less those of any others'. One thing's for sure, we seem to be
surprised when tragedies or troubles encompass our being, like
the deadly comfort that the frog basks in to a boil!
So, the question arises: Are we that kind of comfortable in our
day-to-day lives? Do we find ourselves passing through life, moving
from one comfort zone to the next, as if we haven't a care in
the world? The next question is, do we ever stop our comfort clock
to realize that's just not what we're made for? Do we ever stop
long enough to see just what time it is?
Even if you are often in misery, or pain, do you ever find yourself
comfortable in that existence? I know I do.
But, as followers of Yeshua the Messiah, do you suppose we should
expect to have comfortable lives as our reward? We do, after
all, share in His righteousness, don't we? Yet, in 2nd Timothy,
the Apostle Paul says,
"Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Messiah Yeshua
will suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12).
What? You ask, 'if I'm living from comfort to comfort, you
say that I may not be living the godly life I am supposed to
live in Messiah Yeshua?' I don't know anyone that would find
persecution as a desirable way to serve out his or her time here.
But, have you ever thought, "just what am I here for?"
Well, then, a good place to start, is to ask ourselves this question:
As followers of the Lord, Yeshua, what is the chief end, the ultimate
purpose, the end result of our lives supposed to be?
Another way of asking this is, what is the main purpose
for mankind? Such a question presupposes that we have
a purpose here in this life! When we ask ourselves, what
is the end result of our purpose here?, then, when
we discover it, we may begin to pursue that purpose!
Can Scripture help us out here?
In Romans 11, we read, "For of Him and through Him and to
Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen."
(Romans 11:36). And in 1st Corinthians 10, it says,
"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Now, I come back to the question, "Is our ultimate purpose in
this life to have comfort, to pursue ease and pleasure? If not,
do we ever act as if that is the case? Moreover, is it possible
that we can have some of that, as it were a foretaste, but purpose
our lives to something that is greater than where we find ourselves
A passage from Proverbs 25 basically says, that for a man to seek
his own glory, or search into it, "is not glory,"
but rather brings shame upon him! That passage reads, "It
is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own
glory is not glory. He that has no rule over his own spirit is like
a city that is broken down, and without walls." (Proverbs
Isaiah 45:8 says, "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will
not give my glory to another or my praise to idols."
I'm wondering back to the frog doing backstrokes in the kettle,
seemingly without a care in the world. If, like the frog, we
spend our lives in pursuit of one comfort to the next, or, from
one moment of happiness to the next, we are likely just fooling
ourselves if we think we aren't really working to bring some sort
of glory to ourselves, rather than purposefully living our lives
to bring glory to God alone. I will repeat Isaiah 42, verse 8, if
you didn't get it the first time, "I am the LORD; that
is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to
The question needs to be asked, what should drive our focus in
this life? It has been said that, "the chief end of man
is to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever." Perhaps
we should start there! But, how do we begin?
I would like us to explore this idea about our purpose to give
glory to the LORD.
First, odd as this might sound, we can glorify God by confessing
our sins! If it has been shown that we have reserved glory
to ourselves, or rather, in fact, we have let anything have precedence
over our purpose to love God, then those of us that are able to
admit it realize that we have sinned. The question is, should
we confess that?
Do you know the story of Achan, from Joshua 7? After the casting
of lots, Achan was discovered to be the person responsible for
God turning away from the children of Israel!
"Then Joshua said to Achan, "My son, give glory to the LORD,
the God of Israel, and give him the praise. Tell me what you
have done; do not hide it from me." (Joshua 7:19).
Do you think that by confessing, Achan would be excused from his
sin? No! But the purpose of Achan's confession
of his sin was to give glory to God .
When we acknowledge that we have sinned against God's laws, we
are in affect saying, God's law is right, we were wrong. Confession of
sin magnifies the justice of God's law.
A second way we can glorify God is by loving him above everything
else! In comparison to the love we show to and for God, the love
we have for our family and friends should pale in comparison!
'You justify yourself by thinking that your bountiful expression
of love towards those that love you brings glory to the Almighty.'
After all, how can you express your love to someone you cannot
see, but out of the goodness of your heart you certainly show
the love of God to others, right? On the contrary, if you cannot
see God all around you, and glorify him often (so as to remind
yourself of your basic duty!), then you are truly fooling yourself!
In Luke 14:26, Yeshua said,
"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own
life also, he cannot be My disciple."
In order to truly love God, we must, by comparison, appear to
hate everything else, including, and probably especially, our
own lives. We must love the Lord our God above everything else;
we must love our saviour, Yeshua, above every other person. Asaph
says in Psalms 73,
"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I
desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is
the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalms
Doesn't it appear that the psalmist's love for God, love for the
Lord, was such that every other desire, every other love he had
in this world, seemed as nothing to him? The fact is that we are
commanded to love the LORD our God with our entire being: all
of our heart, all of our mind and all of our strength. We declare
this every week, in services, when we proclaim the Shema and the
V'ahavta (Deuteronomy 6:4ff). Do we agree with the Psalmist,
"And earth has nothing I desire besides you."?
To glorify God also means to trust Him, which is to believe that
what He has said is true and faithful. Do you believe that?
Let me ask, How would we know? How could we know? Would
it be by our innate knowledge of Him? Are we so smart, or so 'together',
that we know all about God through our apparent goodness? That
seems to be the attitude we have at times, yet, if we so boldly claim
to know Him, it becomes evident quickly that we have no solid
ground to stand on, and it becomes clear when we have forsaken
the reading of His word!
In Revelation 19:10b, it says, "worship God, for the testimony
of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy." Did you
get that? I'll repeat it, "worship God, for the testimony
of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy."
Prophecy is nothing less than the forth telling of the word of
God, which is, minimally, the testimony of Yeshua himself.
Now, how on earth would we discover the testimony of Yeshua?
Hmmm. You say, 'I hear Scripture taught at services every
week! I listen to a Christian radio program every day at 10:00
a.m. But, my life is so full, how can I do any more than that?'
So, we justify ourselves?
I will say, unequivocally, that it is impossible to know Him if
we do not make the time to know Him. We cannot
know Him by casual observance, though, no doubt we can know somewhat
about Him by nature itself; but I dare say, is that nearly enough?
It is not about taking time for God, it is consciously MAKING
time for God! I ask you, 'Can you make time regularly to
draw close to your LORD?' I'm not talking about just
hearing about the glory of God in services every week, listening
to a radio program or some other casual endeavor. Those things
are important, but they do not complete us. I'm talking about
reading the Bible regularly. A good question, then, is, 'Do
you read scripture on a regular basis?'
The question needs to be asked, 'Do you believe God? Do you so
fully know the testimony of Yeshua that you have no need to look
outside yourself or change anything in your comfort zone?'
Third, we glorify God by being jealous for His HONOUR. God is
jealous for His own honour. In the second commandment, God tells
us not to make any images or likenesses, nor to worship anything
else. "You shall have no other gods before me."
Worship here can mean nothing less than how we purpose our
I beg to question, 'Can you honestly say that you have placed
no other objects before God? Can you say that you have placed
no seeking after comfort before seeking after the worship of the
I cannot say that, but you may, perhaps. If you do, I do not believe
you any more than you should believe me if I said that! We should be
jealous for the honour of God, for the truth of the Good News
of the Salvation through faith in Yeshua. After all, God spoke
audibly to Peter, Jacob(James) and John at what is known as the
mount of transfiguration, saying, "...This is my beloved
son in whom I am well pleased. Here him!" (Matthew 17:5).
We are to honour God for His holiness and because He alone is
PERFECT, HE ALONE IS HOLY, HE ALONE IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISED.
If we hear blasphemies, we should not allow ourselves to become
hardened to that kind of speech. By ignoring blasphemy, the words
that come out against God through the mouths of others, and God
forbid, our own mouths, is to neglect the honour of glorifying
It is our duty to guard jealously the majesty of God. Being
sensitive to God's honour, we then can pursue glorifying Him.
When we hear God's majesty spoken lightly of, or even blasphemed
and cursed, we should guard our ears and flee. In 1 Corinthians,
the Apostle Paul says, "Be not deceived, evil communication
corrupts good manners." (1 Corinthians 15:33). And in
another place, he says, "But shun profane and vain babblings:
for they will increase unto more ungodliness." (2 Timothy
The things that offend the majesty of God should offend us!
Fourth, we may glorify God by pursing the callings He has given
us, by bringing forth the fruit of our labors in the application
of the gifts He has blessed us with. In other words, we should
glorify God in our livelihood. Hopefully, we have diligently pursued
study to make full use of the gifts that we have been blessed
with. The gifts of our innate talent are gifts that God has given
Do we acknowledge that we have not obtained anything that we have
not received? Our Creator gave all of our talents to us. It is
our duty to glorify God by being good stewards, being fruitful
in our labors, using everything in our being to glorify Him, and
acknowledging Him in those things!
Yeshua said, "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear
much fruit; so you will be My disciples." (John 15:8).
And, in the book of Jacob (James), we read, Every good gift
and every perfect gift is from above, and
comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation
or shadow of turning."
As we bring forth the fruit of the labor from the gifts of our
livelihood, which is our calling, we make use of those talents
and gifts that God has given us; and therefore, we honour and
glorify Him through them.
Fifth, we glorify God by walking humbly. Only in our humility
can we openly acknowledge the fact the He alone is creator, and
we are created by Him. We did not make ourselves. No, He made
us for His glory! We can only acknowledge Him for who He is, and
ourselves for who we are, by being humble in the sight of others
and in the sight of God. In Jacob (James) 4, we read, "But
he gives us more grace, that is why Scripture says, "God opposes
the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6).
Who among us can debate the simple truth to one of the songs we
sing on occasion, "Humble Thyself In The Sight of the LORD And
He Will Lift You Up!" (James 4:10).
Sixth, we can glorify our LORD by being thankful. We express our
thanksgiving to Him through our Shabbat worship. Of such things, King
David wrote, "Yet Thou art holy, O Thou that are enthroned
upon the praises of Israel." (Psalms 22:3).
As we are thankful to God, we glorify Him and acknowledge that
He is the giver of all mercy, truth, and every good and perfect
gift! In doing so, we glorify Him. I think that Psalm 100 is appropriate
"A Psalm of thanksgiving.
Shout unto the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD He is God; it is He that has made
us, and we are His people, and the flock of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts
with praise; give thanks unto Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good; His mercy endureth for ever; and His
faithfulness unto all generations." (Psalms 100).
Seventh, we glorify God in being heavenly minded. This does not
mean that we don't pay attention to the world around us. When
we apply the Scriptures to all of life to the best of our ability,
our focus is from God-> out. Again, in order for us to apply
the Scriptures to all of life, we must know the Scriptures!
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee." (Psalms 119:11).
Scriptures speak to all of life. We should keep what we do in
this life in the perspective of eternity. I assert, however,
that we cannot glorify God in being heavenly minded if we do not
hide His word in our hearts, be diligent and faithful to read
and study His word, the Scriptures.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto
more ungodliness." (2 Timothy 2:15,16).
The Scriptures comprise both the Tanach (Old Testament) and the
Brit Hadashah (New Testament). Together, they contain God's entire revelation
to man. They are the complete and inspired word of God. Indeed,
the Apostle Paul says,
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every
good work." (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
I will conclude with a couple of poignant passages. First, I would
like to remind us of the frog, his senses becoming duller as
he soaks in his watery grave, never suspecting the furnace of
death beneath him. Just as the frog slowly succumbs in the salve
of his comfort, we can also be found to be unsuspecting and unprepared
when the Lord returns for us.
"Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep; Arise from the
dead, And the Messiah will give you light." See then that you
walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time,
because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:14-16).
"And to the angel of the congregation in Sardis write, "These
things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven
stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive,
and yet you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which
remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect
before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard;
hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I shall
come upon you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I shall
come upon you." (Revelations 3:1-3).
In that day, wouldn't you rather hear the Lord say, "Well
done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over
a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter
into the joy of your master."? (Matthew 25:21b).
May we, therefore, redeem our time now, may we awaken from our
tombs of comfort and may we awaken from our slumber.
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day
of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2b).