A young teen scores 20 points in the final four minutes of a basketball game. That may not seem too extraordinary but consider the circumstances first. Not known for his prowess on the court, Jason McElwain actually failed to make the High School team. Unable to crack the line up, he gladly became their team manager. This was to be the last season game so the coach told him to suit up he would probably play a few minutes, likely rewarding him for his personal dedication to the team. Unknown to any that day, this would be his shining moment of glory. With four minutes remaining in the game and the opposition well ahead 59-31, Jason was put into the game. From the sidelines, his teammates yelled for him to shoot the ball, and he did — often! He hit six three pointers in a row, a school record before the final buzzer sounded. The place went crazy with shouts and applause. Jason’s four minutes of buzzsaw play earned him national recognition as “the best moment in sports for 2004”, even beating out major professional athletes for that year. Nothing could match that excitement and joy he felt that day. When at game’s end bedlam erupted and he took on legendary status.
I am not sure how many of you have ever experienced an emotional charge like the one Jason did. Probably not ever. That is not to say that we never had great times in our lives, a fond feeling that remains with us to this day. Oddly enough it may not have been anything extraordinary, but from all likelihood something unremarkable like what happened a few weeks ago.
Our youth group meet every week. This time we formed at the nearby community pool for two hours of splashing and bustle. They jump, swim, dart up and down, submerge themselves like tiny submarines, pile themselves onto a make-shift raft hastily put together from long styrofoam noodles and toss toy buckets of water at each other, all of this while at arms length of us. The atmosphere is electric with surround sound of laughter and shouts making for a happy time. As you watch the revel and excitement, a certain feeling of exuberance comes over you. You know these same youths will face the challenges of life in later years and their youthful vigour will be redirected but for now that prospect seems far far away.
The whistle blows and we exit the pool to pile into my home for food and a Bible message. Another scene for the senses to enjoy as they crowd around to hear about God’s Glory. They listen to the lesson and are taught about the cross of Christ, the climactic point for God’s Glory. They are told that the cross is where God’s love, justice and wisdom were aptly demonstrated through the Savior’s suffering and death (Christ resurrection was taught too). The final part of the lesson is about experiencing that glory for ourselves. They are told that to be a disciple of Jesus means for personal trust in Jesus to be pardoned and to repent of our own sins. Afterwards our life’s mission is to demonstrate the character and ethic of Christ to others from our personal behavior and speech. “Glory bearing” is never easy but required if our profession of faith is to be proven true.
Do you realize that God’s Glory is our reason for our stay on earth. We are told that whatever we do and say to do so for the Glory of God! The work of living for God can never be achieved without first becoming a Christian. Follow the Biblical reasoning below and you will see that God’s Glory is what we should be striving for in this life.
“Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:7)
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
No greater purpose can be found in this life than to reflect Divine Glory to one another and to the world. Do not seek greatness for yourself or that of another. If you do, than God’s character and moral beauty will be obscured by another image you have replaced Him with. If that is what you have chosen to do consequences follow, you will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might. (2 Thes 1:9).
God put His perfections on public display through Christ. He rescued sinners from certain punishment and prepared them for the glory to come; heaven is made glorious because of God’s presence. Will you respond to the message of the cross? Repent and trust in Christ today and know for yourself what a glorious life this can be and experience the peace and joy of Christ that can be yours. Become a “glory bearer.”