Chapter OneGod's purpose:
A People Who Will Reflect
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You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory
and honor and power, for you created all things,
and by your will they were created and have their
Revelation 4:11, niv
The proper understanding of everything in life
begins with God. No one will ever understand the
necessity of conversion who does not know why
God created us. He created us "in his image" so
that we would image forth his glory in the world.
We were made to be prisms refracting the light of
God's glory into all of life. Why God should want to
give us a share in shining with his glory is a great
mystery. Call it grace or mercy or love - it is an
unspeakable wonder. Once we were not. Then we
existed for the glory of God!
John Piper, Desiring God
I once saw a cartoon of a man who walks up to an information booth
and asks the person behind the counter, "Who am I?" and "What am I
doing here?" Good questions! Why have we been created? What is God's
purpose for us? What prompted God to "make man in our image, in our
likeness"? To begin to comprehend God's purpose helps to establish a
foundation for us to embrace life and to honor the Lord. Certainly everything
in life begins with God and He alone is worthy to receive the glory
due His name. What is amazing is that God desires relationship with us
and wants us to reflect His glory!
God's Purpose: To Receive Glory
The Hebrew word translated "glory" comes from a root
that means "heavy" or "weighty." The word is normally
used in figurative sense to suggest an impressive or worthy
person But the glory of God is objective. It is
rooted not in the evaluation of others, but in his very
nature. When God's glory is unveiled and recognized,
all those things in which human beings take pride fade
Lawrence O. Richards
1. What do these Scriptures tell us about God's glory?
1 Corinthians 10:31
2. a. God's glory is all around us! In what ways have you seen God's
glory displayed in creation?
b. What was your response?
For God's ultimate objective, as the Bible declares it,
is threefold - to vindicate His rule and righteousness
by showing His sovereignty in judgment upon sin; to
ransom and redeem His chosen people; and to be loved
and praised by them for His glorious acts of love and
self-vindication. God seeks what we should seek - His
glory, in and through men - and it is for the securing
of this end, ultimately, that He is jealous.
J. I. Packer
God's Purpose: To Have a People for His Own
3. David proclaimed, "Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in
Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as
yet there was not one of them" (Psalm 139:16).
God has made it very clear in His Word that we have been created
thoughtfully and purposefully. Why did God take the dust of the
ground and breathe the breath of life into Adam? Read these verses
and record your answers.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
4. God has redeemed a people for His own. Write down your thoughts
concerning God's desire to be in relationship with you.
What is man's purpose here? According to the text, creation
exists for man. But since God made man like himself,
man's dominion over the world and his filling the
world is a display - and imaging forth - of God. God's
aim, therefore, was that man would so act that he mirror
forth God, who has ultimate dominion. Man is given the
exalted status of image-bearer not so he would become
arrogant and autonomous (as he tried to do in the fall),
but so he would reflect the glory of his Maker whose
image he bears. God's purpose in creation, therefore,
was to fill the earth with his own glory.
AUTHOR'S REFLECTION - In considering the magnificence of God and His
great desire for His own to honor Him, I have been struck with my lack
of even thinking about or acknowledging God's glory on a daily basis.
My tendency is to view God as mainly Someone who helps, comforts, and
guides, which He does, but my worship and adoration of Him is sporadic
and shallow in comparison to who He really is. I want to begin to set aside
special times just to focus on God, and God alone. I want to read and
memorize Scripture that proclaims and guides me in praising Him for His
majestic glory. I want to prepare myself for the eternal worship I will be
giving our Lord. I realize that I am missing a vital part of my relationship
with God by not consistently acknowledging His preeminence.
I have also been struck with the apostle Paul's exhortation that everything
we do should be done to bring glory to God. Does God really meaneverything? When I seriously consider this admonition, it has a profound
effect on my choices and my way of life! If I read this book, will God be
pleased? If I do this activity, will it cause others to want to praise God? If I
listen to this music, will it enable me to worship God? If I say these words,
will it bring glory to God? If my purpose is to reflect the majesty of God,
then all of my decisions are based on "Will God receive glory?"
All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
And talk of Your power;
To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
How I need to give thanks to God for His creation, for His mighty
acts. How I need to bless God by speaking of His power and kingdom.
How I need to order my life around one incredible thought: God is to be
honored in all I do.
My heart's desire is to be so overwhelmed with our incomparable,
awesome God that my life cannot help but bring Him glory.
A. W. Tozer comments on God's covenant with Abraham in
Abraham, I am trying to tell you something - something
very important. I want you to listen and to comprehend.
Abraham, you were made in My image and
you were designed for a single purpose: to worship and
glorify Me If you do not honor this purpose, your
life will degenerate into shallow, selfish, humanistic
pursuits . commit your whole life and future into My
hands. Let Me as your Creator and God fulfill in you My
perfect design. It is My great desire that you become a
faithful and delighted worshiper at My throne When
you have found Me, your Creator, your Redeemer and
your Lord, you have found everything you need! It will
be your privilege to trust and obey. It will be My privilege
to bless you, guide you and sustain you.
God's Purpose for Me (For Contemplation and Prayer)
5. Over the next few days think about God's glory and His desire for you to
reflect His glory. To help your reflection and application, carefully read
and consider the following verse.
Because, whatever you do, eating or drinking or anything
else, everything should be done to bring glory to
1 Corinthians 10:31
Use the following questions to guide your meditation.
6. What in my life does not bring God glory?
7. How can I become more aware of choosing to honor God in all I do?
SUGGESTED SCRIPTURE MEMORY: 1 Corinthians 10:31