By Kevin Ivy
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Tullahoma
From time to time, Mandy and I walk our six children through a small question and answer booklet of basic biblical truths. The dinner table exchange sounds like this: Who made you? God made me. What else did God make? God made all things. Why did God make you and all things? For His own glory. One of the most fundamental questions we will ever ask is simply, “why are we even here?” The answer to that question, according to our little book, and according to Scripture, is simply “for God’s glory.” We were created to glorify God.
We find in Genesis 1 that God was before the beginning of creation. He is a God with no beginning and no ending: eternal. It has been said, His duration is as endless as His essence is boundless. He always was and always will be, and will no more have an end than He had a beginning. Why would an eternal, self-sufficient God feel compelled to create the heavens and the earth, and fill them over a six day period of time by the creative force of His Word (John 1:1-3)? To bring Himself glory. The heavens tell of His glory and declare to all eyes the work of His hands (Psalm 19:1). One cannot honestly view the wonder of creation without being moved to contemplate the glory of its creator. Creation shouts the glory of God to all who will honestly listen! The purpose of every created thing is to bless, honor, and glorify God and the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:13).
You and I are part of creation as well, but we are uniquely special to God (Genesis 1:26-31). Mankind was made in the image of God and in His likeness. While the rest of creation was made to honor and glorify God, mankind was created to glorify Him in a uniquely significant way. According to Genesis 1:26-31, man was originally created to glorify God by stewarding His creation and filling the earth. In a New Testament sense however, we can glorify God by stewarding, advancing, and seeking first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33). Jesus instructs us in the model prayer to pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). How can we be a part of seeking, advancing, and stewarding God’s Kingdom on earth? We can make our life’s purpose making disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20), proclaiming His gospel message to all creation (Mark 16:15), and taking that message from our neighborhoods to the very ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Ultimately, we can glorify God by faithfully bearing His image to a lost world by imitating Christ, who was and is the perfect image of God (Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3). Jesus is the supreme example of what humanity was originally created to be. So, to truly fulfill our purpose, we must strive to be like Christ in the midst of a lost and dying world, so that we might legitimately proclaim His gospel to that world, so that more of the world might become like Christ and join us in glorifying Him forever! That is a purpose worth living for. That is a purpose worth dying for. That is a purpose our churches must embrace. And that is the purpose I want to convey to my children as we sit around the dinner table tonight.