Mission glory number three, redo. Welcome to Welling for your spiritual health and growth. What is your life about? That’s the question we are addressing to the five major questions plus one that we normally think about as the means to knowledge, the what, the where, the when, the why, the who, and the how. This series seeks to focus us for the rest of our lives into the very mission of our lives.
If we don’t know what we’re about, we will never have simplicity or unity. We’ll always live complicated and chaotic lives. And life is chaotic enough without direction. Without mission, we will not have a stability, even an objectivity. We’ll go by feelings and motives often left unclarified. We need an identity which will work out in terms of activity because we know what life is about.
The word mission is used in leadership literature in many ways about what path you’re going to take, what you do every day. Those are important. But what the Bible says as our mission is deeper than that, longer than that, greater than that. It applies to everybody regardless of how uniquely we apply those in the specificity of our situations. I’m also not talking about missions, that which a Christian undertakes, a church undertakes. We’re talking about your mission. What is your life about?
If you look in the Bible, the theme of glory reverberates in its coverage in both the Old and the New Testament. Our anchor passage from Psalm 8 has this matter of glory and its synonyms. Significantly implied but its synonyms tell us what glory is all about.
For example, it says how majestic is your name in all the earth. That’s a glory word. That God has set his splendor above the heavens, that is a glory word. That he’s established strength even among the weakest. That’s a glory word. Or, Lord, our reward which bookends this unbelievably important creation Psalm even before the fall began, to affect and lock humanity into a disaster of selfish glory.
He says, Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth? One of the many, many times where we talk about the doxological life. In the Old Testament, it says, give glory to God. Give glory that is due to him. In the New Testament, all the benedictions and the clear word of the apostle Paul, wherever you do the most mundane parts of life, we will look at all of those as we continue. Whatever you do, bring glory to him.
Now what is this word glory? Mission, what? The meaning of glory can be explained in many ways of bringing praise and honor to him. But it is actually the extension of a metaphor, a physical metaphor. The word glory stands for the word weight, like in pounds and kilograms. That metaphor is accepted and extended by the Biblical authors when they say, bring glory to God is to give him weight in our life, to give him influence in our life.
And the argument is this. The more weight God has in your life, the more great he looks through your life. And if God is a light weight in your life, he doesn’t look so great in your life.
Most of us know the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which talks about the chief end of man being the glory of God and the enjoying of God forever. The chief end, the word end often also has a physical feel to it like the front end of a car or the back rear end of a car when you get rear ended. That word end also has a metaphoric extension. It’s talking about the end, the conclusion, the resolution, the climax of your life, the mission of your life being the glory of God and to enjoy him forever.
No wonder the great theologian after whom an entire system of theology is named– though sometimes there’s discussion as to whether he would have held to the system that’s named after him– said, there is no part of our life or conduct, however insignificant, which should not be directed to the glory of God. No part of our life. Every part of our life. No part of our conduct, every part of our conduct, even if it is insignificant. It should be directed to the glory of God. It is governed by the weight of God in our life and the praise of God from our life.
In 2021, they had to redo the 2020 Olympics because of the global pandemic. There are some profoundly committed believers in the Lord Jesus who participated in one, among whom stands a fabulous athlete who was known for her 100 meter hurdles. She actually owns the world record for the 100 meter hurdles. Kendra Harrison, goes by Kenny.
And one of the articles which came about her was the fact that she was one of 10 siblings. She was born two months premature. She was actually an adopted baby. We don’t know if she was abandoned, but her biological parents, of course, could not take care of her. So a loving set of parents took care of Kenny Harrison. The Paralympics in 2016 Rio, she could not make it through the trials of the Olympic track and field for the US. She only finished sixth.
But in 2021, the year of the Olympics, she actually broke the world record in the event and holds it still. And in Tokyo, she came in second. Even though she did very well in the preliminary heat, she came in second, won silver. And she took the silver home. Though she owned multiple records in other world races, medals from other accomplishments, this was her first Olympic medal. And as the article goes, it says she credits her faith for her talent and success and how the sport has enabled her Christian faith to grow. But listen to what she also said.
I learn from my mistakes. For this to be my first Olympics, to come here on the world stage, to represent my country to the best of my ability. Listen to this phrase. All glory goes to God just to have this opportunity. All glory goes to God. Just to get a silver medal at this stage, it is amazing. And she will likely come back and to future Olympics, Kenny Harrison. But the conviction that she expresses, there is no part of life or conduct.
Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, or run very fast, regardless of how significant or insignificant it is, that should not be directed to the glory of God, from which God receives the glory because he has weight in your life. He looks great through your life.