“ALL FOR HIS GLORY” Ps. 86:11-13; 1 Cor. 10:31
INTRO – There’s not a first responder in here from any agency that doesn’t love what they do most of the time.
- Sure, there are those times when we get frustrated or discouraged – recent attacks on LEO’s prime example.
- There are those times when we find ourselves nearly overwhelmed w/ the scope & magnitude of the tragedies we deal with – We all remember where we were & what we felt as we saw 343 NY firefighters killed on 9/11, along w/ 23 NYPD officers & 23 Port Authority police officers – The recent wreck on I-55 that left 3 people dead – those calls we talk about for years after they happen.
- There are those times when we see the raw depravity of humanity through crime, abuse, the disintegration of families, & suffering of innocent victims.
But, through it all, we continue to respond when the pager goes off or the dispatcher calls. Why do we do it? Other than for all the money we are making… (Ha!):
- Invest in our community – make it a better place to live
- Impact lives of others – nearly every time we respond to a call, we are encountering people in a crisis situation
- Intense experiences – The experience of going into a situation that most people are getting out of is pretty intense.
But there’s a bigger reason & a greater purpose for doing what we do – to glorify God. And this principle doesn’t just apply to the first responders who are present today; it applies to all of us.
The more we learn about God, the more we will want to praise Him – v. 11a – God is an amazing being! There’s no way that we will ever be able to fully get our brain around how amazing & magnificent He truly is. There are not enough words in all the languages & dialects in the entire world to be able to completely express the greatness of our God. Here are a few verses to help us think about Him & His greatness:
- Jeremiah 10:6 – “There is none like You, O LORD; You are great, and great is Your name in might.”
- 1 Chronicles 16:25 – “For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods.”
- Psalm 47:2 – “For the LORD Most High is to be feared, A great King over all the earth.”
- Psalm 47:7 – “…God is the King of all the earth…”
- Isaiah 108:4 – “For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens, And Your truth reaches to the skies.”
- Jeremiah 32:17 – “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,…”
A God this magnificent, this massive, & this majestic is worthy of our attention & our affections. The more we learn about Him, the more we will want to praise Him, & that’s not just coming to church & singing songs of praise, but praising Him all the time in every aspect of our lives.
We need to give a portion of our time to learn more about Him, & to grow in our understanding of Him & how He works. And, friends, this isn’t just an academic pursuit. We aren’t studying Him in the same way that we are studying to pass an EMT exam, or to ace a course in new criminal investigation procedures, or a training module in vehicle extrication methods. Those courses & classes will make us better in our chosen fields of work.
But studying God’s works & ways through studying His Word will change our lives for all eternity. We will “walk in His truth” (v. 11). Why? Because His Word is a living Word that tells us about a loving God who wants to have a lifetime relationship w/ us.
- We will discover that we are all sinners.
- We will find out that we have an amazing Savior.
- We will learn that, if we will trust in Christ alone, He will give us the gift of salvation.
No matter how bad things are, God is always worthy of praise – v. 12 – There are some words & phrases that we need to take note of in v. 12:
- “…with all my heart” – If you’re doing something w/ all of your heart, that means you’re doing it w/ passion & purpose. It means that it is something that is extremely important to you. That’s one of the things that drives first responders to do what we do: we do it w/ all of our heart.
- “forever” – literally means “long duration, always.” It means that you’re going to keep doing this as long as you possibly can, no matter what else is happening in your life.
Sometimes, when things are going south in our lives, we start blaming God instead of praising God. Statements like, “I don’t deserve this, God,” or, “This isn’t fair, God,” start surfacing in our minds & seeping from our lips. We allow the pain to poison our lives. And when we are under pressure, that poison can come flooding out like acid that hurts & burns our families, our friends, & our coworkers. We find ourselves pushing away from God instead of praying to God. Praising God is the farthest thing from our minds.
And, yet, praise is one of the meds that God prescribes for the pain in our lives. Even one small word of praise can help us get a new perspective on what God may be doing in the midst of our pain & our struggles b/c for that one, small moment, our focus is off of ourselves & on the One who loves us w/ an everlasting love. Isa. 25:4a – “You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm, & a shade from the heat.” When we praise Him we focus more on his provision than our poverty, more on His protection than our predicament, more on His shelter than the storm, & more on His help than the heat. Our trust in Him grows when we get to the place where we can say that in the hard times, the down times, the tough times, the scary times, the painful times, the confusing times, I still will praise God no matter what.
“Do it all to the glory of God.” – 1 Cor. 10:31 – Through the power of advertising, the Nike company made the slogan, “Just do it,” a common, household phrase. That slogan was introduced in 1988 as a part of an ad campaign that was targeted to anyone of any walk of life & any level of fitness. Nike’s idea worked as millions of people bought their shoes, hoping to achieve some level of greatness like the people who had been featured in the ads.
I want to tell you something: If you want to experience true, lasting, ETERNAL greatness, then make a commitment today that you are going do everything you do all for the glory of God! Doesn’t have anything to do w/ what brand of shoes you wear, how much money you make, or how many influential people you know. Has everything to do w/ a true commitment to Jesus Christ & a true passion to live for Him every day of your life. The less you exalt yourself & the more you exalt Him, the greater He becomes in your life, & the more awesome your life will be! John the Baptist said in John 3:30, “He must become greater; I must become less.”
Some of the most enduring words from the 9/11 tragedy were the 2 words spoken by Todd Beamer before he & some other passengers tried to take over the cockpit of UA Flight 93 before it crashed into a field outside of Shanksville, PA. Those words: “Let’s roll.” He was saying, “It’s time to man up, take action, & change the direction of this flight.”
And that’s how we bring this message to a close: It’s time to take action & change the direction of our lives.
- “I COMMIT!” Make a commitment or a recommitment to live your life all for the glory of God!
- “I REPENT!” Repent of something in your life that has prevented you from living your life for the glory of God.
- “I BELIEVE!” Place your faith in Christ & change the eternal direction of your life