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Friday, 5 September 2014

Ephesians 3.21-4.1

" him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received."

Our calling is to give glory to God. That is our life's pursuit. We, the church, are coupled with Christ in being tasked with the job of glorifying the father. The life of the son is our model: Jesus was sustained by doing what would bring his dad glory. John 4.34. And we, in imitation of the one we follow, offer our lives as instruments to point to God's goodness. Jesus is insistent: this is not about me. It's about him. I am making him known. I am showing him off. John 1.18, 7.18, 8.50, 8.54. 

A life spent pursuing self aggrandisement is a life wasted: meaningless transient glory that amounts to nothing. And yet there is a way to get glory for ourselves. For a moment, ignore the alarm bells of the prosperity gospel that ring at that sentence and consider this: as the son lays down his life for the sake of his father's glory so is the son himself glorified. John 13.31. Jesus's concern is for the glory of the father but the father's concern is to share glory with the vindicated son. 

Moreover, and far more bonkersly, Jesus is concerned to share that same glory with us. John 17.22. He wants us to see and savour glory forever. But we do so on his terms and for his reasons. Any glory given to the church is to be given back to the glorious one. In this sense, although Paul is a literal prisoner, we too are imprisoned by our purpose. A voluntary slavery and submission to a new master. Sons and daughters who copy their big brother's obedience and inherit his passions. What are you doing today? We are the means by which God's glory can be exhibited or, if we choose, hidden. Let us ask for joy today in fulfilling our heavenly purpose: in using everything he's given us for the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1.12.

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