Friday, October 19, 2012

All to the Glory of God

Therefore...whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense...just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:31-33

Yesterday I received an email from a friend that contained a devotional about the vision Peter received from the Lord regarding the fact that the gospel of Jesus was meant not just for the Jews but also the Gentiles (you can find that account in Acts 10:9-16). The timing of her email was definitely God ordained and like a soothing balm to the struggle I had been feeling within me about the call I have felt on my life. What does God call offensive and what is considered clean? This was the big question I have been pondering as I have heard from some well-meaning Christians that God calls His people into the political arenas of this world but yet from other Christian sources I hear the message that we are Christians are to only pray for our nation and stay out of the often corrupt world of politics. So then, looking at this distinctive call I have had confirmed in my life regarding running for a political office I have to side with the first group just out of necessity from what the Lord has confirmed in my life, and yet there are still times when I wonder, “Is this really a godly call?”


This morning the Lord gave me a wonderful scenic tour through His word in relation to the devotional I received yesterday about the conflict I have been feeling as of late.  I thought I would share with you this morning the winding road of scriptures which have confirmed in my heart that my call into the political arena is a godly pursuit and although I need to pray for our government, I also need to serve - as God leads – with a great willingness to do whatever is before me so He will receive glory in this world.

 
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written:

'As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.'


So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.” Romans 14




For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

 
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; for 'the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.'

If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. But if anyone says to you, 'This was offered to idols,' do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for 'the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.' 'Conscience,' I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:23-33


So, in summary, when we seek to understand if our calling is from the Lord, this is the test it must pass:
  • Are you doing what you are doing for God's glory?
  • Are you seeking the salvation of others over your own profit?
  • Has God convicted you of your calling through His Spirit, His word, other believers, and circumstances?
  • Is your call above your own life, in that whether you live or die in it you will serve the Lord anyways?
  • Are you willing to stand before the judgment seat of the Lord convicted that what you are pursuing now was His best for you?
  • Is your soul convicted that your call is pure before the Lord, no doubt and no uneasiness?
  • Are the actions that come forth as the Spirit leads you leading others (Christian and not) to see the light of Christ in you?
  • Are the fruits of righteousness, peace and joy evident in the work you have been called to?
  • When you work in faith, is your faith confirmed through your fellowship time with the Lord, or rather do you find yourself doubting your actions as you seek out the Lord for direction?
  • Is your goal before you to bring the lost to Christ?
  • Is the message of the gospel evident in your actions, words, thoughts, and plans?
  • Is your focus first on serving God and second on serving others, with no thought of your own gain?
  • Do you find your heart is filled with thanks in the context of your calling?
  • Do you see evidence of God getting glory above you getting glory for your faithfulness?
  • Are the hearts and souls around you profiting from your obedience?
I am sure the list could go on and on, but this morning this is what I was led to and this is what has confirmed in my heart and soul that my calling is of the Lord. I hope these scriptures and questions I have generated from them have given you too questions to ponder in considering the calling God has placed before you. When we focus on what God has called us to do from His perspective over a short-sided human interpretation of what God calls His people to do in ministry for Him, it is then we find that peace, joy, and righteousness are within our grasp no matter where we are called or in what we are called to do as His disciple and obedient servant.

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