Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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Usually a total eclipse of the moon seems to happen when I'm counting sheep in the middle of the night. But this one started about 9:00 at night, and this one I got a chance to see. It's a pretty amazing sight to watch that shadow slowly move across the moon until it eventually covers it completely. I said to the friend who was assisting us with ministry that weekend, "I just wish we had binoculars." "Me, too," he said. Then it dawned on him, he said, "Hey, I do have binoculars in my truck!" All of a sudden we moved from seats near the back to something like front row seats on this eclipse. Those binoculars revealed the craters and all the fascinating details of that disappearing moon. What a difference it made to see it up close!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Binoculars for God."
Whether it's watching the heavens or watching some faraway wildlife right here on earth, binoculars really do make a difference. They make it big by bringing it close, which is exactly what you're supposed to be doing with the God you belong to-making Him big to the people around you by bringing Him close. I guess that would make you binoculars for God.
The famed Westminster Catechism of the Christian faith opens with this powerful summary of why we're all here: "The chief end of man is to glorify God." That's really clear in our word for today from the Word of God in Ephesians 1, beginning with verses 5 and 6. Like the Hubble Telescope, this passage shows us things about our spiritual universe that we could never see without it. Like the purpose for our lives, for example.
The Bible says: "He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Before there was a world, before there was a you, God had a plan for you to rescue you through His Son, so you could live as it says, for "the praise of His glorious grace."
Verses 11 and 12 talk about His plan, "the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will..." And what is His purpose that guides His plan? "...that we might be for the praise of His glory." Later, it says He bought us with blood to be for this ultimate outcome: "To the praise of His glory."
Okay, God believes in what management consultants call MBO-Management By Objective. Since before there was a world, right up to you and me this day and right on through to eternity, God's running His plan by one objective, "the praise of His glory." Since God's the source of everything that exists, our life makes sense and makes a difference when we bring people back to that source. So, what does it mean to "glorify God?" Well, think binoculars. It's making Him look as big as He really is to the people we meet.
They have no idea what an awesome, loving, totally powerful Father He is. We're to live in such a way that we draw attention to the greatness of our Father. And how do we do that? By living in such a way that we bring Him close to people who otherwise might never see Him or never touch Him.
Jesus said we were to be a light shining so "people will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). So here's one good way to see if you're carrying out the purpose you were made for: When people are around you, do they end up being impressed with your God? If not, you must be filling their view with something else, like with you...how great you are, or how many problems you have, or how stressed you are, or just the trivia of your life.
They may know you as a happy person, a caring person, a strong person, but have you ever told them it's because of what Jesus has done for you? Have you ever prayed with them when they share a need with you so they can taste that relationship with a miracle-working God? Do you ask in every situation, "Lord, how can you use this to draw people to you?"
That's the mind and heart of someone who knows why they're here. God's looking for some human binoculars-like you-that will bring Him close so people can see how very big and how very close He really is.