– George Macdonald
Not for Our Glory
If we are doing things just to be seen by men, then we already have our reward. Jesus said of such people, “They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long” (Matt 23:5). “They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full” (Matt 6:5). The religious type desired “to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full” (Matt 6:2). Instead, Jesus says to do good “in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” (Matt 6:4). Do the best you can for His glory, not your own.
For His Glory
God will not share His glory with another, for He is God, and He says, “I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other” (Isaiah 42:8). That is why we must “sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious” (Psalm 66:2), for He says, “I will not yield my glory to another” (Isaiah 48:11). If we take credit for anything, we rob God of the glory that is due Him. We are saved for His glory, and “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” should glorify Him (Isaiah 43:7). So the creation was made for His glory (Psalm 19:1), and we were created for His glory. So guess what? We have to give Him what He is due, for we were made to glorify God. Nothing else matters, so give it your best.
Seek the Lost for His Glory
If we are to be obedient to the imperative command given by Jesus Christ (Matt 28:19-20), then we must go into all the world to make disciples of all nations (Acts 1:8). At Christ’s return, we will all proclaim, “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev 5:9). The apostle John “saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands” (Rev 7:9). I believe that the more people that are brought to heaven with us, the more our Great God will be glorified by worship. This worship will include those of “every nation and tribe and people and language,” and it might well include your next-door neighbor. That means give your best effort in rescuing the perishing.
Being Salt and Light For His Glory
What God truly wants from us is our best work. We are “the salt of the earth” (Matt 5:13) and “the light of the world” (Matt 5:14), so “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col 3:23), and this means “whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Eccl 9:10). God doesn’t want the minimum we can get by with. He wants the very best we can do.
God gave His best for us, the life of His only Son, so that we would have the best: eternal life and joy in the presence of God. What is better than that? God gave us His best, so we should feel compelled to at least give Him all we have–our very best.