Like many older people, I often reflect on the shape of the life I have lived. This January is significant for me. It is 40 years since I returned from England to come to be minister at St Jude’s; 20 years since I left St Jude’s to become Principal at Ridley; and 10 years since I left Ridley and focussed on my ‘free-lance’ ministry. I praise God for every ministry opportunity, and for the energy and health he has given me.
I enjoyed a refreshing holiday in December, and am now back at work. I have continued to reflect on the theme of living and working for God’s glory. So this Paraklesis is an expansion of the same theme as last November.
Peter Adam – February 2022
We bring glory to God [in his grace and by his strength].
God will glorify us [in his grace].
A reminder of the theme of Ephesians 1:3-14.
We are created and saved and sanctified to bring glory to God.
God blessed us in Christ, chose us, destined us, graced us ‘for the praise of his glory’.
In Christ we have redemption through his blood, forgiveness, and God has made known to us his will for the fulness of time to gather up all things in Christ, ‘so that we might live for the praise of his glory’.
When we heard the gospel and believed, we were marked with the Holy Spirit, the pledge of our inheritance, ‘to the praise of his glory’ [Ephes 1:3-14].
We live for God’s glory as we:
- trust God’s promises while still waiting for their fulfilment: ‘No distrust made [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that he was able to do what he had promised’ Rom 4:20,21.
- endure when our faith is tested: ‘so that the genuineness of your faith …may result in praise, glory, and honour when Christ is revealed’ 1 Pet 1:7.
- live with integrity in our bodies: ‘Glorify God in your body’ 1 Cor 6:9.
- thank God for his gifts: ‘Was none of them found to return and give glory to God except this foreigner?’ Luke 17:18.
- suffer: ‘this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory’ 2 Cor 4:17.
- serve, give, and act with generosity and integrity: ‘we are administering this generous undertaking for the glory of the Lord himself … they are the glory of Christ … you glorify God’ 2 Cor 8:19, 23, 9:13.
- serve others in word or deed: ‘Whoever speaks … whoever serves… that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ’ 1 Pet 4:11.
- serve in ministry willingly, eagerly, being good examples, not for gain, or lording over people: ‘you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away’ 1 Pet 5:4.
- are reviled because we are believers: ‘If you are reviled for the sake of Christ … the spirit of glory… is resting on you’ 1 Pet 4:14.
- do good deeds, and others glorify God: ‘that they may see you good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven’ Matt 5:16.
- welcome other believers with whom we disagree on minor matters of conscience: ‘Welcome one another, just as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God’ [Romans 15:7].
- do what we believe to be right: ‘Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God’ 1 Cor 10:31.
- suffer and die for the sake of Christ: ‘the kind of death by which [Peter] would glorify God’ John 21:19.
And, when God fulfills in and through us: ‘every good resolve and work of faith, so that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and you in him’ 2 Thess 1:11,12.
God will glorify us, in his grace and kindness, when Christ returns
- ‘When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will be revealed with him in glory’ Col 3:4.
- ‘On the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, for the glory and praise of God’ Phil 1:11.
- ‘We await a Saviour, who will change our lowly bodies to be like his glorious body’ Phil 3:21.
- ‘God has called you to his eternal glory in Christ’ 1 Pet 5:10.
You need to keep this certain future hope in mind. You will easily grow dissatisfied if you hope for your rewards in this life!
USA research on lower suicide rates among women who attend religious services:
A Pastor’s Heart on management conflict, and church leadership:
An article for Anglicans providing leadership in the ‘same sex attracted’ debate:
Graham Cole’s new book, Glorification: an introduction, Crossway, will be published in April. It is on the topic of our future glorification.
With warmest good wishes for your life and ministry.