Christmas is just around the corner. I find that too many of us get so busy at this time of year that we actually miss the season’s true meaning. When this happens, we also lose the purpose behind our existence and all that we do here on earth. We celebrate Christmas because it is a reminder that the only begotten Son of God came to earth and became one of us. One of the most important names that Jesus is called at this time of year is Emmanuel. The name means God is with us! This is an amazing truth to try and comprehend.
When Jesus was born in the manger, it wasn’t simply about another baby being born into this world. We read in Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus was and is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person. Jesus’ birth brought glory to God because He was the express image of Him.
This wonderful truth should help each of us answer the question I am asking in today’s blog. Why do you do what you do? The answer must be, To give glory to God. This is what Paul made so clear in his first letter to the church at Corinth.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (KJV)
Most of us have read this verse over and over again. Many of us may have even memorized it. But do we really live it out in our everyday lives? Recently, I pulled out a book from John Piper’s series, The Swans Are Not Silent. This one reflected on the lives of Charles Spurgeon, George Müller and Hudson Taylor. I had read a biography of Müller many years ago. His life has amazed and challenged Christians for years. He is most known for his ministry to orphans and how he never asked for funds but trusted God completely to meet his every need. There are accounts of times when there was no food to feed the children and God miraculously met that need while he was offering thanks before a meal.
However, many of us are unaware of what his fundamental motive was behind all that he did. It is important to realize the scope of his orphan ministry. Müller built five orphan houses and ministered to 10,024 orphans in his lifetime. In fact, he never took a salary in the last 68 years of ministry. This is hard to comprehend in today’s world of sophisticated marketing and fund raising methods so common in Christian ministries today. Now, I am not saying that marketing and development strategies are wrong. I merely point this out as a somewhat misconception of Müller’s primary purpose behind all he did.
See, I always thought that Müller’s ministry was done out of a deep love for orphans and that he wanted these children to have a home and come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. However, these very worthy motives were secondary to his main purpose behind all he did. Müller’s own words unveils his deepest motive behind his ministry.
The three chief reasons for establishing an Orphan-House are: 1) That God may be glorified, should He be pleased to furnish me with the means, in its being seen that it is not a vain thing to trust in Him; and that thus the faith of His children may be strengthened. 2) The spiritual welfare of fatherless and motherless children. 3) Their temporal welfare.
In Müller’s work, HIs Narrative, he makes his motive very clear.
…the orphan houses exist to display that God can be trusted and to encourage believers to take Him at His Word.
Again, Müller wrote:
The first and primary object of the work, was (and still is) that God might be magnified by the fact, that the orphans under my care are provided, with all they need, only by prayer and faith, without any one being asked by me or my fellow-laborers, whereby it may be seen, that God is faithful still and hears prayer still.
Piper sums up Müller’s reason behind what he did throughout his ministry by writing:
…the chief passion and unifying aim of Muller’s ministry: to live a life and lead a ministry in a way that proves God is real, God is trustworthy, and God answers prayer.
To sum up Müller’s life one could say that his aim in life was to glorify God by helping people take God at His Word. Müller knew that the only way to accomplish this was to saturate his life with the Word of God. He said that he read the Bible five or ten times more than he read any other books.
As we contemplate the question, Why do you do what you do? Would we be able to say that our primary reason for all we do is to glorify God in the way that Müller did? Do we want to see God glorified more than anything else in our lives or ministries? Do we live our lives and lead our ministries in such a way that it reflects God’s character and proves that He is real and trustworthy?
As we prepare for Christmas may we live with the reality that God was glorified on that night in Bethlehem when the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person was born in the manger.
Let us see that we keep God before our eyes; that we walk in His ways, and seek to please and glorify Him in everything, great and small. Hudson Taylor