First Things First
One of the most significant questions we ask is “Why are we here? Why do we exist? What is our ultimate purpose in life?” I don’t propose to have a “lock” on the answer to those eternal questions, but those questions point to the issue of priority. What is our most important purpose in life? In the past, l have answered this question with the statement, “We are to share the good news of Jesus with the world.” Mission or evangelism was the number one priority in my mind. However, several years ago, I allowed the word of God to change my perspective on what is the “first thing” in the life of a Christian. God himself identifies his priority which must become my priority.
Look at Isaiah 48:9-11. Israel has once again been rebellious. God is about to bring His wrath against Israel. He says, “For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you…For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” God’s priority was for His name to be glorified throughout his creation. God’s priority becomes our priority. Our purpose in life is to glorify God.
Jesus reminds us of our identity. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16). Our reason for existence is to glorify our Heavenly Father.
If we are putting first things first, we must remember that we are to glorify the Lord in all that we do. When we have these priorities out of place missions can actually become an idol. We can actually allow what we define as “missions” to become “the Lord” and allow ourselves to be motivated to let the end justify the means. The reason that we are involved in missions around the globe is so that God might be glorified. Somewhere in a hut or a hamlet, in a heart or a home, God is not being glorified. Let’s be the presence and the witness of God’s good news, so that He will be praised everywhere. May we live in such a way that God is always glorified. 1 Corinthians 10:31.