So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
“Jesus is Lord.” This was, is, and will always be the foundational claim of the Christian faith. It is both exclusive (i.e. if Jesus is Lord then no one else is) and all- encompassing (i.e. Jesus is Lord of all—without qualification). We know such truth demands more than lip service; it calls for a wholehearted, full-time devotion.
Yet how often do we try to live as part-time Christians? We want the benefits of faith but not the costly burdens of discipleship. We want access to a Higher Power who can help us in our times of need but not the Master’s absolute authority over us. We try to compartmentalize our lives by separating the spiritual and the secular. We’ve become adept at playing the part of the faithful churchgoer. We know the lingo. We know the routines. We know the songs. We know our favorite parts of the Bible. We know church culture so well that it’s virtually become a part of our DNA. While such pretensions may fool others, God knows our hearts and the corruption that naturally grows beneath our thinly disguised veneer.
In reality there are no part-time Christians, only full-time Christians. What’s the difference? First, the full-time Christian understands that if Jesus is Lord, then the most valuable thing in the entire universe is the unrivaled renown of the God revealed in Jesus. The Bible calls this God’s “glory.” Our lives, our plans, our hopes, and our happiness are all subordinate to God’s reputation.
Second, the full-time Christian’s aim is to glorify God in everything. If “the heavens declare the glory of God,” then our goal is to use our voices and actions to magnify the greatness of our God (Ps. 19:1-2) “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever,” says the Westminster Catechism. Real joy results from fulfilling our God-ordained purpose.
Third, we can make much of God’s fame anywhere and anytime. For the full-time Christian, there is no hard and fast distinction between the spiritual and the secular. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof…” (Ps. 24:1a). We can glorify God at church and at work. We can glorify God in the extraordinary and in the mundane. We can glorify God on the mountaintop and in the valley. We can glorify God in how we live and in how we die.
How do we do this? We pray for the Holy Spirit to give us a heightened awareness of God’s omnipresence, and we seek to honor him in everything we do. “You are not your own. You were bought with a price. So honor God with your bodies” (1 Cor. 6:19b-20). May the Holy Spirit lead us to repent of the part-time Christian charade. It’s an exhausting act to keep up, and there’s no reward. Instead, let’s surrender every facet of our lives to the Lordship of Jesus.