There are two phrases every Christian should know. One the late R.C. Sproul is famous for saying, Coram Deo- that is before the face of God. The other is Soli Deo Gloria to the glory of God alone. These two phrases are not opposed to each other. Instead, they fuel each other. On the one hand, all of our lives are ever before the face of God. On the other, all of our lives are to be lived for the glory of God. When we put these two phrases together, they mean that all of our lives are ever before the face of God and are to be lived for the glory of God. Now that truly matters and let me tell you why.
Our lives are fleeting. Some of us will live 30 years or less and others of us perhaps if the Lord allows over 100. No matter how long you live though, I want to say as Dr. John Piper has before me to tell you to stop wasting your life. After all, since we don’t know how long our days are, we only know we have today. I’m reminded of my wife’s parents who passed away tragically. My wife’s father got a call and went over about half a mile from his house to help my wife’s aunt at her house. That very day, even that hour, my wife and her siblings lost their father. My wife’s aunt was shot by her boyfriend who was hiding in the bushes. My wife’s father went over there to get my wife’s aunt and bring her to safety. He was shot down in the back by this man in the bushes.
Sometimes life deals us a hand that we don’t think we deserve. Was it fair and right for that man to shoot down my wife’s dad and her aunt that day almost twenty years ago? Was it fair for my wife’s mom to die of stage four cancer over twelve years ago? Was it fair for my grandfather who I deeply loved to die of cancer eighteen years ago? And on and on we could go. We could fill all the libraries of the world with these sorts of questions and circumstances. At the end of the day though, we simply don’t know why all these things happen. While we don’t know precisely why all these things happen we do know their source, and that is sin, and we also know One who can bring hope and healing in the midst of it in Jesus.
The key to a life well lived before the face of God to the glory of God is not to know all the answers to everything that happens. The key to biblical knowledge is to know God at the heart level. The Lord is not looking to and fro everywhere for the man who is the most knowledgeable, who has the Ph.D., or even a Masters degree in theology. He is not looking for the most eloquent man or the most sophisticated man who can refute every argument. The Lord is not impressed with our eloquence and education; He needs neither. Since the Lord can speak out of the mouth of a donkey, He can use any willing vessel who will declare the praises of the God of grace. The question is, “Are you a willing vessel?” Or “Do you think that the Lord needs you?” Your answer to that question reveals not only your spiritual maturity but also whether you are indeed in Christ.
The arrogant man says they have all they need now. The Lord detests the haughty but gives grace to the humble. The humble man knows he is nothing or as Luther says a beggar in need of mercy. The humble man knows his great need, but he also knows the greatness and glory of the grace of God. That is why the humble man doesn’t justify his sin. He also doesn’t play pretense with others. When asked what is going on, he just says, “This is what’s going on” rather than make excuses and shift blame to others. The humble man knows his great need, but he also knows the Lord sees his great need as he ever lives before the face of God.
A well-lived life is this: to love the Lord, the Word, the local church, and to love your spouse. We could add more to that list for sure, but the point is, if we’re loving the Lord, we will love others. We also will serve others in the love of God to the glory of God, because we know all we do is ever before the face of God. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of legacy I want to leave- a life well lived in all phases to the glory of God not because I’m so great or because I have it all figured it out because I don’t. I know that after thirty-two years of walking with Jesus, I don’t have it all figured out. But I also know that’s a good place to be because I’m forever safe in the arms of my Beloved Lord Jesus who I delight to know and serve and be filled all the more with the knowledge of His unchanging grace. And if you and I are honest right now with each other before the Lord, that’s the best place to be safe forever in the arms of our sovereign God. Not only is it the best place but it’s the beginning point for living as we were truly designed to live by God, ever before His face and for His glory.