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Do All to the Glory of God

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What do you focus your thoughts, energies and actions on each day? While each of us have different interests and pursuits, according to the Bible, everything you and I do should have the underlying focus of honoring our Creator. The scriptural passage in 1 Corinthians 10:31 1 Corinthians 10:31Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
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says: “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (emphasis added throughout). This means that esteeming God cannot be a part-time effort. Worshiping God must reside at the core of your being―to the depth of your soul and spirit. Jesus Christ told His disciples: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 Mark 12:30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.
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). To illustrate this cardinal truth, let’s examine biblical examples of faithful people whose principal focus was on glorifying God in everything they did. 

The Example of Joshua and Caleb

Joshua and Caleb are best known as some of the most dedicated men of ancient Israel. They are introduced in the biblical narrative at the time Moses prepared to send spies into the land of Canaan soon after the Israelites left Egypt (Numbers 13:1-2 Numbers 13:1-2 1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Send you men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall you send a man, every one a ruler among them.
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). Moses selected one man from each of the 12 Israelite tribes. Joshua was probably the overall leader of the expedition since he had earlier led Israel in defeating the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-16 Exodus 17:8-16 8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said to Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand. 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And the LORD said to Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: 16 For he said, Because the LORD has sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
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). So the spies went into the Promised Land, searched it out and returned. But sadly 10 of the 12 men gave a pessimistic report (Numbers 13:28-29 Numbers 13:28-29 28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
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). However, in speaking for himself, Caleb said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30 Numbers 13:30And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
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).

The other spies instantly countered Caleb’s courageous assessment by creating the mythical impression that the inhabitants of Canaan were like giant, fierce warriors dwelling in large, fortified cities. Through their discouraging words, these 10 spies generated a feeling of terror and anxiety in the Israelites so that they could scarcely contain their emotions (Numbers 13:31-33 Numbers 13:31-33 31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched to the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eats up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
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; 14:1-4). 

This negative, faithless reaction caused Joshua and Caleb to respond vigorously in opposition by urging the people to reject fear and move forward in faith (Numbers 14:6-9 Numbers 14:6-9 6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 7 And they spoke to all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which flows with milk and honey. 9 Only rebel not you against the LORD, neither fear you the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
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). These two dauntless men did not concentrate on, nor were they intimidated by, the size of the soldiers or the strength of the cities in Canaan. Instead, they knew that since God had miraculously defeated the mighty Egyptian army at the Red Sea, He could effortlessly contend with the Canaanites, no matter how tall or strong they appeared to be.

Joshua and Caleb focused unswervingly on their Creator’s unchallengeable strength and resolute assurances of guidance and protection. God rewarded these zealous, committed men by later exempting them from the entire generation of Israelites whom He would not permit to enter Canaan (Numbers 14:30 Numbers 14:30Doubtless you shall not come into the land, concerning which I swore to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
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). Caleb was even singled out by God for having a model spirit (Numbers 14:24 Numbers 14:24But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully, him will I bring into the land into where he went; and his seed shall possess it.
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), while Joshua was promoted to lead the next generation of Israelites into the Promised Land after Moses’ death (Deuteronomy 34:9 Deuteronomy 34:9And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands on him: and the children of Israel listened to him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.
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). 

What can we learn from the example of Joshua and Caleb? It is that throughout their lives they faithfully honored God’s glory in everything they did. You and I would do well to emulate their example.

Lydia of Philippi

Let’s now look at another biblical illustration of an individual who focused on honoring God―the steadfast, faithful woman, Lydia. On the apostle Paul’s second ministerial journey from 50-54 A.D., he and his traveling companions, Timothy and Silas, sailed from Asia Minor across the Aegean Sea to the city of Philippi in Macedonia. Paul wrote: “On the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there” (Acts 16:13 Acts 16:13And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spoke to the women which resorted thither.
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).

On his journeys, Paul customarily went to a synagogue in various cities to worship and speak with attendees about Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God (Acts 17:2 Acts 17:2And Paul, as his manner was, went in to them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
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). However, it appears that few Jews were living in Philippi and consequently, a synagogue had not been built. This is likely why the women Paul spoke to had gathered for prayer along the river bank. Paul continues: “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God” (Acts 16:14 Acts 16:14And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended to the things which were spoken of Paul.
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). 

Lydia was a merchant dealing specifically in purple-dyed cloth, which was greatly treasured due to its rarity and beauty. Because of the time and expense it took to produce this fabric, it was generally purchased by wealthy individuals. Although Lydia worked in this demanding business, it was not the entire focus of her life since, as Paul stated, she “worshiped God.” The Bible doesn’t say if she was a Jew or a righteous Gentile attracted to Judaism, but it is clear that her primary focus and commitment was toward her Creator.

When Paul spoke to Lydia about the gospel, and as God opened her mind and heart to understand its spiritual significance, she responded with great enthusiasm. In fact, Lydia reacted so swiftly and deeply that she requested that she and her household be baptized immediately. And that was not all. She then quickly invited Paul, Timothy and Silas to stay at her house (Acts 16:15 Acts 16:15And when she was baptized, and her household, she sought us, saying, If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
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).

Later Paul met with the brethren. It appears that Lydia’s house had since become the meeting place for a growing congregation (Acts 16:40 Acts 16:40And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brothers, they comforted them, and departed.
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). As she managed her purple-dyed cloth business, the underlying foundation in everything she did was to “do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 1 Corinthians 10:31Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
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). By her zeal for God and her warm, generous hospitality to the elders and brethren, she became an outstanding model of how someone can focus on glorifying God while also carrying out your own daily activities and duties.

What Should You Do?

The illustrations covered about dedicated individuals who ardently gave glory to God can benefit us in better comprehending what we can do as we go through our lives. The central truth of the Bible is that everything exists because of God and that it manifests His awesome glory (see Psalms 57:5 Psalms 57:5Be you exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be above all the earth.
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; 113:4; 1 Timothy 1:17 1 Timothy 1:17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
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). “For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever” (Romans 11:36 Romans 11:36For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
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). 

So how can we better focus on giving God the great honor He deserves? You can strive to love God with your entire being while carefully keeping His commandments, which He designed for our abundant benefit (Psalms 119:2 Psalms 119:2Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
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). Besides that, we can include Him in all our daily endeavors by allowing Him to guide and direct our thoughts, words and actions in our work, studies, play, hobbies and other interests (Proverbs 16:3 Proverbs 16:3Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established.
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). Indeed, focusing on God and His ways should be at the core of everything we do. Besides honoring God, we can work at being fully attentive to making His priorities our priorities by resolutely setting our mind “on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2 Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
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). If you make every effort to do so, God will give you everything you need to be successful spiritually (Ephesians 3:16 Ephesians 3:16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
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; Philippians 4:19 Philippians 4:19But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
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). 

Never forget the biblical examples of Joshua and Caleb who never lost focus on God and His great power and promises. Also, don’t forget the example of Lydia who made glorifying God the principal groundwork of her life. Endeavor zealously and resolutely to “do all to the glory of God.”