By J.A. Medders
It is time we outlaw cliffhangers. It’s fine when they happen between episodes in a series; it keeps us watching, engaged, and eager for what’s next. But when we are left dangling at the end of a season, I want to call my congressman. And don’t even get me started on a resolution-less movie.
We need closure. We need the closing notes of “shave and a haircut.” We want to hear the “two bits.” Conclusions help us understand the point of it all. Today, at the end of Romans, Paul gives us the resounding note for the letter—a doxology of praise: “To him be the glory forever!” (Romans 16:27).
Everything and everyone exists for the glory of God. Our churches, ministries, jobs, and lives are given to us for the glory of the triune God. Do you live this way, submitted to His Word and eagerly living for the fame of His name? What does that even mean? What is God’s glory? God’s glory is the “goodness” of God going public—it is what we see of Him that moves us to worship.
How do the heavens declare the glory of God? They display things like wonder and majesty. By faith, we see the creative power and brilliance of God as clouds wisp across our patch of sky, gliding to other coordinates on this blue marble dangling in the cosmos. God displays His glory all around us. We are meant to look for it—to see it, to align with it, to spread it.
The gospel teaches us that we are not the point of our own lives—God is. He saved us for our good and His glory. Living for the glory of God means we agree with who God says He is, and we align our lives accordingly. We submit and serve. We enjoy and exalt.
Jesus’s death for our sins and His resurrection for our new life enables and empowers us to behold the glory and fame of God, and to worship Him for it. “Your sins have been forgiven on account of his name” (1John 2:12). We, the forgiven ones, rejoice at God’s glory because we reap the blessings of it.
The glory of God lasts forever. It isn’t trendy. Nothing will outdo the awesomeness of God. Don’t live in cliffhanger mode, wondering what your life is all about. Jesus redirects our lives to His—one forever aligned to the glory of God. “Not to us, LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory because of your faithful love, because of your truth” (Psalm 115:1).