“… this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself …” (II Corinthians 8:19)
Here Paul, writing about the offering that he and his associates were taking up for the impoverished saints at Jerusalem, talked about their motivation for this work. WHY were they taking up this offering for those saints? He declared that it was “FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD.” In other words the purpose of the offering was not merely to help those in need — although that was surely part of it — but that in the process of their giving and meeting the needs, the Lord would be glorified.
This is actually to be the bottom line motivation for everything we do. As Christians, we exist to glorify God. Paul wrote earlier in I Corinthians 10:31, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” The classic Westminster Shorter Catechism asks: “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” The purpose of the church is to glorify Him. The purpose of our individual lives is to glorify Him. And the ultimate purpose of our ministries, whatever earthly purpose they serve, and whatever specific need they meet, are like Paul’s, ultimately “for the glory of the Lord Himself.” Knowing the purpose for ourselves and our work can help guide us to do what best fulfills our ultimate purpose: glorifying God.
This question should be on each of our hearts every day: What can I do today which will bring God glory? It is the reason you exist today.