1 Chronicles 16:25-29 “Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling. O nations of the world, recognize the Lord, recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.”
We often sing of and pray about glorifying God, but have you ever given thought to what that really means? For instance, does glorifying God mean He is prideful or egotistical, desiring our praise to fulfill Himself? After all, God said, ““I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another…” Isaiah 42:8 Then there are some who may wonder why we should glorify God when there is so much ugliness in the world, with man mistreating man. Unfortunately, the people who say these things misunderstand who God is, and they fail to see His value.
No, God is not prideful nor egotistical! Just look to Jesus! If we know Him, we know His Father: “If you had really known Me, You would know who My Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!” John 14:7 Jesus was mocked, ridiculed, spat upon, rejected, betrayed, and crucified, all during which times He never exhibited pride or ego, e.g. “I’m God; you’re not!” Rather, Jesus always exhibited true humbleness: “He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8 Jesus became a servant for our sake, dying in our place for our sins so we could have the opportunity to choose eternal life with Him. So, what does it mean to glorify God?
“To glorify God is not to bestow glory on God or add to His glory, but to recognize and acknowledge His glory. The basic meaning of the word glory is ‘heavy in weight.’ It is the ‘weighty importance and shining majesty that accompany God’s presence.’ The verb glorify means ‘to give weight to’ or ‘to honor.’ ” Thus, to glorify God is to recognize God for who He really is and to respond appropriately.” 1
“To ‘glorify’ God means to give glory to Him. The word glory as related to God in the Old Testament bears with it the idea of greatness of splendor. In the New Testament, the word translated ‘glory’ means ‘dignity, honor, praise and worship.’ Putting the two together, we find that glorifying God means to acknowledge His greatness and give Him honor by praising and worshiping Him, primarily because He, and He alone, deserves to be praised, honored and worshiped. God's glory is the essence of His nature, and we give glory to Him by recognizing that essence.” 2
Glory—the essence of God’s nature—now we understand! But how do we ordinary people go about giving glory to God? Based on what glorifying God means, I’d like for us to take a few moments to look at just a few everyday practices that bring glory to God.
OBEDIENCE: 1 Samuel 15:22 states, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering.” Because we love God, we should have a deep-seated desire to please Him through our submission and obedience to His commandments. Let us ask ourselves each day, “What is it that the Lord is asking of me today, and how can I be submissive and obedient to Him?” Our submission and obedience, especially in the face of opposition and/or our own fleshly-driven desires, show honor and respect to the One who created us—who molded our very beings. Our obedience brings glory to God.
RELATING GOD’S WORKS: Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about His power and His mighty wonders.” The Israelites continually passed the truths of God’s miraculous works to their children. They wanted them to understand, recognize, and give glory to God for the miracles He provided, such as saving them from the Egyptians when they passed through the Red Sea, then caring for them by providing food and water and not letting their clothes wear out during their forty years of wandering in the desert. The Jews wanted all future generations to glorify the One and Only God who had revealed Himself to Abraham and Moses.
Likewise, we glorify God when we relate to our children and others the great things God has done in our lives. I tell how God led me to Terry, my husband, when my life was so messed up. It was he who eventually led me to the Lord, and the ways Terry has blessed me over the years are too many to recount!
I tell my children and others how God’s miraculous hand saved my son’s life when at three weeks of age, he stopped breathing. God prompted Terry to look at our boy, notice that he was purple, and give him artificial respiration. Then there was the head-on collision that this same son had when seventeen (not his fault), and even the policemen there said they had never seen such a horrible accident--that it was a miracle because there was not only no fatality, but no injury. Our truck was totaled! We, indeed, counted this as miracluous.
I never fail to relate how God kept His hand on our four-year old daughter who developed infantile thrombocytopenia, with her red blood count dropping to 4,000, meaning she could easily hemmorhage to death. "Don't let her run or fall," were my instructions. Not easy at that age! There was also her bicycle accident, when, as she told us, she "fell asleep" while riding. She completely tore up the right side of her face, with one eye swollen shut, but the hand of God was upon her. God saw to it that this accident happened after recovering from the auto-immune disease, and she even had no large, permanent scarring!
I love to relate those simple occurrences in my life that really aren't simple at all, for I can look back and clearly see God at work! For instance, there’s the time I forgot my keys, and in going in search of them, I discovered I’d left my curling iron on. NOT GOOD! I’ve often said that I keep God very busy as He keeps me on the right track!
WORKING WITH OTHERS: Galatians 5:22 “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” The moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. His fruit is demonstrated when we study God’s Word, internalize it, and act upon it. Read about the changes that God desires in our lives that would exemplify God’s Spirit at work within. Ephesians 4:20-31: “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as his own,] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
God is so great—so good--you can see that He always desires our welfare--our becoming more Christ-like--and when we stop acting according to the lusts of our flesh, when we die to self and put others’ needs before our own, we glorify and honor Him. Glorifying God, “…extolling His attributes—His holiness, faithfulness, mercy, grace, love, majesty, sovereignty, power, and omniscience, to name a few—rehearsing them over and over in our minds and telling others about the singular nature of the salvation only He offers…” 3 should become our lives’ goal.
Psalm 118:28 “You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, and I will exalt You.”
Psalm 86:12 “I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart and will glorify Your name forever.”
Psalm 19:1 “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.”
Isaiah 6:3 “They (the seraphim) were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with His glory!”
Matthew 16:24-26 “ Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
PRAYER: Father God, help me daily to always place you first and foremost, with my eyes set upon glorifying You in all my ways. Let my words and actions demonstrate the fruit of Your Spirit, acting in kindness and compassion to all whose lives you place in my path so that You may be glorified. May my life reflect Your kindness, goodness, and care through all circumstances, again, so that You may be glorified. To You be all honor and glory forever!
DISCLAIMER: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?!
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other "teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.