Our purpose on earth is to be loved and to glorify God.
Last week’s post, Be Loved, talks about the first half of this statement: our purpose of accepting God’s unconditional and sacrificial love. This post will cover our second purpose: to glorify God.
Many people, especially those unfamiliar with God’s character, interpret our call to glorify God in a negative light. To them it seems He is an egomaniac or narcissist who demands our attention and adoration. Perhaps He needs our praise to feel good about Himself. But what if it is good for US to glorify Him? What if He knows glorifying Him will bring us far more life?
According to Vocabulary.com, “To glorify is to praise or honor something or someone to an extreme degree. If you like someone, you might compliment or praise them, but glorifying takes that a step further. When something is glorified, it is praised to the highest degree possible.“
Is God worthy of praise and honor to the highest degree possible? Does He deserve more than our compliments? Yes! Far more life willingly and gratefully gives God the glory He deserves. The book of Revelation gives multiple examples of God receiving His due from various created beings:
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being. (Revelation 4:11, NIV)
God’s knowledge and power are far superior to ours. He created and sustains all that exists. He is worthy of our glory.
Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. (Revelation 15:4, NIV)
God alone is holy and righteous. He deserves our glory for being perfect in character and action.
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13, NIV)
Every creature will see God on His throne, and Jesus beside Him, and acknowledge that He deserves all the glory we can give. What a wonderful assembly that will be!
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. (Revelation 21:23, NIV)
God’s glory will light up the Holy City in heaven. I think this will be the purest and brightest light we have ever seen that will perfectly illuminate what we need to see, both physically and spiritually.
Giving God glory does not begin in Heaven; far more life glorifies God today and every day. Biblical writers understood this truth:
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. (Psalm 147:1, ESV)
In this world that is filled with pain, evil, and heartache, it is good to remember God’s character and promises. Glorifying Him gives us hope and perspective. It helps keep our eyes on Him.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. (Psalm 63:3-5, NIV)
How many love songs and romantic movies claim, “You are the best thing that ever happened to me”? Well, God IS the best thing that ever happened to us! Glorifying God reminds us of His perfect love and provision. That is what we need, what we crave.
But HOW do we glorify God? I heard one person describe it as doing what we were created to do. It is not limited to humans; all of creation glorifies God, too:
Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel. (Isaiah 44:23, NIV)
“I tell you,” [Jesus] replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40, NIV)
Birds glorify God by migrating, building nests, and singing. Oceans glorify God through their ebb and flow. Bees glorify God by pollinating flowers. Stars glorify God by shining their lights. People glorify God by imitating Christ in their thoughts, words, and actions. This will look different from one person to the next since God gave us different strengths, talents, and personalities.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6, NIV)
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (I Peter 2:12, NIV)
Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God… (John 21:19, NIV)
Far more life glorifies God regardless of the circumstances. Everything we do — even how we face death — is an opportunity to glorify God. I pray that, near the end of our time on earth, you and I can say the same thing that Jesus did:
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. (John 17:4, NIV)
May we find far more life as we glorify God today and every day!
Do you believe that God deserves your glory?
What barriers do you face to willingly and gratefully glorifying Him?
Is it most natural for you to glorify Him through your thoughts, words, or actions? Which is the most challenging?
What truth about Him helps you glorify Him?
Thank God for the opportunity to glorify Him — and experience far more life — today.
Copyright 2020, Shari Damaso