To God Be the Glory

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“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

(Romans 11:36)

I’ve never had my fifteen minutes of fame and maybe that’s a good thing.  It seems the all-encompassing desire of people today is to be the next reality star or viral sensation.  You’re just not hip anymore unless you have a Youtube channel or a thousand hits a day on your Facebook page.  I suppose there’s nothing inherently wrong with enjoying our modern-day forms of self-promotion, but while we focus all of our attention on glorifying ourselves, we sometimes forget that it’s God who deserves all the glory.

IT’S ALL FOR HIM!

The goal of all creation, the heavens and earth and all that are in them, is to glorify God.  I’ve heard people argue that that makes God narcissistic but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  God is inherently glorious because he is God.  He is perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, in all places all the time, so we cannot add to his glory.  If there were no one to lift up praise to God, his magnificence would still not diminish.  Even so, all that we do should declare, recognize, honor and praise our glorious God.

HOW CAN WE GLORIFY GOD?

Jesus had a purpose on earth and so do we…to fulfill that purpose and honor and glorify God in all that we do (John 17:4).  He was able to say “It is finished” because he came bearing the likeness of God in the flesh and did exactly what he was told to do.  But how?  How do we today use this life we’ve been given to bring glory to God?

  1. THROUGH WORSHIP– In the modern church today, worship has somehow devolved into what we do on Sunday.  Worship is not just the singing, praying, and praising we do on the first day of the week.  It also includes enjoying God, loving God, of completely surrendering ourselves to Him.  That kind of worship cannot come out of a sense of duty but out of an honest and heartfelt desire to show love and gratitude.
  2. BE MORE LIKE CHRIST– God sent his Son not only to be our sacrifice, but to also be an example for us.  We glorify God when we obey the one he sent.  Developing a Christlike character brings God glory and it makes the world around us aware of a loving God.  “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
  3. LOVE OTHER BELIEVERS– God is love so it makes sense that we must learn to love how God loves.  “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).  When we love like this, we create a unifying glorification of God (Romans 15:5-7).
  4. SERVE OTHERS– The problem with our desire to seek fame is that it takes away from our time to serve others.  We are uniquely designed.  The sole reason for who you are is not to lift yourself up but to use that design and individual gifts to glorify God.  We all have received something from God and it should be used for the betterment of others (1 Peter 4:10-11).
  5. DECLARE HIM– When we make God known to others, his greatness is magnified among more and more people (2 Corinthians 4:15).  While we may spend our lives gaining blessings for ourselves, that is not our primary purpose.  We are expected and commanded to introduce others to the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20).

Just imagine with me a world where instead of spending time working on our own recognition, we poured our energy and resources into projecting the glory onto God.  I think we would find the world, the church, and even our individual lives being blessed by the God who loves to take care of his children.  While that seems a little far-fetched, it is exactly what God has promised.  It starts small, with you, with me, with each person using the time we’ve been given to put God in the only place he belongs…First!

-Joe

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8 thoughts on “To God Be the Glory

  1. As I read your post today, the song To God Be The Glory great things He has done…. came to mind. He is so good and He alone deserves the glory. Thanks again, for inspiring and encouraging words.

    1. Joe Butler

      Actually it was the song that led to me writing this post. I’m trying to do a better job of noticing and thanking God for the little things he does for me every day. It’s not that I feel my other acts of worship are not important. I just know I can do a better job of glorifying him in the day-to-day stuff.

  2. Your article gave me the mind picture of all the “selfies” people seem to be obsessed with. The only “selfie” I would like is me and Jesus standing together smiling. I give praise, honor, and glory to the Lord for who He is and everything He does, even those things I’m not aware of. I do need to listen to more praise and worship music though. I tend to like quiet. So that’s one area I do need to pay more attention to. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Joe Butler

      When Paul reminds us in Phil. 4:8 to think on things that are praiseworthy he’s saying so with the assumption that there are plenty of good things in the world for us to see that show us God. Music, nature, fellowship with others all bring us just a little bit closer to the love of God and show us his true nature. I have the problem sometimes of wanting praise for my own accomplishments instead of passing the praise on to God who gave me everything I am in the first place. Especially when I preach I get such nice compliments but I always try to tell others it’s just me speaking God’s word. He deserves the glory.

      1. You are so right, He deserves the glory. I find some people will absolutely insist, when I tell them ‘it’s all Christ’s doing,’ “oh but YOU did it!” I get rather upset when people insist on giving me the glory. He, and He alone, deserves the glory in whatever accomplishments I/we do.

  3. Joe Butler

    I greatly appreciate the compliments and encouragement I recieve. God has designed the church for that very reason so I never want to leave someone thinking I’m not grateful for their kind words. Part of the spiritual maturation process is taking that encouragement and using it to work harder and at the same time let everyone know where your talents come from and that God deserves the praise.

  4. This is great, but a better way is to ask Jesus Himself.

    Luke 18:19-22: “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother.” “I have kept all these from my youth,” he said. When Jesus heard this, He told him, “You still lack one thing: Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”

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