As the Lord Jesus approached the end of His life He prayed, “Father, I have glorified You on Earth having accomplished the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4). Clearly this was the priority in His life, to glorify God by completing the assignment He had given. Because Jesus is our great example glorifying God should be a disciple’s priority as well.
Giving God Glory
Just what is the “glory” of God and what does it mean to give God glory? Someone has said that the glory of God is the sum total of all that God is and all that God does. Now if that’s the case, we glorify God by acknowledging His greatness and splendor and honoring, exalting, and worshipping Him. Why? Because He and He alone is worthy of honor and glory.
Glorifying God must be the priority in a disciple’s life. The Westminster catechism says that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” This statement summarizes the clear teaching of scripture. As Paul would say in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” All that we do should be done to the glory of God.
How Do We Glorify God?
But how do we as disciples of Jesus glorify God? I think the answer is found in 1 Chronicles 16:28-29:
28 Ascribe to the Lord, families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
This passage highlights two actions involved in glorifying God.
The first action is to “ascribe” to the Lord the glory that is due Him. No one else deserves glory, only Him! Consider Isaiah 42:8, I am the Lord. That is my name, and I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. We ascribe glory to God because no one else deserves it but Him.
Second, we glorify God by bringing Him an “offering” as an act of worship. So what does that look like for a modern day disciple? I think the Apostle Paul helps us in Romans 12:1–2:
1 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
A disciple of Jesus will glorify God by living as a “living sacrifice.” We offer ourselves in absolute surrender to the only one who is worthy of all honor, glory, power and praise.
By Tim LaFleur