God’s glory is intrinsic. It is the manifestation and combination of all His attributes. We cannot give it to Him or take it away. He is “the God of glory” (Acts 7:2). Even so, the supreme purpose in life for all people, born again or not, is to glorify God. This is the reason for living.
This is not a strange idea to churches across the world, but it is trivialized to some degree. Sometimes, it is reduced to bumper-stickers and t-shirts. One adage says “Honk if you love Jesus!” while the driver of the car turns angrily, breaking the law and flashing obscene gestures. To some, this is the extent of glorifying God. This should not be so.
We cannot glorify God with aphorisms and symbolism – even if we are decent drivers. God is far too majestic. To glorify is to make clear the glory of God. It is to give honor to God, to admire and display His greatness. It is to put God on display in a way that esteems His nature. This is what we ought to do.
We should glorify God because He created us. “It is He who made us” (Ps. 100:3). Paul added, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:36). Moreover, God made everything to give Him glory. This was why He made everything. “The heaven declare the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1). “The wild beasts will honor me” (Is. 43:20). When Jesus was born, the angels said, “Glory to God in the highest” (Lk. 2:14). Nature, animals and angels glorify God. And yes, even unbelievers glorify God, too (Ex. 14:17). Every created thing will glorify God, willingly or unwillingly.
For Christians, glorifying God is a willful act – or should be. So we must do it in ways that are right and biblical. We should concern ourselves with these ways so that we can glorify God in all of our life. So, how should we glorify God? Here is a list of ways that the Bible teaches:
- Receive the Jesus as Lord and Savior. (Phil. 2:9-11)
- Make it your aim in all things. (1 Cor. 10:31)
- Confess your sins. (Josh. 7:19)
- Trust God. (Rom. 4:20)
- Bear fruit, do good works. (Jn. 15:8)
- Give praise to God. (Ps. 50:23)
- Endure suffering. (1 Pet. 4:14-16)
- Be content. (Phil. 4:11-12)
- Pray according to God’s will. (Jn. 14:13)
- Proclaim God’s word. (2 Thess. 3:1)
- Lead others to Christ (Eph. 1:12)
- Avoid sexual sin. (1 Cor. 6:18-20)
- Seek unity. (Rom. 15:5-6)