The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Westminster Shorter Catechism
But what does it actually mean to glorify God?
In our last post Maria took on the enormous task of exploring God’s glory. To borrow from a description of God’s glory that Maria quoted last week, “God’s glory is solid and substantial. It isn’t mere reputation. It isn’t dependent on anyone or anything else. God’s glory reflects his essential nature” (Mark Roberts, The High Calling, 9/26/15).
In the Old Testament we very often see the glory of the Lord representing His actual presence with His people. But the glory was always veiled lest those observing it be consumed. Yes, the very essence of His nature could kill a man instantly with one glance! In the person of Jesus, God revealed His glory with greater clarity: “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3).
When we stand in wonder and awe at the glory of God, how is it even conceivable that we could give any glory TO Him? To glorify Him seems like a task completely out of our reach as created beings. And yet, scripture tells us this is exactly the purpose for which God created us, and indeed, all of creation!
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11)
“…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7).
All creation declares the glory of God! But humankind was created in the actual image of God (Gen 1:27). We are meant to behold and reflect God’s nature, His character, and His glory. Because of the finished work of Christ, the veil is removed. God shows us more and more of His glory as we grow in Him, and we are transformed more and more into His image.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Glorifying God then is a matter of acknowledging our identity as image-bearers of God. When we understand that this is the purpose for which we exist, we also understand that we give glory to God in everything we do. The more our image begins to look like His, the more we glorify Him. So then, the more we grow in Him, the more we glorify Him. The more we surrender to His calling and His will, the more we glorify Him. The more we trust Him with every aspect of our lives, the more we glorify Him. The more we give thanks in all circumstances, the more we glorify Him. The more we declare His goodness to others, the more we glorify Him. This is not about DOING more. It is about BEING HIS and learning to be like Him.
“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever” (Psalm 86:11-12).
As a community of worshipers we have the honor of uniting our hearts and our voices together to declare the glory of God. May we take great joy in glorifying His name as we sing together every week!
Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations,
“The LORD reigns!” Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
1 Chronicles 16:23-34
Kerri Roberts, Assistant Director of Music
Check out the songs we’ll be singing in Contemporary Worship (11:15am) this week: