“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Glory is a big concept for a God bigger than we will ever be able to comprehend within the limitations of our humanity. He is divine: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the One True, Triune, God. He is omnipotent and sovereign, compassionate and good. In our search for justice, He is the ultimate judge. Our Defender, Healer, Provider, Savior, Comforter, Creator, and Abba Father. He is glorious.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” He wasn’t referring to religious checklists, for it is our daily lives which illuminate the source of love in our souls. Life within the love of Christ brings glory to God from simple acts of kindness to the big goals we work hard to accomplish with the talents He’s given us.
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What Is Glory?
If we wake to breathe, we’re meant to live out this day for the glory of God. “One of the great ways God glorifies himself,” wrote David Vandrunen, “is by calling and enabling us, his people, to glorify him through our holy conduct.”
Secularly, glory is defined by Merriam-Webster as “praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent; worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving.” We use glory to communicate a grand position of designation, and to mark something magnificent. One definition read, “the splendor and beatific happiness of heaven,” in reference to eternity. Much like joy is set apart from the fleeting feeling of happiness, glory is exponentially more prominent and permanent than a brief highlight or celebratory achievement.
Biblically, glory is defined as an “opinion, judgement or view; splendor, brightness; a most glorious condition, most exalted state.” Glory is definitively linked to light, “a halo appearing around the shadow of an object.” Light simply is. God is glorious. We don’t bring glory to God, for God is already glorious. Matthew wrote:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
All good comes from the Father, so our good deeds reflect His glory. Through Christ, His light flows through our lives, reflecting the goodness and glory of the Father.
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Why and How Do We Glorify God?
We glorify God when we extend grace to others, dedicate time to spend with Him, and worship Him – not just through singing praises, but in the way we live our daily lives. Grace is free gift, an undeserved rescue. When Christ died for our sins on the cross, we were adopted into the family of God. John wrote, “When he was gone, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in Him” (John 13:31).
Jesus lived His earthly life for the glory of God, and we are meant to follow His lead. Forgiven and free, grace defines life within the love of Christ. “‘Glorifying’ means feeling and thinking and acting in ways that reflect his greatness, that make much of God, that give evidence of the supreme greatness of all his attributes and the all-satisfying beauty of his manifold perfections” explains John Piper in his sermon “Glorifying God … Period.”
As we follow our Savior, meeting God in prayer and His Word daily, His goodness, grace, and glory change our hearts and matures our wisdom. The very fiber of our souls are in a constant state of growth and change until we meet the Father in Heaven. Our lives are rooted in His truth, and point back to Him.
David knew of the glory of God, of the Father’s forgiveness and rescue, and the faithful and compassionate care for His own. He wrote, “among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God” (Psalm 86:8-10).
We serve the God of miracles! Taking time to praise God daily reminds us who and Whose we are, created for the glory of God!
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Where Does the Bible Talk about Giving Glory to God?
Many Old Testament passages like Isaiah 42:12, Habakkuk 2:14, and 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 speak of the glory of God; as do the New Testament words of Paul (Romans 15:8-9, 2 Corinthians 9:13, Philippians 1:9-11) Peter (2 Peter 3:18), Luke (Luke 1:46), and so many other faithful followers of Christ. The glory of God riddles the pages of Scripture from beginning to end.
The apostle Paul lived his life for the glory of God. He had been completely changed, from the inside out, from persecuting Christians to being persecuted for the sake of Christianity! “What Christians do should always be motivated by their desire to glorify God,” the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible explains. When we truly know Christ, we want others to know of and experience His freedom and forgiveness. Living obedient lives within the grace of Christ becomes a powerful witness for others to know Him, too.
The apostle Matthew wrote of salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) to remind us of our permanent stature as children of God once we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord.
Living our lives within the love of Christ makes us markedly different. As salt flavors food and light illuminates the earth, our lives can add understanding and open doors of hope for those who do not yet know freedom in Christ. This article from Compelling Truth reminds us that “we must not imagine that God needs to be glorified by us. His glory belongs to Him and we cannot add anything to it. It is for our good that he commands us to glorify Him, for it is only by living to glorify Him that we can be truly holy and happy.”
What Does It Mean to Bring Glory to God?
Humanity exists to bring glory to God. The Author of each person’s unique purpose, He knows the number of our days. Our God is not a coincidental God. He is purposeful, and His plans for us are good. As believers in Christ, we are cut into the fold of His divine family. “Do it all for the glory of God,” reaches beyond worship songs and church building walls. We bring glory to God in the small steps of our daily lives, too. From the way we love our neighbors, lend aid in our communities, and live according to God’s Word.
“Bringing glory to God with our lives,” wrote Jordan Standridge for Crosswalk, “means that we are doing supernatural things that can only be attributed to Him.” Being a good friend, taking time to talk our kids through tough days, paying for the drive-through order in front of us, or simply taking time to witness the beauty of God’s creations. All of these movements, and more, bring glory to God.
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What Are Some Different Ways People in the Bible Glorify God?
The apostle Paul and other early church leaders were persecuted for their faith in Christ. Mary, Jesus’ earthly mother, offered her life for the glory of God to birth and parent our Savior on this earth. Moses led God’s people through the desert and out of exile. Joshua led God’s people into the promised land.
Jeremiah, Isaiah and other prophets brought the word of God to His people, even when it wasn’t what they wanted to here. Job, though stripped of all he had, never forgot his life existed solely because of God. Jesus, Himself, walked knowingly to His crucifixion for the glory of God.
The Bible is full of triumph and sorrow, death and life. God’s hope flows through His faithful servants, both then and now.
How Can We Give Glory to God Today?
Love is the conduit of God’s glory. True love, freedom, and hope come from life in Christ. John wrote, “for from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). We give glory to God when we confess and repent of our sins, forgive before we receive an apology, and extend grace to those who have hurt us. We live for God’s glory when we focus on helping others. Whether it be physical needs, someone to listen, or provision to aid another, all of these actions bring glory to God.
We give glory to God when our daily lives set Him in the center. Prayer, worship, the scene surrounding us, the people He places in our lives, and time in God’s word are the ways He communicates with us. “When we lay down our own desires and surrender our good intentions to God,” wrote Ruth Clemence, “we are trusting Him with our life.”
Giving God the top spot in our hearts, on our minds, and in our daily lives allows us to witness the glory of God and become conduits of it! The world is pretty selfish, grasping for half-truths and blindly following the next thing or person promising happiness and security. Fear and evil patrol the earth in battle for our hearts. Nothing the world can offer can come close to the freedom and peace we have in Christ. Glory is who God is, and as followers of Christ, glory flows through us.
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Meg, freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80, is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” and “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” She writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University, but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters, which led her to pursue her passion to write. She has led a Bible Study for Women and serves as a Youth Ministry leader in her community. Meg, a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, lives by the shore of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters and golden doodle.