by Steven Chan
The church in Klang desires to be a Growing and God-glorifying congregation. It is needful for us to understand the underlying reasons for wanting to glorify God. Does God need us to glorify Him?
In Acts 17:24-25, the apostle Paul explained that God does not need anything from us as He is the Creator of all things:-
“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.”
But God desires that man glorify Him. In Isaiah 43:7, the Bible tells us that God formed man for His glory: “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
God explained that man was created so that he may bring glory to God. Man was made in the likeness or image of God as a reflection or mirror of God’s personal glory:
”Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen 1:26-28).
We are made in God’s image and so, we necessarily ought to reflect God and His glory. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, the word “glorify” is translated from the original Greek word, doxazo, which means “to magnify, extol, praise” especially of “glorifying;” God, i.e., ascribing honor to Him, acknowledging Him as to His being, attributes and acts, i.e., His glory. The Psalmist wrote in Psa. 139:13-14:
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.”
We are God’s handiwork. We bring glory to God as our Creator when we conduct ourselves in a way that results in praise to Him as our Designer. This is like the work of art bringing praise to the artist; or the beautifully designed automobile winning praise for the manufacturer.
The important thing to remember is that when we bring glory, honor and praise to God, He is pleased with us and will bless us even more!
When we fail to honor God with our actions, we “sin and fall short of His glory” (Rom 3:23). When God’s people of Israel failed to honor God with their “tithes and offerings”, God said to them in Mal 3:8-10:-
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”
God did not need their “tithes and offerings”. God wanted them to learn to honor/glorify Him with what He has already blessed them with, by giving to Him their “tithes and offerings” and He challenged them “to try or test Him” to see whether He would bless them with even more overwhelming abundance!
According to 1 Peter 4:10-11, God has blessed us with various gifts and abilities and we are to use these gifts and abilities to bring honor and glory to Him:-
”As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” In 1 Cor 4:7, Paul asked the brethren in Corinth: “And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” We need to acknowledge that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17). So, having been blessed by God with ALL that we have, we need to use these blessings as God’s faithful stewards, in such a way that He is glorified – and we can be assured that He will bless us even more abundantly!
In Luke 6:37-38, Jesus taught:-
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
There’s reciprocity in how we treat others, and also in how we treat God Himself: “If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim 2:12-13).
Let us glorify God as our heavenly Father: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:16). When we are generous in our sharing with brethren and others in need, we bring glory to Him:
“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor 9:10-15)
Let’s not be self-centred; we need to be God-centred: “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”(Matt 25:29)
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”(1 Cor 10:31). Take home point: “Do people glorify God because of you?”