To God be the Glory #1
How to Glorify God, Part 1
Psalm 16
 
The most important knowledge a person could ever attain is the knowledge of God.  There is nothing in the universe more important than knowing God.  We’ve spent three weeks looking at the Apostle Paul’s message in Athens introducing his hearers to what they called and worshipped as the “unknown god”.  At the end of his message, we discovered in Acts 17, some mocked him, but others were interested in learning more and eventually some accepted what he said and became followers of God. 
 
But is that the end of the story?  Is that all there is to our faith?  Is it merely coming to know God through Jesus Christ and being prepared for heaven when the end of our life comes?  What about in between our new birth and our death?  What is God’s design for those days?
 
I think what God has designed for us in this period of time we call life is one of the Christian faith’s forgotten jewels.  So often we think of Christianity merely as preparation for heaven and we do evangelism by telling people they can live forever and we neglect what God has in store for us in the meantime.  And we don’t spend a lot of time teaching disciples this truth.  We kind of teach around it and about it and how to accomplish it, but far too often we don’t zero in on the purpose of life.  So let me give it to you in a short, to-the-point, understandable sentence:
 
Man’s only purpose in life is to give glory to God.
 
See what I mean when I say we teach around it and about it?  We tell people they need to live a godly life or manage their finances or take care of their family or a myriad of other things based on scripture.  And that’s well and good, but I’m afraid that very seldom do we attach the doing of those things with the purpose for doing those things which is ultimately to bring glory to God. 
 
So for the next three weeks I want us to zero in specifically on what it means to give glory to God. 
 
Let’s begin at Psalm 16:8a
 
Now here is a statement that focuses on giving God glory. When David says, "I have set the Lord always before me," he says this: "In everything I do, my attention is given to God. In all that I do, it is done with my attention and my focus riveted to God. It is for His glory and His honor and His will. That is the thought in my mind."
 
And the result of that kind of living is found in verse 9.
 
For those of you who learned catechisms as a child you may remember this thought:  The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. 
 
Hear you find the Scriptural support for that thought. 
 
"I have set the Lord always before me." Man's chief end is to what? Glorify God. That's setting the Lord before me in everything. “And to enjoy Him forever.” "Therefore, my heart is glad." There is both sides of the statement right there in Psalm 16.
 
So when David said, "I have set the Lord always before me," he was expressing the ultimate in the life of a man; to be totally absorbed in the person of God. To be able, through every single circumstance, to view it as if looking through the eyes of God, or as if taking into account all of God's attributes and attitudes. It is to be God-conscious and make every decision of life and to do every action of life with God in mind.  
 
Now, that's the reason for existence. That's the reason for living. That's the reason people are on this earth.
 
Therefore, listen to this statement, a man never fulfills his purpose on earth until he glorifies God. Nor will he ever know true happiness on earth until he glorifies God, because he can’t know the fullness of joy any other way. Plus the person who never knows God will be eternally separated from God in hell.
 
Psalm 16:11
 
So for today, let’s think a little bit about glorifying God.
 
Now, when we talk about glorifying God, we need to break that down into some practical things to try and get our brains around it.  It's never enough for me to just come to know the principle; I want to understand the practice involved in the principle. 
 
It’s one thing to just say, "Well, let's glorify God." But it is quite another thing to know what it means to glorify God and put that into practice in our lives. 
 
So I want to dissect that a little bit and come up with some very practical things. So here’s how we’ll address the subject.  First of all, let's talk about the what, then we'll talk about the why, then we'll talk about the how.
 
What do we mean by God's glory?
Why should we give Him glory?
And how do we give Him glory?
 
First of all, the “what”.
 
I. What Do We Mean By God's Glory?
 
There are two aspects to the glory of God.
 
Aspect #1 is
 
The Glory that He has in Himself.
 
Here we find the basis for everything else we’ll look at. 
 
Isaiah 6:3
 
Here the angels state that God has glory. They don't say, "Give Him glory." They say, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory."
 
Now this is the very foundational thought of the glory of God:  it is intrinsic to His nature. We don't give it to Him, it is His by virtue of who He is. If no man was ever created, if no angel was ever created, if God had chosen to dwell alone in isolation, He would still be a God of glory. 
 
If no one ever gave Him any glory, if no one ever gave Him any honor, if no one ever gave Him any praise, He would still be the glorious God that He is.
After all, He was all of those things and worthy of all of that before anybody was or did anyway!
 
So there is intrinsic glory. God’s glory is simply the manifestation and combination of all of His attributes.
 
Anytime you find God revealing his glory it is always through one or more of His attributes.  Moses asked God to show Him His glory.  How did God respond?  God said, "I'll let My goodness pass before you." Do you know why God said that? Because that is one of His attributes and His glory is the composite of his attributes.
 
John 1:14 says, "And we beheld His glory full of grace and truth." God's glory is the composite of His attributes. Grace, truth, goodness, mercy, and all that He is, form together His glory.
 
So when we're talking about the glory of God, we are talking about His intrinsic glory. We don't give it to Him, it's His.
 
And this is as essential to God as light is to the sun, as blue is to the sky, as wet is to water. You don't make water wet. It's wet. You don't make the sky blue, it's blue. You might cover up the blue but you can't take it away. The sun is light. That's what the sun is. And so God is glory. We can't give it to Him. We can’t increase it.  We can't diminish it. He is who He is.
 
In fact, in Acts 7:2, He is called "the God of glory." And there isn't anything that we can do to give Him glory in the sense of His intrinsic nature. We cannot add to the nature of God.
 
Now men aren't like that. A man's glory can be given to him and taken away.  Take a king and remove his robes and his crown and strip him naked and put him next to a beggar and give 'em both a bath, and you'll never know which is which because there's no intrinsic glory. The only glory the king has is when you give him a crown and a robe and sit him on the throne. He has no intrinsic glory.
 
But the glory that is God's is His in His essence. You can strip a king naked, you can defrock a priest, but you can't de-glory God.
 
So in that sense, we cannot give God glory. All we can do is recognize it.  So first of all, foundational to everything else is this thought:  God's glory is that which is His nature, His attributes.
 
But secondly,
 
There is a Glory which is given God by His Creatures.
 
And that is simply when we acknowledge His glory. What does it mean to give God glory?" Here it is:
 
It means to magnify His glory before the world.
 
That's what it means. You're not adding to His nature. You're simply demonstrating the truth of His glory to the world.  And it actually comes down to the validity of our testimony.
Is what you claim about the glory of God backed up by the way you live your life?
 
For example, Philippians 1:20, Paul said that, "Christ may be magnified in my body." He didn't mean that Christ needs to be improved on. He meant that, in the eyes of the world, Christ needs to be exalted through him.
 
When we give glory to God, we are not adding to His nature. We are merely revealing who He is.
 
Paul said, "Know you not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which you have of God. You're not your own. You're bought with a price. Therefore...do what?...glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God's."
 
In other words, give pure testimony to the pure glory of God that men might see His glory.
 
Now so far we’ve been looking at the “What of God’s Glory” and we’ve seen two things: 
 
  •  God’s Glory is Intrinsic in Who He is
  • We are to give Him Glory
 
Now it occurs to me, that the first is a settled issue; It is declared and done.  We don’t need to work on that one.
 
But if your life is like mine, the second one really needs some attention.  And as we address that one, we have to deal with the second question:
 
 
 
II. Why Should I Give Him Glory?
 
Let me give you three reasons: 
 
1. He Gives Us Life
 
We ought to give Him glory because He gives us life.   
 
Listen to Romans 11:36:
 
"For of Him and through Him are all things, therefore to Him be glory forever."
 
You know why God deserves the glory? Because He made everything. Because He gave us our being, our life, and everything that is.
 
Who else deserves our glory?  We are to glorify Him because He made us. Here’s a second thing:  He not only made us to, but
 
2. He Made Us To Glorify Him
 
And eventually you will one way or another.  You can chose to do it now, willingly, or you can wait and give Him glory unwillingly, but the Bible reminds us in Philippians 2 “that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father”.
 
Ultimately, God will receive glory from every person ever created.  And God is to especially gets glory from His people and when they willingly give Him glory, He is pleased.
 
In Isaiah 43:21, God said, "This people have I formed for Myself, and they will show forth My praise."
 
So we ought to give God glory because He made us; two, because He made us to give Him glory.  Here’s the third thing:
 
We ought to give God glory because
 
3. He judges those who don't willfully give Him glory.
 
If a person refuses to willingly give glory to God, He will not only still get His glory from that person, but He also judges that person.
 
That's serious. Romans 1 describes those that didn't give God glory.
 
Verses 18-23
 
The next verse says, "God gave them up."
 
Later it says, "God gave them up."
 
Later it says, "God gave them over to reprobate mind."
 
And in verse 18, it says, "The wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.
 
Let me give you an Old Testament illustration from  Jeremiah 13.
 
Poor old Jeremiah's always having trouble with Israel. They never listen to anything, and they're about to be taken into captivity, and his heart was so grieved.
 
Verse 15-16
 
 
That's the premise. Jeremiah says, "Give glory to the Lord your God." They say, "Why?
 
"Before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death."
 
You know why you ought to give God glory? Because if you don't you're going to stumble and be crushed in darkness.
 
Verse 17
 
Jeremiah says, "Give God glory because if you don't, He'll judge you." And then Jeremiah cries.
 
We ought to give God glory because He made us, because He made us to give Him glory, because He judges those who willfully refuse to give Him glory.
 
I want to close with this statement from Church Swindoll:
 
"In everything, God gets the glory.  How many church conflicts could be resolved if God's glory were everybody's goal?  How many egos would be put in their place if God's glory--not human glory--were at stake?  How much extremism would be avoided if we did all for the greater glory of God?
 
"But that's so basic," you may say, "Why even spend time on it?"  Because without that, your teaching becomes drudgery, your helping leads to burnout, your evangelism becomes either frenetic or self-glorifying.
 
When we keep His glory uppermost in our minds, it's amazing how much else falls into place.  Since he gets the glory, we're more comfortable leaving the results with Him in His time.  Since He gets the glory, our umbrella of love expands over others. 
 
Since He gets the glory, it's easier for us to show hospitality to others, for we're ultimately serving Him.  Since He gets the glory, exercising our gifts is not a pain but a privilege.  The benefits are endless when the glory goes to God!
 
Let’s pray.
 
 
 
 
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