Tag Archives: God’s glory

Alistair Begg – Response to God’s Glory

 

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name. Psalm 29:2

God’s glory is the result of His nature and acts. He is glorious in His character, for there is such a store of everything that is holy and good and lovely in God that He must be glorious. The actions that flow from His character are also glorious; but while He intends that they should display to His creatures His goodness and mercy and justice, He is equally concerned that the glory associated with them should be given only to Himself. Not that there is anything in ourselves in which we may glory; for who makes us different from another? And what do we have that we did not receive from the God of all grace? Then how careful we ought to be to walk humbly before the Lord!

The moment we glorify ourselves, since there is room for one glory only in the universe, we set ourselves up as rivals to the Most High. Shall an insect that’s been around for only an hour glorify itself against the sun that warmed it into life? Shall the clay pot exalt itself above the man who fashioned it upon the wheel? Shall the dust of the desert strive with the whirlwind? Or the drops of the ocean struggle with the storm? Give to the Lord, all you righteous, give to the Lord glory and strength; give to Him the honor that is due His name.

It is, perhaps, one of the hardest struggles of the Christian life to learn this sentence-“Not to us, O LORD, not unto us, but to your name give glory.”1 It is a lesson that God is always teaching us, and teaching us sometimes by the most painful discipline. Let a Christian begin to boast, “I can do all things,” without adding “through Christ who strengthens me,” and before long he will have to groan, “I can do nothing” and bemoan himself in the dust. When we do anything for the Lord, and He is pleased to accept our doings, let us lay our crown at His feet and exclaim, “Not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”2

1) Psalm 115:1

2) 1 Corinthians 15:10

The Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 1 Samuel 7,8
  • Romans 6

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Presidential Prayer Team; C.H. – Light Show

 

Stargazers headed outdoors recently to watch a spectacular occurrence. The planets Jupiter and Venus were so close in the sky they almost appeared to be a “double star.” The bright light given off by the two planets was a dazzling demonstration of God’s glory. Some scholars believe a planet alignment like this created the “Star of Bethlehem” that guided the wise men to the Christ child.

Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!

Psalm 148:3

Whether God created one bright star or aligned the planets to herald the birth of His Son, no one really knows. But what is known is how all of creation freely displays God’s glory – even the planets and stars. You were created to exhibit His glory, too. All people have “gifts that differ according to the grace given to us” (Romans 12:6).

Are you fully using the gifts you were given? When you freely work in the area the Lord has blessed you, the resulting display is astounding. Pray for fellow Christians to use their gifts according to God’s purpose. Also ask the Lord to help America and its national leaders recognize the Creator in both the stars…and in their lives.

Recommended Reading: Romans 12:3-13

John MacArthur – Praying for God’s Glory

 

“O Lord, in accordance with all Thy righteous acts, let now Thine anger and Thy wrath turn away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people have become a reproach to all those around us. So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Thy servant and to his supplications, and for Thy sake, O Lord, let Thy face shine on Thy desolate sanctuary.

“O my God, incline Thine ear and hear! Open Thine eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Thy name; for we are not presenting our supplications before Thee on account of any merits of our own but on account of Thy great compassion. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name” (Dan. 9:16-19).

God’s glory must be the ultimate goal of every prayer request we make.

Someone once said, “Show me your redeemed life and I might believe in your Redeemer.” That’s a fair request! As Christians, we are Christ’s ambassadors to a dying world. With His Spirit in our hearts and His Word in our hands, we are to speak His truth in love and live a life that lends credibility to what we say.

When we fail to do that, we dishonor God and provide ammunition for those who seek to discredit His work. That was certainly true of Israel. They were God’s chosen people yet His name was blasphemed among the Gentiles because of their unbelief and disobedience (Rom. 2:24).

Daniel knew Israel didn’t deserve mercy, but he asked God to forgive and restore them to their homeland for His own name’s sake. Therein would He be glorified.

When you pray according to God’s will, fervently confessing your sins and interceding for others, you’re following in the godly tradition of Daniel and every other saint who sought God’s glory above all else. May it be so today!

Suggestions for Prayer; Pray for the nation of Israel, that God might redeem many Jewish people for His name’s sake (cf. Rom. 10:1).

For Further Study; Read Ezekiel 36:16-38.

  • Why did God scatter Israel? Why will He regather her?
  • How will the Gentile nations react to her regathering?

John MacArthur – Realizing Our Ultimate Priority

 

“To the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:11).

To glorify God is to reflect His character in your words and deeds.

Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9-11 closes with a reminder that love, excellence, integrity, and righteousness bring glory and praise to God.

God’s glory is a recurring theme in Paul’s writings, and rightly so because that is the Christian’s highest priority. But what is God’s glory and what does it mean to bring Him glory? After all, He is infinitely glorious in nature, so we can’t add anything to Him. His glory is never diminished, so it doesn’t have to be replenished or bolstered.

In Exodus 33:18-19 Moses says to God, “‘I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!’ And [God] said, ‘I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.'” In effect God was telling Moses that His glory is the composite of His attributes.

That suggests we can glorify God by placing His attributes on display in our lives. When others see godly characteristics like love, mercy, patience, and kindness in you, they have a better picture of what God is like. That honors Him. That’s why it’s so important to guard your attitudes and actions. Paul admonished Timothy to be exemplary in his speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity (1 Tim. 4:12). That should be true of every believer!

Another way to glorify God is to praise Him. David said, “Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in holy array. . . . In His temple everything says, ‘Glory!'” (Ps. 29:1- 2, 9).

You cannot add to God’s glory, but you can proclaim it in your words and deeds. What picture of God do others see in you? Does your life bring glory to Him?

Suggestions for Prayer;  In 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 David instructs Asaph and Asaph’s relatives on how to glorify God. Using that passage as a model, spend time in prayer glorifying God.

For Further Study; Reread 1 Chronicles 16:8-36, noting any specific instructions that apply to you.

John MacArthur – Proclaiming God’s Preeminence

 

We were predestined “to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:12).

In salvation, as in everything else, God is preeminent. He deserves all the credit.

Preeminence implies supreme standing, picturing one who excels over all others in a particular quality or achievement. There is no one more preeminent than God.

Ephesians 1:12 underscores that truth. You were redeemed and granted an eternal inheritance that God might be glorified. Certainly you benefit greatly from salvation, but God’s glory is the primary issue.

Our man-centered culture doesn’t share that perspective. Sadly, its self-seeking and self-glorifying mentality has crept into the church, and even the gospel itself has been subjected to its influence. For example sin is often defined by how it affects man, not how it dishonors God. Salvation is often presented as a means of receiving what Christ offers, not a mandate to obey what He commands. Many modern-day evangelists have reduced the gospel to little more than a formula by which people can live a happy and more fulfilling life. The focus has shifted from God’s glory to man’s benefit.

Such a convoluted gospel fuels the fire of self-love and self-exaltation.

As believers we know better than that. We know that the purpose of life is to glorify God. That means living to His glory is to govern everything we do.

What higher or more noble purpose could life afford? “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,” Paul said he pressed “on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). Keep that goal clearly in mind in all you do today. By doing so your day will be to the praise of God’s glory!

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Praise God for His preeminence in all things.
  • Pray for opportunities to speak of His preeminence to others, remembering that they will see Him in your actions as well as your words.

For Further Study

Read Job 38:42:6.

  • How did God convince Job of His surpassing knowledge and power?
  • What was Job’s response?

John MacArthur – Living to the Glory of God

 

God chose us “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in [His beloved Son]” (Eph. 1:6).

You were created to glorify God.

Englishman Henry Martyn served as a missionary in India and Persia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Upon his arrival in Calcutta, he cried out “Let me burn out for God.” As he watched the people prostrating themselves before their pagan idols and heard blasphemy uttered against Christ, he wrote, “This excited more horror in me than I can well express. . . . I could not endure existence if Jesus was not glorified; it would be hell to me, if He were to be always thus dishonored” (John Stott, Our Guilty Silence [InterVarsity, 1967], pp. 21-22).

Martyn had a passion for God’s glory—and he was in good company. Angels glorify God (Luke 2:14), as do the heavens (Ps. 19:1) and even animals (Isa. 43:20). But as a believer, you glorify God in a unique way because you are a testimony to His redeeming grace.

You were created for the purpose of glorifying God—even in the most mundane activities of life, such as eating and drinking (1 Cor. 10:31). You are to flee immorality so you can glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:19- 20). You are to walk worthy of your calling “that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified” (2 Thess. 1:12).

Glorifying God is an enormous privilege and an awesome responsibility. When others see His character on display in your life, it reminds them of His power, goodness, and grace. But when they don’t, it dishonors God and calls His character into question.

Aim your life at God’s glory and make it the standard by which you evaluate everything you do.

Suggestions for Prayer; Thank the Lord for the privilege of glorifying Him.

Ask Him to show you any areas of your life that do not honor Him.

Find a trusted Christian friend who will pray with you and hold you accountable for the areas you know need to change.

For Further Study; Read Exodus 33:12-34:8.

What did Moses request?

What was God’s response and what does it teach us about His glory?

 

John MacArthur – Realizing Our Ultimate Priority

John MacArthur

“To the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:11).

Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9-11 closes with a reminder that love, excellence, integrity, and righteousness bring glory and praise to God.

God’s glory is a recurring theme in Paul’s writings, and rightly so because that is the Christian’s highest priority. But what is God’s glory and what does it mean to bring Him glory? After all, He is infinitely glorious in nature, so we can’t add anything to Him. His glory is never diminished, so it doesn’t have to be replenished or bolstered.

In Exodus 33:18-19 Moses says to God, “‘I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!’ And [God] said, ‘I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.'” In effect God was telling Moses that His glory is the composite of His attributes.

That suggests we can glorify God by placing His attributes on display in our lives. When others see godly characteristics like love, mercy, patience, and kindness in you, they have a better picture of what God is like. That honors Him. That’s why it’s so important to guard your attitudes and actions. Paul admonished Timothy to be exemplary in his speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity (1 Tim. 4:12). That should be true of every believer!

Another way to glorify God is to praise Him. David said, “Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in holy array. . . . In His temple everything says, ‘Glory!'” (Ps. 29:1- 2, 9).

You cannot add to God’s glory, but you can proclaim it in your words and deeds. What picture of God do others see in you? Does your life bring glory to Him?

Suggestions for Prayer:

In 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 David instructs Asaph and Asaph’s relatives on how to glorify God. Using that passage as a model, spend time in prayer glorifying God.

For Further Study:

Reread 1 Chronicles 16:8-36, noting any specific instructions that apply to you.

John MacArthur – Proclaiming God’s Preeminence

John MacArthur

We were predestined “to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:12).

Preeminence implies supreme standing, picturing one who excels over all others in a particular quality or achievement. There is no one more preeminent than God.

Ephesians 1:12 underscores that truth. You were redeemed and granted an eternal inheritance that God might be glorified. Certainly you benefit greatly from salvation, but God’s glory is the primary issue.

Our man-centered culture doesn’t share that perspective. Sadly, its self-seeking and self-glorifying mentality has crept into the church, and even the gospel itself has been subjected to its influence. For example sin is often defined by how it affects man, not how it dishonors God. Salvation is often presented as a means of receiving what Christ offers, not a mandate to obey what He commands. Many modern-day evangelists have reduced the gospel to little more than a formula by which people can live a happy and more fulfilling life. The focus has shifted from God’s glory to man’s benefit.

Such a convoluted gospel fuels the fire of self-love and self-exaltation.

As believers we know better than that. We know that the purpose of life is to glorify God. That means living to His glory is to govern everything we do.

What higher or more noble purpose could life afford? “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,” Paul said he pressed “on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). Keep that goal clearly in mind in all you do today. By doing so your day will be to the praise of God’s glory!

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for His preeminence in all things.

Pray for opportunities to speak of His preeminence to others, remembering that they will see Him in your actions as well as your words.

For Further Study:

Read Job 38:42:6

How did God convince Job of His surpassing knowledge and power?

What was Job’s response?

 

John MacArthur – Living to the Glory of God

John MacArthur

God chose us “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in [His beloved Son]” (Eph. 1:6).

Englishman Henry Martyn served as a missionary in India and Persia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Upon his arrival in Calcutta, he cried out “Let me burn out for God.” As he watched the people prostrating themselves before their pagan idols and heard blasphemy uttered against Christ, he wrote, “This excited more horror in me than I can well express. . . . I could not endure existence if Jesus was not glorified; it would be hell to me, if He were to be always thus dishonored” (John Stott, Our Guilty Silence [InterVarsity, 1967], pp. 21-22).

Martyn had a passion for God’s glory–and he was in good company. Angels glorify God (Luke 2:14), as do the heavens (Ps. 19:1) and even animals (Isa. 43:20). But as a believer, you glorify God in a unique way because you are a testimony to His redeeming grace.

You were created for the purpose of glorifying God–even in the most mundane activities of life, such as eating and drinking (1 Cor. 10:31). You are to flee immorality so you can glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:19- 20). You are to walk worthy of your calling “that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified” (2 Thess. 1:12).

Glorifying God is an enormous privilege and an awesome responsibility. When others see His character on display in your life, it reminds them of His power, goodness, and grace. But when they don’t, it dishonors God and calls His character into question.

Aim your life at God’s glory and make it the standard by which you evaluate everything you do.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank the Lord for the privilege of glorifying Him.

Ask Him to show you any areas of your life that do not honor Him.

Find a trusted Christian friend who will pray with you and hold you accountable for the areas you know need to change.

For Further Study:

Read Exodus 33:12-34:8

What did Moses request?

What was God’s response and what does it teach us about His glory?

 

John MacArthur – Christ’s Radiance and Representation

John MacArthur

“He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Heb. 1:3).

Just as the rays of the sun give light, warmth, life, and growth to the earth, so Jesus Christ is the glorious light of God shining into the hearts of men and women. As “the radiance of God’s glory,” Jesus expresses God to us. No one can see God in HIs full glory; no one ever will. The radiance of that glory that reaches us from God appears in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Just as the sun was never without and can never be separated from its brightness, so God was never without and cannot be separated from the glory of Christ. Never was God without Him or He without God, and never in any way can He be separated from God. Yet the brightness of the sun is not the sun, and neither is Jesus exactly the same as God in that sense. He is fully and absolutely God, yet as a distinct Person within the triune Godhead.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). As the radiance of God’s glory, Christ can transmit that light into your life and mine so that we can radiate the glory of God to a dark world.

In using the term “exact representation” to describe Christ’s relationship to God’s nature, the writer employs terminology usually associated with an impression reproduced on a seal by a die or stamp. Jesus Christ is the reproduction of God–the perfect, personal imprint of God in time and space.

How wonderful to realize that Jesus Christ, who is both the full expression of God and exact reproduction of God’s nature in human history, can come into our lives and give us light to see and to know God! His light is the source of our spiritual life. And His light gives us purpose, meaning, happiness, peace, joy, fellowship, everything–for all eternity.

Suggestion for Prayer:

Thank God that He determined to become a man so we could know what He is like.

For Further Study:

Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 and note who allows people to see or not see spiritually.

 

Max Lucado – Declare His Glory

Max Lucado

Look around. People thrash about in seas of guilt, anger, despair. Life isn’t working.  We’re drowning fast. But God can rescue us. And only one message matters.  His!  We need to see God’s glory.

Make no mistake.  God has no ego problem. He doesn’t reveal His glory for His good. We need to witness it for ours. We need a strong hand to pull us into a safe boat. And once aboard, what becomes our priority?

Simple. Promote God. We declare, “Hey, strong boat over here!  Able pilot! He can pull you out!”

1 Chronicles 16:24 says, “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” If we boast at all, we boast in the Lord!

Psalm 115:1 says, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.”

Declare His glory!

From When God Whispers Your Name